Fun Ideas

Kindle Paperwhite 2013: Review Roundup



criteria 1
5/ 5


Get this for...

Book lovers looking for the best ereader on the market.

Don't get this for...

Travelers who prefer an old-fashioned paperback.

Bottom Line

The new 2013 Kindle Paperwhite is arguably the best ereader on the market right now. If you don’t already have an ereader, or if you’re upgrading from a pre-2012 ereader, this one’s a great choice!

Posted May 7, 2014 by

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.
Full Article

This post is about the 6th Generation Kindle Paperwhite released in 2013. If you’re interested in buying a Kindle Paperwhite today, check out the 2016 Kindle Paperwhite E-reader ($119.99 at Amazon).



The 2013 Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon

The Kindle Paperwhite has earned great reviews and is considered to be one of the best ereaders out there–but you’ve probably heard something about that if you clicked through to this post!  This Kindle Paperwhite Review Roundup is my way to give you all the latest research on Amazon’s popular new ereader.

Why a “review roundup”?  Well, I started this site because I’m the type to get super excited about product research.  That excitement means I often end up reading piles of reviews before I actually buy a product.  A “review roundup” gives me the opportunity to pass my research along to other travelers who are interested in those same travel products.

This isn’t a review.  Instead, it’s a summary of each Kindle Paperwhite Review on four authoritative websites (with links to the original articles, of course).  I’ll also go over some of the valuable information that you can glean from an Kindle Paperwhite review on Amazon.  At the end, I’ll summarize all that research and use those reviews to offer an average star rating.


Kindle Paperwhite Review Roundup:

Kindle Paperwhite Review at Gizmodo

Mario Aguilar at Gizmodo sums up the new Kindle Paperwhite as “Faster, Prettier, Still the Best.”

This Kindle Paperwhite Review describes the new ereader as a significant upgrade on its Paperwhite predecessor, with faster page-turning and a better, more evenly lit screen.  He even includes GIFs to illustrate the new Kindle’s improved speed.  Aguilar’s final conclusion?  Amazon’s “special offers” in the screensaver are tacky and the new software doesn’t really change your reading experience, but this new Kindle Paperwhite’s improved display makes it a great option for anyone who’s looking to buy a new ereader or upgrade one that’s a couple years old.  Check out the Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon.


Kindle Paperwhite Review at CNET

David Carnoy’s Kindle Paperwhite Review, titled “2013 Paperwhite is subtly better, faster” digs a little deeper into the new ereader’s capabilities, features, and flaws.

Like the reviewer at Gizmodo, Carnoy describes the new ereader as more responsive than prevous ereaders.  Comparing it to Kobo’s luxury ereader, the Kobo Aura (click here to see it at Amazon), he says the Kindle Paperwhite actually has a better screen and lighting than its high-end competitor.  Also, this CNET review makes a point of how the “Amazon ecosystem” can’t be beat when it comes to offering huge numbers of titles at low prices.

The biggest flaw he points out is that the new ereader doesn’t offer a significant drop in weight or size from its 2012 predecessor.  Check out the Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon.


Kindle Paperwhite Review at Wired

Roberto Baldwin wrote the Kindle Paperwhite Review over at Wired.  He goes over the color tones on the new device, saying that the whites’ warmer tones on this new ereader make it easier on the eyes than the older version.  Unlike the previous reviewers, who weren’t certain that Amazon had fulfilled its promise of “darker blacks” and better contrast on this new model, Baldwin does mention that the text appears darker and “crisper.”  He alsosays that internal improvements let the Kindle Paperwhite “refresh” your page less often (leading to less of those dark flashes as you read).  He also goes over the new Page Flip feature, which lets you go back to an important page or helpful map within a pop-up window.  This way you don’t lose your place as you read.

If you’re looking for an upgrade an on older (non-Paperwhite) Kindle, he concludes, you’ll probably love this new ereader!  Check out the Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon.


Kindle Paperwhite Review at PCMag

Jamie Lendino created PCMag’s Kindle Paperwhite Review, simply titled “Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2013).”  He talks about this new model’s faster all-round performance, and sums the Kindle up as having “the best ebook store and overall ecosystem in the business.”

He also says that the improved speed makes even the older Paperwhite model seem “oddly sluggish.” He discusses features like Kindle Page Flip (for a book-like experience when you’re scanning through a long text) and Cloud Collection, which lets you sync your book collection across multiple devices.  This Kindle Paperwhite Review does note the new Kindle’s limitations, though: namely, the lack of a memory card slot, the high price ($70) of upgrading to the 3G version, and the fact that there’s no support for EPUB format ebooks.  Check out the Kindle Paperwhite at Amazon.


Kindle Paperwhite Reviews by customers at Amazon

As the creators and primary distributors of the Kindle Paperwhite, it makes sense that Amazon would offer the most complete product description possible (seriously, it’s about a mile long and as polished as it gets).  As with any product on Amazon, the listing is supplemented by lots of customer reviews.  Since I’m pretty used to researching products, I’ve taken this opportunity to sort through some of those 4,000 reviews and pull out the most useful information from the mix.

  • D. Carlson’s 3-star Kindle Paperwhite review describes this as a great ereader, but not worth the upgrade for owners of the first Kindle Paperwhite.  The review goes through the new improvements with lots of comparisons to the older model.
  • Many 1-star and 2-star reviews complained about physical flaws with the device and quality control issues, but they were in the extreme minority out of the total pool of reviewers.
  • A few reviewers said the battery life on this Kindle Paperwhite was not as good as they had expected.  Heavy use of certain new features (or even just the front-lighting) can shorten the battery life significantly.
  • A huge majority of the Kindle Paperwhite Reviews on Amazon give the new gadget five stars.  While this ereader may not be perfect, most agree that it offers spectacular features for the price.


My Final Summary: A 5-Star Ereader

  • The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is probably the best ereader on the market right now.  If you don’t already have an ereader, or if you’re upgrading from a pre-2012 ereader, the 2013 Kindle Paperwhite is a great choice.
  • The display quality and front lighting on the Kindle Paperwhite are both top notch.
  • If you already own the 2012 Kindle Paperwhite, the 2013 version’s incremental improvements might not make an upgrade to the new one worth it.
  • This ereader doesn’t have a dedicated button to turn off the front lighting, which can be annoying when you’re reading in a well-lit environment.
  • The ads or “special offers” included in the screensaver of the “With Special Offers” version of the Kindle Paperwhite are extremely tacky.  If you find they’re driving you nuts, though, you can pay to opt out of them at any time.
  • The features available on this ereader are pretty spectacular.  From Goodreads integration and parental controls to the vocabulary builder, this ereader is brimming with features.  It even has a “Time to Read” feature that’ll help you time your reading by tracking your reading habits and speed.
  • Amazon backs the Kindle with an unbeatable ereading “ecosystem.”  If you’re already a fan of the Amazon platform and find yourself heading over there for all your paper-based literary shopping, the new Paperwhite will offer an easy shift to the world of ereaders.


Love it? Hate it? Already gave it?

Share a gift with friends and family, add it to your Amazon wishlist, or share your thoughts in the comments below.

Kindle Paperwhite: Review Roundup
Check out this Kindle Paperwhite Review Roundup to find out readers and critics’ opinions of this fantastic gift for book lovers.


I'm a travel addict and shopping lover with six years abroad and seventeen countries under my belt. Now that I've settled down in Cambridge, MA for a couple years, TravelGiftList helps me keep up with the world of fun, quirky, and practical travel gifts!


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Response