If you want to read more about the previous Kindle Touch (with 400 comments!), click here.
- 10 April 2013: I'll be hiking in Australia for 2 months so may not answer questions that quickly.
- 16 March: Software Update 5.3.4 is released.
- 28th February: New Kindle Paperwhite ads just got released last week.
- 14th February: For the more intrepid reader, Amazon Japan's PW is selling around S$40 cheaper. Use Tenso as your forwarder. Then register it to your US amazon account and proceed as usual. I haven't actually tried buying it this way though.
- 14th October: I just received the Kindle Paperwhite and Leather Cover. It's plainly the best Kindle ever made. There seems to some reviews which mention defective screens, hopefully that's just a minority of the huge amounts of Kindles sold. Mine looks gorgeous! It took 11 days from the package leaving Amazon to reaching Comgateway to reaching my house. The shipping was USD17. Total cost is around S$215 including shipping via Comgateway (or S$165 if you don't buy the cover, which is not recommended.)
3) Kindle Paperwhite
4) Kindle Leather Cover
5) Calibre integration
6) How to buy a Kindle in Singapore
7) How to buy Kindle ebooks in Singapore
There are two groups of people who may be interested in this device. Those who have never had a Kindle before, and those who have. For the former group, just get the new Paperwhite. It's basically a no-brainer. If you want an E Ink reader, this is as good as it gets. It's light, the user interface is not bad and it has gone through many versions; this is the best yet.
For those who have the Kindle Touch or another older version, there are a few reasons why the Paperwhite is a compelling upgrade. Firstly, we're talking about the best lighted screen that exists. I've compared the Paperwhite's screen with its brightness adjusted equal to an iPad's screen in pitch darkness. The Paperwhite's screen can be very dim and very bright, very similar to an iPad's. However, the feature that makes it 'better' than the conventional LCD screen is that it can be read very well in bright sunlight also. No other screen does as well in two kinds of light conditions. Hence the continual attraction of E Ink devices.
Next, the resolution of the Paperwhite has increased to 758x1024 pixels at 212dpi. The Touch's is 600x800. What this means is that the fonts are now more crisp than ever. For all intents and purposes, it is a Retina display. (The Retina Macbook Pro has a resolution of 220ppi.) Just look at the picture below, this is with the light turned on a little. I cannot tell it's not a piece of paper.
The dictionary's interface has changed a little too. Holding your finger to a word for 2s will make the definitions window pop up. If you want to view the full entry, tap 'More'. To go back to the book, press 'back'.
Another interesting new feature tells you how much time you'll need to spend finishing the book. It's found at the bottom left corner, and it's pretty accurate from my experience reading it.
Kindle Leather Cover
Apart from the Kindle, you need to buy some sort of casing. A screen protector is not needed, but a case is quite essential. You don't want to drop the Kindle without protection as the screen will mostly likely break. The official Leather Cover is not cheap, but it's really, really good. It has a rubber chassis that wraps the Kindle very tightly. The corners are protected if the reader is dropped to the ground. There's a magnet on the cover so that when you close it, the Kindle switches off automatically, and vice versa. The build quality is also very good, better than the Touch's official case.
Calibre is an ebook management software that extends the potential of a Kindle quite a bit. It has many 'recipes' that are able to pull content from major websites and then automically transfer the material to the Kindle automatically via email. In the previous version, Chinese characters were not totally able to be displayed. In the Paperwhite, it seems that most if not all characters can be displayed.
|News from zaobao.com|
|With the included dictionary|
|Content from The West Australian|
|Content from Today Online|
|Content from Psychology Today|
How to buy a Kindle in Singapore
- Create an Amazon account if you don't already have one.
- Go to the Kindle page and buy yourself a Kindle. It will be automatically linked to your Amazon account. I prefer the WiFi-only version rather than the 3G+WiFi version. The added 3G may not be really necessary because worldwide surfing isn't guaranteed even though it does work in many places. Also, additional costs will be incurred for the transfer of documents if 3G (AT&T roaming) is used when there is no WiFi.
- Ship it to a third party mail forwarder. Borderlinx (Citibank credit card required, go to 'get a virtual address') and Comgateway (go to 'get my US address') are excellent. They both use DHL.
- When you get your Kindle, you need to register it if it hasn't already been registered. After connecting to wifi at home>settings, register it by filling in your Amazon username and password at "home>settings>register".
Some preparatory steps to take before buying books from the Amazon US store
- Because Amazon doesn't officially support Kindles in Singapore, there are instances where buyers were found to be not from 'authorised countries' and their accounts were disabled temporarily. To be safe, use a vpn described below.
- Firstly, do not buy Amazon ebooks directly from your Kindle device or Kindle apps, not even free books.
- Buy a gift card with your local credit card, say USD50. Use the correct, local billing address for this purchase. Email the gift card to your email address. When you receive it in the mail, apply the gift amount to your Amazon account.
- Go to your account, 'manage payment options', and erase your credit card info if you have any credit cards associated with Amazon.com . (Do this also whenever you buy something at Amazon using your local credit card.)
- You need to buy books using your Internet browser on your computer with a VPN installed. Functionally, using a VPN is the equivalent of me giving you an airplane ticket to travel with your Kindle to the US. Use a VPN such as AlwaysVPN to make yourself situated in the US, in spirit. You may turn it off later when you're done purchasing. Click here to download some instructions. The cheapest Alwaysvpn package can last you for years. Do not use Hotspot Shield; it's known not to work sometimes.
- Exit your Internet browser.
- Switch on your VPN. Open your browser.
- Go to Manage your Kindle at the Kindle product page.
- Go to 'country settings'. Change your country to US if it's showing another country. Use any US address.
- Switch off the VPN.
- Because Amazon doesn't officially support Kindles in Singapore, there are instances where buyers were found to be not from 'authorised countries' and their accounts were disabled temporarily. To be safe, I use the following workflow.
- Do not buy e-books (even if the books are free) with the Kindle device.
- Ensure that you have sufficient funds in your account. If not, buy more gift cards and apply them to your account.
- Exit your Internet browser.
- Switch on your VPN, and check that it's working by going to http://www.whatismyipaddress.com . It needs to show a US IP address.
- Go to Amazon. Find your book and click 'buy now with 1-click', 'deliver to your Kindle'. If you choose to wirelessly send it to your Kindle, you should receive the book in a few seconds. You can also choose to download the file and transfer it to your Kindle using USB. If asked for the billing address, use any US address. Note that this address will not be used because funds will originate from your gift card balance.
- Switch off the VPN.