Exactly one year ago, I received Amazon’s first illuminated Kindle. And the Paperwhite display did not live up to the breathless marketing hype (and product imagery). I tried to give it a chance, but ultimately the smudgy, cross hatching towards the bottom of the display was more of a distraction than the lighting was a benefit… and the Kindle was returned. So when v2 was announced about a month ago, I wondered aloud if the lighting had been improved – with The Verge Editor-in-Chief assuring me it was. And now that mine has arrived, after only about 3-4 hours of reading, I concur: the $119 Kindle Paperwhite (v2) is a keeper. Screen illumination is significantly more even, no longer a distraction, and touch recognition/responsiveness is similarly improved.
As to my prior Kindle(s), I ended up selling the discontinued 3G Kindle Keyboard to a friend on a tight budget, who hoped his daughter might increase her reading, and had picked up the current base Kindle – which features sharp text in a compact form. My mom is in need of a new Kindle, with updated software and higher resolution display. And I’ve spent enough time with the new Paperwhite to determine that the touchscreen-powered UI isn’t for her. So the plan is to pass along that base Kindle, augmented with a (overpriced) lighted cover. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to operate caseless… other than a small Ziploc bag for transport.