Amazon Adds Disclaimer About Kindle Paperwhite’s Uneven Lighting and Other Limitations

Kindle Paperwhite Fonts

Here’s an interesting twist to the Kindle Paperwhite saga. Amazon has added a “We want you to know…” section to the Kindle Paperwhite’s product description page that links to a separate disclaimer page explaining “certain limitations” that Amazon wants you to know about.

The three topics discussed include the lack of audio support and text-to-speech (Amazon is now plugging the Kindle Fire tablets for that), the fact that the Paperwhite comes with half the storage space as some previous Kindles, and of course the uneven lighting that has been a hot issue since its release. They even added pictures showing examples of the uneven lighting.

The pictures give a fairly accurate representation of the shadows at the bottom of the screen, but the pictures aren’t very big so it’s kind of hard see details.

None really show the blue and yellowish spots described by many Paperwhite owners, including myself. The picture in the lower left does sort of show darker spots in the upper middle of the screen; the area to the right of the search icon certainly looks lighter than the area to the left of it. But it’s hard to tell.

In the disclaimer Amazon admits that under certain lighting conditions (low ambient light), the lighting at the bottom of the screen isn’t perfectly uniform. They claim the variations are normal and the lighting is still more even than using a book light or lighted cover. They don’t mention anything about bluish or yellow hues so by their own definition that isn’t normal.

Two things are clear. #1. Amazon is selling a lot of Kindle Paperwhites, so many that they can’t keep up with demand, as evident by the 4-6 week shipping delay for current orders. #2. Amazon is getting a lot of complaints and questions about the Kindle Paperwhite’s uneven lighting, and lack of audio support and memory limitations. Enough to warrant placing a “We want you to know…” disclaimer toward the top of the product page for the first time in Kindle history.

Right now it looks like the fate of the Kindle Paperwhite could go either way. It could be a huge success or a huge flop.

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7 Responses to “Amazon Adds Disclaimer About Kindle Paperwhite’s Uneven Lighting and Other Limitations”

  1. Great, uneven lighting and rainbow colors are now a planned feature. Bezos forgot to mention those in his announcement.

  2. Maybe the colors on the screen come from finger oils. That would explain the variety of experience; have you tried wiping it with a screen cloth?

  3. @K H Acton, good call, I was thinking the same thing a few days ago.

    One gauge of customer satisfaction are the customer ratings of course. I separated the number of 3-star-or-less ratings from the 4-and-up ratings for the Paperwhite, and the lesser ratings represent 38.1% of all ratings the last time I checked. For comparison, for the Kindle Keyboard which has been around a while, the lesser ratings represent about 17%. Big difference.

  4. I wipe my display down with a microfiber cloth after every use, but it would take some really yucky hands to distort color like that. My display is fairly white, and I haven’t experienced the bluish hue issues that Nathan has, but I know for a fact that the uneven shadows at the bottom of my display invade the text of my eBooks by approximately an inch. It isn’t restricted to the margin space as Amazon claims, and I think that the pictures they chose to use on their website are totally misleading. Even in broad daylight, my PW screen does not look as crisp and white as those photos represent. It is just misleading.

    It is interesting that Amazon has offered this disclaimer. I look forward to finding out what happens with these issues.

  5. Year 2012 and less than 2 GB storage. I can hardly believe that. Couldn’t they at least offer different models with different storage capacity and price. How hard would that be?!

  6. Ordered two paperwhites at the same time. One was white, the other a horrible yellow haze. Best described as a smoker yellow. Called and the replacement was just as bad – yellow haze. I took pics and Amazon won’t even look at them. We are getting our third replacement on Friday. If it is yellow, I’ll return and wait until they fix their production issues. This isn’t spotting, but rather a total yellow haze of a screen.