Frontlights Still Vary Greatly From One to the Next

Kindle Frontlight Color Difference

The current Kindle Paperwhite has been out for over 2.5 years now, and the Paperwhite line originally launched back in 2012 with the first frontlit Kindle.

After that long of making them you’d think they would all come out looking the same, but that’s not the case at all.

It’s amazing how much frontlights vary from one to the next, even among the same model.

The picture above illustrates just how different the frontlight color is on a couple of recently-purchased Kindle Paperwhites.

It’s like one has a yellow frontlight and the other has a white frontlight.

Some people like lighter frontlights better and others like a softer yellow glow, especially when reading at night, but when it comes to Kindles it’s just sort of the luck of the draw.

The mysterious variable frontlight phenomenon isn’t unique to the Kindle Paperwhite. It affects all frontlit Kindles, and frontlit ereaders in general. I’ve seen Kobo frontlights look completely different from one to the next as well.

It’s strange how there’s not more uniformity when it comes to frontlights. The technology has been in use for nearly six years now but it’s still far from perfect.

In the case of the Kindle sometimes you have to play the exchange game until you get one that you’re happy with, and considering how different they can be that’s something you might have to do if you’re picky about the frontlight.

via: Amazon Forum

9 Responses to “Frontlights Still Vary Greatly From One to the Next”

  1. I actually prefer the slight yellow/warm color…but….it is a little ridiculous that it varies so much. I wonder if it has to do more with the light, or the diffuser…or whatever that layer is that distributes the light.

    • Good point. You’d think the lights would all be exactly the same kind. Is there a slight variance among them or is it a difference in the light layer?

  2. I just traded the 5th gen Paperwhite 1 for the very same reason. Amazon did not even match the LED hues let alone being white
    all the way to the top. The known issue then but did not expect this report after seeing them at Best Buy looking awesome. QC is not Amazon’s strong suit I guess. Let’s hope for a splendid PW 4.

  3. I wonder if variation in the E-ink panel itself is another part of the problem. Before we had frontlights, I was surprised at the levels of whiteness (grayness) that the same model would exhibit.

  4. Just a point of information. White can be warm (yellow or red) or cool (blue) and one of these is warmer white than the other.

    White is kind of like brown or gray in that it’s not a color in the same sense as red or blue or green but a measure of saturation. Neither white nor brown nor gray appear on the color wheel.

    I bet you’ve always wished you knew that. 🙂


  5. I went through 13 exchanges to get a decent frontlit PW3. I’m hoping the new PW4 which I’m assuming will be released in time for Mothers day doesn’t have the same issue, but I’m not holding my breath. The quality control is atrocious.