New Kindle Paperwhite 4 Now Available, Here’s a First Look


Today is the official release day for the new Kindle Paperwhite 4. Pre-orders have started arriving today for those with Amazon Prime and those that opted for 2-day shipping.

The Kindle Paperwhite 4 adds more storage space, with the option for 8GB or 32GB, and it has Bluetooth for audiobooks and VoiceView (a specialized version of text-to-speech that reads all screen content aloud for those with vision problem).

It’s basically a cross between the Kindle Voyage and Kindle Paperwhite 3, but it doesn’t have the page sensor buttons like the Voyage.

It’s also waterproof and lighter than the previous Paperwhite, and it has an updated design with a flush front screen.

Otherwise it’s still mostly the same as the Paperwhite 3. It’s a little smaller and lighter but it has the same general shape and the back has the same light rubbery coating on it.

All the main reading features are the same, except the new Paperwhite adds inverted mode for white text on a black background like the Kindle Oasis.

I also noticed that it has the option to disable the touchscreen while reading, which seems odd since the Paperwhite doesn’t have page buttons like the Kindle Oasis. What it does is it still recognizes swipes to turn pages but not taps and all other touchscreen interaction is disabled so your thumb can rest on the screen without causing any problems.

The frontlight looks nice and even—like the earlier Paperwhites there’s just a slight shadowy band at the bottom of the screen where the LEDs are located. But unlike previous Paperwhites, the light can be turned off at the lowest setting.

I opted for the water-safe fabric cover and I like the feel of it. It’s the same kind of material as the short-lived fabric cover for the 2nd gen Kindle Oasis.

Stay tuned for a full review of the new Kindle Paperwhite. I’ll get a video review posted soon showing it in action, along with some comparison reviews.

For those wondering, it’s the 4th generation Paperwhite model, but Amazon refers to it as the 10th gen Kindle because it’s the tenth generation model overall, so when shopping for covers and accessories make sure they specifically fit the 10th generation Paperwhite.

Kindle Paperwhite 4

Kindle-Paperwhite-4-angle Kindle-Paperwhite-4-cover Kindle-Paperwhite-4-comparisons

39 Responses to “New Kindle Paperwhite 4 Now Available, Here’s a First Look”

  1. Overall it feels mostly the same as my PW3, except lighter. It doesnt feel much thinner.
    I also got the fabric cover and I like it, it feels nice. Amazon should really include some black vinyl tape with every new Paperwhite as that logo is very distracting. For me it’s a dealbreaker. I didn’t think it would bother me that much, I though t it would be a more subtle gray like the Voyage but it’s actually white. They ruined it on that one and should’ve stayed black on black like most readers today. There is also some color gradience which I expected from the flush screen. I still can’t believe they can’t get it right 😫
    Overall I like it but the gradience is annoying and the logo distracting. It also doesnt feel like an upgrade as its still the same design with the Dinosaur bezels.
    I was curious and had to see it in person but its going back. I just can’t justify the price since I have a PW3. For those have a earlier PW, a basic Kindle or simply are hardcore addicts then yes.

    • Just looking at pictures, I was thinking that logo would have been distracting. If I still had my PW3 (I have an Oasis 2 now), I don’t think I’d be upgrading to this newer model. Not just because of the logo; there really isn’t any improvement over the PW3 that I’d be interested in, but it certainly doesn’t help.

    • Did you have the voyage? I’m curious how the screens compare, especially since voyage has glass screen and this is plastic? The contrast on the Voyage was the best of all the eReaders (even compared to Oasis 2)

      • There’s no way the new Paperwhite has a plastic-based screen. It’s still 20 grams heavier than the entry-level Kindle. If it had a plastic backplane it would weigh considerably less. The Wexler Flex One was the first 6-inch ebook reader with a flexible screen and it weighed less than 110 grams.

        • Oh okay, good to know. Thanks for answering. I was just going off of what I heard. I’m super curious how the texts contrast compares to the voyage, as the voyage is so good. If it’s as good, I’ll pick one up for the waterproofing. I find my Paperwhite 3 is more fuzzy than the Voyage

        • The PW4 is 15g lighter than the plastic-screened PW3, so I don’t think weight can be used to determine the screen material.

  2. I’m new to the e-reader lifestyle having received my first one, a Kindle Paperwhite 3 on Prime Day in July from my wife. I am extremely happy with it and not having to return books to the library every 2 weeks is a true bonus.

    As for the Paperwhite 4 I will not be upgrading since the screen is the same quality and I don’t leave an audible account. Waterproofing is a nice addition but not worth the upgrade for me. I’ll just have to swim while in a pool rather than read In it. I am sure these will sell well for the holidays.

  3. I may eventually get one just for the flush screen. I have a fuzzy orange kitty whose very fine fur is forever working its way beneath the bezels on my PW3.
    She’s the main reason I got a Voyage.

    Otherwise nothing else about the new one appeals to me, especially not that white logo.

    If I do get one I’ll buy used from eBay.

  4. I got mine yesterday. The only reason was because every reader has uneven lighting problems of some sort. They said extra light would help and flush screen. They were wrong. It turns out my pw3 has a much whiter and brighter screen . The new one has more of a yellowish tint. In defense of the new one I have seen 3 or 4 other pw3’s and none was as white as mine . Wierd!! They are so inconsistent. It is a hair lighter, no big deal. If waterproof and Bluetooth are important maybe buy it. If not it is not worth upgrading. The page turning is a little smoother. Reviewers have said the lighting is on top of screen, they were wrong, it is still on bottom. They also said rubber backing was different. It is exactly the same.

    • I don’t see the comment I just added here, so typing again.

      I agree with you this one is more yellow/warmer. I took a picture but don’t think I can upload it here. The text is slightly softer due to the new screen — the PW3 is “whiter” with slightly crisper text. I’ll have to get used to the difference.

  5. I was excited about getting the #4 until I learned that Amazon had changed its mind about adding the blue-blocking light. I end every day by reading in bed for about a half hour or so, and I have discovered that the blue-blocking light in my Kobo Aura One makes a heckuva difference in my sleep pattern. So I’m sticking with my Paperwhite 3 until Amazon catches up with Kobo.

  6. It looks like the Voyage still has a sharper screen. Couldn’t you confirm it, Nathan, could you? Thank you!

    • Yes, I’d like to know this too, but last I checked, Nathan no longer has the Voyage

      • I picked one up for cheap on eBay and it turned out to be in like new condition. The Voyage still has the best contrast. Text is noticeably darker. I don’t know why they refuse to replicate that with newer models.

        • This rigt here. Smart thing to do is grab a Voyage for cheap on eBay. Better design, adaptive lighting, better contrast, page turn sensors, sleeker, slimmer, shorter, smaller bezels. If you can get one with even lighting you have the best Kindle ever made.

          • The Voyage is nicer, no question about it, but it was priced $70 higher so it should be nicer. They should’ve released a 2nd gen Voyage with the features of this new Kindle and lowered the Paperwhite price to $99.

          • Right, It didn’t make sense to do a fire sale of the voyage when it was the paperwhite that was being discontinued. Btw, the Voyage is back on sale at regular price on Amazon.

        • Even better than that of the Oasis? Thank you!

          • I mean, the contrast.

          • Yeah, the Voyage has always had the best contrast of any ereader with a flush glass screen. Something about the glass is clearer. It’s like ereaders with infrared touchscreens. Capacitive layers, frontlights and glass all degrade the clarity of the E Ink screen slightly, but they did something to prevent that on the Voyage that nobody else, Amazon included, has managed (or bothered) to replicate since.

        • Oh wow good to know! Thanks so much for letting us know. I’ve been treasuring my Voyage since I compared to someone’s Oasis 2 and noticed the screen isn’t quite as nice. Its a little frustrating that a 2014 model is in some ways better than 2018 ereaders.

  7. If you didn’t already know, Amazon is releasing new covers for the Oasis.

  8. I was thinking about upgrading. But since i don’t see anything extra other than my PW3 there, i decided not to.

  9. When are you going to review the kindle paperwhite 4?

  10. I read there’s immersive reading capability on select titles. Amazon here’s my money if it’s true.

    • I doubt Kindles will ever get immersion reading because E Ink is too slow to refresh the constant highlighting of text. I tried it on the Likebook Mars with the Kindle app and the only way it works is with A2 mode turned on, but then that makes the contrast poor and the screen gets littered with afterimage effects. I know a lot of people would like to see that feature come to Kindles but it’s just something that doesn’t work well on E Ink.

  11. I’ve got the new PW4. Overall I’m satisfied with it. But I am not happy that they have moved access to the XRAY feature (something I frequently use) from the page top menu into the secondary menus. Seems to me the Page Display is more of a setting feature had should have been moved there, leaving more room on the page top menu for other things.

  12. Just a note that I Have noticed this one does have some glare in comparison to the PW3 and older due to the glass covering. Also smudges and fingerprints. I’ve had to adjust the angle of my reading a few times in light and once outside so far, so that’s something to consider if this is a big deal to you. I guess it’s a trade-off for the waterproofing, but Amazon is not correct saying this is glare-free.

  13. This paperwhite feels inferior in every way. As Erin mentioned above the first noticeable difference is that the screen is much softer and text is somewhat blurry. It doesnt seem like a 300ppi reader as the text is nowhere near as crisp as the PW3. The text doesnt pop out as much and seems somewhat burried if that makes sense. It also feels flimsy and somewhat hollow and not as solid as my PW3 even though the weight, size and dimension are almost the same. For example the Voyage is much lighter and yet feels solid and quality.

    I agree that there is more glare due to the flush bezel and it does attract some smudges and fingerprints. Another person also mentioned the logo being a distraction and I can definitely see that although its not a major issue for me.
    I saidI wouldn’t order it but Im actually glad I did because now I know without a doubt and can put it to rest. The curiosity is gone and I can safely say my PW3 is better in every way and I will be sticking with it. I’m also returning the new Paperwhite.

    • Another thing I noticed is that the new Paperwhite takes a few seconds to “wake up” after not being in use for a while. My PW3 does not do that.

      • There is a new setting this one has added to it. If you go to Device Settings, then Advanced Options, there is now a “Power Saver”. By default it is enabled, at least with mine, but one of the settings will result in a slower wake up time. I believe it’s when disabling. Perhaps yours is on that setting?

    • At least someone is agreeing with me! I’m trying to discuss this issue in other places but it’s like crickets or people not seeing what I mean.

      I’m keeping mine because the Waterproofing was such a big deal and will help me out – but the PW3 is definitely superior to me for readability and screen. I’m not even a picky person who usually nitpicks, but I keep running into glare when I brought it to work today. Not at home, but out and about, and that matters since it’s supposed to be about convenience and reading with comfort everywhere.

      I think what happened is they left the specs the same for this Paperwhite but when they added a different type of screen, they should have done some adjustments. Or else they used a cheaper glass type screen than the Voyage. I know the Voyage costs more, but if they’re adding this at all and it reduces the quality of the existing Paperwhite, that isn’t right.

      And you’re right on the buried feel, it’s just not as present and easy to grab with the eyes. On the PW4 today I upped my boldness to one more setting to help counteract the difference.

  14. Too bad Amazon did not put an Alexa toggle switch on e-readers. That way Alexa could at least read text-to-speech. Therefore I would not have a two-step process. First, I have to download and open the ebook on my Fire tablet.Then tell Alexa via the tablet to start reading. It just like playing music on your tablet. Then I follow by giving the same command to the Alexa speaker. The speaker usually starts where the tablet ends. The sound quality is much nicer than what is heard through a tablet.

    I have already shared the idea with Amazon. Maybe it will be a software update. As I pointed out to Amazon no extra weight or hardware required (such as a microphone) aside from adding Bluetooth headset capabilities to Alexa for privacy purposes.

    • Currently, Alexa is reading from the tablet but I am following along with my Paperwhite. By having an on and off switch on e-readers I could eliminate the tablet altogether. Only problem I usually have is falling asleep while Alexa’s reading. Although not a bad problem to have.😉

      I was wondering if others use one of the two methods to enjoy text-to-speech capabilities.

      Also, does anyone know how to link headsets to Alexa so I can have privacy while listening to text-to-speech.

  15. The Bezel is a tad thinner so it gives you the illusion of a larger screen. It takes much longer to index books. I have about 450 books and its been indexing for 5 days now.

  16. I sent this model back because the USB cable did not fit into the device! The Amazon rep I spoke to said that a lot of people were returning them for the same issue (I did try other Amazon cables and had the cord in the proper orientation). There was a visible metal prong in the center which was an obvious defect. Since it arrived at 54% battery, I never noticed this until it was at 3% and ready for it’s first full charge. I believe the PW 3 is superior, as some others have said here. I ordered the 3 and then not even 2 weeks later I heard about the new generation having waterproofing and Audible capabilities, so I returned it to get the new one.
    The screen seemed different in quality, and not in a good way. For the money, it just does not feel like an upgraded Kindle.
    The other thing I noticed is the screen seemed to have a more blue-white cast to it and from the first look, bothered my eyes. A lot. I normally use my Kindle Fire for night time reading, and I appreciate the blue-shade which casts a warm, amber glow. It definitely makes a difference for my sleep pattern!
    Since the charging cord did not fit, after I got familiar with it for a few and dowloaded my books it left the unit at 3%. I couldn’t do much else before returning it. I am pretty tied into the Amazon ecosystem, otherwize I would go with Kobo.
    I have decided to purchase a refurbished Voyage, and call it a day.