Amazon’s new 6.8-inch Kindle Paperwhite with a warm frontlight started shipping earlier this week. It’s the 5th generation Paperwhite model and the 11th generation Kindle overall.
The first thing that caught my eye with the new Paperwhite is the screen looks better than the screen on the Paperwhite 4. I’m not sure why Amazon doesn’t mention improved contrast in their marketing spiel, but it’s clearly better. It’s not a huge difference but it is noticeable (it still doesn’t match the Kindle Voyage, though).
Even more impressive than the screen is how much faster and more responsive the new Paperwhite is. Page turns, opening menus, navigating the interface, running searches, opening books—everything is faster. It’s even a little zippier than the Kindle Oasis.
Speaking of the Oasis, the new warm frontlight on the Paperwhite 5 is pretty much exactly the same as the warm frontlight on the Kindle Oasis, and it still has Dark Mode as well so both options are now available.
One unexpected thing is it shipped with the old user interface and had to be updated for the new layout to appear. At first it was really confusing not having the new UI on a new Kindle, but I’m sure some people would prefer it that way.
It’s kind of surprising how similar the design of the PW5 is to the PW4. It’s basically just a slightly larger version with smaller bezels. It has the exact same feel with the rubbery back, rounded edges, and flush front screen, which is still a fingerprint magnet.
I’ll post a full written review of the new Kindle Paperwhite next week after using it more, along with some comparison videos. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below.
Update: See here for a video outlining the differences with the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, and here’s a video comparing the Paperwhite 5 and Paperwhite 4.
Good review! I would love to see a comparison with the new paperwhite and the older Voyage.
I’ll probably post one eventually but it might be a few weeks since there’s no demand for the Voyage anymore.
How do you feel about the size difference to the oasis? I know it’s minor but I prefer the width more on the PW when I adjust margin size.
I have the Voyage, Oasis 3 and now this new one – if the Voyage had warm lighting it would be my #1.
The Paperwhite, at least mine, is better than my oasis for screen quality. The lighting is better. My oasis leans bluer to orange much more quickly and makes the text looks worse than the PW, whereas the Paperwhite has nicer warm tones. I already like it more. It doesn’t ‘pop’ like Voyage but is closer to it than the Oasis.
Voyage has better contrast but it hurts my eyes to read without the warm light filter now. So I don’t use it as much anymore.
I haven’t really done much comparing with the Oasis yet, other than a quick check with the screen and performance. I still think the margins are too big and wish Amazon would add another option to half the smallest margin size but that’s never going to change, apparently.
First impressions is that I really like it. USB-C charging is a lot faster, screen is better than my Oasis 3, lighting more even and brighter. Definitely prefer the form factor of the PW5 versus Oasis. Side-by-side I still prefer the slightly larger screen of the Oasis but that’s a small trade-off. Better screen, better comfort, faster charging, better design. Definitely prefer it over my Oasis.
Still — nothing touches the Kindle Voyage screen
Why oh why won’t they just make a new Voyage!?
Ive had the Voyage numerous times throughout the years and I finally gave up on it. I agree the Voyage has good contrast but I think the new Paperwhite is on par with it. The area where the Voyage failed was screen lighting and uniformity. The Voyage had good contrast but terrible uneven lighting where you had blotches throughout the screen. This is where the new Paperwhite prevails. It has really great contrast and the best lighting uniformity I’ve ever seen on a Kindle. Even better than my Oasis 3. The screen is easier to read and the text just pops out. It’s the best of both worlds. We can talk about USB-C with faster charging, wireless charging, comfort light and a bigger screen the area that impressed me most and what Nathan points out is the fact that the screen is SOOO much better. It’s really impressive honestly.
Is it possible to post a photo comparing the Kobo Libra 2 and the Kindle Paperwhite 5 side by side please?
I’ll post a comparison video at some point but it might be a couple weeks. It’s not easy reviewing three new ereaders all at once!
No probs Nathan, I understand 😊
Just trying to decide which one to buy my father in law. I will wait for your comparison video.
I like my paper white signature but the lighting on the oasis feels better to me. I also miss the group books feature. Any way to get this on the new paper white?
Series grouping is working on mine.
That’s interesting. Is it still under Home & Library in the Settings? And what version is your firmware?
Do you have the Paperwhite Signature? FYI I just got off a chat about this issue with Amazon. He wanted me to update my Kindle but it wouldn’t update over the internet. The question is now with technical support. I will hear back in about 3 days.
Yeah, it was on the old software after initial setup but then I plugged it in and it updated to 5.14.1 soon after.
sandra lunsford says
I reset the PW back to factory settings. It then came back up. Not sure why or how but am thankful. Thank you for responding
lou sevens says
Lou Sevens here- thanks for doing the review. I will probably get one keep the others I have.
How is writing your collection to the new Kindle? One time I had to go into my library and select all and send to the new kindle, another time I am pretty sure it synced directly with my account
I would say I use my Oasis 99% and Paperwhite 1% and hope they still consider a new oasis but see where they save bezel space without the page turn buttons
I’ve never been one to use collections. I’m just not that organized, I guess. I just use the search bar to find stuff.