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Amazon acknowledges Kindle Paperwhite limitations

Kindle Paperwhite

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite was released to almost universal acclaim a couple of weeks back. However, the brickbats have slowly started trickling in, now that the initial phase of euphoria is starting to subside.


Some of the chief complaints include an uneven lighting distribution, lack of any text to speech capabilities, and a lower storage capacity. Amazon has addressed that with a “We Want You to Know” section in the Kindle Paperwhite product description page.

Amazon has no qualms in accepting that the Kindle Paperwhite doesn’t have perfectly even lighting, but goes on to assure users that the light variations are normal, and located in parts of the screen that have no text.

The text to speech deficiency is given a more curious spin though. According to Amazon, the Kindle Paperwhite wouldn’t be as small and light as it is with audio abilities. That is a fairly strange argument to make, as scores of smartphones around the world now, from Apple’s iPhones to hordes of Android phones have powerful processors, GPUs, cameras and other bells and whistles, while being only marginally heftier.

The Kindle Team goes on to conclude with the issue of storage – one that has been a strangely prickly one for a handful of users. One wonders why it remains an issue, with Amazon’s free cloud storage, and they go on to state just that.

Read about the Kindle Team’s statement here

We want you to know…
Kindle Paperwhite is the best Kindle we’ve ever made by far, but there are certain limitations and changes from prior generations that we want you to know about.

Kindle Paperwhite does not have audio or Text-to-Speech. This makes the device smaller and lighter than it would otherwise be. Audio and an improved Text-to-Speech engine are supported on Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD.

Under certain lighting conditions, the illumination at the bottom of the screen from the built-in light is not perfectly even. See examples of how the screen looks in different lighting conditions. These variations are normal and are located primarily in the margin where text is not present. The illumination is more even than that created by a book light or lighted cover. The contrast, resolution and illumination of the Paperwhite display is a significant step-up from our prior generation.

The Kindle Paperwhite has 2 GB of storage. Some previous Kindle models had 4GB of storage. 2GB allows you to hold up to 1,100 books locally on your device. In addition, your entire Kindle library is stored for free in the Amazon cloud, and you can easily move books from the cloud onto your device.

Thank you, and we hope you enjoy Kindle Paperwhite.

– The Kindle Team

Release ID: 198

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