I shared here the reasons why I finally bought a Kindle Paperwhite. Now I’m gonna share my unboxing experience, first look review, and some tips and tricks. Yes, Malaysians need a specific review because guess what – Amazon doesn’t ship Kindles to Malaysia!
Disclaimer: I’m not an IT person hence my review lack the fancy sophisticated technical touch. For completeness, I share links to online reviews that became my sources of reference before buying a Kindle myself.
FIRST, WHAT IS A KINDLE
Kindle is a device for reading e-books designed and marketed by Amazon. The way you have an iPod or MP3 player to store and play music, you use Kindle exactly the same but for books.
Currently, there are few models of Kindle:
- All-New Kindle – entry-level, basic Kindle with 8GB storage, 167 ppi resolution, and built-in adjustable light (price in Malaysia: around RM400-ish and more)
- Kindle Paperwhite – mid-tier model, waterproof Kindle with audiobook support, 8GB/32GB storage options, and even better resolution at 300 ppi (price in Malaysia: around RM500-ish and more)
- Kindle Oasis – advanced model, with adjustable warmth light and page turn buttons (price in Malaysia: around RM1,000-ish and more)
- Kindle Kids Edition – as the name suggests, Kindle designed for kids with parental control (price in Malaysia: around RM500-ish)
I got a Kindle Paperwhite because many reviews reached to the same conclusion as summarized by PCWorld here:
Which Kindle is best for you? If you’re strapped for cash, the All-new Kindle will do the job. If you can stretch to the All-new Kindle Paperwhite, we still feel that’s the best balance of price and features. And if you or someone you know deserves the very best, the Kindle Oasis is luxury all the way.
Read these comparison reviews between each model for more details:
- The Best Kindles in 2020
- Buying a Kindle? Here Are Our Favourites
- Amazon Kindle vs Paperwhite vs Oasis: Which Kindle is Best in 2020?
Watch these videos from Youtube as well:
- 2019 Kindle vs Kindle Paperwhite Comparison Review
- Amazon Kindle vs Kindle Paperwhite
- Kindle Oasis Review in 60S
By the way, you can choose Kindle without ads or with ads on the lockscreen. Without ads would be a bit pricier, of course. I would say just get the standard one with ads, why?
Now, the next logical question is – will this have negative effect on overall reading experience. Will those ads interrupt your readings?
No, these ads won’t intrude while reading your contents. It only appears as a screensavers when your device is idle and at the bottom of your Home screen. They won’t appear anywhere while reading your actual contents. Sponsored ads on Kindle devices are not invasive or pervasive and unlikely to be so in the future.– Pick My Reader
BUYING KINDLE IN MALAYSIA
Sadly, Amazon doesn’t ship and deliver Kindles to Malaysia hence we can’t buy them directly off Amazon’s website.
So what are the options for us Malaysians?
- Get a family member or friend from other countries that Amazon ship Kindles to, to help you get one;
- Buy from online/offline resellers/dealers in Malaysia;
- Buy from Kindle Malaysia.
Dealers in online shopping platform
I bought mine from a preferred seller in Shopee; X3838 Digital. I chose them after months of searching for a trusted seller with reasonable pricing. I don’t mind recommending them here (not paid!) because they simply deliver as promised.
If you’re skeptical of sellers from those shopping platforms, I guess the safest option would be to buy from Kindle Malaysia vide their website, kindlemalaysia.com. I would personally consider them as the official place to buy Kindle in Malaysia since they’ve been here since 2011, although they are not affiliated with Amazon.
What differentiates them from the other sellers is that they provide after-sales services like claiming Amazon standard warranty on your behalf and opening a dedicated Amazon account for you to buy e-books directly from the Amazon store. With those perks, it’s only natural that their price tag is also a bit higher than other sellers.
Just to give you an idea of the price difference between Kindle Malaysia and X3838 Digital, without prejudice to either, Kindle Malaysia as of November 2020 sold Kindle Paperwhite (device only, without ads) for RM850 while X3838 Digital sold the same for RM569. Granted as I said, Kindle Malaysia provides a whole lot of services for their customers.
It’s really up to you whether to pay more for the services to have an Amazon account and get/buy e-books directly from there, or pay less just for the device and get your e-books elsewhere.
If you don’t want to buy new, you can be on the look out for second-hand Kindles for sale that Kindle Malaysia often share on their Facebook page.
UNBOXING KINDLE PAPERWHITE
I bought my Kindle Paperwhite from X3838 Digital during 11.11 sale for RM574.99, after a mere 3% discount. But as I used a Shopee voucher, I only paid a total of RM558.99 (including casing and shipping).
There are 4 colors available for Kindle Paperwhite – black, twilight blue, plum, and sage. I chose black because I’m basic like that.
When the item reached me in the morning two days after that, I was excited!
These are what in the box:
MY REVIEW FOR KINDLE PAPERWHITE
From the perspective of an almost avid reader, this is my initial review for Kindle Paperwhite based on its features after having used it for a week.
1. Comfortable reading experience
Amazon Kindles have this e-ink display technology where the screen closely mimics the appearance of ink on printed papers. I can’t explain this technology in detail, so read more here. It also has a built-in backlight that allows you to read in the dark.
As a reader with no expertise to understand the technology behind it, I can vouch that the screen really mimics printed papers. If you want to visualize how it looks like, it’s like a printed paper being framed using matte glass.
The font is adjustable and so is the brightness. I can easily adjust it according to my preference and light situation. I can read with the light off without blinding my eyes. It is also very easy to navigate, I believe you can master this within half an around playing around.
All in all, if I am to compare this with physical book, of course nothing beats the feeling of touching the paper texture with your fingers and reading the printed words. If I am to compare this with smartphone, Kindle Paperwhite feels easy on the eyes. I tried reading e-books with my smartphone before and I had eye strain due to the blinding light from the screen. So far no issue with this one yet.
2. Easy portability
After seeing many reviews, I knew how small a Kindle is but couldn’t believe that it’s so small and very light. Just slightly bigger than most smartphones but smaller than the standard tablets.
Now, this gadget has become one of the staples of things that I bring out with me. House keys, car keys, checked. Purse, checked. Face mask, hand sanitizer, checked. Phone, checked. Kindle, checked!
3. Huge storage
Kindle Paperwhite comes with 2 space size options – 8GB or 32GB.
I bought the one with 8GB space. Similar to other devices, the real size when it comes to you is a bit reduced. For my Kindle Paperwhite, it goes down to 6GB. I was skeptical at first of how many books I could really store with such a small storage.
But according to Amazon, we can store around 6,000 typical size e-books in the 8GB Kindle. As of now, I have 90 e-books and it only takes about 0.30GB = 300MB of space. Wah 5.7GB left!
P/s: Kindle Paperwhite can support audiobooks as well, but note that audiobooks require more space. As I don’t store any audiobook, I’m not sure how it is in reality. And this feature can be a pro too if you do listen to audiobooks.
4. Long battery life
The standard battery life for a Kindle Paperwhite is roughly 28 hours. If you read for one hour a day, it can last weeks, almost a month.
I haven’t gotten around to test how long a full charge of Kindle would take me. I will update you if it really lives up to the claim.
5. Easy highlighting and note-taking
If you highlight books and make notes here and there like me, you can do the same in Kindle. Of course, I would prefer to jot down my note with pen and paper but I guess this works too, even better. Simply because it stores my highlights and notes in a file that I can access, scroll, re-read, and copy and paste.
6. Built-in dictionary
Kindle Paperwhite has built-in dictionaries that you can easily use by clicking on any particular word to which it will give you the definition. It’s a bit laggy though, sometimes it can take a few seconds for the definition to show up. But won’t disturb your reading experience.
7. Waterproof feature
Kindle Paperwhite claims that it is waterproof. Silly me, I really thought I could submerge the Kindle underwater but that’s not what it means okay. It just means the Kindle Paperwhite can handle water splashes and droplets.
That’s one of the selling points for me because God knows how many books I’ve water-damaged reading by the pools, rivers, or beaches (yup I love doing that!). So far I haven’t tested the waterproof feature and I don’t intend to put it underwater for no reason. Personally, so long as it can handle water splashes, all’s good.
By the way, see these if you want to read more about this feature:
- Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 4 Underwater Test
- Here’s What to do if Your Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite Gets Wet
CONS FOR MALAYSIANS
To unlock the full potential of Amazon Kindle, the Kindle must first be connected and registered to Amazon. Unfortunately for us in Malaysia, we can’t do that the easy way. We have to go through numerous steps as Amazon (US) requires registration with US cardholder name, US credit card, US billing address, and US telephone number.
And that’s the big con of having Kindle in Malaysia! But you can surely work around it.
8. No direct services or warranty from Amazon
This relates to our incapability to have Amazon Kindles the direct and easy way. Some sellers will not provide you any warranty, or just a minimal warranty. To be safe if you want the full Amazon standard warranty (and all standard features), you can consider getting your device from Kindle Malaysia.
9. To get Kindle e-books in Malaysia is a hassle
We can actually get Kindle e-books, free or paid, directly from Amazon. However as we have to get an Amazon registered account, it can be quite a hassle. It’s doable though. If you’re interested, check out these guides by Kindle Malaysia or just visit them and ask the experts there!
I, on the other hand, do not bother to get my e-books from Amazon. I just can’t bring myself to go through the registration process. My Kindle Paperwhite is not even registered to Amazon account. So what did I do in alternative?
- Turn off the Wifi and switch to Airplane mode;
- Transfer e-books the manual way, from your laptop to Kindle by USB cable (get e-books to your laptop first of course);
- Continue using Kindle to read books without any connection (perks not connecting to Wifi: no ads!).
Will share in another post on how I get e-books in Malaysia.
10. Can’t utilize the full features of Kindle without registering to Amazon
This may be considered as a self-induced disadvantage because I myself don’t want to go through the whole US registration process. That’s fair.
As my Kindle is not connected or registered to Amazon, these are what I cannot do:
- I can’t buy books from Amazon Store directly from Kindle;
- I can’t use the email functionality (people use to email e-books, file or document to the device);
- The Collections feature doesn’t work, which means I can’t group my books. I can either scroll through all books I have in the Library alphabetically or newest to latest;
- I can’t download new updates.
Anyhoo, the cons are more like annoying inconveniences that don’t hamper my reading experience. The Kindle works just fine as it is. I can still get e-books elsewhere, so that’s totally fine.
It is unfortunate that Amazon doesn’t ship Kindles to Malaysia, but don’t let that stop you if your main purpose to have a Kindle is to read books. Even if you don’t connect your device and register your account with Amazon, this serves the purpose just well.
Kindle Paperwhite is my first try at this whole e-books world. I can’t compare Kindle Paperwhite with other Kindle models or any other e-readers out there for that matter. I can just say that as a reader who loves physical books, trying e-books and buying Kindle Paperwhite is one of the best expenses that I’ve ever made!
Let’s continue figuringgitout with reading!