The new Kindle Paperwhite 4 has been finally released, and many users can’t wait to get their hands on it.
The 4th-generation Paperwhite has most features many readers were dreaming about. It’s waterproof. It has a bigger memory. It’s Audible-ready. It has a Voyage-like glass front. And it costs only $129.99.
Others users are waiting for the first reviews and inevitable price cuts during Black Friday 2018.
Before you make the final decision whether to buy the new Kindle Paperwhite, trade for the model you own, or wait for price drops, think about how its features will work for you.
In the following post, we will analyze what stands behind the most important features of the Kindle Paperwhite 2018, so that you can better imagine yourself using it. Make sure you will ask yourself these questions:
- How many times will I expose the Kindle to water, and in which circumstances?
- How many books do I want to download to the Paperwhite for offline reading?
- Will I want the Kindle to become my primary device for audiobook playback?
- How many accessories will I have to get to make the new Paperwhite the perfect tool?
- How many of the features do I really need?
The price matters. The reviews matter. But in the end, you will be using the device.
Kindle Paperwhite 4 (2018) – facts and things to know
1. Don’t leave it in the swimming pool
The 4th-generation Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof. However, certain conditions have to be met to be sure the water won’t leak inside.
The Paperwhite 4 meets IPX8 rating. You can put it 2 meters under fresh water and keep it there for up to one hour.
What does it mean? It means that you have to remember the water resistance is not unconditional.
Keep the Paperwhite more than two hours underwater, and you may damage it. Put the Paperwhite deeper than two meters underwater surface, and you may damage it, as well.
If you leave the Kindle in the swimming pool in your garden and come back after lunch and an afternoon nap, you may realize the Kindle doesn’t work already.
In general, the Kindle Paperwhite will be safe when briefly exposed to water.
For instance, if you accidentally drop it in a bathtub, that’s fine. If it gets wet from a sudden rain, that’s fine. If you clean it from the sand with tap water, that’s fine, too.
2. You’ve got less memory than you think
Kindle Paperwhite 2018 offers bigger storage – 8 or 32 GB. Compared to the basic Kindle or previous-generation Kindle Paperwhite (4 GB), it’s at least twice as much.
It seems like a vast improvement.
However, you have to keep in mind that not all space is available for the user. System files are taking an essential part of the internal memory. And the newer the system, the more memory it takes.
Let’s take a look at memory options in the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite:
- 8 GB version – approximately 6 GB are available to the user. You will be able to download thousands of ebooks, or some 30 – 40 full-length audiobooks in standard quality,
- 32 GB version – 27 GB are available for the user; the rest is used by system files. You should be able to download at least 150 Audible audiobooks.
3. There is no way to extend the memory
As you see, at some point the internal memory may become a limitation. It may not be sufficient if you have a lot of large-size ebooks (the ones with pictures and charts), graphic novels, magazines, or audiobooks.
Therefore, if you plan to pack your new Kindle Paperwhite with everything you’ve collected so far, think twice.
What’s more, unlike Amazon Fire tablets, Kindle Paperwhite 4 doesn’t offer microSD card slot. You won’t be able to expand the internal memory this way.
The memory may be a problem for users who have a lot of personal files, don’t register the device with the Amazon account, and add content via the computer.
Registering the Kindle with your Amazon account is the easiest possible way to access everything you’ve ever added to any of the Kindle e-readers and apps in the past. It’s also a way to control better what you want to keep on the Paperwhite for offline use.
4. You’ll have to buy Bluetooth headphones
Kindle Paperwhite 4 can play audiobooks, but it’s an entirely different experience than what you had in the iconic Kindle Touch.
There are two things you have to remember:
- Kindle Paperwhite 4 doesn’t have built-in speakers,
- Kindle Paperwhite 4 doesn’t have headphone jack.
What it does have, however, is a Bluetooth chip – the same as the one used in the basic Kindle or Kindle Oasis.
As a result, you can connect an external Bluetooth-enabled speaker or headphones, and output audio from the Kindle Paperwhite 4 this way.
If you still don’t have these accessories, we’ve selected Bluetooth speakers and headphones that are a perfect match for Kindle Paperwhite, because they have long battery life – long enough to finish an entire audiobook.
5. You can only listen to audiobooks from Audible
Playing audiobooks on the Kindle Paperwhite has a lot in common with Ford T.
When the Ford T was launched in 1909, Henry Ford said about color options of the new model: “You can have the car painted in any color so long as it is black.”
The same is with Kindle Paperwhite 4 (and other currently offered Kindle models): you can play all audiobooks so long as they are from Audible.
Audible is an audiobook platform owned by Amazon. It offers the largest selection of audiobooks, and you can decide whether you want to buy them the traditional way (pay for each book) or get a subscription.
If you have lots of audiobooks from other sources, for instance, the sites which offer free audiobooks from the public domain, you won’t be able to play them on your Kindle Paperwhite 4.
Even if you manage to sideload the audio file to your Paperwhite via the computer, it won’t be seen in the Audible catalog, and won’t be recognized by the Audible player.
The easiest possible way to add audiobooks is to do it via your Audible account.
6. Get ready for shorter battery life
The Paperwhite 4 offers the same battery life as before: weeks of use without the need to recharge.
Things dramatically change when you start playing audiobooks.
When you read an ebook on the Kindle, the battery is used when you change the screen (for instance, turn the page). Once the new image is set, the battery is not needed until the next page turn.
When you play audiobooks, the battery is needed continuously to output audio. And “weeks” suddenly become “hours.”
The Ebook Reader Blog has run an audiobook test on the Kindle Oasis. The fully loaded battery lasted 8 hours when playing an audiobook via the connected Bluetooth speaker. Then, the e-reader became unresponsive.
If you are planning long holidays in a remote cabin, and want to play audiobooks from your Kindle Paperwhite 4 occasionally, make sure to take the charger.
7. The old case cover won’t fit
The newest Kindle Paperwhite is thinner and smaller than the three earlier generations.
The difference in dimensions it not essential. It’s between 1 and 2 mm in width, height, and depth. However, when it comes to tailored covers, the ones that use plastic shells to hold the device in place, the old cover will be too large.
Therefore, if you want to make sure you give the maximum protection, you’ll need to get a new case designed for the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite.
For the time being, only original Kindle Paperwhite 4 case covers are available, but we believe in a few weeks the new designs will be launched by major third-party producers, such as Fintie or MoKo, so you should be able to get them for Christmas.
If you have a Kindle Paperwhite sleeve or a case with a leather frame, you should be able to continue using it with the newest-generation Paperwhite.
8. Wait for the deal to get Paperwhite 4 under $100
Kindle Paperwhite 4 costs $129.99. It’s $10 more than the 3rd-generation Paperwhite, but for the set of features the new e-reader offers, the price is fully justified.
Is the price of the 2018 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite still too high for you?
If you already own a Kindle, you can always trade it for the new Paperwhite and save between $20 and $30.
Another way to save on the Kindle Paperwhite 4 is to wait for the deal. We may see it offered during Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018.
We predict the Black Friday 2018 price of Kindle Paperwhite will go down by $20, to $109.99, for the version with Wi-Fi and special offers. It won’t go any further, as the Paperwhite has just been launched.
However, the price of Paperwhite 4 might go down to $99.99 in a couple of months. The first chance to see it will be on Prime Day 2019, and Prime members will be the first customers to take advantage.
9. The offer on Kindle Unlimited is unbeatable
If you read a lot of books, and Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription was always a good option for you, you’ll love the Paperwhite + Kindle Unlimited bundle.
For a limited time (we hope it will still be offered during Black Friday 2018), the Paperwhite comes with six months of Kindle Unlimited free of charge.
We track Kindle Unlimited deals since the service was launched in July 2014, and one thing is clear: no such huge deal was ever offered for Kindle Unlimited. Ever.
You can think of the offer as the six-month free trial of Kindle Unlimited. Or you can think of it in terms of savings. A monthly fee is $9.99, so you save $60.
10. The international version is already available
In the main Amazon online store (at amazon.com) there are always two versions of each device, no matter whether it is a Kindle e-reader or Fire tablet:
- US version – it can be bought only by customers who live in the United States,
- International version – addressed to users who shop from abroad.
Usually, the international version of the new Kindle is being launched with some delay. Sometimes it’s a few days; sometimes you’ll need to wait a few months.
Fortunately, you can already order an international version of Kindle Paperwhite 4. It was launched the same day as the US version, although it’s not easy to find it on Amazon.
Kindle Paperwhite 4 International costs $149.99 (Wi-Fi, 8 GB memory, no ads) plus shipping costs and taxes.
It’s the cheapest available international variant. It’s $20 more expensive than the entry-level model for US customers because it doesn’t contain special offers.
The other Kindle Paperwhite 4 version for international customers is the one with Wi-Fi + Cellular, 32 GB, no ads. It costs $249.99, plus shipping and taxes.
Kindle Paperwhite 2018 – useful info
4th-gen Kindle Paperwhite – further reference
If you’d like to know more about the newest Kindle, make sure to follow the links below:
- Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2018 – overview – everything you wanted to know about the new Paperwhite in a single, easy to read overview. It includes full tech specs, comparison to other Kindle models, picture gallery, and detailed feature round-up,
- Kindle Paperwhite 4 User’s Guide – a manual in English that you can download from Amazon,
- Amazon Kindle Help Pages – the directory includes all currently offered Kindle models, complete with distinguishing features, release date, and model number,
- Comparison of current Kindle models – a front page of Amazon Device store includes the quick and easy comparison of the major features offered in Kindle 8, Kindle Paperwhite 4, and Kindle Oasis 2.
Kindle Paperwhite (2018 release) – tech specs
Below, you will find the full tech specifications of the all-new Kindle Paperwhite 4 (2018 release).
|Screen||6-inch E-Ink Carta touchscreen|
|Levels of gray||16|
|Front light||Yes, 5 LED lights|
|Screen resolution||1448 × 1072 pixels|
|Pixel density||300 ppi|
|Waterproof rating||IPX8 – tested to withstand immersion in 2 meters of fresh water for 60 minutes|
|Storage capacity||• 8 GB (approximately 6 GB available to the user) – thousands of books or over 35 Audible audiobooks
• 32 GB (approximately 27 GB available to the user) – thousands of books or over 160 Audible audiobooks
|Battery life||A single charge lasts up to six weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 13|
|Charge time||• 4 hours from a computer via USB
• Under 3 hours using Amazon 5W USB charger (sold separately)
|Weight||• Wi-Fi version: 6.4 oz / 182 g
• Wi-Fi + Cellular: 6.8 oz / 191 g
|Dimensions||6.6 × 4.6 × 0.3 in / 167 × 116 × 8.2 mm|
|Wi-Fi||Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)|
|Cellular||4G LTE connectivity in US where available, 3G/EDGE/GPRS in other locations; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide wireless coverage via AT&T’s 4G LTE high-speed data network in the U.S and AT&T partner networks outside of the U.S|
|Bluetooth||Yes – Bluetooth 4.2, 2402-2480 MHz (11.25 dBm), Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from Kindle Paperwhite to your Bluetooth speakers or headphones. Bluetooth speakers requiring PIN codes are not supported|
|Audible-ready||Yes; capable of playing both Audible audiobooks and Audible companions for Kindle ebooks. Pair with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones|
|Accessibility features||The VoiceView screen reader, available over Bluetooth audio, enables access to the vast majority of Kindle Oasis features. Kindle Oasis also includes the ability to Invert Black and White, adjust font size, font face, line spacing and margins|
|Supported formats||• Text: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML DOC, DOCX through conversion
• Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion
• Audio: Audible audio format (AAX)
|Original case covers||Yes; sold separately. Three variants to choose from: textured leather, premium leather, water-safe fabric|
|Warranty||1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year or 3-year Extended Warranty available for US customers sold separately|
|Included the box||• Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (4th generation, 2018 release)
• USB 2.0 charging cable
• Quick Start Guide
|Launch dates||• Announcement: October 16, 2018
• Pre-orders: October 16, 2018
• Release: November 7, 2018
|Prices||• 8 GB, Wi-Fi, with special offers – $129.99
• 8 GB, Wi-Fi, without special offers – $149.99
• 32 GB, Wi-Fi, with special offers – $159.99
• 32 GB, Wi-Fi, without special offers – $179.99
• 32 GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular, without special offers – $249.99
Kindle Paperwhite 4 (2018) – product info
In the last part of this round-up, we present highlights from the Kindle Paperwhite 2018 product page on Amazon, which focus on the most important features.
Kindle Paperwhite 4th-generation (2018 release)
Pack lighter, travel farther
Our thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet, with a sleek, modern design so you can read comfortably for hours. Features our signature 300 ppi, glare-free Paperwhite display, laser-quality text, and twice the storage of the previous generation. Plus a single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours.
Make a splash
With the all-new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, you’re free to read and relax in more places, including the beach, pool, or bath. Paperwhite is IPX8 rated to protect against accidental immersion in up to two meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes.
Now with Audible
Now with Audible, Kindle Paperwhite lets you switch seamlessly between reading and listening via Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones. Keep your story going whether you’re cooking, commuting, or cleared for takeoff.
Goes beyond a book
Adjust the text size and boldness and read with Kindle-exclusive fonts, hand tuned to provide maximum readability. Whispersync lets you seamlessly switch between reading and listening on your Kindle and Kindle app without losing your place (requires Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free cellular connectivity).
Make it personal
Designed by Amazon to perfectly fit your Kindle, these slim, form-fitting covers attach securely and fold back for one-handed reading. They automatically put your Kindle to sleep when closed and wake upon opening, making it easy to get back to your story.
• • •
Are you interested in the Kindle? Keep exploring:
- Amazon’s rules for naming Kindle generations are highly confusing
- 18 quick things you wanted to know about Kindle 2019 model
- How does Kindle 2019 compare to Paperwhite and Oasis?
- The basic Kindle (2019) – feature roundup, tech specs, pics, and more
- The new Kindle is announced! Front light, better screen, new design, Kindle Unlimited, and more