Kindle Paperwhite Signature Version Evaluation: New Finest-In-Class

Amazon started making Kindle eReaders all the best way again in 2007, however the upgrades that arrived in 2021 have been properly overdue. The Paperwhite vary was up to date for the primary time in additional than three years, bringing a bigger show and USB-C to the Kindle for the primary time.

You additionally get an even bigger show with adjustable heat mild and improved battery life. Nevertheless, the main focus of this evaluation is the brand-new Signature Version, which provides three further options to bridge the hole between the Paperwhite and high-end Oasis traces.

However does it do sufficient to justify the additional price and turn out to be one of the best eReader you should buy? Learn on to seek out out.

Design & Show

New 6.8in show with adjustable heat mild
Auto brightness unique to Signature, however ineffective
USB-C, however no different ports

The design of the Signature Version will likely be acquainted should you’ve used any latest Kindle Paperwhite, with one notable exception. Amazon has elevated the display screen from 6in to six.8in in comparison with the 2018 mannequin, though it’s the identical dimension as you’ll discover on the common 2021 model.

Regardless of the additional display screen actual property, it stays at a strong and now basically customary 300ppi. As with all Kindles, it’s an e-ink display screen, so can solely show content material in black and white.

This makes it greatest fitted to text-based content material – there is no actual profit to studying vibrant comics or books which rely closely on images. That’s what the Kindle app in your smartphone or pill is for, with content material in a position to sync between them.

The selection of e-ink makes it a lot simpler in your eyes for lengthy studying classes, emitting far much less blue mild than a color show. That makes it an important choice for studying earlier than mattress, particularly with the brand new adjustable heat mild.

Amazon debuted this characteristic on the Kindle Oasis in 2019, but it surely’s obtainable on each new Paperwhites. Coming from a Kindle and not using a heat mild, I used to be initially sceptical of how helpful it is perhaps. However after a couple of nights of studying earlier than mattress, I’d be reluctant to do with out it.

In concept, the large benefit you’re getting on the Signature Version is brightness that robotically adjusts in keeping with your setting. Nevertheless, I discovered it took a very long time to truly recognise I used to be in a darker or brighter location and make any modifications. I typically ended up simply adjusting this manually, which moderately defeats the purpose.

Amazon has managed to extend the show dimension with out large modifications to the full footprint of the machine. At 174 x 125 x 8.1mm, it’s fractionally bigger than the 2018 Paperwhite (167 x 116 x 8.18mm), but it surely doesn’t essentially change the best way you utilize the machine.

This has been achieved due to a major slimming of the highest and aspect bezels – going any additional would make it troublesome to simply maintain. At 207g, it’s a bit heavier than the 2018 mannequin (182g Wi-Fi, 191g 4G), however I nonetheless discovered it comfy to make use of one-handed.

The opposite large design change has been years within the making. Each new Kindle Paperwhites now use USB-C for charging and information switch after persisting with Micro-USB for a few years. Higher late than by no means!

Elsewhere, the design of the Signature Version is far the identical as earlier Kindles. A plastic exterior makes it simple to grip and use case-free. There’s no various to Black right here, however Amazon’s official case lineup means that you can add a splash of color.

A Kindle brand remains to be emblazoned on the chin, but it surely didn’t distract me whereas studying. The ability button can also be nonetheless awkwardly positioned on the underside of the machine – there is no cause Amazon could not transfer it to the aspect or prime as a substitute.

Each new Kindle Paperwhites additionally retain IPX8 water resistance, that means they’re going to nonetheless work after being immersed in as much as 1m of water for as much as 30 minutes.

Specs & Efficiency

New processor and RAM improve
A lot-improved efficiency
32GB storage large benefit for Signature Version

Efficiency is clearly an space Amazon has prioritised on the brand new Kindle Paperwhites. The corporate says each the common mannequin and Signature Version supposedly have a brand new and extra highly effective processor.

From some on-line analysis, this seems to be the 1GHz NXP I.MX7D, which now combines with 1GB of RAM – that is the primary improve we’ve seen right here since 2014.It yields an enormous leap in efficiency in comparison with the 2012 Paperwhite I often use, however you’ll additionally discover an improve over the 2018 mannequin.

Now you can freely transfer between the house display screen, your library, fast settings and the Kindle Retailer with out worrying about frequent stuttering and lag. Issues nonetheless aren’t good – the Signature Version froze on me a few instances – however I didn’t ever really feel prefer it was underpowered.

Inside storage is likely one of the important causes to purchase this premium mannequin over the common 2021 Paperwhite. The Signature Version will increase capability from 8GB to 32GB, however that is in all probability solely mandatory should you plan on downloading audiobooks from Audible.

There’s nonetheless house for hundreds of normal books with 8GB of storage. Simply ensure you select the fitting mannequin, although – there is no choice to broaden storage by way of microSD.

Amazon has ditched 4G assist on the brand new Kindle Paperwhites, presumably because of lack of demand. You’ll must be content material with WiFi-only fashions, however that’s unlikely to be a problem for most individuals.

With none built-in audio system or a 3.5mm jack, you’ll want to attach wi-fi headphones or a speaker to get pleasure from Audible. This works properly by way of Bluetooth – offered your audio machine is in pairing mode the primary time you join.

Software program

New Kindle software program out of the field
Modifications prioritise simple navigation

The Paperwhite Signature Version runs Amazon’s new Kindle software program out of the field. It was launched in August, though most Kindles since 2015 have now been up to date.

It brings vital modifications to the person expertise, primarily geared toward making navigation simpler. The principle display screen is now break up into ‘Dwelling’ and ‘Library’, though the previous appears to be a chance for Amazon to promote books you haven’t downloaded but. One-tap entry to the ebook you final opened and studying lists is helpful, although.

The smartphone-style fast settings menu has additionally modified. It is now obtainable by swiping down from the highest of the display screen, moderately than by way of a devoted button. Nevertheless, I did discover a small bug right here.

The identify I might given to the Kindle wasn’t totally displayed – I might solely see ‘Anyron’s Type’, with the underside half of every letter minimize off. I assume this will likely be mounted within the subsequent software program replace.

Elsewhere, there are additionally some new-look icons obtainable inside every ebook, in addition to the choice to show the duvet of your present ebook on the lock display screen.

The Kindle Retailer has a brand new design, making it look much like the house display screen. You’ll be able to shortly toggle between Kindle and Audible books right here, one thing I want was obtainable inside the principle library web page. At the moment, it’s important to filter by Audible every time, which feels clunky.

Within the retailer, I additionally observed that the star scores for every ebook have been tiny, making them extraordinarily troublesome to learn. One other component that I hope will likely be mounted with a software program replace.

The Kindle will be arrange and used with out ever connecting to a pc today, however you might be closely reliant on content material from the Kindle Retailer. Loading Mobi information onto your machine by way of software program reminiscent of Calibre feels clunky by comparability.

General, the brand new software program makes utilizing a Kindle really feel extra intuitive and simpler to navigate than earlier than. Nevertheless, I don’t agree with all of the modifications Amazon has made right here.

Battery Life

Glorious battery life
Respectable USB-C charging
Qi wi-fi charging assist too

Kindles at all times ship nice battery life, however Amazon has turned issues up a notch right here. Each the common Paperwhite and Signature Version can now supposedly stand up to 10 weeks from a single cost, up from Eight on the 2018 mannequin.

Nevertheless, that’s primarily based on 30 minutes of studying per day, with Wi-Fi off and brightness set to 14 – that’s proper within the center.

I attempted to push the Signature Version a bit additional in testing, maintaining Wi-Fi on and bumping up the brightness barely. With round 20 minutes of studying every night time and loads of different testing, battery solely dropped by round 35% in 4 weeks.

That implies Amazon’s estimate isn’t far off the mark, though maintaining Bluetooth on will seemingly deplete the battery a lot quicker.

I’m glad Amazon has lastly embraced USB-C for charging, though solely the cable is included within the field as per regular. Nonetheless, there’s no quick charging of any description, with a full cost taking round 2.5 hours.

The opposite large improve on the Signature Version is the inclusion of wi-fi charging. It’s the primary time we’ve seen the characteristic on a Kindle, and it’s suitable with all pads which assist the Qi customary.

Nevertheless, there are two caveats to concentrate on right here. Speeds are a lot slower than you’ll get by way of USB-C and also you’ll want a pad that’s sufficiently big to accommodate the Kindle – common smartphone wi-fi chargers might not be sufficiently big. It’s nonetheless good to have the choice, however you in all probability received’t use it fairly often.


The Signature Version is the most costly Kindle Paperwhite to this point – it often prices £179.99/US$189.99, however reductions are sometimes obtainable.

Your important choice will in all probability be between this and the common 2021 Paperwhite, which prices £129.99/US$139.99 or £139.99/US$159.99 if you wish to take away adverts from the lock display screen. The Signature Version is ad-free by default.

As you’d anticipate, the Kindle dominates our greatest eReader chart, with the usual Kindle (2019) and Kindle Oasis (2019) additionally price contemplating. When you’re on the lookout for options to Amazon, the Kobo Libra H20 and Kobo Forma are good choices.

When you’re available in the market for a devoted studying machine that’ll final you a few years, dropping nearly £200/US$200 on the Signature Version seems like a worthwhile funding. Simply make certain every little thing you’re on the lookout for isn’t additionally obtainable on the cheaper common mannequin.


The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Version is one of the best eReader you should buy, upgrading the studying expertise in a number of key areas.

A bigger 6.8in show contains an adjustable heat mild for comfy nighttime studying, whereas a brand new processor and further RAM ship much-improved efficiency.

A full cost will now last as long as 10 weeks, whereas USB-C charging is lastly right here. The brand new software program expertise isn’t good, however does make navigation simpler.

Nevertheless, all these options are additionally obtainable on the newest common Kindle Paperwhite. Until you worth an additional 24GB of storage or Qi wi-fi charging, the cheaper mannequin offers every little thing you’re on the lookout for.

An underwhelming auto-brightness characteristic, the one different distinction, positively isn’t a cause to improve.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Version: Specs

6.8in e-ink show with 300ppi

17 LED backlight with adjustable color heat and auto brightness

32GB storage

Twin-band Wi-Fi


Qi wi-fi charging

174 x 125 x 8.1mm


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