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article imageOp-Ed: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite upgrade looks OK, but very undersold?

By Paul Wallis     Sep 4, 2013 in Technology
Sydney - The upgraded version of Amazon Kindle paperwhite is designed to eliminate a few of the legacy e-reader problems like battery life and other nuisances. This thing is apparently a lot more potentially useful than you might think at first glance.
…Compared side-by-side with the original, the old Paperwhite's display does look a little dull and gray. The official company line is that the "whites are whiter and the blacks are blacker, so pages are virtually indistinguishable from a physical book."
…It's also worth mentioning that the new display requires less refreshing, which is sometimes referred to as flashing (e-ink screens need to be refreshed every so often to eliminate artifacts or "ghosting").
Um… ho hum… Functionality is the issue with e-readers. They’re competing against hard copy, and unlike every other type of media, they’ve been fighting their own limitations. Readers are well within their rights to complain about primitive pre-wheel technology which doesn’t do what a pad or a browser, or for that matter a digital camera, can do with ease.
The good news for consumers is that Amazon have undersold this new device to a dramatic degree. They’ve done it a little less than justice in some ways.
Amazon’s blurb:
Exclusive on Kindle, explore the "Bones of the Book". See all the passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics of interest. Simply press and hold the name to zoom in on a character's bio.
Check out the dictionary function  and there s a lot more on Amazon s strangely modest new Kindle Pa...
Check out the dictionary function, and there's a lot more on Amazon's strangely modest new Kindle Paperwhite.
OK, interesting idea, particularly for the literati, reviewers and students. This is added value, at least in theory. If you check out the “Show me” link, you get an example, using a book character and some quotes. This is great for reviewers, helping them pin down storyline components.
Kindle Paperwhite holds up to 1,100 books, so you'll never have to leave your favorite titles behind. With Kindle Paperwhite, you can keep your entire library at hand wherever you go.
Good economics here, also extremely useful for professional libraries, reference books, etc. This has a lot of recommendations beyond the consumer sphere.
Tap any word or highlight a section to instantly translate into other languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and more. Translations by Bing Translator.
Very good idea, useful for Latin/Greek expressions and quotes in older books, and a way of demystifying readers en masse. Very handy in history textbooks.
The unstated elements here are also worth a look. This is excellent management of capacity, with a lot of practical uses. As someone with a library roughly that size which has been giving me hernias for decades, including some very hard to get/irreplaceable books, I can think of more than one use for this thing.
The organizational elements could be invaluable for businesses, schools and other “tome heavy” forms of masochism.
Suggestion for Amazon: Wanna try a DIY entry system for Kindle Paperwhite, using home-made books and information? Realizing that there are some obvious technical issues, wedding draft books to a degree of high value organization has a lot going for it. You could write a history textbook, in theory, on this thing, with that capacity. That makes it a business machine as well as a consumer “declutter essential”.
(This function does exist, to a point, but seems limited according to Amazon's information about personal documents. Suggest crank that up to the next, necessary, level.)
If you’re looking for answers to volumes of materials, it seems Kindle Paperwhite v.2.0 has hit a mother lode.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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