If you're looking for one of the best Kindles then this Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review is the right place to be. It's new for 2021 and it's packed full of features that are sure to impress, although you will have to pay quite a high price for it.
With a new 6.8-inch screen, 32GB of storage, wireless charging and automatic brightness, this Kindle has just about everything you could need without spending upwards of $250 / £200 / AU$300 on the Kindle Oasis.
The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is a little more expensive than the Kindle Paperwhite and a lot more expensive than the standard Kindle, but you will get a lot of bang for your buck so I think it's worth it.
In this Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review, you'll be able to find out more about this e-reader from its design and display to its software and features.
Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review: price and what’s new
You can buy the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition for $190 in the US, £180 in the UK and AU$290 in Australia. See the widgets on this page for the most recent pricing.
Some might be fooled into thinking the new Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is the same as the Kindle Paperwhite because they look similar at first glance, but there are a few quite significant differences. Those improvements are what makes this a little bit more expensive to buy.
Firstly, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition has a 6.8inch display in comparison to the 6inch screen on the cheaper model. You also won’t be plagued with ads and you’ll get 32GB of storage, up from just 8GB on the Kindle Paperwhite. The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition supports wireless charging as well, and it has an auto-adjusting front light which you won't find on the standard Paperwhite.
Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review: design and display
Made from 60% post-consumer recycled plastics, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition has a 6.8inch screen surrounded by black bezels that are thick enough to hold without touching the screen but thin enough that the e-reader still looks sleek and compact. It measures 174 x 125 x 8.1 mm and weighs 207g so it’s small and light enough to easily hold one-handed, plus the rubber backing makes it grippy enough to not slide out of your hands.
It's waterproof as well, with a rating of IPX8, which means it will survive getting wet whether that's from unexpected rain in the park, accidental spills or splashes by the pool.
In terms of controls, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition keeps things simple. On the bottom edge, there’s a small power button next to the USB-C charging port which you use to wake the Kindle up. It's not the most intuitive placement of the button but you soon get used to it.
When it comes to the display, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition has a matte coating with 300ppi and a 16-level greyscale. Words and numbers look precise and sharp in a very clear, uncomplicated font. It's a really pleasurable experience reading on the screen and you can even see it in bright sunlight because it doesn't suffer from glare.
To turn the page you just need to tap on the right-hand side of the screen or to go back you tap the left. It's quite quick although there is still a small gap before the next page appears. To go to the home page you tap the top of the screen and select Home, and to change the settings you'll swipe down from the top - there was also a slight delay there but it's not dramatically slow so you're unlikely to find yourself getting frustrated by it.
The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is easy on the eyes too because the backlight automatically adjusts itself based on the lighting around you, switching between white and warm lights as well as increasing or decreasing the brightness level. It works well and I didn't find myself squinting as afternoon turned into evening. You can also adjust the brightness manually if you prefer.
If you’d rather see white lettering on a black background rather than the default black lettering on white, you can also switch to Dark Mode which is even easier to look at for long periods in the nighttime.
Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review: software and features
You'll be able to store thousands and thousands of books on the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition thanks to 32GB of storage - most people will never run out of space. That's the major benefit of this versus the cheaper Kindle Paperwhite that only has 8GB of storage. So if you're an avid bookworm then this model is the better choice for you!
Reading on a Kindle, there are a few software features that make it better than picking up a real-life paper book. When you tap the top of the screen you can see how far along with the book you are by page number, chapter and percentage. It'll even tell you how long it should take you to read the rest of the chapter you're on. You will also be able to bookmark the page, change the theme, font and layout as well as view the contents page without losing where you are.
Hunting for books on the Kindle Store is fast and easy although admittedly it's much easier when you already know what you're looking for. The store will suggest books based on what else you've been reading, and you get quick access to the best sellers list right at the top. Pages are noticeably quicker to load than on other Kindle devices but there's still a slight delay each time you click on a new link.
Amazon Prime members will also get access to Prime Reading which gives you a choice of thousands of ebooks, magazines and comics. It doesn't have the latest best-sellers but it is still worth checking out because it does include classic literature and some recent releases.
For a more extensive library with millions of choices as opposed to thousands, you can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited for $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$13.99 a month, whether you have a Prime membership or not.
Those who sometimes prefer to listen to audiobooks are covered here too - you can listen to them through this Kindle by connecting it to a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and you can even hook the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition up to your Audible subscription.
The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition will give you up to 10 weeks of reading from a single charge which is obviously very impressive. When you do go to charge it back up again, you have two options: using a USB-C cable or through wireless charging. You will need a compatible Qi wireless charger but if you do have one already then it's really handy.
Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review: verdict
If you're looking for an e-reader and you don't mind spending a bit of money, but you don't want to spend too much money then this is the one you should buy. The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition improves and refines an already winning formula, adding more up to date features and a bigger, better screen.
There honestly isn't much bad to say about the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, the only negative I can really think of is that it is a fair amount pricier than the standard Paperwhite. Yet in saying that, the extra cash does get you a lot further when it comes to the storage and screen size. Plus extra features like wireless charging and automatic brightness make you feel as though you're getting a lot for your money.
Combined, all of these improvements make the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition a pleasure to pick up and read - I loved testing it out and I can't recommend it enough.
Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review: also consider
If I were to pick my favourite Kindle it would be the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition but if you're not willing to spend this much then the standard Kindle Paperwhite will do the trick.
You might be umming and ahhing as to which of the cheaper Kindles you should buy in which case take a look at this handy comparison, it should help you make up your mind: Amazon Kindle vs Kindle Paperwhite.