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White Kindle Paperwhite 5 – will we see it at all?

White and black Kindle Paperwhite 5 compared
White Kindle Paperwhite 5 compared to the black version / Visualization by Piotr Kowalczyk

Will we ever see the white Kindle Paperwhite 5? These visualizations show that it is unlikely.

The newest Kindle Paperwhite 5 is the best e-reader I have ever used. However, if I had a choice, I would have bought the white variant, not the black one.

Is it worth waiting for the white Kindle Paperwhite 5? The more I think about it, the more I doubt it.

You expect e-readers to offer the beauty of the paper. A perfect e-reader is the one that most closely resembles the experience of reading a paper book.

White Kindle Paperwhite 5 – background

▸ There are a few white e-readers on the market, naming only the basic Kindle (2019 model) or Kobo Libra 2. They are, however, different from Kindle Paperwhite 5. Their bezels are raised above the display, and they are plastic. The bezel and the display are two different matters. The front of the e-reader is like a paper page inside a frame.

▸ The front of the Kindle Paperwhite 5 is all in glass, including both the display and the bezel. The bezel is not the frame any longer. The front of the all-glass Paperwhite 5 is more like a paper page with larger margins.

▸ And here is the biggest problem. E-paper screens are not 100% white.

▸ A light gray area compared to the black area is perceived as white. A light gray area compared to the white is perceived as light gray or ever dark gray.

▸ What’s the problem with the light gray? Paper in print books is not 100% white, either.

▸ The problem is that “paperwhite” is a statement. It’s a promise you will have the display and device as white as paper. Nobody thinks paper books are gray. The whiteness of the display is the benchmark of quality.

▸ Suddenly, when surrounded by a white bezel, the display doesn’t look “paperwhite” any longer.

White Kindle Paperwhite 5 visualizations

Let’s see how the white Kindle Paperwhite would look like. I have prepared two visualizations:

1. The bezel is 100% white

White Kindle Paperwhite 5 - visualization
White Kindle Paperwhite 5 with 100% white bezel / Visualization by Piotr Kowalczyk

As you see, with a 100% white bezel, the display is perceived as gray. There is no cheating – both the bezel and display are directly comparable, as they are put behind the same piece of shiny glass.

And that’s without taking into consideration the LED lights that, when turned on, may make the display look even uglier.

Let’s compare how the white and black version look like.

White and black Kindle Paperwhite 5 compared
White Kindle Paperwhite 5 compared to the black version / Visualization by Piotr Kowalczyk

As you see, the display in the black version looks white, but in the white version it looks gray. It’s all about how we perceive colors in context.

2. The bezel has the same color as the display

White Kindle Paperwhite 5 visualization - bezel and display
White Kindle Paperwhite 5 with the bezel having the color of the display / Visualization by Piotr Kowalczyk

What if we transferred the color of the display to the bezel?

Now, the problem of the gray display is gone. But we have a bigger issue – the entire device is now grayish, and it looks dirty. Would you like to have a device like that? I would not.

White Kindle Paperwhite 5 – conclusions

An e-reader with an all-glass front and white bezel makes sense only when you have the e-paper screen that is almost 100% white.

Putting a grayish display into a 100% white bezel is admitting it’s not as bright and crisp after all.

And here comes an idea. As the real paper is warm white, why not making a bezel look like one?

I have made a visualization showing how a “white” Kindle Paperwhite 5 would look like if the bezel had the color of a vintage yellowish paper. You could also use the warmer glass that would make the display look warmer in the first place. What do you think?

White Kindle Paperwhite 5 - bezel in warm white color
White Kindle Paperwhite 5 with warm white bezel and warm edge-to-edge glass / Visualization by Piotr Kowalczyk

Note: Have you seen my visualizations and ideas for Kindle Paperwhite 6?

⇢ Paperwhite 5

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Keep exploring. Here are other posts for Kindle lovers:

iPad and iPhone: how to get full Kindle ebooks directly?
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How to read bionic books on iPad and iPhone
– May 28, 2022

Here are 10 free bionic books for your e-reader or book app
– May 26, 2022

Where are my sideloaded books on Kindle?
– May 16, 2022

How to add epub files to your Kindle or Kindle app
– May 6, 2022

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