The Amazon Paperwhite e-book reader, based on ongoing tests in our lab, appears to match the high performance of its rival, the Barnes & Noble Nook with GlowLight. But Amazon's $119 device no longer has a clear edge in cost: B&N has cut the price of its lighted-screen e-book reader by $20, bringing the GlowLight's price to $119 as well.
Our preliminary lab tests on a press sample of the Paperwhite confirm my positive take on Amazon's newest e-book reader after I tried the device earlier this month. Our testers are awaiting receipt of a retail device this week before they conclude their tests and add the Paperwhite to our e-reader Ratings. But so far, areas of strength for the device include its ease of navigating to content and its speedy page turns.
Meanwhile, with the Nook price cut, the Paperwhite not only isn't cheaper than the Nook with GlowLight, it's arguably more expensive, at least for some consumers.
First, the GlowLight ships with an included charger, but that's a $10 optional accessory for the Paperwhite. Still, you can trickle-charge the Paperwhite with the supplied mini-USB cord, or perhaps use a mini-USB charger you already own. And the omission of the charger is less aggravating than with the new Kindle Fire HD tablets (which also ship chargerless) since tablets require charging more often than e-book readers do.
And second, if you don't want your Paperwhite to serve up ads and special offers on its screensaver and along the bottom of its library, you'll need to pay an additional $20. While some people may appreciate the offers, which include some good deals on Amazon content, others may not want to have their sleeping Kindles adorned with ads from, say, Buick or Oil of Olay.