We’re used to getting our gadgets a little later in Canada, most cell phones and tablets show up in Asia first, then hit the US market before finally breaching our frigid border. This can be frustrating, but it does give Canadians the advantage of watching the rest of the world beta test and review these devices for us. Today’s news from Amazon is a good example.
Amazon.ca today announced that the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader is now available in Canada. The Seattle-based retail giant says the device is the most advanced e-reader ever made, with higher contrast, more pixels and eight weeks of battery life.
The top of the line version, with Wi-Fi, will set you back $199, and will be available in the Canada Kindle Store and in lots of other places, including Staples, The Source and Shoppers Drug Mart.
So will Canadians bite on the devices? For hardcore readers, it’s probably a decision they won’t regret. But, as the Telegraph’s Matt Warman pointed out, the latest generation of e-readers is seriously blurring the line between them and cheaper tablets, which have more functionality.
“Suddenly ereaders feel like they’re brilliant devices, but also not long for this world.” says Warman. “The Paperwhite may well be the last one you should buy.”
Warman points out that while the Paperwhite is a top notch e-reader, some might take a pass for its comparative functionality gap.
“…the Kindle is just an ereader..” he says, adding: “– for £159 you can have a Kindle Fire HD or a Google Nexus 7. These are tablets that will let you read books, but also browse the web, download apps and check your emails too. They have none of the battery life advantages of a traditional Kindle, nor do they offer screens that are so easy to read on for long periods.”
And early adopters of the Kindle Paperwhite would have missed an admission in November by Amazon itself.
“Kindle Paperwhite is the best Kindle we’ve ever made by far, but there are certain limitations and changes from prior generations that we want you to know about,” the company said, noting that the device “does not have audio or Text-to-Speech”, that under certain lighting conditions the light is not perfectly even, and that it only has 2GB of storage, compared to some previous Kindle models that had 4GB of storage.