April 30, 2021

The Perfect Kindle

Wondering about the ideal eReader

After failing to release any new Kindles last year (for obvious reasons), the expectation is that we’ll see new eReader hardware from Amazon before the year is up.

While we wait, I was imagining what my ideal Kindle would be like—something that brings together all the most important features from existing models, competitors, and my imagination.

eReaders are a wonderful category because you don’t need to replace them often, think about them much, charge them frequently, or worry about them distracting you. They’re focused, purpose-built, affordable, and engaging.

Those of us who love them tend to love them a lot.

Kindle Voyage Mark II

I used to hope that Amazon would bring back the Voyage line as an alternative to the Oasis, or a midway point between the Paperwhite and Oasis. But the more I think about it, the more I suspect they’re aiming to turn the Paperwhite into the Voyage’s spiritual successor.

Watching the Paperwhite’s trajectory, it’s been inheriting more and more of the high-end features, and this upcoming iteration may finally hit the sweet spot.

What I’d Love to See

Here’s my ideal Kindle then; a fifth-generation Paperwhite that includes the following:

  • The same 6”, 300dpi screen in a comfy, symmetrical body design
  • The same waterproof build with flush screen, perhaps with narrower bezels
  • Additional LEDs for more even front-lighting (the Oasis has 25, the current Paperwhite has 5)…splitting the difference and putting in 10-15 would be great
  • The colour temperature adjustment capabilities of the Oasis
  • The haptic page turn buttons from the Voyage rather than the physical buttons of the Oasis or no buttons like on the current Paperwhite
  • USB-C for charging

In the wake of a recent firmware update that brought us a long-awaited capability, I want to reiterate a few more software wishes as well:

  • Support for OverDrive library book borrowing in Canada
  • Native Readwise integration for highlights
  • Native integration (two-way sync) with a read later service, like Kobo has (Pocket), whether it’s an existing one or something new like Matter
  • An optional reading stats feature (reading streaks, days read, reading time per book, etc.) that can help motivate you to read more or offer an opportunity to reflect on your reading habits
  • Ability to touch and drag the side of the screen to adjust brightness quickly (borrowed from Kobo)

Your Ideal Kindle

That’s my wishlist, and it’s tempered by what I think is likely.

For instance, I didn’t bother listing a colour e-Ink screen or the ability to use any ebook format because I don’t think we’ll see those things any time soon, if ever.

Everyone has differing habits and needs, so I’m curious: what does your wishlist look like when it comes to eReaders? What’s missing that you’d like to see?

technology lifestyle

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