Sony may have been the first big company to get ebook readers with electronic ink screens into the hands of consumers, Amazon’s Kindle has since become the de facto e-reader of choice for most buyers. The newest Kindle Paperwhite, the fifth generation of Amazon’s flagship e-reader, remains the best E Ink device you can buy if all you care about is reading.
The Kindle Paperwhite 5 and the Kindle Paperwhite 5 Signature Edition I tested aren’t a complete overhaul of the popular ereader, but they do incorporate some useful features borrowed from the pricier Kindle Oasis, as well as other devices that e-readers now compete with (including smartphones). The most notable change, however, is that Amazon will no longer be offering a cellular model of the Paperwhite 5, which was one of the biggest selling points of the Kindles for years. Wireless access to the Amazon e-book store is now wifi only, and while that does limit where users can acquire content (think of a far-off vacation destination) it’s really not hard to find wifi access these days, so it makes sense for Amazon to finally transition away from built-in cellular access. It’s doubtful most users will even miss it.