Top critical review
2.0 out of 5 starsFiddly and uncomfortable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 2 March 2023
This is just terrible? I used to have a Nook which had a nice bezel to rest your thumb on, and page turn buttons built into that, so you didn’t have to move your hand. This however, is just incredibly fiddly and suffers from constant unintended activations.
Just holding it, I’ll turn the page for a couple of times by accident. Shifting my grip, I’ll start highlighting some words… it’s literally just not economic enough for my human hand lol. The bezel on the side is so thin that you’re basically fighting not to interact with the touch screen and this is especially hard because it’s a single flush surface, with nothing tactile to warn you that your thumb is creeping onto the screen.
The screen is so super sensitive, I can only get it to ignore my hold on the device. If I really press my thumb pad, flat and elongate the point of contact, but it’s just than activating a page turn on the lift off of my thumb slightly.
This is just not a pleasant experience, I don’t understand why there are no more reviews just complaining that this isn’t a comfortable device. It’s like people are saying that it’s the best Kindle technologically and thinking yes I must have to like this then - well done me, I got the best new one! - But that doesn’t mean anything when it’s just so unpleasant to use.
I’ve tried using it with out any cover, and with the included folding cover, and both are uncomfortable (and slippery to be honest), by how you can still just constantly activate the screen.
I know there’s a trade-off between a compact size for your backpack, or pocket, and how much reading area you get on the screen. But, considering that the screen is a interface… You need to have more physical area that is dead, the user can hold without worrying about anything. Without looking at a page and being like what the heck is this? This is not what I was reading when I just glanced o’clock across the room and then back at this screen, and I’ve already change the page twice just by dropping my arm slightly.
I think it’s so dumb, and I think everything about it when people trying to convince you that it’s okay to hold, those things are just compromises that shouldn’t be needed.
I’ve tried the option to disable the touchscreen, so the only swiping works to turn the page, but then I compromising on the ability to quickly highlight something! In addition to that the swiping seems way, less sensitive when the touchscreen is disabled, and you just find yourself having to repeatedly fudge a greasy digit on the screen, compare to when , the touchscreen is ‘enabled’. Swiping is different between those two modes and it just feels so inconsistent and you’re just left wondering why it has to be like this.
There is no customisability in creating dead zones, they could provide better ways for software to ameliorate some of the issues. For example, making it so that you can only begin highlighting from the centre of the device, or that you could limit tap to turn the page to a specific region of the page of your choice - one that suits your hand, and holding style of the device.
Another thing that blows my mind, lol, sorry to be so easily mind blown, but when you choose to put the Kindle in landscape orientation for the book… you don’t get to choose which Way up! Therefore, if you are right, handed and holding the book with your right hand, you don’t get the thick end of the Kindle (which would be easy to hold), you get the top of the kindle as the right hand side, which is the skinniest thing to hold of all.
Basically, it’s just like they put zero effort into making it easy to hold.
I’m still trying to work this out because it just feels like a total compromise and then I’m waiting for something that’s actually comfortable to read with.
I can see why Kindle reviewing YouTubers say that in day-to-day life they just use the basic Kindle with the bezel higher than the screen (though the bezel is still not really a thumb friendly), because to me; this is a total nightmare and it’s just an uncomfortable confusing way to read with the words just changing in front of you by unintended touch inputs, courtesy of the ridiculous ‘modern’ form factor.
The folding case is also sharp, doesn’t really make the bezel any bigger at all, it only holds your thumb a little bit better by slicing into it. The microfibre on the back is slippery, putting your finger between the two flaps, is about as good as it’s going to get, but it’s just not comfortable either.
It is possible that the Kindle Oasis, if it had USB-C, and was half the price would be what I would want. This Paperwhite is just not friendly for a human hand.