Sometimes a device comes so close to being perfect that you’d be forgiven for not realizing that with just a single tweak, it can become, in actual fact, perfect. The Kindle Paperwhite is such a device, as an e-reader that Amazon has crafted so well that you pretty much never need look beyond for anything better. But while a regular book ends up with wrinkly pages after being caught in a surprise downpour on the beach, the Paperwhite fizzles – unless you get the Waterfi-treated Kindle Paperwhite.
The Waterfi version is shipped in the original Kindle packaging without any outward appearance of having been modified. It looks and feels like a Kindle, albeit a slightly heavier version, and interacting with its touchscreen is the same as you’d find with an unmodified version. But because of Waterfi’s special treatment process, its Kindle Paperwhite is completely waterproof – submersible to above 200 feet in either fresh or salt water, for any length of time.
That means it isn’t just splash resistant, though it is that too – you could literally go scuba diving and sit on the ocean floor (in more shallow waters) and read “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,” if you had a hankering to do so. Or you could read in the bath; or at the swim-up bar at your favorite Caribbean all-inclusive resort; or in the inflatable kiddie pool you set up in your backyard to escape the summer heat.
I showered with mine, and I was able to read pretty well so long as I didn’t hold it directly under the spray from the shower head, which triggers touch responses. I also put it in a bowl of water completely submerged and left it for three whole days, after which it came out working good as new. I’m convinced you could store this Kindle underwater for a month and you’d still have some reading time thanks to the long-lasting battery – imagine clearing up drawer space by storing Kindles in your toilet tank, so it’s ready right when you need it.
There are good arguments for making any and all electronics waterproof, but the Kindle Paperwhite, that travel and beach companion, is perhaps the number one candidate I can think of right now. For the Wi-Fi version (without ads) it’ll cost you $239.99, or $299.99 for the 3G-capable edition, so that means you’re paying $120 over and above the current price at the low end, but it really is like giving your Kindle superpowers, and it’s hard to put a dollar value on the added convenience of that.