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Amazon lays out Kindle Paperwhite limitations including uneven lighting and lack of audio

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Gallery Photo: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review pictures
Gallery Photo: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review pictures

The Kindle Paperwhite is proving to be a hit with consumers, but Amazon's latest e-reader isn't without its quirks. Among those are uneven light distribution, lack of text-to-speech audio, and a drop in storage compared to select previous models. Now it seems Amazon is attempting to get out in front of any complaints buyers may have about those design decisions. The retailer just recently added an aside to the Kindle Paperwhite's homepage labeled "We want you to know," where it specifically calls out those changes and attempts to explain the reasoning behind them.

So far as uneven lighting is concerned, Amazon readily admits that its front-lit solution isn't perfect while simultaneously calling the variations "normal" and assuring customers they mainly affect areas of the screen that display little to no text. The slight difference in uniformity didn't hamper our enjoyment of the device, so it's hard to fault the company here.

Amazon's logic for cutting audio is questionable

But its explanation regarding the omission of audio doesn't hold up quite so well. Amazon bizarrely points to the Kindle Paperwhite's form factor as motivation for cutting text-to-speech functionality. "This makes the device smaller and lighter than it would otherwise be," it says. The notion that an audio chip (and even a headphone jack or speaker) would have drastically impacted the new Kindle's design seems a bit questionable. There's also the theory that Amazon wanted another (admittedly minor) way to differentiate between its traditional e-readers and Kindle HD tablets. Sure enough, it points customers who need audio toward those products.

The cloud offers you unlimited storage

And for anyone concerned about storage limitations, Amazon says the included 2GB should suit most people just fine; it says up to 1,100 ebooks can be stored locally. Those with an outlandishly-large library can simply swap content on and off the device via the cloud. For most consumers, we can't imagine any of these issues will be deal breakers — a theory backed by the Kindle Paperwhite's lengthy delivery estimates.