Ask LH: Where Should I Buy The Kindle Paperwhite?

Dear Lifehacker, Is there anything I should be aware of when buying the Kindle Paperwhite from Dick Smith Electronics (in Australia) rather than from Amazon directly? Thanks, Ebook Novice

Dear EN,

The Kindle Paperwhite comes in two flavours; a standard version and a cheaper option that comes with on-screen advertisements. Amazon only sells the ad-free version to Australian addresses and this is the version Dick Smith will be selling also.

Otherwise, the main difference will be price — ordering direct from Amazon will cost approximately $150, including shipping. This is about $20 cheaper than what you'll pay at Dick Smith. So if you're looking to save money, go with Amazon.

However, if you buy direct from Amazon, you won't get the satisfaction of supporting the local economy (if you care about that sort of thing) and you'll also have to wait longer for your Kindle to arrive. International shipping averages 8-16 business days, while ordering from Dick Smith means you should receive it in two or three days — naturally, you can also walk straight into a store and buy it.

In other words, if you're keen to get your hands on the device as quickly as possible, the $20 premium is probably worth it. That said, you can get a cheaper local deal simply by shopping around online. Try tech comparison websites like staticICE and Google Shopping for the lowest price. Just be sure that the proprietor you go with is reputable — having a clear product returns policy and a local customer support line are essential. Good luck!

Cheers Lifehacker

Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our contact tab on the right.


    I bought one from Amazon last week. Purchased on the Saturday, got it in the post on the Tuesday. Couldn't be happier.

    Yeah, I swapped the Kobo Glow for a Paperwhite a month or two ago, couldn't be happier. The Kobo is basically the same device and I would have kept it except the Firmware on it is just awful, it kept jumping pages.

    I bought one from Amazon Japan using Tenso. Total came to a little over $100 delivered. Damn nice upgrade from my last one, the screen is fantastic!

      Does it work, mate? How can you change the default language to english? i have no idea of japanese? :(

    I went down to Big W, was going away on a trip the next day, bought one off the shelf. Amazing reader, and if something goes wrong I can just take it back to Big W, instead of shipping it off.

    I bought a kindle from DSE 18 months ago. It broke after 3 months. DSE said "Tough", so I contacted Amazon, and they sent me a new one. Amazon didn't have to send me a replacement, and (I think, since I was careful with the kindle, and haven't had any problems with the replacement) DSE did have to but wouldn't. I'd go direct to Amazon.

      I can tell you for sure that around June last year dick smith changed there policy for faulty kindles.

      Any faulty kindle that does not have physical damage (cracked screen) will be replaced instore, no customer units are to be sent away. If you have an old model the money is given to put towards something else or you can go for the equivalent model.

      So if your kindle that you bought from DS is faulty you can walk in get a new one and walk out in minutes. (as long as you have the receipt of course)

    I know nothing about ereaders but so many of my friends rave about them. Can anyone "sell" me the benefits of a Paperwhite? Are they just for reading ebooks or are there other uses?

      Unlike tablets, the main purpose of an e-reader is.. to read e-books. Nevertheless, the paperwhite has an experimental browser which to be honest I haven't used it much. I do like the option to look up in the dictionary for words from the book I'm reading.

      This is my first e-reader and the main reason that got me into getting the paperwhite was the light and touchscreen that lacked in others (not considering Kindle Fire).

      Some people also use it for reading manga, but I haven't tried yet.

      Forget about the extra nonsense that comes with them, just use as a book. As a book reader the "Paperwhite" is excellent. The back lit screen is very useful and then there's the whole E-Ink deal, basically the thing looks like a real book, no glare to cause eye strain as with LCD. Plus you can load up hundreds of books and the "Paperwhite" is very responsive. The drawbacks are 'Amazons' constant niggling ( turn off wifi until you need it) and their DRM (just use Calibre' it's free. So go for it, I plumped for the non add version for an extra $20, well worth it. :)

      Last edited 12/04/13 8:21 am

    Buy from either, but only go through Amazon for warranty and support.

    Speaking as an ex-DSE employee, the processes that DSE put in place for staff to follow in regards to warranty repairs/replacements makes it quite difficult for both staff and customers at times, plus everything goes through their central repair centre before being sent to wherever else it needs to go.

    If you go straight to Amazon, they'll FedEx you a replacement ASAP, and arrange for FedEx to pickup your old Kindle at the same time.

    Regardless of where it has been bought from and the seller's return policy, I've given up on e-readers for the time being. I've owned 3 (originals) of them and after a few months, the screens have died. I've had no problem replacing them, but then screens go kaput again several months later. I've never had a single reader last more the 8 months. I've treated them all carefully, but they insist on dying. An engineer friend told me that e-ink technology still has a few bugs to be ironed out. I don't know if it's true or not, but it's enough to make me wait a little before my next one.

    When they're working, though, they're brilliant devices.

    I'd echo Timmahh's comment and say the paperwhite is excellent. The reason I prefer the paperwhite over the kindle fire is that it still produces a 'my clippings.txt' file which I can upload to

    Can't wait to see what the next Kindle looks like.

    I've been interested in buying a Kindle Paperwhite for a while, but the Amazon site has been saying since last year that they won't ship to Australia, and I've only just realized (through this discussion) that they can be bought retail. But apart from downloading books from Amazon, I've started downloading audio books from, and would really appreciate advice from someone with a Paperwhite: Do they handle audio-books as well?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now