The Kindle Fire may be Amazon's major focus these days, but the retailer hasn't forgotten its incredibly successful line of e-readers. In fact, it announced a brand new Kindle last year with the Paperwhite, and the retailer decided today that it was in need of an upgrade.
Amazon announced today a brand new Kindle Paperwhite featuring a number of upgrades from last year's model. The original Paperwhite set itself apart with a better display and a built-in backlight that made reading for hours on end even easier than on previous models. Now the defining features of last year's Paperwhite are being made even better.
“Kindle is the best-selling e-reader in the world for six years running,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “No one is investing on behalf of readers or pushing the boundaries of hardware, software and content for readers like this team: the new Kindle Paperwhite has brand-new display technology, the next generation of our built-in light, a faster processor, plus all of the exclusive benefits of the Kindle ecosystem like Kindle MatchBook, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, over 400,000 exclusive titles, Goodreads, Kindle Singles, Kindle Worlds, Kindle FreeTime, and much more.”
According to Amazon, here's all the new features coming along with the new Kindle Paperwhite:
New display technology with higher contrast—Kindle Paperwhite’s display is the most advanced e-reader display ever constructed. Higher contrast and better reflectivity means whites are whiter and blacks are blacker, so the pages are virtually indistinguishable from a physical book. You won’t find this level of contrast with any other e-reader display.
Next generation built-in light—Guides light toward the surface of the display so you can read comfortably without eyestrain.
New, 25% faster processor—Books open and pages turn faster for a seamless reading experience.
New touch technology—19% tighter touch grid makes Kindle Paperwhite respond even more accurately to the smallest touches.
New Kindle Page Flip—Skim page-by-page, scan by chapter, or skip to the end of your book, all without losing your place. For example, it’s now easy to quickly flip back and forth to that map of Beyond the Wall in A Dance With Dragons.
New Goodreads Integration—Combines the world’s largest e-reading community and the world’s largest community of book lovers. Join over 20 million other readers and see what your friends are reading, share highlights, and rate the books you read with Goodreads on Kindle, available exclusively from Amazon.
New Kindle FreeTime—Built-in parental controls have been extended to give parents a simple, engaging way to encourage kids to spend more time reading. Hand-select books for your kids to read, and hand out achievement badges when they hit reading milestones. A progress report keeps parents updated on total time spent reading, number of words looked up, badges earned and books finished.
New Vocabulary Builder—Compiles words you look up in the dictionary into an easy-to-access list. Use these lists to quiz yourself with flashcards and instantly see words in context.
New Smart Lookup—Integrates a full dictionary definition with other reference information about a word, character, topic or book via X-Ray and Wikipedia. For example, using an ordinary dictionary to look up “credit default swaps” in Michael Lewis’ The Big Short would give the individual definitions of “credit,” “default” and “swaps.” Smart Lookup recognizes this is an important topic and phrase in the book, and gives you the correct definition of “credit default swaps” via X-Ray.
New In-line Footnotes—With a single tap, read the complete text of each footnote in-line without changing the page or losing your place in the book.
New Kindle MatchBook—New benefit lets customers purchase Kindle editions of print books purchased from Amazon—past, present and future—for $2.99 or less.
All the above features will be available at launch, except for Goodreads and FreeTime integration. Both will be delivered via a free update at a later date.
So, when will you be able to get your hands on the new Kindle Paperwhite? The Amazon pre-order page lists it as having a launch date of September 30, and it's available for $119 if you're fine with having ads displayed on the home screen when you're not reading. For an extra $20, you can get a Kindle Paperwhite without the ads.