Next-gen Kindle Paperwhite family gets bigger screen, and a kids model
It's been a while since Amazon treated digital bookworms to a new version of its Kindle Paperwhite ereader, and now the company is making up for that with a bigger display with slimmer bezels, longer battery life, USB-C connectivity, a special Signature Edition, and a kids version.
The ereader marketplace is now a crowded one, and even includes models with pretty decent color screens. But with the latest Paperwhites, Amazon is hoping to tempt avid readers into the Kindle universe, saying that it's "worked hard to add even more premium experiences to the next generation."
The standard Kindle Paperwhite comes with a 6.8-inch, 300-pixels-per-inch e-paper display – compared to the fourth generation's 6-inch flavor – and the bezels have been slimmed down to 10.2 mm and are flush with the front of the device.
The device sports an adjustable front light with 17 LEDs for reading comfort in low light, and there's now 10 percent more brightness at the top end. An adjustable warm light setting goes easy on the eyes, plus there's a white-text-on-black-background dark mode.
The Paperwhite comes with 8 GB of onboard storage, which is reckoned sufficient for holding thousands of ebooks. A new user interface promises improved navigation and faster page turns, and an IPx8 rating means that it should survive a dunk in the drink for up to an hour. There's no cellular connectivity feature like you'll get with the Kindle Oasis though, so you're stuck with trying to find a Wi-Fi network to add content to your library.
Amazon says that users can expect up to 10 weeks of per-charge battery life, based on half an hour's reading per day with the wireless off. When a top-up is needed that is now undertaken over USB-C, taking around five hours. But that time can be cut in half when using a 9-W charger.
The standard model is up for pre-order now for US$139.99, with shipping slated to start from October 27. But if you've got an extra $50 to spare, a Signature Edition has joined the family which shares much the same specs as the standard Paperwhite, with nifty extras thrown in – such as front lighting that can auto adjust based on ambient lighting conditions, 32 GB of included storage space, and the option of wirelessly charging the battery via any Qi-compatible pad.
A Kindle Paperwhite for kids has also been introduced, which rocks the same glare-free 6.8-inch display as the other new family members, has 8 GB of onboard storage, gets a cover included and comes with a year's subscription to Amazon Kids+. This model is priced at $159.99.