Amazon has revealed the Kindle Paperwhite, the latest addition to the E-ink screen Kindle family. It's the first Kindle to feature an inbuilt frontlit screen, letting you read in the dark.
Aside from the integrated light, the Kindle Paperwhite also offers improved resolution and contrast over the previous Kindle Touch model. Its contrast has improved by 25 per cent according to Amazon, and resolution upped from 600 x 800 "pixels" to around 925 x 624 pixels, by our calculations - Amazon merely says that the pixel count has increased by 62 per cent.
The styling of the Kindle has changed too. The Paperwhite's bezel is much darker than previous models, presumably decided upon now that the previous greyness of ereader screens doesn't need to be covered-up with a grey surround. New fonts have also been bunged-in, to offer a new look both inside and out. One other new feature is what Amazon called Time to Read, which estimates how long it'll take you to read to the end of the chapter, based on your current reading speed - perfect for pre-sleep sessions.
A touch-only device, the Kindle Paperwhite feels like a replacement for the Kindle Touch. It'll last for eight weeks of use, the same as the Kindle Touch, and is currently available to pre-order at Amazon US for $119, or $179 for the 3G-enabled version.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the Kindle Paperwhite's light is one "you wouldn't ever want to turn off". If it uses the patented technology we've seen previously, it bounces light across the front surface of the screen, in a manner comparable to a fibre optic light. This gives its luminescence a soft glow that's much easier on the eyes than either a backlight, or the torch-like Kindle covers of old. Here's how it works -
The Kindle Paperwhite is not yet up for pre-order on the UK Amazon site, and no UK availability details have been announced. Once again, we've been handed the short straw. However, we have at least been offered the Kindle Fire, at last, and the new Kindle Fire HD.