Amazon today announced the latest version of its Kindle Paperwhite ($140) — it’s most popular Kindle — with at least four major updates that might actually make the Paperwhite a better buy than the more expensive Oasis.
Actually, Amazon announced not just one new Kindle Paperwhite, but three: there are new ‘Signature’ ($190) and Kids ($160) models too. More on these in a bit.
A bigger, warmer display
The new Kindle Paperwhite goes from a 6-inch screen to a 6.8-inch screen, thanks to smaller bezels, while maintaining 300 dpi sharpness. But perhaps more important is the addition of the warm lighting option that I consider invaluable on the Kindle Oasis and other e-readers. It helps makes the screen look more paper-like under warm indoor lighting, and it means your eyeballs aren’t seared by white-ish blue light that will tend to keep you awake late at night.
The display is also 10 percent brighter at its maximum setting and refreshes 20 percent more quickly than its predecessor.
The Signature Edition adds a light sensor
While you’ve traditionally had to manually adjust brightness on the Kindle Paperwhite, the Signature Edition adds a light sensor that automatically adjusts brightness for the most paper-like experience while still being legible in low light. It’s one of the things I love about the Oasis and I’m glad to see it at a lower price point.
It charges via USB-C
The new Kindles finally charge via USB-C, instead of the antiquated spawn of the Hades that is micro USB. That means many people can use the same charger as they do for their phone or laptop. Better yet, battery life has been improved to an estimated 10 weeks.
You might think that’s not a big deal because Kindle’s have weeks-long battery life, but there’s nothing worse than not being able to find the charger when you eventually do need it.
The Signature Edition gets Wireless charging
If you opt for the Signature Edition, you also get the added benefit of Qi wireless charging so you can live that cable-free life. This is new for the Kindle series overall – not even the $249 Kindle Oasis has this feature.
Amazon has introduced a few more features too:
- The new Kindles can fully charge in 2.5 hours with just a 9W charger.
- The Signature edition comes with 32GB of storage.
- The Kindle interface has an all-new design that makes it easier to switch to the home screen, your library, or your current book. There are new filters and books are sorted by collections, while your settings are now all accessible with just one swipe.
- The Paperwhite for Kids comes with a ‘kid-friendly’ cover and a 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+.
The new Kindles are available to pre-order now, and will ship in October. Amazon says that ‘for a limited time,’ the purchase will include a four-month subscription to the Kindle Unlimited service.
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