Today marked an exciting day for Amazon, as the company made its entry into the world of lighted eInk readers, announcing the Kindle Paperwhite, a front-lit device that will let users read in the dark.
Equipped with a capacitive touchscreen, as opposed to the IR-based systems used in the past, the Paperwhite has 25% more contrast than the Pearl screens in the current Kindles, as well as a 62% higher resolution, thanks to its 212 pixel-per-inch display. Compared to recently-released Barnes & Noble NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight, Amazon’s latest addition to the Kindle family has a much whiter color base, despite both devices relying on fiber optic systems to direct light down onto the display.
With a black, rounded build, the Paperwhite takes a nod from the Kindle Fire and lacks visible buttons on the front, meaning users will need to swipe to turn the page. Tapping the top of the screen will bring up the menu bar, where readers can tweak the frontlight to better suit the lighting of a room.
At 9.1mm thick and 7.5 ounces, the eReader sports a souped up interface, offering more detailed fonts, including seven choices in eight sizes, and a new feature that will calculate a user’s reading speed and estimate how long it will take to finish a given chapter or book. Author biographies are also now included in the X-Ray option.
Amazon introduced the new device along with a slew of new Kindle Fire tablets during a press event today, touting the eReader to have an eight-week battery life.
Set to ship October 1, the Wi-Fi version of the Kindle Paperwhite is available for pre-order for $120, while a taste of 3G bumps the price tag up a bit to $180. Both of those prices are for the Special Offers models, with ad-less iterations costing $140 and $200.