Amazon announced a new family of devices today including updates to their Kindle eReader devices as well as their Kindle Fire tablets. While all of the devices look impressive, the new Kindle Paperwhite device deserves special recognition. Here's a quick recap:
- Black & white display (25% better contrast)
- 212 pixels per inch display (62% higher resolution)
- 15% faster page turns
- Weighs just 7.5 oz
- Capacitive touch display
- Built-in "Paperwhite" lighting
- 8 weeks battery power even with lighting in use
The most intriguing element is the Paperwhite display which provides a built-in front-lit surface light that projects onto the eInk display but not into your face. As a result, it's much more like reading a book lit from above than reading an LCD screen that emits light. And they've done it without reducing battery life or compromizing the portability. Amazon has been working on the Paperwhite display for at least three years after acquiring the New York startup TouchCo in 2009 and Finnish startup Oy Modilis in 2010. One possible drawback with this Kindle is the total lack of keyboard and buttons --all interaction is through the touch screen. For those circumstances when a keyboard could be useful for web browsing, or Interactive Fiction, I'm hoping the on-screen keyboard will suffice.
To my surprise I've become completely addicted to my third generation Kindle device. I far prefer using the Kindle to reading hardcovers or paperback books. And for travel it's absolutely priceless. I don't ever have to worry about running out of reading material. The only drawback has been the need for a lightsource and it now appears Amazon has delivered an innovative and impressive solution that surpasses the Barnes & Noble Nook.
It's available for pre-order today with delivery October 1 from Amazon for $139 with wifi (no ads).