Kindle Paperwhite – What We Know So Far

On September 6, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took the stage in Los Angeles to announce two new Kindle products: the Kindle Fire HD and a new product called the Kindle Paperwhite.

The Kindle Paperwhite is designed to be an upgraded and expanded version of the basic Kindle e-reader. It features a slim, sleek interface and, according to early reports, it’s surprisingly lightweight. It also features a strong battery life and a responsive touch interface. In short, the Kindle Paperwhite appears to have improved on all of the complaints the original Kindle e-reader faced when it was first released.

The Paperwhite improves the e-reading experience in a number of powerful ways. Here are a few advantages that users can expect from their new Paperwhite, set to be released later this fall.

Better reading display than the Kindle Fire or the iPad

There is one major difference between e-reader tablets and conventional tablet computers: the display. Today, most e-readers use display technology like “e-ink” to display words and pictures on the screen. Although e-ink is only available in black-and-white, the display tends to resemble a normal book. And, since the display isn’t backlit, e-readers tend to be easier to read. Since the Kindle Fire and Apple iPad are both backlit, they’re not ideal for reading. The Kindle Paperwhite, on the other hand, is designed to make reading as easy as possible with its crisp and clear e-ink display.

kindle paperwhiteTop-down light

You can’t read e-readers in the dark without a light source, and Amazon has solved this problem by including a top-down light on every Kindle Paperwhite. Instead of having to turn on a light source or sit near a lamp, the Kindle Paperwhite includes a light wherever you go. The light easily illuminates the entire display and it is specifically designed to limit glare, which ultimately makes the reading experience as easy as possible.

Better contrast

When reading information in black and white, contrast is important. Contrast measures the distinction between black and white colors on any display. Amazon made contrast a key goal with the Kindle Paperwhite, and it promises to have a 25% better contrast ratio than the basic Kindle Fire. As Jeff Bezos said in his announcement speech, “the whites are whiter, and the blacks are blacker.”

8 weeks (!) of battery life

Jeff Bezos claims that the Kindle Paperwhite will last for an astonishing 8 weeks – even if users leave the backlight on to read. As with any early reports about battery power, it’s difficult to verify these claims as of yet, but if the 8 weeks promise is true, then the Paperwhite will be one of the longest lasting e-readers on the market today.

3G model available

In addition to the $119 Wi-Fi model of the Paperwhite, Amazon also offers a $179 3G model. This means users will be able to download books even when they’re outside of Wi-Fi coverage – provided they have subscribed to a 3G data plan.

Kindle Paperwhite release date

The Kindle Paperwhite seeks to improve on all of the criticisms past e-readers have faced. If you want an e-reader with sharper contrast, a better display, and a top-down light, then the Kindle Paperwhite will start shipping on November 1, 2012.

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