Amazon has announced a new Kindle Paperwhite to slot in between the regular Kindle and the flagship Kindle Oasis. The reveal comes at a bit of a surprise, considering Amazon’s big new devices event has been scheduled for next week. The new Paperwhite comes with significant improvements over the previous model, including a larger and brighter screen, better battery life and performance, and improved charging options.
The most important thing about any e-reader, the screen, is what has received the most improvements in the new Kindle Paperwhite. After 4 generations with a 6-inch screen, the new 5th-gen Paperwhite steps up to a 6.8-inch display, which is edging very close to the Kindle Oasis’ 7-inch screen. Along with the increased size, the display sports a higher resolution to maintain the 300 PPI density of both the old Paperwhite and the Oasis. While the screen of the new Paperwhite has increased by 13%, the housing has only increased by about 5%, thanks to bezels that are now 12% thinner.
Another screen feature that the new Paperwhite gains that is shared with the Kindle Oasis is the ability to now adjust the warmth of the light. That light is now provided by 17 LEDs around the screen, which is a big increase from the 5 LEDs on the previous model. The LED increase seems to be for a more even glow, as opposed to just increasing the raw light output, which is only 10% brighter than the previous model.
The new Kindle Paperwhite finally ditches its micro USB port for a new USB-C port. That port is used to charge the much larger battery which now lasts up to 10 weeks, compared to the 6 week battery of the old Paperwhite. Performance has also been improved, with Amazon saying that pages turn 20% faster on the new model.
What remains the same on the new Paperwhite is 8GB of internal storage. If you want more than that, instead of just paying $30 extra to upgrade the storage to 32GB like you could with the old model, you now need to step up to what Amazon is calling the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition for $50 extra. However, the new premium Paperwhite does come with more than just increased internal storage.
Taking a page out of the “Plus” variations of Amazon’s Fire tablets, going with the Paperwhite Signature Edition will also add wireless charging to the device. It will work with any Qi charging pad, but Amazon is also selling a Wireless Charging Dock made for the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition for $29.99. The only other difference between the two Paperwhite models is the addition of an auto-adjusting light, which was previously a feature only found on the Kindle Oasis.
The new Kindle Paperwhite is available to pre-order now for $139.99, while the Signature Edition is $189.99. Both are only available in black, however Amazon sells pleanty of colored cases which come in fabric, leather, or cork materials for $29.99, $39.99, and $49.99, respectively. The new Paperwhite will be released October 27.