Amazon’s Kindle Fire was an instant hit when it was released in 2011 – the tablet used the success of it’s forbearer the original Kindle to get off to a great start, but Amazon hasn’t forgotten about the device made it all happen and have since unveiled the new Kindle Paperwhite, the next iteration of the company’s iconic E-reader.
Unveiled by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos last month at a launch event in California, the 6-inch Kindle Paperwhite has moved on considerably since the original E-reader – but will be as successful as its predecessor?
The most important new feature of the Paperwhite is the new screen technology, the Paperwhite sports a new display with a higher contrast ratio and a better resolution, whilst trying to reduce screen glare. Their new patented light guide technology directs light down towards the screen, reducing ambient light emitted by the device. Basically the new Paperwhite will perform admirable in low-light conditions as well as in direct sunlight.
At no point does the on-screen text become unreadable in any light conditions, even when the text sized is reduced. The Kindle Paperwhite is an incredibly well built device; with the no flexing or bending when held in your hand. It feels just as sturdy and ergonomic as any previous Amazon device, resting nicely in your hands at 9.1mm thick and weighing a slight 210 grams.
Elsewhere you’ll find the device zips along at a fair old lick and, according to Amazon, the battery will keep the device going for up to eight weeks – even with the screen lit up. You’ll also find the Papewhite comes with some nifty features as well: Amazon’s Whispersynch means you’ll never lose your place when switching between devices. And there’s also X-ray which tracks characters and other element throughout the book. It explores the “Bones of the Book” and with a single tap, you can see all the passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics of interest.
To sweeten the deal even further Amazon has just announced that it will launch a digital library for users in the UK this month which will let Kindle owners borrow book for free. The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library makes more than 200,000 titles available to download. Allowing users to borrow up to one book per month, with no late fees.
The library will be free with an Amazon Prime membership, which costs £49.99 a year but also comes with unlimited free one-day delivery. Amazon said the library includes popular titles such as all seven Harry Potter books, as well as thousands of titles by independent authors via its Kindle Direct Publishing service.
The real draw of the Kindle continues to be Amazon’s gargantuan library of digital book content, including its 180,000 Kindle-exclusive titles. At $119 or £109 for the base model and $179 or $169 for the 3G model the Paperwhite offers great value for money and its out October 26 in the UK.