Amazon Launches New Kindle Paperwhite

October 18, 2018

11:26 am

Amazon has launched its latest iteration of the Kindle ebook reader, the new Kindle Paperwhite. The 2018 Paperwhite update introduces several new features and improvements, and it’s waterproof, too.

Amazon’s Kindle readers are essentially the only ebook readers in town these days, aside from the Kobo e-readers, plus the Barnes & Noble Nook range. Reports suggest that Amazon accounts for 80% of all ebook sales – the digitally-printed word is clearly big business for the online giant.

The 2018 Paperwhite model isn’t an entirely new Kindle. It’s more of an iteration on the previous model, adding extra features including water resistance and Audible compatibility.

See how the Paperwhite stacks up against the other Kindle models in our guide, Which Kindle Should I Buy?

Click the gallery below for more images of the Kindle Paperwhite

What is the Kindle Paperwhite?

The Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon’s mid-tier ebook reader – packing in more features than the standard Kindle, but lacking some of the more advanced functions of the more expensive Oasis.

However, the new additions for the 2018 model make it a lot closer to the premium Oasis model than it has been before, implementing some of the features that had, up until now, been exclusive to the most expensive Kindle.

Which Kindle Should I Buy?

There are three Kindle models available, the Kindle, the Paperwhite and the Oasis. We break down the features of each in the table below:

Specs

TechCo Logo thumbnail
  • Screen Size
  • Waterproof
  • Resolution
  • Backlit
  • Storage
  • Weight
  • Price
  • Buy

Kindle

  • 6-inches
  • No
  • 167 ppi
  • Yes
  • 4 GB
  • 5.7 oz
  • $79.99
  • Buy Kindle

Paperwhite

  • 6-inches
  • Yes
  • 330 ppi
  • Yes
  • 8 – 32 GB
  • 6.4 oz
  • $129.99
  • Buy Kindle

Oasis

  • 7-inches
  • Yes
  • 330 ppi
  • Yes
  • 8 – 32 GB
  • 6.8 oz
  • $249.99
  • Buy Kindle

Kindle Paperwhite: Key Features

Waterproof

Previously a feature that was only available on the Kindle Oasis, now the Paperwhite can survive the odd dunk into the hotel pool. Always enjoyed reading in the bath but had too many concerns about ruining your tech? No need to worry any more.

Brighter screen

Amazon has made the 6-inch screen of the Kindle Paperwhite brighter by adding an extra LED, taking the number up to five. This should make the Paperwhite even easier to read in low light, and means you can read at night without the need for a separate reading light.

More Storage

The latest Kindle has doubled its storage for the base model, from 4GB to 8GB. That might not sound like much compared to what you’re rocking in your phone or tablet. Though ebooks are tiny when it comes to storage, and you can pack a lot of them into a small space. Take Stephen King’s doorstop of a novel, It. At 1,169 pages, it only takes up just over 3Mb of storage.

If you’re a keen comic reader, a format that’s more space intensive, Amazon also offers a 32GB version of the Paperwhite.

Audible

The Paperwhite is compatible with Audible versions of books now, so you can listen to them rather than read. While there aren’t any speakers built into the Kindle itself, it does have Bluetooth, so you can connect it to your stereo or headphones. With Amazon’s Audible extras, such as discounts if you own the eBook, plus the smart way it picks up where you left off regardless of format, it’s a nice addition.

Thinner and lighter

The Kindle Paperweight was hardly cumbersome before, and would happily slip into a coat pocket. But, you can’t release a tech product in 2018 without making it thinner. Hence, Amazon has shaved 10% off the weight and depth of the Paperwhite.

It’s unlikely you’ll notice it unless you compare side-by-side with the older version, but we can’t begrudge a more compact Kindle.

No Alexa

More notable by its absence than its inclusion, Amazon has decided not to grace the Kindle with Alexa. This is a good thing. You don’t need to talk to your book, but given the recent event where it unveiled a bevy of new Alexa enabled devices, from clocks to microwaves, the restraint shown here is admirable.

When Can You Get the Kindle Paperwhite?

You can pre-order the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite right now on its site, although you’ll have to wait a few weeks before it gets delivered. The official release date is November 7th.

Amazon has priced the new Paperwhite at the same cost as the previous model – $129.99.

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Jack is a senior writer at Tech.co with over a decade's experience researching and writing about consumer technology, from security and privacy to product reviews and tech news.

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