Amazon Launches New Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon has updated one of its best-selling Kindles, the Paperwhite, with water resistance and extra storage, but is it worth

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.

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:

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
The best overall Kindle to choose
In Short


  • Affordable
  • Waterproof
  • Back-light for night time reading
  • Anti-glare screen



  • Touchscreen page turning rather than button may not suit everyone

Buy on Amazon

Amazon Kindle
The best budget Kindle option
In Short


  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight and slim



  • Little storage
  • Not waterproof

Buy on Amazon

Amazon Kindle Oasis
Too expensive to truly recommend, but a great piece of kit
In Short


  • Lots of features
  • Back light for reading in the dark
  • Waterproof
  • Amber light feature



  • Very expensive
  • Design with one-sided bezel may not appeal

Buy on Amazon

Kindle Paperwhite: Key Features


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.


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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Written by:
Jack is the Deputy Editor for He has over 15 years experience in publishing, having covered both consumer and business technology extensively, including both in print and online. Jack has also led on investigations on topical tech issues, from privacy to price gouging. He has a strong background in research-based content, working with organisations globally, and has also been a member of government advisory committees on tech matters.
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