Amazon Kindle Paperwhite might be most paper-like e-reader ever

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite might be most paper-like e-reader ever

Summary: Amazon unveiled its answer to the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight as well as a price drop for the entry-level Kindle.

Credit: Rachel King, ZDNet

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. -- Amazon unveiled the latest additions to the Kindle family at an invite-only media event at a former airplane hanger in Southern California on Thursday morning, starting off with a brand new model that could change the e-reader market.

See also: CNET Live Blog from Amazon's media event in Santa Monica

CEO Jeff Bezos started off by citing that more than two dozen Android tablets were released into the marketplace last year, remarking that "nobody bought them."

"That because they're gadgets, and people don't want gadgets anymore. "They want services," Bezos asserted. "The Kindle Fire is a service."

The first introduction of the day was the Kindle Paperwhite, which Bezos boasted as something that "didn't exist" so Amazon "had to invent it."

Bezos commented that Amazon developers took cues from the Kindle Fire, but essentially this is Amazon's answer to Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.

The device is essentially comprised of three display stacks: a patented light guide, capacitive touch, and a paperwhite display. The Kindle Paperwhite display includes 62 percent more pixels at 212 pixels per inch to offer what might be the closest any e-reader has come to actually replicating the look of paper pages.

At 9.1mm thin and 7.5 ounces light, Bezos described the Kindle Paperwhite as "thinner than a magazine and lighter than a paperback."

Amazon is also trying to outdo Barnes & Noble on another important facet to e-readers: the battery life. Bezos boasted that users wouldn't have to charge the Kindle Paperwhite until Halloween as it is supposed to offer 8-weeks of battery life even with the light on consistently.

Priced at $119 for the Wi-Fi only edition and $179 for the free 3G version, pre-orders open up today and starts shipping October 1.

Bezos added that the entry-level Kindle is getting a price drop to $69 with some slight UI upgrades, which will start shipping on September 14.

Topics: Amazon, Apps, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

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  • My eInk Kindle is great

    This looks even better. It is still eInk, right? That is important because I specifically do NOT want an LCD screen like I have on the iPad. The iPad (and any LCD tablet / eReader) is completely unreadable in any amount of sunlight.
    • readers

      I think the iPad 2012 improved on the text but I still won't be anything Apple.
  • Amazon, E-reader, Kindle, Paperwhite Kindle

    Amazon, E-reader, Kindle, Paperwhite Kindle
  • Here's the issue: COST

    I buy books online all the time. I would HIGHLY prefer to buy books on Kindle or Nook because I have both readers. But I can buy most of the books I want USED for a fraction of the price of an electronic version. I'm not going to pay $30 for an electronic book when I can get it for $2.99 used and in good condition. So while Jeff may be right, saying services are what matters and hardware doesn't, he forgot that electronic books are WAY OVERPRICED. Think again, Jeff!
    • Used vs New

      Yes, but the ebooks don't take up shelf space and will always be available (as long as Amazon/B&N are in business). I read a lot of novels and then never read them again. That's a lot of paper saved, and since most of the novels I read are relatively new or ones you can't get "used" easily, I don't have that problem.

      For some textbooks or other reference style books, perhaps a used physical copy is okay. Really, though, I wish all books were available electronically. And, I agree, they should be cheaper.

      I have a 6-inch 3G Kindle and love it. I would love a larger version, but I'm not willing to pay the huge extra money required for a DX. That doesn't make sense either.
    • Yes But

      You have always been able to get books from the Libaray on Nook's and as of a bit over a year ago you can also get Libaray books on Kindle.
      I don't buy books when they first come out - I can wait a year when the price goes down (which it usually will do - at least with B&N books)
      For that matter Barnes and Noble have always had the daily finds which are e-books that are often NY Times best sellers for $.99 - $3.99 and of course there is Nook Blog Free Fridays
      In all cases the books are either free or $3.99
      I'm just saying
    • Here’s Another Issue: LICENSING

      Did you know that copyrighted works that you buy cannot be passed on to your heirs when you die? The licence dies with you.

      The copyright creator gets a copyright that lasts for their lifetime plus 70 years after they die, but you as the customer lose it all when you die.

      So tell us again: if we buy something, do we own it?
      • RE: Licensing

        You can blame Congress for that one. They have been bought off by the big corporations to gradually increase copyright until for practical purposes it never expires. Just like the media companies getting laws passed that make the penalties for downloading music higher than for murder in some cases. Complain to your congressman and senator - that's the only hope you have of getting any relief in that area.
        • I'm not sure of your logic...

          ...but it seems that if congress is influenced more by lobbyist then looking out for the interest of the citizens of the US then, yes, you can blame congress. They are a bunch of corrupt wind bags drunk on power and money. All of them.
          Rann Xeroxx
    • Amen on cost

      I read about 50 books a year. Most I get at our library's book sales. I can pick up books for $.50-$1.00 each. After I'm through, I donate them back to the library and get a receipt for my taxes. It's a win-win-win situation. I get reading material, the books get re-used, and I get a tax credit. Occasionally I'll get a book in a series and need to fill it out. Amazon's used books usually do the trick and then they go to the library as well. The thought of spending over a hundred dollars just for the privelege of spending more money to temporarily have something to read doesn't make sense to me. I don't use "the cloud" for anything, don't belong to social networking sites, and don't watch movies when I'm not at home. All these tablets and e-readres seem like a big waste of money to me.
    • COST - is often zero

      I'm building a library of "Kindle Classics". All those great books that were published more than about 70 years ago are generally available free in Kindle format from places like Project Gutenburg.

      Some of my more recent favorite authors have made their older books available in Kindle format free via my public library (actually through an arrangement between the library and Amazon). I re-read the novels I found really good after about 10 years have elapsed - and the 10-year-old ones are often available in Kindle format at my library. With an online unified index to nearly all the public and university libraries in the state, and an EMail note when the book is ready to pickup, the library is very convenient.

      My Amazon Prime membership gets me an occasional recently-published novel for a free loan.

      I do pay for Kindle versions of computer reference books that I use over and over. The Kindle version is generally cheaper than the paper version, and much more convenient (access with a few clicks, full text search, etc.) I'm usually reading these with the Kindle app on my desktop rather than on the Kindle Ebook.

      As to current best-sellers, I reserve these through my local public library for free. The are paper, unfortunately, and I may not get to the top of the waiting list for a few months, but who cares? In the meanwhile, I'm reading the ones I reserved a few months ago, the good ones from 10 years ago, and some of those free "classics". Preferably on Kindle and if not, paper via the library. I haven't bought a paper version of a novel in many years, and I'm reading for multiple hours per day.