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

Amazon unveiled its answer to the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight as well as a price drop for the entry-level Kindle.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor
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.

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