Finally, finally, finally. Amazon has decided to give the Kindle Paperwhite one hell of an update. Amazon announced a new Paperwhite with three features that were a long time coming: bigger screen, adjustable color temperature, and USB-C.
The new model, however, looks to improve on virtually every aspect of the e-reader. The battery has been boosted from six weeks to approximately 10 weeks from a single charge. Charging itself is faster: thanks to USB-C, the device can fully charge in about two and a half hours. And the color-temperature changing tech that Amazon debuted on the 2019 Kindle Oasis has made its way down to the more affordable Paperwhite for reading at night.The Verge
The most noticeable change, however, is the bigger display, which is jumping from six inches to a 6.8-inch panel. Amazon is still maintaining the same 300 PPI pixel density, so text will look just as crisp despite the larger display.
The adjustable color temperature is a big reason people opt for the Oasis. That is a big price tag for a singular feature, with the Oasis clocking in at $250. Ouch. The Paperwhite brings this feature to the masses.
I have a 2015 Kindle Paperwhite, which Amazon calls their… 7th Generation device? I don’t know; their naming is weird. Anyhow, it’s a fantastic reader and one I think hits so many marks for being one of the best single-purpose devices on the market. It saddens me to see Amazon let the Kindles go so long without significant updates. I know it’s due to near-zero competition in the market, but that doesn’t stop Apple from revising the iPads yearly. Apple could leave the iPad alone for four years and nobody would catch up. But they keep innovating.
That attitude toward the Kindle may be shifting as Amazon seems to be refocused on the Kindle this year. Earlier we finally got the ability to have the current book as your Lock Screen cover. A new user experience is coming soon to most Kindles (mine included). This Paperwhite continues the trend. This new one looks great as-is, but Amazon is bringing out “Signature Edition” with 3 nice perks: wireless charging, auto-adjusting brightness, and triple on-board storage.
The Signature edition’s features are nice, however a $50 premium isn’t necessarily worth it for me. Wireless charging is nice, but the whole point of a Kindle is you rarely need to charge the battery. On-board storage is not a selling feature for me because how many books do you need on the device at a single time? The auto-adjusting brightness / warmth is the real upsell. It’s nice to have but a manual control will make it cumbersome. To me, Amazon was smart to make this a premium feature. I foresee this being the reason many opt for the Signature over the base Paperwhite.
The new Kindles are $140 and $190 respectively and ship out on October 27th. If you enjoy reading books in any capacity, the Kindle is the best you can get.