Amazon announces Kindle Paperwhite with illuminated, capacitive touch display

Have you been enviously eyeing the self-illuminating screen on the Nook SimpleTouch with GlowLight, but didn't want to give up your digital library of Kindle wares? Dear reader, today is your lucky day, with Amazon announcing the Kindle Paperwhite. No, not paperweight, Paperwhite. It has a new, front-lit display that will let you read in the dark, and a capacitive touchscreen that goes away from the IR based systems we've seen in the past.

Jeff Bezos tells us that it has 25 percent more contrast than the Pearl screens in the current Kindles and, with 212ppi, it has a 62 percent higher resolution. It relies on a fiber optic like system to direct light down onto the display, not unlike the Nook but, from what we can see, the color is much whiter. It's just 9.1mm thick, the battery is said to last for eight weeks and there are no physical buttons for control. You're entirely dependent on that touchscreen to flip those pages -- which, by the way, are said to turn 15 percent faster.

The interface has seen some tweaks too. The fonts are more detailed now, as they should be with that higher resolution, and you can tweak the brightness of the display with a slider. The software will calculate your reading speed and estimate how long it will take you to finish a given chapter or book and there are now author bios.

Price is $119 for the WiFi version and it ships October 1st! If you'd like a little 3G connectivity with your Kindle, you're looking at $179. Both of those prices are for the models with "Special Offers," though -- you'll have to shell out $139 and $199, respectively, if you want to get rid of the ads.

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Amazon announces Kindle Paperwhite

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Kindle Paperwhite press shots

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Higher resolution, 62% more pixels, 25% higher-contrast, patented built-in front light, 8 weeks of battery life and an even slimmer and sleeker design - only $119

New Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G - the top-of-the-line Kindle with free 3G wireless - only $179

New latest generation Kindle - small, light and even faster - now only $69

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 6, 2012-- (NASDAQ:AMZN)-Kindle is the world's #1 best-selling e-reader for five years running, and tens of millions of readers are already reading on Kindle. Today, Amazon is excited to introduce the fifth generation Kindle e-readers: Kindle Paperwhite is the most advanced e-reader ever constructed with 62% more pixels and 25% increased contrast, a patented built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions, up to 8 weeks of battery life, and a thin and light design for just $119; Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G - never pay for or hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot with the all-new top-of-the-line Kindle e-reader with free 3G wireless for just $179; and the new latest generation Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, now with new, improved fonts, faster page turns and an even more unbelievable price: $69. Meet the all-new Kindle e-reader family at www.amazon.com/kindlepaperwhite.

"Paperwhite is the Kindle we've always wanted to build - the technology didn't exist to build a display with this level of contrast, resolution, brightness and battery life, so our engineers invented it," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "62% more pixels, 25% higher contrast, built-in front light, perfect for bed, perfect for beach, even thinner, 8 weeks of battery life - this is a quantum leap forward and the best Kindle we've ever built by far."

All-New Kindle Paperwhite - The World's Most Advanced E-Reader

Most Advanced E-Reader Display, 62% More Pixels, 25% More Contrast

Kindle Paperwhite's display is the most advanced e-reader display ever constructed. Featuring a 212 ppi display, Kindle Paperwhite has 62% more pixels, making text in books and periodicals crisp and clear at any size. Images are sharper, richer and show even more detail. Kindle Paperwhite's screen has 25% higher contrast - the blacks are blacker, and the whites are whiter.

Innovative Built-In Light

Backlit LCD displays direct light up through the display into the user's eyes. Kindle Paperwhite's patented front-lit display guides light underneath an anti-glare layer and down toward the display, away from the reader's eyes. This means a reader can read for hours without eye fatigue or strain. The screen brightness is easily adjusted for reading in any light. The Paperwhite display provides an unparalleled experience in the dark and in direct sunlight.

Breakthrough Battery Life

Kindle Paperwhite's built-in front light is designed to be used at all times - both in daylight and in a dark room - for the clearest, crispest reading experience. In order to use the light at all times, Kindle Paperwhite requires exceptional power management to maintain the battery life that customers love about Kindle. Amazon's light guide technology precisely diffuses the light across the screen and only requires four LEDs to light the entire screen (unlike LCD screens which can use up to 50 LEDs). The light guide is so efficient that Kindle Paperwhite has a remarkable 8 weeks of battery life, even with the light on at all times.

Free 3G

Kindle's free 3G connection means customers never have to hunt for or pay for a Wi-Fi hotspot - they simply download and read books anytime, anywhere in over 100 countries around the world. Amazon pays for the 3G connection on Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G, so customers pay no monthly fees and sign no annual contracts.

Built-In Wi-Fi

Kindle Paperwhite comes with built-in Wi-Fi, letting readers discover new content at home or on the road. Kindle owners also enjoy free Wi-Fi access at AT&T hotspots across the US.

New Touch Technology

Kindle Paperwhite's new capacitive touch technology is uniquely integrated into the Paperwhite display, allowing for a thinner form factor for Kindle Paperwhite and even better touch accuracy.

Slim and Sleek Design

At just over a third of an inch thin and weighing 7.5 ounces, Kindle Paperwhite is thinner than a magazine and weighs less than a typical paperback. The bezel height between the side of the device and the display itself is 77% thinner.

Hand-Tuned Fonts

Every font on Kindle Paperwhite is hand-tuned for maximum readability. The Amazon typography team worked at the pixel level to ensure consistency of stroke thickness and shape profiles across all individual glyphs, aligning each size to the specific grid of the new Paperwhite display. This allows for unprecedented sharpness of fonts. Kindle Paperwhite's higher resolution display also allows for new elegant typeface options, such as Baskerville and Palatino, which use thin stems that would not render well on any lower resolution display.

Time to Read

Time to Read is a new feature for Kindle Paperwhite that helps readers know the amount of time it will take them to finish a chapter or a book. This feature is smart - it personalizes the time for each customer based on their reading speed and is constantly updated as the reader's speed and habits change. With Time to Read, it's never been easier to decide when to start a new chapter or finish the chapter you're reading.

Explore the "Bones of a Book" with X-Ray

With a single tap, readers can see all passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon's community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Amazon built X-Ray using its expertise in language processing and machine learning, access to significant storage and computing resources with Amazon S3 and EC2, and a deep library of book and character information.

Whispersync for Voice

All Kindles use Amazon's popular Whispersync technology to automatically synchronize a customer's Kindle library, including last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights, across the widest range of devices and platforms. Now, Amazon is extending Whispersync to professionally narrated audiobooks - customers can start reading a book on their Kindle, and seamlessly switch to listening to their corresponding Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobook from Audible on their phone or tablet, picking up exactly where they left off. With Whispersync for Voice, customers can continue enjoying books during commutes or any other time their eyes are busy. Whispersync for Voice is a solution for the millions of Amazon customers who want to spend more time with their favorite books. Customers can listen to their Audible audiobooks on Kindle Fire, iPhone, Android phones and Windows Phones.

Beautiful Leather Covers with Auto Wake and Sleep

Covers for Kindle Paperwhite feature a premium textured leather exterior and a subtle woven nylon interior to provide the lightest and thinnest form of protection. The integrated magnetic clasp ensures the cover remains securely closed while in a backpack, purse, or briefcase. The cover automatically wakes Kindle Paperwhite upon opening and puts it to sleep when closed, making it easy to dive right back into the book.

Latest Generation Kindle - Small, Light and Now Even Faster - only $69

Introducing the new, latest generation Kindle - the smallest, lightest and most affordable Kindle ever is now even better, with new improved fonts, 15% faster page turns and a new, unbelievably low price: just $69. In addition, the new Kindle now supports children's books and comics, and includes new parental controls. Weighing just 5.98 ounces, Kindle is small and light enough to fit easily in a pocket and take everywhere, and still features the same 6-inch electronic ink display that reads like real paper. At just $69, the new Kindle is the perfect entry Kindle for young and adult readers alike.

Plus All the Features Customers Love About Kindle

All of the new Kindle e-readers come with instant access to the features that have made Kindle the #1 best-selling e-reader in the world for five years running:

Top-Rated, World-Class Customer Service

When a customer shops on Amazon.com, buys a Kindle, or buys Kindle content, they know that they are also getting Amazon's world-class customer service. Amazon scored 86 - the top score - on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), and 89 on the ForeSee customer satisfaction survey - the highest ever attained by a retailer. Amazon has been rated #1 in the National Retail Federation Customers' Choice Awards, has been awarded the top spot in the MSN Money Customer Service Hall of Fame three years in a row, and is a JD Power and Associates 2012 Customer Service Champion. Customers have been shopping on Amazon for over 15 years, and they continue to do so because of the unparalleled end-to-end customer experience. So far in 2012, Kindle customer service has received a 97.1% satisfaction rate from customers.

Read for Free with Kindle Owners' Lending Library

With Prime, Kindle owners can read for free - choose from over 180,000 books in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, including all 7 Harry Potter books in 5 languages and over 100 current and former New York Times bestsellers, to borrow for free - as frequently as a book a month, with no waiting and no due dates.

Unparalleled Interoperability - "Buy Once, Read Everywhere"

Customers can read their Kindle books on the largest number of devices and platforms, including any Kindle as well as on iPhone, iPad, Android devices, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, Windows Phone or in their web browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Whispersync

Amazon's Whispersync technology synchronizes a customer's last page read, bookmarks and annotations across all of their devices, so they can always pick up where they left off.

Features Built Just for Readers

Each Kindle offers a variety of font styles and sizes, so customers can easily customize their reading experience. Kindle also comes with a built-in dictionary, instant lookup and translation of words, Real Page Numbers, support for bookmarks and annotations, and more.

Sharing

Customers can share highlighted sections, notes and meaningful quotes on Facebook and Twitter directly from Kindle without leaving the book. Customers can also view the passages frequently highlighted by other Kindle readers to discover interesting and meaningful passages in books using Popular Highlights.

Massive Selection, Lowest Prices

Every Kindle has instant access to millions of books at the best prices, including over 180,000 exclusive titles. Over 650,000 books are priced at $4.99 or less; over 1.2 million are $9.99 or less. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle, and Kindle customers can borrow Kindle books from their public library and have them delivered to their Kindle via Wi-Fi.

No Setup Required, Simple and Easy-to-Use

Kindle comes automatically pre-registered so customers can immediately start enjoying their existing Kindle library or shop for new content, with no set-up required.

Parental Controls

Parental Controls allow parents to restrict access to the Kindle Store, Cloud Archive and the Experimental Web Browser so they can give their Kindle to a child worry-free.

Worry-Free Cloud Storage

Customers' Kindle books are automatically backed up in the cloud, so they never need to worry about losing their books. Customers can re-download their books wirelessly anytime for free.

Pricing and Availability

The new Kindle Paperwhite is only $119. Kindle Paperwhite is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com/kindlepaperwhite and ships October 1.

The new top-of-the-line Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G is only $179. Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com/kindlepaperwhite3G and ships October 1.

The new $69 Kindle is available to customers around the world at www.amazon.com/kindle and begins shipping today.

For high resolution images and video of the all-new Kindle family, visit www.amazon.com/pr/kindle.

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