Amazon's new Kindle Paperwhites have bigger, brighter screens and USB-C charging

The Signature Edition is the first Kindle with wireless charging support.

A seated person reading text on a fifth-generation Kindle Paperwhite. (Amazon)

As indicated in a leak earlier this week, Amazon is updating the Kindle Paperwhite. The fifth-gen Paperwhite (which marks the first refresh in nearly three years) has a larger, 6.8-inch display, compared with the previous model's six-inch screen. The company says the 300 ppi screen is glare-free and looks like real paper, which allows for "easy reading in all conditions, even direct sunlight."

The screen is 10 percent brighter than the previous model at the maximum setting and there's a white-on-black dark mode. Amazon has redesigned the interface and page turns are said to be 20 percent faster. The Paperwhite has an IPX8 rating, which means it's water-resistant but not dust-resistant. Starting later this year, you'll be able to set up and change settings on the e-reader using the Kindle app on a paired iOS or Android device.

Amazon is expanding the Kindle Paperwhite lineup with a couple of new devices. The Signature Edition has a light sensor that can automatically adjust the screen brightness depending on your surroundings. It's also the first Kindle with wireless charging support (any Qi-compatible charger will do the trick).

A child wearing headphones listens to an audiobook using a Kindle Paperwhite Kids e-reader,

There's now a Kindle Paperwhite for kids, two years after Amazon announced the first Kindle for youngsters. The Kindle Paperwhite Kids is largely the same as the other two models in terms of design, though there are a bunch of child-friendly features. For one thing, there's a two-year worry-free guarantee. If it breaks in that time, Amazon will replace it.

There's audiobook and Bluetooth headphone support, as well as achievement badges and educational tools to foster literacy skills. The kids model, which is designed for readers aged seven and older, doesn't have internet access or any way for children to accidentally make any purchases. Their folks can manage the device using the Parent Dashboard.

Kindle Paperwhite Kids has funkier color options than the other two devices, which only come in black. You can opt for that plain, ol' color or choose Emerald Forest or Robot Dreams patterns. You'll get a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+ too, which includes access to thousands of books.

Amazon says all three models will run for up to 10 weeks on a single charge. The devices now support USB-C fast charging. With a 9W or larger charger, you'll be able to fully top up the battery in two and a half hours, Amazon says.

The $140 Kindle Paperwhite comes with 8GB of storage. The $190 Signature Edition has 32GB of storage, which should come in handy if you're an avid audiobook listener. Amazon is bundling in four months of Kindle Unlimited access for a limited time. Kindle Paperwhite Kids, meanwhile, costs $160.

Pre-orders for the new Paperwhite and Signature Edition are open now. The company will start shipping the new Paperwhites on October 27th.

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