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Amazon announces three new Kindle Paperwhite e-readers

21 Sep 2021
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The next-gen Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition and Kindle Paperwhite Kids are available to preorder right now

Online retail giant Amazon has just unveiled the latest generation of its Kindle Paperwhite e-readers.

Three new models have been announced: the fifth-generation Kindle Paperwhite, a Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition and a Kindle Paperwhite Kids. All three are available to preorder right now, with the base and Kids models shipping on 27 October and the Signature Edition releasing on 10 November.

The base model costs £130 and includes a number of improvements over its 2018 predecessor, which received our coveted Best Buy award and is currently available for £100.

The glare-free display is slightly larger at 6.8in (as opposed to 6in), bezels around the 300ppi screen’s edges have been shrunk down to 10.2mm and maximum brightness has been increased by 10%.

Storage has also received a boost, jumping from 4GB to 8GB, while battery life now clocks in at up to ten weeks on a single charge based on half-an-hour of reading every day with wireless turned off and the light setting at 13.

Other tweaks see the micro-USB charging port replaced with a USB-C port, reducing charging time with a 9W adapter to two-and-a-half hours, 20% faster page-turning and the inclusion of an adjustable warm light to create more comfortable reading conditions at night.

Like the fourth-gen Kindle Paperwhite, the new model comes with an IPX8 rating for water resistance. This certifies protection against immersion in fresh water up to a depth of 2m for an hour and seawater of a depth of 0.25 for three minutes.

On top of the various upgrades to the Kindle Paperwhite’s specifications, Amazon has also incorporated a redesigned Kindle interface, complete with new features and what it says will be a more intuitive user experience.

The Kindle library will include new filters and sort menus, a new collections view and an interactive scroll bar. Switching between the home screen and your library or current book has also been made easier.

Amazon says setting up your device via the iOS and Android Kindle app has been made simpler too, and you’ll be able to access the Paperwhite’s settings in a single swipe regardless of where you are on your device. The various new software features won’t all be present at launch but will instead be rolled out between release and the end of the year.

Priced at £180, the top-of-the-range Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition includes all of the same features and upgrades as the base model but houses four times the storage (32GB), allowing you to keep thousands more ebooks on your device.

It’s also the first Kindle to offer Qi wireless charging and features an auto-adjusting front light that tweaks the brightness of the display based on lighting conditions in your surroundings.

The final new Amazon e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite Kids, is designed for voracious readers aged seven and up. It’s advertisement-, game- and video-free so youngsters can read without any distractions and there’s no way for kids to make surprise purchases, which should provide parents much-needed peace of mind.

Its specs are the same as the base model outlined above but the Kids edition comes with one year of Amazon Kids+ and offers some handy educational tools for improving and monitoring children’s reading.

Vocabulary Builder and Word Wise help kids develop their literacy skills, while the Parental Dashboard lets parents set reading goals, view a child’s progress and add books to a child’s library. There’ll also be a Bedtime feature integrated later this year that will help ensure kids hit the sack at an appropriate time.

The Kindle Paperwhite Kids costs £140 and comes with a choice of three covers: a standard black, “Emerald Forest” and “Robot Dreams”.

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