After days of speculation as to what new product Amazon had up its sleeve for today's LA press conference, the reveals are pouring in, starting with a backlit ereader called Kindle Paperwhite. Sharper with a higher-contrast display than the Kindle Touch, the new device uses Amazon-made Paperwhite technology, a blend of adjustable back lighting and traditional e-ink with a capacitive touchscreen display.
Despite the constant light use, Amazon claims the 7.5-ounce Kindle Paperwhite touts an eight-week battery life from a single charge and measures 9.1mm thick. A small text addition in the lower left corner estimates how much reading time is left in a chapter or the entire book based on a user's reading speed.
This Kindle model continues to use the X-ray feature first introduced with the Kindle Touch, showing relevant information on the page such as dictionary and Wiki entries. The Paperwhite also takes a page from the Kindle Fire with a cover mode homescreen, to swipe through the library without scrolling to a menu. The Kindle Paperwhite WiFi model is $119, and the 3G version, which requires no data contract or plan, is priced at $179. Preorders start today, and both Paperwhite models will ship Oct. 1.
Not to be outdone by its touchscreen brethren, the entry-level Kindle also received a refresh and lower price point today.