Yesterday Amazon announced the latest generation of the Kindle, named Kindle Paperwhite for it’s frontlit screen. Available for preordering now and shipping in October for $119 for Wifi version or $179 for 3G. Personally I feel the Wifi version is enough for everday use because remember, Amazon now has a data bandwidth cap of 50Mb per month which makes the 3G version much less enticing. Unless you often travel to other countries, there’s no real need to get the 3G version. You can always use your smartphone as a portable Wifi hotspot if you ever need to download a book in a hurry.
“Time to Read” is a new feature that tells you how long it would take to finish the current chapter or book based on your previous reading speed. This is a neat idea as now you have a legitimate reason to stay up for another few minutes to finish that chapter you were on. However, many books still don’t fully support chapter indexes and the feature feels rather gimicky. Some people might find a use for this but it’s not a selling feature to me.
I really like the design of the new Kindles. It’s sleek and compact, a perfect size for a portable e-reader. From the videos and photos seen so far, the screen is as clear and crisp as ever and now with the frontlit screen, you can finally read without leaving the light on and disturbing your partner. The blackness of the case offers a great contrast to the whiteness of the screen and makes the device look much more sophisticated. Definitely a much better colour choice than the metallic grey in the previous generation of Kindles.
The Kindle Paperwhite appears to be another solid win for Amazon. It would make a great upgrade if you already own an older version and beyond any doubt a device that you should pick up if you’re looking to purchase an e-reader for the first time. The question now is, will you be getting one?