Thursday, September 06, 2012

Don't forget the original Kindle: intros new front-lit Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Fire's upgrade might be the big news out of's Thursday event, but don't forget the device that started it all: the Kindle. certainly has not.

As expected, the company introduced a brand-new Kindle on Thursday, one which has been dubbed the Kindle "Paperwhite" on the Internet ... and that's what is calling it. The new Kindle Paperwhite is the frontlit reader we expected, but what we didn't expect was a bump in PPI (pixels per inch). Based on E-Ink's XGA display, the new Kindle Paperwhite ships with a 212 PPI display, up from 169.

The wi-fi only version is $119, while the 3G-enabled version is $179. Both of them ship on Oct. 1. It’s 9.1mm thick, with a much thinner bezel than the old Kindle. The bezel redesign was made possible by a switch to a capacitive screen, instead of the IR touch setup that every other dedicated e-book reader has had previously.

Earlier devices needed a thicker bezel in order space to fire the infrared beams across the screen so they could detect your finger.

The company didn't stop with hardware changes. A handy, dandy new feature on the platform is called “Time to Read.” The devices "learns" your reading speed, and thus can tell you how long it will take you read the current chapter, or the rest of the book.

Smartly, the feature omits times you fast flip backward or forward.

Biographies are available for characters in books from the Amazon store, as well as author info, author biographies and lists of author works. Despite the front-lit screen, the Paperwhite boasts an eight-week battery life.

The old $79 Kindle with its current hardware specs returns with a lower price, $69. There are some upgrades to the device's font and text settings. The new basic Kindle will ship on Sept. 14.

All of these devices are available today, said, but checking on the site at the time of this writing, it appears that unlike Apple they aren't fast enough on the draw as the site still does not show any of the updated devices.

Still, it's only a matter of time. Readers, are you going to toss out your old Kindle and buy a new one?

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