Amazon has just announced the upcoming release of an upgraded Kindle Paperwhite that features a 300 ppi E Ink screen.
The new Kindle Paperwhite is up for pre-order at Amazon. The official released date for the new device is June 30th.
What’s especially nice about the upgrade is that Amazon is still using the old price structure for the Kindle Paperwhite.
The base Wi-Fi model with advertisements starts at $119, and the 3G + Wi-Fi model is $189. It costs $20 more for the non-ad models, and this time there’s a WAN option without Special Offers for $209.
This is huge news. It looks like Amazon didn’t like the idea of Kobo having the only low-cost 300 ppi ereader with the new Kobo Glo HD. The new Paperwhite is already looking to outshine the Glo HD with its lower starting price.
Aside from the addition of a 300 ppi display, the new Kindle Paperwhite for 2015 is still the same device as before.
Amazon is advertising a couple of new software features with the release of this new Kindle: the addition of their custom Bookerly font and the new typesetting engine that was announced last month that includes hyphenation, better word spacing, and things like kerning and drop caps.
One thing to note about the press release and product details page for the new Kindle Paperwhite is the fact that Amazon says it has twice as many pixels as the previous generation Kindle Paperwhite. There’s some sneaky math going on there because the regular Paperwhite has 212 ppi. It’s not double the ppi they’re talking about, it’s double the overall pixels on the entire display.
Needless to say, this leaves the Kindle Voyage in a precarious spot. For $80 more all it adds are page sensor buttons, an auto-adjusting frontlight (which never seems to adjust how I’d like it), and a flush front screen. They aren’t really giving much extra for the big jump in price.
New paperwhite and Voyage released at amazon.es today… after waiting all this long to update my old Kindle Keyboard and getting the Voyage, i’m getting the new Paperwhite.
Bringing the new Paperwhite and finally the Voyage to Spain at the same time will be an interesting case study for Amazon to see how many people choose the Voyage over the Paperwhite now that they have the same screen. Like here, I don’t see many people paying that much more for the Voyage.
I suspect the Paperwhite was outselling the Voyage by a wide margin even before these changes. If we use number of reviews as a rough indicator of sales,the Voyage has 4,500 reviews on Amazon while the old model Paperwhite has over 40,000. Even adjusting for the different length of time the two devices have been on the market, the Paperwhite seems like it’s selling a lot better.
I’ve purchased 2 Amazon devices in the last year, a PW and an HDX7. My next purchase will probably be a larger tablet (may not be Amazon), but I’m going to wait until Christmas or shortly thereafter to assess my options.
A greater problem for me is the price of many of the books that I want to buy. If the prices were lower, sure, I’d buy the new PW as an added reading convenience.
This settles it, never buying a Voyage then.
Number of pixels has indeed doubled. 1448×1072/1024×758 = 1.998
CNET is also reporting “and a bump up to 512MB of RAM from 256MB.” -> http://www.cnet.com/products/amazon-kindle-paperwhite-2015/
I remember them saying the same thing about the Kindle Voyage when it was first released. I see why Amazon doesn’t advertise it, though, because it makes no difference in speed or performance whatsoever, as noted in my Kindle Paperwhite 2 vs Kindle Voyage comparison review. Everything from page turning, book loading, accessing menus and scrolling operates at the same exact speed regardless of the increase in RAM. Perhaps it comes into play more with large textbooks or when the device is loaded with 3GB of content, but with regular ebooks and PDFs (even large PDFs) there’s no noticeable difference.
This was a desperation move by Amazon. Knowing what Kobo did with the Glo HD, Amazon had too respond sooner than later, hence the timing of it. While the Paperwhite is selling gloriously, I can only imagine the Glo HD and it’s price point was attracting many customers also.
As for the Kindle Voyage, aside from the early round of sales, i don’t think it’s sellig all that well. Once people’s curiousity was met, they simply realized that while nice it simply wasn’t worth double the price especially with all the issues of faulty screen. I can only imagine this will even hurt more Voyage sales and can’t imagine Amazon will continue the Voyage line unless two things happen.
1. Price gets lowered to $149
2. Larger Voyage XL version comes out with 7″ screen.
There really is no other reason to buy it at $199 now. So either Amazon drastically lowers the price of the second version or makes it larger. Even coming up with more pixels on the same 6″ screen wouldn’t merit the cost.
Voyage has yet to emerge in Canada, but this new Paperwhite is available for preorder on Amazon.ca
I received a Paperwhite 300 ppi this afternoon and compared it with my Paperwhite 2nd version. The latest PW, PW3, has a darker overall display; but the typefaces are not as dark and appear to be no more defined than on the previous model, Paperwhite 2. Also, the Bookerly font lacks the readability Amazon has been promoting. Caecilia is a darker and easier-to-read than the newly designed Bookerly font. I’ve returned the PW 3 and will continue to use my PW2. I like Amazon e-readers; but the PW3 is far from an upgraded Kindle e-reader.
To be fair they aren’t really marketing it as an entirely new upgraded model. It’s basically just the same ole Kindle Paperwhite but with the latest, best screen. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to buy it as an upgrade over an existing Paperwhite either—but it’s definitely a better option for new buyers, especially since the price is still the same.
Personally I kind of like the Bookerly font, but I can see how people would think that it’s too thin. That just seems like the direction Amazon is going with their fonts and 300 ppi screens because thick-lined, bold fonts don’t really benefit from the higher resolution at all. If Amazon would just add a bold option they could make both sides happy. I tend to like bolder fonts myself, especially since I often read before going to bed when my eyes are tired and bleary, at which point I don’t care how crisp and clear fonts are—I’d rather have thick, dark, easily readable text.