It's been about 11 years since Amazon released the very first Kindle, which was a time when having a dedicated book-gadget made sense. Now we have smartphones that are the size of tablets, and also tablets that are the size of computer screens, which may make an e-reader feel as redundant as a handheld video camera or a Walkman. But Amazon doesn't think that way, and has announced there's an upgraded Kindle Paperwhite on the way.
According to Amazon the Paperwhite is the best-selling and highest-rated Kindle on the market, which is why pre-orders for the All New Kindle Paperwhite are opening up today. It's looks just like the old Paperwhite, but it's apparently different because it's new and has new features.
So what's new about this one? Well Amazon claims to have designed the new Paperwhite "from the bottom up", which means we have a sightly different design. For one its supposed to be 10 per cent lighter and thinner than the last paperwhite, the screen is both shatter and scratch resistant, which should be helpful if you have an aversion to cases, plus it has a new back made from a soft, but also grippable, material. It also has an extra LED under the screen, which means offers up to 10 per cent more brightness, offers IPX8 water resistance, Bluetooth, Audible compatibility, plus a 6-inch screen that has basically no bezel.
Ok maybe I was a little hasty. Some of those features do sound genuinely helpful. Assuming, of course, you don't have a Kindle Oasis, which already has most of that already.
There are some software tweaks too, including custom profiles that let readers customise the font and display settings to their liking. Amazon says it only takes a few seconds to switch between them, and can be used for people who like different display settings at different point in the day. There's also a Dark Mode, and a new Home Screen that has a new 'fun facts' section and even more room for recommendations.
The new Kindle Paperwhite will come in three flavours. The base model, which is £119 (up from £109), has 8GB of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity. Meanwhile there's also a 32GB variant, with Wi-Fi-only and mobile-enabled variant available for £149 and £219 respectively. The Wi-Fi models come packaged with Kindle's 'special offers' (translation: adverts), but as usual you can pay an extra £10 to get rid of them. Unfortunately there are no extra options for those of you who may need absurd amounts of storage, neither device offers expandable storage, though Amazon naturally offers unlimited space on the cloud.
The All New Kindle Paperwhite is available to pre-order now, ready for a 7th November release date. You know, in case you like reading on something that has a battery that lasts longer than Luke Skywalker's Jedi training.