The latest e-reader update from Amazon comes with higher resolution and a new font designed to reduce eyestrain.
Amazon.com unveiled the latest update to its Kindle e-reader family Wednesday with none of the fanfare that preceded the past few device updates.
The new Kindle Paperwhite is the only member of the Kindle family getting a makeover just now. The key new features: higher resolution and a new font and typography features designed to reduce eyestrain. The price remains $119.
Last September, Amazon invited media to a New York showcase, where it debuted a device lineup that included six models — three new Fire tablets and three new Kindle e-readers. And in 2013, Jeff Bezos held court with the press to showcase Mayday, the on-demand tech support feature that launched with its Fire HDX tablets that year.
The low-key update for the Paperwhite may stem, in part, from the incremental nature of the refinements. Like previous updates, the latest round includes technology to boost resolution and sharpen fonts. The Paperwhite, already the best-selling device in the Kindle line-up, is a mature product. The new version, which will start shipping June 30, is the same size and weight at the current device.
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What’s more, the company decided to update only the Paperwhite now. The bottom-of-the-line Kindle e-reader and the premium Kindle Voyage will both get updates later this summer, the company said.
In a statement, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said the new Paperwhite features address issues that matter most to readers.
“Together, these details help you read faster and with less eyestrain, so you can lose yourself in the author’s world,” Bezos said.
Amazon has bumped the resolution of the Paperwhite to match the Voyage at 300 pixels per inch, up from 212 pixels per inch. It’s also including a new font, called Bookerly, which it designed for reading on digital screens. That brings the total number of fonts U.S. device customers receive to seven.
And Amazon has added a new typesetting engine to the Paperwhite that promises to add hyphenation to words at the end of a line at the right place. It also automatically adapts when a reader chooses the largest font sizes, as more than half of Kindle customers do, customizing the margins, columns, indents, and other layout features, to keep the page easy to read.