Amazon launches new Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon this evening unveiled a revamped version of its Kindle e-book reader lineup, including a new touch-based, frontlit Kindle known as Paperwhite.

The Kindle Paperwhite will ship on 1 October in the US. The Wi-Fi version is $119, while the 3G option will be $179, which equates to around £75 and £112 respectively in our money.

However, when we spoke to Amazon, a spokesperson confirmed there were currently no plans for a UK launch.

Kindle Paperwhite includes a frontlit, higher-resolution screen. Users can also change the font and style. It comes in at 9.1mm thick and 213g; "thinner than a magazine; lighter than a paperback," Amazon chief Jeff Bezos said.

Bezos said the new device includes 62 per cent more pixels than previous Kindles, or 212 pixels per inch. He promised 25 per cent more contrast, for whiter whites and blacker blacks. The technology did not exist when Amazon first started working on it, "so we had to build it," he said.

Bezos said the Kindle Paperwhite can get eight weeks of battery life even with the light on, and the brightness of that light is adjustable.

The new device takes cues from the Kindle Fire, Bezos said, allowing you to swipe through the content on the device or switch to cloud mode. A "time to read" feature, meanwhile, estimates how much longer it will take you to finish a chapter or book by tracking your average reading speed.

The original Kindle has also been updated and the new version is now available for pre-order in the UK at £69.00. Shipping on 12 September, it is largely the same device but includes new fonts, crisper text, and 15 per cent faster page turns.