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Amazon launches Kindle Paperwhite & Lending Library in UK

US retail giant Amazon has announced the UK launch of its Kindle Paperwhite, the backlit eBook reader that enables users to do something they couldn’t do with traditional Kindle models – read in the dark.

The Paperwhite was revealed alongside the new Kindle Fire HD tablets when Amazon unveiled its refreshed hardware line-up last month, but the device was given only a US release initially. Amazon gave us no word whatsoever on a UK arrival for the Paperwhite, so it comes as some surprise that the device will start shipping the same day as the Kindle Fire tablets, on 25 October.

Pre-orders are open from today with the Wi-Fi only model priced £109.00. A 3G version is also available at £169.00 for those prolific readers who may need to download a book at any given moment.

The Paperwhite is more than just an illuminated Kindle according to Amazon. It has 62 per cent more pixels and 25 per cent “better contrast” compared to the original Kindle, for crisper text and images with no glare. With eight weeks battery life (wireless off) the Paperwhite doubles the “up to one month” capability of the Kindle but is fractionally larger and weightier.

Additionally, Amazon has announced the arrival of its Kindle Owners’ Lending Library in the UK. The book borrowing service, rolling out “later this month”, will be open to Amazon Prime members who can choose from over 200,000 books to read once a month, with no due dates.

“The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library was launched less than a year ago in the US and customers are loving it,” claimed Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. “It’s also been great for independent authors, who get to reach a whole new audience and make money in a new way, and now they’ll be able to reach even more readers around the world. We’re excited to bring the lending library to the UK, Germany and France.”

In anticipation of a possible UK launch, ITProPortal gave you this review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G earlier this month.