Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Kindle Paperwhite announced today. New Features. How does it differ from the Voyage model? ... Update 1: a reminder that 3G e-Ink Kindles get 24/7 free-3G access to Wikipedia

Well, I'll be!

Quiet Amazon just released a new Kindle Paperwhite model, at the same price as the 2nd Paperwhite.

I'll be referring to this as the Paperwhite 3 or Paperwhite 2015. (UK Paperwhite 3 is here.)

Things that stand out from the press release:

300 Pixels per Inch for Laser-Quality Text
This one has double the pixels of the Paperwhite 2, matching the premium (higher cost) Voyage model at 300 pixels per inch now.

This should make reading of the smaller fonts much more doable.
Those who reviewed the Yoyage, with the same resolution, tended to write that it is more like looking at a physical book page and that the words just pop off the screen as a result.  With smaller fonts that are very readable, you can view more text on a page.

  The ability to read smaller fonts much more easily also means you can fit more words on each page. 

New Bookerly Font and Typography Features
Amazon explains that they created "an exclusive font designed from the ground up for reading on digital screens ... [and] is hand-crafted for great readability at any size.  It introduces a lighter, more graceful look and outperforms other digital reading fonts to help customers read faster with less eyestrain."
  See examples and more information + new typesetting and layout features here.

  There's also a subpage that shows the Bookerly font compared with Palatino and Caecilia fonts, and it details what the details or improvements are.
  Even with these two popular fonts, Bookerly looks less like a typewriter than the others do.

Release date is June 30.  Preorders are being taken, of course.
Those wanting to receive it ON that day can just "Select "FREE Two-Day Shipping" at checkout."

The $119 price for this upgraded Paperwhite means that I'll finally upgrade from my Paperwhite 1, which was good enough for me, relative to the Paperwhite 2.

  Note that you can get this with 3G cell phone network capability added to the usual WiFi, for $189, which is still $10 less than for the basic Voyage ($199) without 3G.

  The Voyage with 3G is $269 currently.  (The prices quoted are with the Special Offers default for the lock screen image.  If you prefer not to see Special Offers. you can always opt later for No Special Offers, for $20 additional, in the eReader setup options.)

Update 1 - Many are not aware that with the e-Ink 3G e-Ink Kindles, you have 24/7 free 3G access to Wikipedia wherever there is a cellular network tower.  That's a big plus for people who like to look things up but either don't have a smartphone or tablet or prefer to not spend data charges on that -- and this way they don't have to rely on finding a WiFi hotspot or password to a friend's network.  [End of Update 1]

How is it different from the Voyage?

  The Voyage is thinner and it has the PagePress feature which uses sensors on the bezel area so that you can apply a bit more pressure (in the right spot) to turn the page without having to lift a finger to do this on the text display. That is probably most appreciated by those standing on commute trains or buses. The Voyage also has a built-in adaptive light to change brightness automatically to what it calculates is ideal. This works well for some and not for others.  I turn auto-brightness off on my phone and tablets but don't know how well the Voyage would adjust for my taste.

I'm including in this blog article most of the press release, directly below, so that you can see the full particulars as presented by Amazon today.  Also, those new to the Kindle can see a list of regular features that are less known.

_______ From Amazon's Press Release _______
Amazon Introduces New Kindle Paperwhite: The Most Popular Kindle, Now Even BetterStill Only $119

New 300 ppi display—unsurpassed resolution with twice the pixels for laser-quality text and images

All-new typography and layout features help you read faster with less eyestrain—new Bookerly font is crafted from the ground up for digital reading

SEATTLE—June 17, 2015—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Amazon today introduced the all-new Kindle Paperwhite, updating its most popular and best-selling Kindle with the highest resolution Paperwhite display, the exclusive Kindle font Bookerly, and a new typesetting engine for more beautiful pages. Meet the new Kindle Paperwhite at  [ UK Paperwhite 3 here.]

“We love inventing for readers,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. “The new Kindle Paperwhite obsesses over the details that matter most to readers—we’ve added our highest-resolution display so the words are crisp and clear on the page, a new font that is crafted exclusively for reading Kindle books, and a new typesetting engine that makes pages beautiful. Together, these details help you read faster and with less eyestrain, so you can lose yourself in the author’s world.”

New, Highest Resolution Paperwhite Display—300 Pixels per Inch for Laser-Quality Text
The new Kindle Paperwhite adds our highest resolution Paperwhite display, delivering the same 300 pixels per inch that readers love about the top-of-the-line Kindle Voyage. With unsurpassed resolution and 2x the pixels as the previous generation Kindle Paperwhite, the display delivers laser-quality text, making it easy to read comfortably at any font size, including at smaller fonts so you can fit more words on each page. Even with the new higher resolution display, Kindle Paperwhite delivers battery life that is measured in weeks rather than hours.

New Bookerly Font and Typography Features—Read Faster With Less Eyestrain
Kindle Paperwhite now offers Bookerly, an exclusive font designed from the ground up for reading on digital screens. Warm and contemporary, Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books, but is hand-crafted for great readability at any size. It introduces a lighter, more graceful look and outperforms other digital reading fonts to help customers read faster with less eyestrain. See

The new Kindle Paperwhite also offers an all-new typesetting engine that lays out words just as the author intended:

-          Hyphenation and improved spacing—Kindle Paperwhite adds hyphenation to break words at the right place, creates paragraphs with consistent lines, and adjusts the space between words. This results in more natural word spacing and more words on each page, which allows for faster reading with less eyestrain. See an example:
-          Improved character placement—New kerning and ligatures automatically adjust character spacing to make it easier and faster to recognize words at any font size. Similar to a typesetter formatting a print book, Kindle Paperwhite will look at neighboring pairs of letters in context and adjust the character spacing to suit the word, removing distracting whitespace between letters and making the shape of the word more beautiful to help with word recognition speed. For example, in the word “quietly”, the tail of the “y” loops under the “l” to make the letters of the word fit better together. In the word “first”, the “f” and “i” are drawn together to make a ligature. See an
-          Beautiful page layout—Print books often use drop caps to add emphasis and beauty to the first page of a chapter. In eBooks, this is challenging to replicate given the ability to adjust font size and line spacing. The new typesetting engine presents drop caps, text, and images on Kindle just as the author intended, and dynamically adjusts the layout as the reader changes the text size. See an
-          Large fonts, without compromises—One of the benefits of reading on Kindle is that you can customize the font size based on personal preference—over half of Kindle customers take advantage of this feature and use a font size larger than the default. As you increase the size of a font, fewer words appear on each page, often creating distractions like large white space or broken sentences. Now, Kindle Paperwhite automatically adapts when a reader chooses the largest font sizes, customizing the margins, columns, indents, nested lists, borders, and drop caps to keep the page easy to read. See an

The new typography and layout improvements are available on over half a million books, including many best sellers, with thousands more being added every week. The features will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air software update in the coming weeks.

Lose Yourself in a Book
Unlike tablets and phones, dedicated e-readers don’t distract you with social media, emails, and text messages. They don’t beep at you or tire your eyes when you read for hours at a time. By design, e-readers are purpose-built for reading and create a sanctuary so you can lose yourself in a book.

All the Features Readers Love about Kindle
The new Kindle Paperwhite includes all of the features that have made the Kindle family the best-selling e-readers in the world for seven years running:
-          Weeks of battery life—Battery life is measured in weeks, not hours.
-          No set up required—Kindle arrives pre-registered so you can start reading immediately.
-          Whispersync—Saves and synchronizes your last page read, bookmarks, and annotations across all of your devices and Kindle apps, so you can always pick up where you left off.
-          Worry-free archive—Automatically backs up your Kindle books in the cloud, so you never need to worry about losing your books—re-download your books wirelessly anytime for free.
-          Goodreads—Kindle is integrated with the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations, with over 40 million members, 1.1 billion books added, and 43 million book reviews.
-          X-Ray—Explore the “Bones of the Book”—see all of the passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics of interest.
-          Word Wise—Available on many popular English language titles, Word Wise makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions.
-          Family Library—With Kindle and Kindle reading apps, you can access not only your own books, but also books from the Amazon account of a spouse or partner.
-          Kindle FreeTime—Gives parents a simple, engaging way to encourage kids to spend more time reading. Hand-select books for your kids to read, and achievement badges are earned when they hit reading milestones.
-          Time to Read—Tells you how much time it will take to finish a chapter or a book based on your personalized reading speed.
-          Kindle Page Flip—Skim page-by-page, scan by chapter, or jump to anywhere in your book, all without losing your place.
-          Vocabulary Builder—Compiles words you look up in the dictionary into an easy-to-access list. Use these lists to quiz yourself with flashcards and instantly see words in context.
-          Share your favorite passages—Share book recommendations, highlighted sections, and meaningful quotes with friends via Facebook and Twitter
-          Smart Lookup—Integrates a full dictionary definition with other reference information via X-Ray and Wikipedia.

World’s Best eBook Store
Kindle e-readers come with instant access to the Kindle Store, which includes:
-          Massive selection—Millions of books, newspapers and magazines, including the latest best sellers, Kindle Singles, and more.
-          Kindle exclusives—Over 800,000 books are exclusive to the Kindle Store.
-          Lowest book prices—Over a million titles are $2.99 or less, over 2 million are $9.99 or less.
-          Kindle Unlimited—Enjoy unlimited reading of over 800,000 books and unlimited listening to a selection of thousands of audiobooks for just $9.99 a month.
-          Kindle First—Access new Kindle books a month in advance of their official release date. Customers can choose one of the featured books each month for $1.99, and Prime members can make their selection for free—yet another benefit of Prime membership.

The new Kindle Paperwhite is $119. It is available for pre-order around the world and will start shipping June 30. Order now at   [UK Paperwhite 3 here.]  

[ End of Amazon Press Release attachment ]

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  1. I'm seriously thinking of getting a PW3 -- even though my PW2 is less than a year old. I probably spend 4+ hours/day on my PW2 -- my aged oculars can use all help they can get -- only Q is whether to continue with special offers, or go w/o.

    Besides, I do like to keep up with the latest & greatest techno toys (:grin).

    1. Edward, I wrote a reply to you this morn' but somehow it didn't take -- I must have been distracted and closed the screen before 'sending' it and apparently doesn't give a warning.
      ... Anyway, re the special-offers lockscreen choice, no need to decide when buying. I don't mind seeing the ones that show up on my e-Ink reader (they're done well and don't have the often garish, and now *animated* offers seen on my main Kindle Fire tablets) and I tend to be interested in some of the offers and would prefer to see them for the e-Ink model.

      Yes, have noticed your fickleness with gadgets :-) But ... I ordered one today, as the higher resolution and better processer speed will be worth the upgrade from my Paperwhite 1 (I did not opt for the '2' model when it came out)..

    2. Edward, meant to say that after you buy -- if you decide you don't like the special offers after all, you can just go to Settings and set it to No-special-offers and then it's the one-time charge of the additional $20 to not have them showing when you open the unit to read.

  2. I'm surprised they haven't offered the Bookerly font for current Voyage owners.

    1. Hi, Tom -- Probably a matter of a couple of days or hours until they do. I think they may have wanted to avoid people feeling the Paperwhite was falling further behind the Voyage and so they made this announcement first so that the large Paperwhite contingent would know it's remembered.

  3. Alas, Amazon must not want me to upgrade from my aging but adequate Kindle 3.

    * Sharper text matters not. 300 dpi is far beyond the resolution of my eyes.

    * Variable brightness is OK, but late at night I want 'put me to sleep' reddish light not just dimmer blue. Reading with a 1-watt red LED in a lamp is perfect for that.

    * My Kindle 3 does an adequate text-to-speech. None of the epaper Kindles released since do that. Why downgrade the feature set?

    * Worst of all, there's still no support for Bluetooth keyboards for note taking or a Bluetooth mouse for page turning. Ridiculous! The built-in WiFi chip probably does Bluetooth gratis. Page turning via mouse buttons would be marvelous for those with disability issues.

    I will commend Amazon for continuing to invest in epaper readers and not just going all-tablet. But they should be adding features other than more dottier dots.

    1. Inking/Michael, I guess it depends on the person. my eyes are also feeling the years, but finer resolution is very apparent to mine, especially when trying to read text.with even e-Ink eReader light from the unit. I do have a red screen shield on a light I also use if I want, but the dimming of that type bothers my own eyes.

      I'd always keep my Kindle 3 keyboard unit, one of my favorites too, but unfortunately I put some things on top of it without thinking and put too much pressure on the screen. But even my current Paperwhite 1 is too slow for me since my use of the tablets, one of which I use constantly and which is always with me. A lot of my live TV is watched through one now (using great external speakers) although I have a largish HDTV.

      I do think the main reason for no audio is to keep the unit as small and thin as possible because each review I read compares it to other e-Ink models for size, thinness and weight and it seems to be a huge competition there for the light, holding-in-hand feature -- and now those interested in it can get, for listening focus, the $99 6-inch" Fire tablet, which some friends have and enjoy. If I'm just listening to the 'Tom' the Kindle TTS speaker, I'm generally not looking at the backlit screen, so I guess that's the reason -- noting that the other units don't seem to feature audio either.

      And as they say, be happy with the one you're with :-) No need or reason to upgrade at all in your case. Thanks for the feedback.

  4. A couple of typos up there: it is 'Voyage', not 'Voyager'.

    I don't know. I'm not using my Kindle PW1 at all lately, reading 90% on my Fire Phone, the other 10% on my iPad. I'm not sure where a PW3 or Voyage would fit in, even if they blow PW1 away (which they probably do). I'll wait until Voyage gets the typography update, and hopefully a price drop, then maybe I'll order something to at least try one of these things out.

    1. Tom, thanks. I had been wondering why my editing window was open -- had started the replacements and then apparently forgot I was doing that and had not pressed Update, and cluelessly closed the window. I guess you can tell that I'm not up with the Voyage model :-) and tend to see it as a futuriistic explorer :-) .

      I did order the Paperwhite 3, as I get somewhat frustrated with the Paperwhite 1's relative screen-change slowness after using tablets constantly but it's a small thing. The higher resolution and new-layout and typography capabilities along with the faster processer and improved front-light (since Paperwhite 2) are enough for me.

    2. Yes, mostly it is the slowness of the PW1 that puts me off as compared with tablet reading. And yes, I like having a real web browser. And TTS. OTOH, when will we see in-context footnotes with any of the tablet apps?

    3. Tom, tablet response time for changing pages can spoil us (which I like -- I was reading a print magazine the other day and thinking how all those images are just 'there' ;-) ...

      That in-context footnotes really is a nice feature on the e-Ink models.

      But as for features, I'm dealing with a Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia 1020, which I love for its fantastic camera and for the smoothness of the OS) which is practically ignored by Amazon.
      I can't even highlight a sentence ! Nor can I look up words! Gads. But, it has one advantage over print books - it's always with me and I can read the book and enlarge the fonts.

    4. Yes, the Windows Phone app is particularly weak. Is the Kobo app any better? And it seems there is no Nook app for Windows Phone. But I think Windows Phone has a brighter future ahead, and Microsoft is making it easier to develop apps which can target multiple Windows platforms, so at some point Amazon will no doubt improve the app.

      I suppose you can at least take screen captures in lieu of notes/highlights.

    5. Tom - Yes, good point re screen caps for Kindle page text that we want to remember (or print), but I like to Kindle-highlight so it shows up in annotations (and on the Web-Annotations page, and I can refer to it in "Marks" -- Windows seems such a stepchild to Amazon, but it is a very easy to use, stable system. TV apps have recognized it quickly and are very good on it, and I like one app that lets me find video series that are hard to find and just download them.

  5. When did they stop listing the memory capacity (at least I can't find it anywhere)? I assume it's 4 gig, but it just says "thousands of books."

    1. Joel, I think that when it went from 4GB on the Kindle 3 Keyboard to 2GB on the first Paperwhite (something like that), and then when it went up to 4GB I remember murmurs about that but even that was hard to find. Maybe they'd rather not make it clear that some of the owners who bought the earlier Paperwhite (I'm one) have only 2G.although for books on an e-Ink reader, that's fairly roomy, especially when it's so easy to store most in the Cloud and download one when ready to read it. I have only 1 GB used on mine.

    2. Joel, the user guide online for the Paperwhite 3 specifies 4 GB. I guess they made the 'amount' more understandable to prospective customers and of course made less clear to the initial Paperwhite 1 owners (I'm one) that those first editions had only 2 Gigs, but I've mentioned I use only half of that, due to the convenience of the Cloud for downloading books as needed.

  6. Strange announcement : june instead of september or october usually; new Paperwhite and Voyage are very similar.

    It seems to be a reaction to Kobo rather than an active play. Will a successor of Voyage be announced in september-october? Have you heard something about this?

    I live in France and the Voyage is avalaible since yesterday. I like it but I don't want to bought one if a new product is on the way.

    1. Fabien, I think once the heavy buying of the Voyage was done (although it's been recently introduced to other countries to more rave reviews), Amazon felt Paperwhite owners might like some evidence of improvements being considered, and thist new 300pi is a good choice. They can take advantage of economies of scale and do it for a good price for themselves and please those who want an improved Paperwhite.

      I do think, as you do, that the Kobo challenge was a factor as well.

      I've not heard anything about a successor to the Voyage, but it's in the DNA of Electronic-gadgets that a new, more up-to-date sibling will appear each year or 1.5 years. That's how those companies survive and grow.

      Wish I could be of help, but since it's now finally in France, that means that any newer one would take that much longer to arrive there after its release here.

      Amazon has a good trade-in program but I don't know that it's usable outside the U.S. and it probably isn't (but I don't know). People sell their older Kindles in forums or through Amazon used areas or give them away to family members or friends. Good luck on whatever you decide.

    2. The PW3 is the first Kindle to be available outside of the US on Day 1. I think any new Voyage would be the same.

    3. Tom,
      We'd think so, I agree, except that the first Voyage didn't make it there until just the other day...

      I wonder if they make those in smaller-production quantities because it's more of a premium product and the target audience for the Paperwhite is much larger...

    4. New Voyage?

    5. Fabien, thanks. I wonder why. I'm very happy with my Paperwhite 3 and am getting ready to do a photo comparison blog entry showing my Paperwhite 1 alongside the new Paperwhite 3. I imagine the new Voyage would have to have extra features it doesn't have now (maybe improved page-turn sensors on the bezel, but it's already smaller and thinner and I've wondered if I could deal with something smaller.

  7. Thanks for the updates on these new Kindles. I haven't upgraded since my Touch model and wonder how much I would miss the sound/ear phones no longer supported? Do others have thoughts about why Amazon moved away from audio support in these newer Kindles? I do like the idea of the improved screen lighting and getting away from the distractions and weight of reading with my iPad mini.

    Thanks, Dale

    1. Dale, I mentioned the other day in another blog article comments-area that the mainstream tech reviewers have focused on which is the smallest, thinnest e-Ink eReader, and Amazon would lose on that if they added the audio support.

      in your case you'd still have your Touch model with audio to use when you were in the mood for audio. The rest of us use Kindle Fire tablets to get Text-to-Speech and it tends to be easier to hear on those too and a bit more realistic.


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