The new Kindle Paperwhite is finally waterproofOctober 16, 2018
The Kindle Paperwhite has been the best Kindle for most people since 2015 when Amazon last updated it with a screen that was nearly on par with the high-end Voyage and Oasis models at just a fraction of the price. Today, Amazon is updating the Paperwhite again, adding new features that were introduced with the second-generation Oasis, including water resistance and support for Audible audiobooks in a lighter and thinner package.
Nearly every aspect of the new Paperwhite is better: the screen is now flush with the front in a seamless sheet of glass — just like the now-defunct Voyage offered — the LED backlighting has been improved, and storage has been doubled on the base model to 8GB, with another model offering 32GB of storage. There’s support for Audible audiobooks over a connected pair of Bluetooth headphones or speakers, just like the Oasis.
And in what has been one of the most-requested features for the device, the new Paperwhite also features IPX8 water resistance, meaning it can be dunked in up to six feet of water for up to an hour — which should make it more than safe for reading in a tub, by a pool, or on the beach. Despite all these additions, though, the new Paperwhite is 23 grams lighter than the old model and almost a full millimeter thinner at 8.18mm.
As for the screen, there aren’t many changes there: it’s still a 6-inch, 300ppi display — but considering the Paperwhite’s display was already excellent, it’s hard to complain too much.
There are a still few quibbles: there are no physical page-turn buttons or even the under-glass capacitive touchpads like the Voyage used to have; the backlight doesn’t offer an adaptive light sensor, unlike the Oasis; and it doesn’t charge via USB-C, which is disappointing for a 2018 device that likely won’t be updated for years.
But all in all, Amazon has essentially turned the new Paperwhite into a waterproof, updated Voyage. Where the old Voyage used to cost $200, the new Paperwhite starts at just $129.99 for the 8GB, Wi-Fi model (which is $10 more than the old Paperwhite used to cost). In addition to the $129.99 8GB model, there’s also a $159.99 32GB version and a $249.99 32GB option with included 3G.
All versions of the new Paperwhite are available for preorder starting today: the 8GB model is set to ship next month on November 7th, while the 32GB version will be out sometime in “the coming months.”