Amid a storm of tablet-related hype and speculation, Amazon just announced the latest iteration of its "traditional" e-reader: Kindle Paperwhite. The name refers to its expected new screen technology for a sharper (212 ppi) and higher-contrast display, and also features a frontlight that brings parity with Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. The device is entirely controlled by touch — hardware page-turning switches are out, and so is the home button.
The interface has taken a page out of the Kindle Fire's book by offering a "cover mode" homescreen that lets you swipe through your library. The device also uses the same X-Ray content analysis feature found on the Kindle Touch, has controls for the light, and lets you change the fonts.
'Thinner than a magazine, lighter than a paperback'
Amazon is touting its patented light guide technology which keeps the lighting even across the screen and allows you to leave it on all the time without detriment to battery life — it'll apparently last for eight weeks between charges. The touch technology means it has a thinner bezel, and at 9.1mm thin and 7.5 ounces Jeff Bezos describes the device as "thinner than a magazine, lighter than a paperback."
The Kindle Paperwhite is available for order today and will start shipping on October 1st, with the Wi-Fi model costing $119 and the 3G-enabled variant going for $179. Those prices apply to ad-supported models with Amazon's Special Offers, mind, and you'll have to pay an extra $20 if you'd rather go without.