The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 4 is going to be announced today and it features a waterproof screen and Bluetooth. This is the first Paperwhite with Audible Audiobook integration so customers can listen to them with a pair of wireless speakers or a portable speaker.
The Paperwhite 4 features a 6 inch E Ink Carta HD capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1430×1080 and 300 PPI. PC Magazine says that “Amazon is using a plastic-backed 300ppi E Ink display, but it isn’t E Ink Mobius; it’s the company’s own design.” The screen is completely flush with the bezel and this is done because it is the first Paperwhite that is waterproof with IPX8 certification. This means you can read in the bathtub or at the beach. It is also immune to spills such as coffee or tea.
This device does have a front-lit display with five LED lights, whereas the Kindle Paperwhite 3 only had four LED lights. This lighting system primarily is used to read in the dark and Amazon claims that the additional LED will provide more uniform light across the screen. I have heard that Amazon is incorporating these LED lights on the top of the screen, whereas all prior models had them on the bottom.
I find it interesting that Amazon decided against using a color temperature lighting system. They have been experimenting with both red and blue LED lights to help warm the screen up, but it looks like they never found the proper balance and decided against employing it on the Paperwhite 4.
Underneath the hood is a Freescale 6SLL Cortex-A9 @800M/1GHz processor and 512MB LPDDR3 of RAM. There are two different storage models, depending on your needs. The first is 8GB which is twice the amount that the Kindle Paperwhite 3 employed and a 32GB model, which is ideal for people who have large collections of manga or PDF files.
The all-new Kindle Paperwhite is is the thinnest and lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet, measuring 8.18mm thick and weighing 182g—less than half the weight of many paperback books—so extended reading sessions are even more comfortable. Speaking of reading, this device supports Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP through conversion; Audible audio format (AAX).
Amazon has totally revised the home screen for the upcoming Paperwhite 4. The new home experience makes it easier to find your next read based on your reading history, including books that are free for you to read from Kindle Unlimited or Prime Reading. You can also view reading accomplishments, like how many days in the past month you’ve read, as well as fun facts and tips so you can get the most out of your device. You can also now save multiple reading settings directly from the settings menu. This includes font type, boldness level, and orientation settings. Amazon has stated that they are working on support for older models that were released after 2013 with this new home screen and it should be pushed out in the next few weeks.
The Paperwhite is available for pre-order for $129.99 for the 8 GB model and $159.99 for the 32 GB model. The 32 GB with free cellular connectivity is $249.99. All are available today for pre-order in the United States. Customers can also purchase a cover with a thin design that snaps perfectly onto the all-new Kindle Paperwhite. The cover opens like a book, automatically waking the device when opened and putting it to sleep when closed. Choose from three materials in a variety of colors: a premium leather cover for $59 in rustic; leather covers, all $39, in black, merlot, punch red, and indigo purple; and water-safe fabric covers, all $29, in charcoal black, canary yellow, and marine blue. All models will come with a with a free six months subscription to Kindle Unlimited for free, a $60 value.
Update: To answer some of your questions, yes, the all-new Kindle Paperwhite includes an option to invert Black and White on the display for customers with light sensitivity.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.