Amazon is updating the Kindle Paperwhite today with a new display, now at 300 pixels per inch. That’s twice as sharp as the last iteration and the equal of the more expensive Kindle Voyage. Essentially, at $119, it takes away the biggest reason to opt for the $199 Voyage, whose advantages over the Paperwhite now mainly include a flush glass screen and separate page-turning “buttons” on the side. Amazon points out that the Voyage also has a higher-contrast, brighter screen — but the question is whether all of those things put together are worth the extra $80.
They probably aren’t, for most users, and that’s probably not a huge problem for Amazon. The company’s PR explicitly identifies the Paperwhite as its “most popular Kindle,” and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. With the better screen and the lower price, the Paperwhite is the best Kindle e-reader option for most people. The new Paperwhite is also the first Kindle e-reader to support Amazon's new typesetting engine and new font, Bookerly.
The Kindle’s typesetting has been a point of contention for a lot of readers as Amazon has forced its e-readers into a relatively annoying full justification layout without proper hyphenation. The new typesetting engine fixes all that. Amazon says it also adjusts character spacing within words depending on the adjacent letters. It can also handle large fonts better than previous versions. Both the engine and the font are available on Kindle Fire tablets and on iOS, and the new engine will be coming via a software update to Kindle e-readers.
The new Paperwhite is available for preorder today and should begin shipping at the end of June.
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