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All you need to know about the new 2021 Amazon Kindle paperwhite

All you need to know about the new 2021 Amazon Kindle paperwhite
Everything you need to know about the new 2021 Amazon Kindle paperwhite ebook reader, including specs, UK price, release date and how to pre-order.

Amazon has a family of new Kindle paperwhite ebook readers on the way. The debut range includes a refreshed Kindle paperwhite, available with or without adverts, a new Kindle paperwhite kids edition, and the Kindle paperwhite signature edition, the first premium version of the paperwhite ereader. These all represent a welcome upgrade over the existing Kindle paperwhite, which arrived back in 2018.

Highlights for the new models include an improved display, up to 10 weeks battery life and page turns that are 20 per cent faster than the previous model. Other upgrades for the new Kindle paperwhite include USB-C charging and wireless charging, with the latter offered exclusively on the signature edition.

The set of new Kindle paperwhites sit between Amazon’s entry-level Kindle (£59.99, Amazon.co.uk) and Kindle kids (£59.99, Amazon.co.uk), and the flagship of the retailer’s ereader range, the Kindle oasis (£229.99, Amazon.co.uk).

Is there a new Kindle coming out in 2021?

Yes! Amazon is about to release three new Kindle paperwhite ebook readers. These include a new Kindle paperwhite (£129.99, Amazon.co.uk), plus a new paperwhite signature edition (£179.99, Amazon.co.uk) and a new model called the paperwhite kids (£139.99, Amazon.co.uk).

All three models can be pre-ordered now and the new paperwhite and paperwhite kids will be released on October 27. The pricier Kindle paperwhite signature edition can also be pre-ordered now, but Amazon says the first deliveries aren’t due to begin until 10 November.

What is the newest Kindle called?

The latest addition to Amazon’s Kindle lineup of ebook readers is called the paperwhite. There are three models coming, including the regular paperwhite, the more premium Kindle paperwhite signature edition, and the Kindle paperwhite kids.

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The regular model is offered with or without what Amazon calls special offers; these are adverts that appear on the screen when the ebook reader is switched off, and removing them adds a £10 premium to the Kindle paperwhite. The new signature edition and kids tablets do not have these adverts.

Is it worth paying extra for a Kindle paperwhite?

There are several key differences between the regular Kindle (£59.99, Amazon.co.uk) and the new Kindle paperwhite (£129.99, Amazon.co.uk). The latter has a larger screen, at 6.8in compared to 6in for the regular Kindle, and it has a higher resolution of 300 pixels per inch, compared to just 167ppi for the Kindle.

The display of the new Kindle paperwhite is illuminated by 17 LEDs, compared to just four LEDs on the entry-level Kindle, and the temperature of the paperwhite’s screen light can be adjusted. This helps to reduce eyestrain and makes the display look more like paper than a screen illuminated by LEDs.

The new 2021 Kindle paperwhite is available from 27 October

Also separating the new paperwhite from the regular Kindle is the flush-front design and IPX8 waterproofing, meaning the paperwhite will survive a drop in the pool on your next holiday. The 2021 paperwhite is only available in black, while the regular Kindle is offered in black and white.

Above the new Kindle paperwhite sits the paperwhite signature edition (£179.99, Amazon.co.uk). This has a sensor for automatically adjusting screen brightness, and wireless charging for topping up the battery without the need for a cable. This uses the Qi wireless charging standard, but such a charger isn’t included in the box.

Lastly, the Kindle paperwhite kids (£139.99, Amazon.co.uk) has the same specifications as the regular paperwhite, but includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, bringing access to children’s books and magazines. Amazon Kids+ is normally priced at £1.99 a month.

Kindle paperwhite 2021 price and release date

The 2021 Kindle paperwhite is priced from £129.99, but that comes with adverts that appear on the screen when the ebook reader is locked or sleeping. To remove these adverts Amazon charges an extra £10, taking the price to £139.99. The ereader is available to pre-order from Amazon now and is released on 27 October.

The paperwhite signature edition has wireless charging

Above this sits the new Kindle paperwhite signature edition, which is priced at £179.99 and does not have any adverts on its lock screen. This version of the Kindle paperwhite is available to pre-order now and will be released on 27 October.

Lastly, the new Kindle paperwhite kids edition is priced at £139.99, has no adverts, and is available to pre-order now ahead of its 27 October release date.

How does the new Kindle paperwhite compare to the old version?

It has been three years since Amazon last released a new Kindle paperwhite, so there’s plenty of new technology for the 2021 version to take advantage of. The new model has a larger display – 6.8in compared to 6in – than its predecessor, but sports the same 300ppi (pixels per inch) resolution.

That larger screen is joined by smaller bezels around its edges, but the height of the 2021 Kindle paperwhite has increased slightly. The new model is 174 x 125 x 8.1mm and weighs 205g, while the previous version measures 167 x 116 x 8.2mm and tips the scales at 182g. Both models have the same IPX8 waterproofing, meaning they can be dropped in a swimming pool or bath without causing any damage.

That display is illuminated on both models, but only the new 2021 Kindle paperwhite has coloured LEDs that adjust the temperature of the screen, ranging from a cool blue to a warm, soft orange. This helps to lower blue light, reduce eye strain and make the display look more like the pages of a book.

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Improved performance for the new Kindle paperwhite increases page turn speed by 20 per cent, Amazon says, while storage remains unchanged at 8GB. The more expensive paperwhite signature edition has 32GB, but extra storage is really only needed if you want to carry a massive library of ebooks with you at all times. Remember, purchased ebooks can be stored in the cloud if you run out of space on the Kindle itself. Wireless charging is also exclusive to the paperwhite signature edition.

An interesting omission from the new Kindle paperwhite is a cellular connection. With the old model, you could download ebooks anywhere thanks to a constant cellular connection over the 3G network, but that is gone for the 2021 Kindle paperwhite. Instead, this model only connects to the internet via wifi.

Lastly, the new paperwhite has a claimed battery life of up to 10 weeks, which is four weeks more than the 2018 paperwhite. The new model is charged via a USB-C port, instead of the microUSB connection used by its predecessor.

Kindle paperwhite for kids

Amazon is also preparing to release a new kids edition of the 2021 Kindle paperwhite. This is physically identical to the regular paperwhite and costs the same £139.99 as the version without adverts, but includes a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids+. This usually costs £1.99 a month and provides access to a catalogue of children-friendly books and magazines.

Finally, this model of Kindle also comes with tools called Vocabulary Builder and Word Wise, which can be used to help children learn while they read.

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