Amazon is preparing to update its Kindle Paperwhite eReader with two new models. Compared with the 4th-gen model, first released in 2019, the new Kindle Paperwhite will have a bigger display and an improved front light system. There’s also a Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition model with a few extra features.

While Amazon hasn’t officially announced its 5th-gen Kindle Paperwhite devices yet, but details showed up briefly on the company’s Canadian and Mexican websites, where they were quickly spotted by a number of folksUpdate: Amazon has officially introduced the new Kindle Paperwhite. It goes up for pre-order September 21 for $140 and up and begins shipping October 27, 2021.

The new Paperwhite devices are expected to have a 6.8 inch E Ink display with 300 pixels per inch. That’s the same pixel density as the previous-gen model, but a larger screen (up from 6 inches). The new model is a little larger than the 2019 Paperwhite, but it’s only about half an ounce heavier.

Amazon is also upgrading the number of LED lights used to illuminate the display from 5 to 17. And the company is adding support for adjustable color temperature, allowing you to reduce the amount of blue light emitted at night time.

Left: Kindle Paperwhite (2021) / Right: Kindle Paperwhite (2019)

That last bit is the feature I’ve been waiting for. While rivals including Kobo, Onyx BOOX, and others have offered adjustable color temperature in mid-range eReaders for years, up until now Amazon has only offered it with the $250 Kindle Oasis.

The basic 5th-edition Kindle Paperwhite will have an edge-to-edge display with a “flush-front design,” and an IP8 water resistance rating, just like the previous-generation. And it will be available with at least 8GB of storage.

Amazon’s new Paperwhite Signature Edition starts with 32GB of storage and has two extra features: support for wireless charging and an ambient light sensor that can automatically adjust screen brightness depending on your environment.

Here’s a comparison of the new models with the current-gen Kindle Paperwhite, with pricing details as they were briefly listed on the Amazon Canada website.

Kindle Paperwhite (2021)Kindle Paperwhite Signature EditionKindle Paperwhite (2019)
Price$140$190$130
Display6.8 inch, 300 ppi6.8 inch, 300 ppi6 inch, 300 ppi
Storage8GB32GB8GB or 32GB
Front light17 LEDs17 LEDs5 LEDs
Flush-front
IPX8 waterproof
Adjustable warm light
Auto light sensor
Bluetooth/audible
WiFi
ChargingUSB-CUSB-C
Qi wireless charging
micro USB
ColorBlackBlackBlack, blue, sage, or plum

via /r/Kindle, Good eReader, and The eBook Reader

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  1. The Kindles have been sold out for months, presumably because of the same supply chain problems everyone’s struggling with. I wonder if they’ve managed to manufacture enough of the new models to actually put them on sale.