Amazon today (Sept. 6) expanded its Kindle e-reader offering with two new Paperwhite units, named for whiter displays. At the same time, the company dropped the price of its cheapest Kindle. But something was missing — a cheaper, ad-supported Kindle Paperwhite.
The lower-priced Paperwhite Kindle comes in at $119, a solid $20 less than its biggest competitor, Barnes & Noble's Nook with Glowlight at $139. (Amazon also unveiled a 3G + Wi-Fi Paperwhite for $179.) The new Paperwhite boasts a higher resolution screen than previous Kindles , faster page turns, higher page contrast between the black of text and surrounding white of pages, adjustable backlighting and an 8-week battery life.
Plus, it can do a few new tricks, such as show you how long it will take you to finish reading a book based on your current pace. All in all, Paperwhite features make it a better value than other Wi-Fi only e-readers, including the Nook with Glowlight .
Amazon did Kindle fans another favor by dropping the price of the now-old ad-supported Kindle, with the older screen technology, by $10, bringing it to $69. What's left price- and product-wise is a $50 gap that's just begging to be filled.
Note to Amazon: Please offer a $99 ad-supported Paperwhite. Your advertisers would likely jump at the opportunity to show their ads on the brighter and higher resolution screen, and most consumers don't mind trading a few ads to save $20. Now that would make the holiday gift of 2012.
The new Kindle Paperwhites are available on Amazon.com for preorder and are scheduled to ship Oct. 1.
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