Today Amazon announced the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, a new member of the Kindle eReader family with a vastly improved screen.
Just like with a tablet, the display is a major factor in how good the device is, and Amazon is striving to set the bar for eReader displays just like Apple set the bar for Tablet displays with the Retina Display.
The new Paperwhite display is a marked improvement in specs over the eInk displays before it with side-lighting to read in the dark, better contrast and a drastically higher pixel count.
In order to offer a Kindle with a light screen Amazon went to the drawing board to come up with new technology. While many will call the Paperwhite Kindle a backlit kindle, it’s actually lit from the side with new technology that runs the light across the front of the device.
Amazon uses a light track, which they already patented, to evenly distribute light across the display. Amazon describes the new lighting like Ambient light, so users shouldn’t see harsh lighting or uneven blighting across the page.
Users can control the backlight much like they control text size on the Kindle eReaders.
Sharper Text, More Pixels
The Kindle Paperwhite display boasts 212 pixels per inch. In short, more pixels equal sharper text, even at low text sizes. On stage Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demoed the ability of the new display with a demanding font, saying, “Palatino is a font that’s inspired by calligraphy. It has very fine features. You couldn’t do this font, not properly, without this resolution and contrast.”
The new iPad with Retina Display boasts 264 pixels per inch, so Amazon is approaching Retina levels in terms of pixels per inch. We’ll have to wait to see how the display looks in person, but this looks like a display users will love to look at.
Better Contrast, Blacker Blacks, Whiter Whites
Amazon boasts a 25% higher contrast on the new Paperwhite display. This will come in handy as users try to use the new Kindle Paperwhite in poorly lit situations.
The higher contrast also delivers a better looking display with whites that are whiter and blacks that are blacker. The hope is that this will help the Kindle fade away for a better, focused reading experience.
We’ll need to go eyes and hands on with the Kindle Paperwhite before passing judgement, but it’s clear that Amazon wants to lead the way to a better looking eReader experience.