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Amazon Reveals New Frontlit ‘Kindle Paperwhite’ eReader

Rumours of a new Kindle with a different screen illumination method have been steadily rising for some time, and now Amazon has proved those rumours had some substance.

The new Kindle Paperwhite will feature a front-lit screen as opposed to the backlit display we’d heard rumoured; along with a black finish to emphasise it’s ability to read well in the dark.

The screen size remains the same, but this time Amazon has jammed in a very bright white light to help bookworms read in the dark without straining their eyes. Amazon has plumped for a much sharper display, with the Paperwhite’s screen boasting a pixel density of 212 pixels per inch, along with 25% better contrast.

Just like the Kindle Touch, the screen on the new model is a capacitive one, making it touch friendly. There are no other buttons on the device for turning the page, and the black frame is just 9.1mm thick. The interesting X Ray feature that debuted in the Kindle Touch will also be present on the Paperwhite model, meaning that users can select a word or phrase and look it up.

Amazon says it uses a special nano-imprinting method to ensure the bright white light is spread as evenly as possible across the whole screen. Unlike its new rival the Kobo Glo, the Kindle still keeps an impressive battery life when using the front light – up to 8 weeks from a single charge to be precise.

The usual Kindle features are also present, including access to the Kindle Lending Library and Whispersync, which lets you pick up where you left off if you like to read your books on other devices, such as an Apple tablet or Android smartphone.

Amazon will launch two versions in the US on October 1st: a Wi-Fi only model that costs $119 and a 3G version that will be $179. Pre-orders are being taken now if you’re in the States, but we’re still waiting on UK release information.

The online shopping giant also just announced a revamped Kindle Fire tablet for 2012, which you can read all about here.

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