I realize there’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the new Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon’s 2021 refresh of the most popular Kindle in the company’s lineup. There’s a bigger screen, a tweaked design, waterproofing, and so on. But perhaps the feature that a lot of spec heads, including myself, have been begging Amazon to add to the Kindle for years is USB-C, and it’s finally here.
With both the new Kindle Paperwhite and Paperwhite Signature Edition, Amazon includes USB-C ports for charging. This port replaces the ancient microUSB port found on other models, including the $249 Oasis. Thanks to USB-C, Amazon is able to achieve a full charge on the Paperwhite in two and a half hours. That’s with a 9W charger, by the way. Even if there wasn’t any fast charging, though, I’m not sure if a lot of people would complain – just having USB-C is a big enough deal.
Getting into the rest of the new Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon has increased the size of the screen to 6.8-inches, an 0.8-inch difference compared to the previous model. Amazon made the display flush with the rest of the chassis, and there’s a sharper 300 ppi resolution. The company also includes an increase of 10 percent in brightness.
Amazon says the new Kindle Paperwhite is faster, and it comes with the new home screen design it started rolling out to previous Kindles earlier this month. In addition, you’ll be able to log into your Amazon account on your Paperwhite through the Kindle app on your phone, eliminating the need to use the e-Ink keyboard.
The body of the new Paperwhite is IPX8 certified so you can take it to the pool without worrying about splashes. Amazon says the new model will last up to 10 weeks on a full charge, four more weeks than the previous Paperwhite.
The new Kindle Paperwhite only comes with 8GB of storage, so if you want more, you’ll have to upgrade to the more expensive Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition. That model comes with 32GB of storage, plus wireless charging and an auto-adjusting backlight on the display. This is a feature that was previously only available on the Oasis, so it’s nice to see it trickle down to less-expensive alternatives.
Finally, Amazon has introduced a kid-friendly version of the Paperwhite called the Kindle Paperwhite Kids. It comes with a special cover case, a two-year “worry-free guarantee,” and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus.
The Kindle Paperwhite is priced at $139, $10 more expensive than the previous model. Meanwhile, the Paperwhite Signature Edition will go for $189. The Kids edition will retail for $159. All three models are available for pre-order now.