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Amazon Has a New Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader That’s Waterproof

October 16, 2018, 1:00 PM UTC

Amazon has unveiled a new version of its Kindle Paperwhite e-book reader that comes with a new feature: It’s waterproof.

The online retail giant said Tuesday that the new lower-end version of the Kindle Paperwhite, which comes with 8 GB of storage, will cost $129.99. A higher-end version with 32 GB of storage will cost $159.99. The previous version of the Paperwhite had 4 GB of storage and cost $119.99.

Both Kindle Paperwhites are available for pre-order and will start shipping on Nov. 7.

Kathryn Chinn, senior product manager for the Kindle, said the Paperwhite is Amazon’s “most popular and highest rated” Kindle device, although she declined to cite specific details. The company also sells the barebones $79 Kindle and the $249.99 Kindle Oasis, which has the biggest display screen and includes physical buttons used to turn digital pages.

The biggest change for the Paperwhite is that it’s now waterproof, like its more expensive sibling the Oasis. Amazon said that the Paperweight can be submerged in water for up to 60 minutes, which makes it safe for reading digital books in the bath tub or at the beach.

The Paperwhite is “ten percent thinner and lighter” than the older version, Chinn said. Additionally, the device has been updated so that its brightness setting contains a broader range, meaning that you can more accurately adjust the Paperwhite’s brightness when reading outdoors to offset the sun’s glare.

Like the more expensive Kindle Oasis, people can now “inverse” the colors of the new Paperwhite device so that black text on a white background gets flipped to white text on a black background, Chinn said.

Chinn also said that a new Paperwhite feature for “data nerds” will tell them of how many books they have read in the last month, and provide “tips and tricks” that show them how to highlight certain words or use the company’s Word Wise definition tool if they haven’t done so.

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Chinn said there is no set timeline for when Amazon updates its Kindle devices. This is different from other tech companies like Apple, which typically updates its iPhone product line each year with newer features.

Although there have been a “couple of refreshes” of the Paperwhite (Amazon updated the Paperwhite in 2015, for instance), the new version marks “a redesign,” Chinn said, implying it’s a more significant update with its waterproof feature and extra storage.