Hallelujah, Amazon’s New Kindles Finally Have USB-C

Hallelujah, Amazon’s New Kindles Finally Have USB-C

The Kindle is a classic for a reason: Amazon’s small, simple, affordable ereader lineup may not have a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s been good enough to get the job done. Times have changed, though, and people have come to expect even their cheap devices to have the latest technology. The Kindle’s microUSB port? It’s just not cutting it these days.

Amazon just announced its next-gen Kindle Paperwhites, which have larger screens, a fresh interface, and, finally, USB-C ports. Hallelujah. The $239 Kindle Paperwhite, $US160 ($221) Kindle Paperwhite Kids, and $289 Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition feature the same basic design: a 6.8-inch display (up from 6 inches on the previous models), built-in IPX8 water resistance, and longer battery life that Amazon says can last up to 10 weeks on a single charge.

Editor’s Note: The Kindle Paperwhite Kids doesn’t appear to have Australian pricing just yet.

The new Kindle Paperwhites also feature faster page-turning animations that are 20% quicker than before. The pixel density on their screens is staying the same at 300 ppi, but the displays are 10% brighter and have an adjustable colour temperature that ranges from cool white to warmer yellow or amber tones.

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But the biggest change is one we’ve been waiting for for years. The new Kindle Paperwhites will be Amazon’s Kindles with USB-C ports. For many of us, an older Kindle is the last device in our homes that requires a microUSB charger, which is a pain. The new Kindles can be fully recharged in 2.5 hours using a 9-watt power adaptor.

As before, the standard Kindle Paperwhite will feature 8GB of internal storage. If you’re looking for a little extra space, you can upgrade to the new Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, which features 32GB of base storage, along with an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightest of its screen and built-in Qi wireless charging (another first for the Kindle family).

The new Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition doesn't look any different than the standard model, but it does come with 32GB of base storage, an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness, and support for wireless charging. (Image: Amazon)
The new Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition doesn’t look any different than the standard model, but it does come with 32GB of base storage, an ambient light sensor for automatic brightness, and support for wireless charging. (Image: Amazon)

Both the Kindle Paperwhite and Paperwhite Signature Edition are also getting an updated interface that Amazon says is more intuitive and should make doing things like switching between your home screen, library, and current book faster and easier than before. And like previous Kindles, you still get support for Audible audiobooks (with built-in Bluetooth for connecting to wireless headphones or speakers), Whispersync, Word Wise, and more.

The Kindle Paperwhite Kids follows in the tradition of previous kid-friendly Kindles with an included one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, the removal of distractions like ads, games, and videos, and the choice of three included covers in black, emerald forest, and a pattern Amazon is calling Robot Dreams. If you buy a Kindle Paperwhite Kids, remember to cancel your Amazon+ subscription or else it will auto-renew at the end of the included one-year sub.

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It looks like we might have to wait a bit longer to see a Kindle with a colour E Ink screen, but the new line of Kindle Paperwhites offer some very welcome upgrades. The new Paperwhite Signature Edition will fill the void left by the now-discontinued Kindle Voyage, while the the Signature Edition sits between the standard Paperwhite and Amazon’s more premium $US250 ($345) Kindle Oasis.

The new Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, and Kindle Paperwhite Kids are available for preorder today in select regions, with sales starting October 27.

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