E-reader upgrade adds social media links, built-in parental controls and a vocabulary builder

A look at Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite has received an upgrade, which makes the e-reader faster and brighter while adding several fresh features.

The all-new Paperwhite boosts the display contrast of its previous iteration, making whites whiter and blacks blacker, which Amazon claims almost completely replicates a physical book.

Behind the improved screen is a backlight, designed to stop eyestrain by guiding light towards the screen’s surface. Inside, a new processor and tighter touch grid boost responsiveness.

As well as upping the hardware of the Paperwhite, Amazon has also added to the Kindle’s software. Kindle Page Flip lets readers skim page-by-page or jump between points in a book without losing their place. The e-reading community GoodReads has been integrated too, which lets users see what their friends are reading, rate different titles and share sections of books.

For parents with children that read, Amazon has added FreeTime – a parental control system that lets parents choose books for their children to read, award achievements for reading successes and keep track of how much their child has read. For both adults and children who are expanding their literacy, Vocabulary Builder saves looked-up words in a list, and provides tests on the definitions and contextual use of words.

Amazon has tied Kindle titles to their physical counterparts – so customers can buy Kindle editions of previously purchased books for reduced prices.

The Paperwhite also includes all of the features previously seen on Kindle, such as an eight-week battery life,
Wi-Fi, Whispersync and the choice of the Kindle Store’s 400,000-plus available titles.

The Wi-Fi model is available now for £109, while the 3G and Wi-Fi model will arrive on November 6th for £169.




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