The new Kindle Paperwhite is thinner, lighter, and waterproof

And it supports direct access to Audible and up to 32GB of storage

kindle reader 758x758 - The new Kindle Paperwhite is thinner, lighter, and waterproof

Amazon today announced a slew of upgrades to its Kindle Paperwhite reader, including a more refined design, larger storage capacity, and waterproofing.

Measuring in at just 0.3-inches thick and 0.4-pounds, the company touts this most recent incarnation of Paperwhite as its ‘thinnest and lightest’ yet. But despite the reduction in size, Amazon’s latest Paperwhite is the company’s most feature-packed budget-reader thus far produced.

Though the company has put an end to its top-of-the-line Voyage reader, many of the standout features such as its ‘sleek flush-front display’ and waterproofing have trickled down to the Paperwhite. Whereas models of the past showcase a bulged front panel, the new reader features a smooth, seamless sheet of glass.

Also improved is the LED technology used to illuminate the 6-inch display. According to Amazon, the new device now houses five LEDs that provide a “glare-free display in any setting – even direct sunlight.” And perhaps more impressive is the fact that the reader meets the IPX8 standard for waterproofing, meaning accidental drops into water won’t impact the tablet’s performance. In fact, it can be submerged in over 6-feet of water for an hour without issue.

On the software side, Amazon has greatly improved the homepage, making it easier to find new content that you’ll enjoy. And in addition to books, newsletters, and magazines, Paperwhite now supports direct access to audiobooks via Audible. Subscribers can now use the Kindle Paperwhite to listen to their favorite recordings via Bluetooth headphones/speakers.

What’s more, the company is providing customers with free, unfettered access to Kindle Unlimited for six months. And with millions of titles to choose from, Amazon has upgraded the reader’s storage to 8GB and 32GB, meaning you’ll be able to download tens of thousands of ebooks to carry around with you.

Now available for pre-order, Amazon is planning to sell the 8GB and 32GB Paperwhite readers for $130 and $160, respectively. The company also plans to offer a cellular connected 32GB version for $250.

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