After making a brief unofficial appearance this morning, Amazon has officially unveiled a new version of the company’s flagship Kindle Paperwhite e-reader.
The new Paperwhite sports a better display technology (promising higher contrast and better reflectivity), a 25 percent faster processor, and a refined touch response. Amazon also mentioned that integration for Goodreads, the book recommendation service it bought in March, is coming soon.
Amazon will sell the Wi-Fi only version of the new Paperwhite for $119, while the 3G version will run you $180. Pre-orders kick off today, and Amazon says the new Kindles will begin shipping on September 30.
Amazon also announced Kindle MatchBook this morning, a new feature that lets you purchase Kindle versions of physical books you’ve purchased from Amazon all the way back to 1995.
The Paperwhite was a major upgrade for its Kindle lineup last year, so I didn’t expect the company to offer anything drastically different this year. Amazon also seems far more interested in focusing on its Kindle Fire tablet lineup, rather than its aging e-reader segment. This new Paperwhite doesn’t seem like it’s worth the upgrade from last year’s Paperwhite, but if you’ve been running an older Kindle for a while now, the revamped screen will be a big draw.
Earlier this morning, Engadget reported that Amazon mistakenly published the product page for the new Kindle Paperwhite, a few hours ahead of the official announcement.