Amazon unveils three new Kindles with bigger screens, longer battery life

Key Points
  • Amazon on Tuesday announced three new versions of its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, including the Paperwhite, Paperwhite Kids Edition and Paperwhite Signature Edition.
  • All models get a new processor, a larger 6.8-inch screen, 10 weeks of battery life, warm light support and new USB-C charging.

In this article

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

Amazon on Tuesday announced three new versions of its Kindle Paperwhite e-reader.

It's the first big update to Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite since 2018. There are several new features. People may not update their Kindles very often, but there's enough here that some folks may want to upgrade from the previous model.

The Kindles themselves aren't big moneymakers for Amazon, compared with the rest of its business, but they help drive people to buy books through Amazon instead of elsewhere.

The three models include the standard Paperwhite, a Paperwhite Kids version and the Paperwhite Signature Edition, which adds a couple of features on top of the other models. All three can be ordered beginning Tuesday, and they ship Oct. 27.

Of note: Amazon isn't offering cellular connectivity on these models, which means you'll need to buy the Kindle Oasis, last updated in 2019, if you want to download books when you don't have a Wi-Fi connection. That's likely because the older Kindles ran on 3G networks that wireless carriers around the world are starting to shut down as they transition to 5G.

Here's what's new:

The Kindle Paperwhite costs $139.99 and includes a bigger 6.8-inch screen, up from 6 inches on the prior model, and smaller bezels on the sides of the screen. It offers up to 10 weeks of battery life on a charge, up from 6 weeks in the earlier model, and now includes USB-C charging. It takes about 2.5 hours to charge fully. As with earlier models, it's IPX8 water-resistant, so you don't have to worry if it falls in the pool. And it has a new processor, so pages turn 20% faster than before. Lastly, it's gaining the warm light feature from the higher-end Kindle Oasis, which lets you add an orange tint to the screen that can be easier on your eyes if you're reading in bed.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition costs $189.99 and offers the same features as the regular model but with 32GB of storage instead of 8GB, which means there's more room for books and audiobooks. It looks the same but also supports wireless charging so you can drop it on any wireless charger you might already have for a phone to juice it up. It also has an auto-adjusting light that will dim or brighten depending on the level of ambient light in your room.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids Edition (2021)

The Kindle Paperwhite Kids Edition also includes the same features as the regular Paperwhite but costs $159 and includes one year of Amazon Kids+, a kid-friendly cover and a 2-year replacement guarantee.

Watch CNBC's full interview with Amazon CEO Andy Jassy
Watch CNBC's full interview with Amazon CEO Andy Jassy