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By 4 September 2013 | Categories: news

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It seems like only yesterday that arguably Amazon’s best Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite (review) made it to our shores; now the company has announced an upgrade to its ereading device.

The new iteration does not appear to be massive jump forward though, but rather bring a series of smaller, if still significant, enhancements. The new Paperwhite apparently now boasts a faster processor for quicker page turns, new touch technology, which Amazon claims will make it respond to the smallest touches, as well as an improved built in light for better illumination.

Furthermore, the new Kindle can apparently also lay claim to higher contrast and better reflectivity, for whiter whites and deeper blacks.

New tricks

While the storage on offer remains the same (2 GB), the new Kindle has learnt a few new tricks. A new feature called Kindle Page Flip allows users to skim page-by-page, scan by chapter, or skip to the end of your book, all without losing your place, for those dilettante readers who still prefer reading ahead a few chapters. However, this has a more practical use as well, enabling users to flip back and forth between in-books maps as found in the Game of Thrones series.

Two further features which have been confirmed but which will only be implemented later this year via a software update, include new Goodreads integration and Kindle Free Time.

Good on you

The former is intended to brings the large Goodreads community into the Paperwhite, enabling users to share highlights and rate the Goodread-sourced books they are reading. The latter, meanwhile, is a feature aimed squarely at parents, enabling them to hand-select books for their children to read, and hand out achievement badges when they hit reading milestones.

Also on offer is a new Vocabulary Builder, which compiles words one looks up into an easy-to-access list.

Another feature that will no doubt make longtime Amazon buyers rejoice is Kindle MatchBook. According to Amazon, this will allow users to access Kindle versions of any and most paperback editions that they have ever bought, now and in perpetuity, for under $3 (R30) - certainly great news for those who already have a formidable paperbook library that they would look to migrate to their Kindle.  

To the point

Stateside at least, the new Kindle is being launched at the end of this month and priced at between $119 (R1 190) and $139 (R1 390) for the Wi-Fi version, with and without ads respectively. The top of the line model though, which boasts Wi-Fi and 3G, will carry a $189 (R1 890) pricetag, but will apparently only become available there in November. Hopefully though, that means we should see the updated versions coming to local shores not too long after that.

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