Kindle Paperwhite 4 is Lighter, Waterproof

Amazon PR gave me the runaround on this launch so I have nothing official to tell you, but luckily for me the new Kindle has already leaked on The new Paperwhite is an incremental improvement on the last model. It is waterproof, but not really that much improved over what we have know.

The official announcement will be made in about 40 minutes.

Here’s the product listing on The price is $249 (that is a placeholder, obviously).

* * *

It goes into the water, is brighter and does not fear scratches: digital readers will appreciate the new Kindle Paperwhite , which Amazon will launch next November 7 (pre-order from today). A question of technology, resistance but also … content, given that the quantity of titles available in digital format in Italy is (fortunately) ever wider.

Details, but significant. The technology of ereaders develops more slowly than that of smartphones and tablets. But the generation gap is perceptible to the naked eye: the old Kindle Paperwhite weighed 217 grams, the new one, only 182 grams . The screen always measures 6 inches high definition, format on which Amazon seems to want to bet (unlike Kobo), but thanks to an extra LED is 10% brighter and close to the “paper” effect, which makes ereaders how much more similar to the printed page: restful for the view compared to tablets and readable even under the sun. Those who obsess over minute details will appreciate that it is 10% thinner (8.18 mm thick against the 9.1 mm of the previous model).

And then there is the design: if the back of the new Paperwhite was made of a plastic anti-slip material , the screen is noticeable “to the touch” for a new anti- scratch protection , which makes the covers non-essential. Although, perhaps, the big news is the waterproofing: the IPX8 certification says that the new Paperwhite can stand up to two meters deep for up to 60 minutes (in practice if it ends up in the bathtub, it will not die) .

The software side has also been improved. The new home screen makes it easier to find a new book to read based on the reading history, even among the titles included in the subscription to Kindle Unlimited or Prime Reading . And each user can save his reading settings, selecting fonts, character orientation and more, thus personalizing the reading experience (the good news is that these news will be available on the latest devices and on the sixth-generation Kindle, ed. ).

Price and formats. The Kindle Paperwhite will be available in two versions, or rather three: 8 GB (130 euro) , 32 GB (160 euro) and 32 GB with free mobile connectivity ( 230 euro). All in pre-order from today, but shipments will start on November 7th.

reposted under a CC license from


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. jhowell16 October, 2018
  2. Suzanne16 October, 2018

    Is there any mention of the color changing option like the Kobo devices have?

    1. Nate Hoffelder16 October, 2018


  3. Sweetpea16 October, 2018

    Silly Amazon… Showing that $249 placeholder price at top, but a $149 price in the comparison!

  4. Kamen16 October, 2018

    No Halloween lights on this one? Dang… :p

  5. Steve H.16 October, 2018

    Totally underwhelmed.

  6. Javi16 October, 2018

    Necessary update although little news. I hope the weight loss is not at the expense of the battery. I still think that, since the screen technology hardly improves, a great advance could be the inclusion of a solar panel that would make the ereaders “self-sufficient”.
    I hope one day Amazon decides to get a Kindle of 10.3″-10,7″.
    For now I will continue with my old KP2

  7. Javi16 October, 2018

    By the way, they could decrease the frames, especially the top frame.

  8. fahirsch16 October, 2018

    I’m curious: What use does so much memory have? How does one manage hundreds of ebooks on a Kindle?
    In my case I only keep those I am currently reading, unread books, and forgotten ebooks (the equivalent of the pile of paper books that I will read some day). I usually look only the first and second second screen of the index.
    I keep my ebooks (1400 de-drmed) on my Mac and on Dropbox, and it occupies 6 GB. It includes, in most cases, both epub and mobi versions of the same ebook.

    1. David B Huber16 October, 2018

      The “Twilight Zone: Time Enough At Last” episode could be easily updated so the protagonist emerges from the bank vault, pulls out his Kindle and learns his cloud library no longer exists…

      1. Jay17 October, 2018

        Or….that it does.

      2. Mike Cane17 October, 2018

        … and that his battery is low! Poor Burgess Meredith!

  9. Jake16 October, 2018

    Flush bezels usually mean color gradient issues ala Voyage. Also the black on black is definitely better on the PW3 then the distracting white Kindle logo that sticks out like a pimple.
    Still has those massive bezels. Huge disappointment!

    1. Nate Hoffelder16 October, 2018

      The PW3 had a black “kindle” on the front, not white. It is slightly reflective.

      1. Mikou16 October, 2018

        I think Jake is saying that the black logo on PW3 is better than the white one on PW4.

        The PW4 is now on for $129

        1. Nate Hoffelder17 October, 2018

          Thanks! I did not catch that.

  10. trekk16 October, 2018

    “I’m curious: What use does so much memory have? How does one manage hundreds of ebooks on a Kindle?”
    You will need a lot of memory for audible.

  11. Jeffrey Johnson16 October, 2018

    More space long overdue. I got 5 paperwhites as 4 GB not enough space. They need 64 and 128 GB versions. I stopped buying ebooks due to space issue. So Amazon being rather stupid waiting this long to fix the issue. Mean I got 4000 ebooks and 100,000 paper books.

  12. Erin16 October, 2018

    I was hoping for more space! I’m about out of space on my current Paperwhite with just e-books, can’t imagine mixing those with Audio

    I know many are underwhelmed but I’m incredibly happy because my #1 feature was Waterproof and I didn’t think they were going to add it. I’m so used to the lights of the Paperwhite that I don’t know what I’m missing not having color temperature adjustment. My wishlist was Waterproof, more even bezel, more space — which I have with the new release. I do wish they offered more screen size options for those who prefer larger screens, although 6″ doesn’t bother me since it’s paperback size and that’s what I’ve always read.

  13. Mike Hall16 October, 2018

    I wish I’d know that this was coming before I bought an Oasis. Not that I dislike the Oasis but I’m totally happy with everything about the Paperwhite save for its inadequate memory. Still I might buy one (32 GB without special offers) to replace the two original Paperwhites that my wife is using (her original topped out at about 1200 books so she had to use a spare one and split her collection across the pair). We chose to keep all our books downloaded as we often find ourselves reading where there is no WiFi and don’t want to restrict our choices.

    Other than the increased memory I’m indifferent to the other changes. For example, the revised home screen is just something that I’d turn off as soon as I got the machine.

    And to fahirish who asks how one manages 100s of books on a Kindle I’ve never found this a problem with the 2500 or so on my devices. I put each book into a collection (or often more than 1 collection) when I buy it and with a sensible choice of collections, which I ensure never contain more than 70 or so titles, the only problem that arises is if a collection gets too large and needs to be split (which is easy but a bit tedious). I do, of course, keep de-DRMed copies on our PCs and on the cloud but I’ve not yet worked out how to manage these, though I’m sure that someone can recommend an app.

  14. Disgusting Dude16 October, 2018

    From PC Mag:

    ” Amazon is using a plastic-backed 300ppi E Ink display, but it isn’t E Ink Mobius; it’s the company’s own design. ”

    1. Steve H.17 October, 2018

      Any word on the screen tech used on the new Paperwhite? Made by E ink? Amazon itself? or some other company?

      1. Nate Hoffelder17 October, 2018

        I’ve heard it’s a flexible screen of Amazon’s on design, but Amazon isn’t speaking to me at the moment so I don’t know any more.

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  16. Frank20 October, 2018

    The white Amazon logo means a no from me. While I like waterproof and being lighter, I really dislike seeing white lettering on a black device. The black letters on the PW3 are fine.

  17. Judy20 November, 2018

    Will this be available in white?

    1. Nate Hoffelder20 November, 2018

      I don’t think it is. I couldn’t find a way to order it, anyway.

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