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New Kindle Paperwhite Ships This Month, Will Cost $139 and have a 300ppi Screen

amazon paperwhite 300ppi 2015When Kobo announced the new Kobo Glo HD a couple months back, I suggested that Amazon was going to have to respond by making the Kindle Paperwhite a lot cheaper.

Amazon disagreed, and today they revealed that they took a different path. Amazon sent out press releases on Wednesday announcing a new Kindle Paperwhite. It is scheduled to ship at the end of June.

Amazon has made a couple changes: The 2015 Paperwhite model costs $10 more than the old model, and it has the same high-resolution Carta E-ink screen (300ppi, 1448×1072 resolution) found on the Kindle Voyage and the Kobo Glo HD. It might also have a different amount of storage (no way to tell until we get user reports), but aside from that the hardware is largely the same.

Update: I may have erred on the price. Several people have told me that the earlier model also retailed for $139. All i can say is that when I checked in April, the Paperwhite cost $129.

Both the new and old Paperwhites have a touchscreen and frontlight, and as we can see from the images on the listing page both devices look almost identical. The only visible difference I can see is that the Kindle name on the front of the 2015 model is black; it’s silver on the 2013 model sitting on my desk.

According to the press release, the two models aren’t running the same software. Amazon says that the new model will ship with Amazon’s Bookerly font. At some point in the future it’s also going to get the new hyphenation and line spacing features which Amazon announced last month.

Then again, I expect those new features will be coming to all current Kindle models at some point, including the older Paperwhite models.

So tell me, do you plan to get one?

I’m not sure it’s worth the cost of an upgrade if you have the previous Paperwhite, but as a new purchase I’d get this over the basic Kindle (it’s only $40 more). I’d also get this instead of the Kobo Glo HD. I don’t find the latter device very appealing.


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Javi June 17, 2015 um 11:14 am

Yes, that kindle and the Voyage available in Spain… at last.

Michael Anderson June 17, 2015 um 12:06 pm

I love my Paperwhite … but personally see no need to upgrade myself. But for those looking for a new one, I think it is awesome sounding.

fjtorres June 17, 2015 um 1:03 pm

The PW2 has been running $99 on sale.
It’ll be interesting to see if it remains there or becomes the basic Kindle.

Name (Required) June 17, 2015 um 2:40 pm

So tell me, do you plan to get one?

I did purchase PW 1. Sold it as soon as another brand introduced a front-lit model. Been happy ever since.

On Kindle I was frustrated with the lack of formatting options, missing hyphenation, too big steps in font sizes, huge margins …
And, of course, abysmal formats support.

William D. O’Neil June 17, 2015 um 4:58 pm

No, I just bought another Voyage. My wife tried mine and liked it a lot better than her PW. Since she reads on it several hours a day it doesn’t make sense to go cheap on an e-reader. Yes, the proportional difference in price is substantial, but the absolute dollar number is what counts, not the percentage.

dave June 17, 2015 um 9:26 pm

I guess I’m missing Amazon’s strategy here. Sure, this will sell a LOT of the enhanced Paperwhites, but why, given that it will have all of the values that make the Voyage appealing, would anyone pay the extra money for not much, if anything, extra? It looks as though Amazon is cutting the higher margin device off at the knees and reducing the margins on the Paperwhite.

Nate Hoffelder June 17, 2015 um 9:43 pm

I think Amazon decided they had to respond to the Glo HD. That too was cut off at the knees by the new Paperwhite.

fjtorres June 18, 2015 um 9:35 am

Well, now.
Wait until you drop one.
It too might disassemble before your eyes… 😉

William D. O’Neil June 18, 2015 um 3:51 pm

"It too might disassemble before your eyes…"

Always a risk, I suppose, but I dropped a Voyage onto tile from a height of about a meter without noticeable ill effects aside from a slight ding on a corner.

Nate Hoffelder June 18, 2015 um 4:02 pm

I think he is referring to how the Kobo Glo HD came apart after a single fall.

frmorrison June 18, 2015 um 12:20 am

My speculation is that Amazon has a lot of the 300 ppi screens used in the Voyage left over and decided to use them in the Paperwhite.

The Voyage still has better contrast, page turn buttons and is lighter.

Hrafn June 18, 2015 um 12:23 am

I’m hoping that this, and the earlier introduction of the Kobo Glo HD means that this screen has entered wider production, and we may see products featuring it from independent manufacturers shortly (perhaps even in the recently announced Boyue Shine?).

Mary June 18, 2015 um 6:27 am

The manual for the new Paperwhite is at:

See page 47 for tech specs. You can tell this is the new one because it says 300 dpi. Also, storage is 4 gigs with 3 gigs available. The original Paperwhites had 2 gigs, with the more recent ones upping it to 4.

Yes, I am getting one even though I have a Voyage. With the amount I read, I like to switch off between Kindles and this will be perfect.

Nate Hoffelder June 18, 2015 um 6:28 am


Void June 18, 2015 um 8:31 am

I’m annoyed because I really don’t want to get a kindle (I have a PRS-350 and all my stuff is in e-pub) but they are the only ones putting out really good hardware right now.

Bob June 18, 2015 um 8:45 am

I upgraded from a PRS-350 to a Kindle Voyage in January. Calibre does a nice job converting my EPUBs and pushing them to the Voyage via USB.

Simón June 18, 2015 um 2:17 pm

I have been waiting for this exact thing to happen (well, either a 300ppi Paperwhite or a greatly reduced Voyage). I had been hopeful about the Glo but it became clear it was subpar. Almost all of my library is ePub but Calibre is a great tool. I’ll wait a minute for some reviews to make sure it’s an overall improvement but I plan on buying one.

DavidW June 18, 2015 um 11:47 pm

I’m so happy about this because I hate the Voyage and look forward to the ereader that I really wanted!

The Voyage has the resolution that I wanted.
But the glossy screen has too much glare.
And the seamless bezel/screen led me to accidental page presses fairly often.
Most importantly it was just too thin and the bezel too narrow. It really cramped my hand holding it, even with a cover.

I have to admit that I liked the new basic alot more than the Voyage and used it as my primary reader this past year. That large bezel is not as sexy looking but it’s easier to hold for long periods of time (hours).

The new PW will have the res that I want, and won’t have that seamless screen/bezel, nor the glossy screen, and has a decent sized bezel and thickness.

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