The newest Kindle Paperwhite 4 is a long-awaited, although not so obvious, upgrade from the aging 3rd-generation Paperwhite introduced in 2015.
Why was it not so clear that any new Kindle would be introduced this year? Because a few weeks earlier, Amazon has shown the company is switching priority from Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets towards Alexa devices.
Amazon has spent a lot of R&D money and effort to launch as much as eight new Alexa-powered devices, including Echo Auto and Alexa-activated AmazonBasics microwave.
Was there any money left to keep the Kindle range in the loop? It turns out it was.
The Paperwhite finally offers features most users wished to see
The 2018 Kindle Paperwhite, announced on October October 16, 2018, is waterproof. It meets IPX8 rating which means the device can withstand keeping it two meters under water surface for one hour. The e-reader offers bigger internal memory, with two options to choose from: 8 or 32 GB. Paperwhite is ready to play Audible audiobooks via connected Bluetooth headphones or speaker. And it sports the glass front, making it look modern and sleek. All this for $129.99.
For some users, the announced features exceeded expectations. I was among those who predicted nothing more than Audible support.
For others, the device has just answered expectations most users had.
And this is what will surely keep Kindle Paperwhite 4 the best selling Kindle: that it finally has everything you were dreaming about – for a Paperwhite price.
Kindle Paperwhite 4 is not the first Kindle to sport the glass front panel. Kindle Voyage did it in 2014.
Kindle Paperwhite 4 is not the first Kindle to be waterproof. Kindle Oasis 2 did it in 2017.
Kindle Paperwhite 4 is not the first Kindle to bring back the audiobook playback. Kindle Oasis 2 did it already.
Kindle Paperwhite 4 is not the first Kindle to bring more memory, as well as memory options. Again, Kindle Oasis 2 did it already.
You see, the fact something is the first to offer something doesn’t exactly make it exciting. The Oasis 2 was an interesting option for a few tech geeks who had enough money to overpay for an e-reader packed with innovative features.
The Oasis, as well as the Voyage, are the models that are beyond the price expectations of most users. Suddenly, when you have to spend $250 on the Oasis 2, you start to think water resistance is not a need but a whim.
But for half of its price? Things become so simple! The Kindle Paperwhite 4 costs $129.99, only $10 more than the earlier generation. You were planning to get the new e-reader anyway (or maybe considering a switch to the Amazon Fire tablet).
So, for the Paperwhite price, you get the familiar e-reader that combines the best features of the Oasis and Voyage, and you don’t feel you are overpaying for it. Especially, that most probably you would be able to get it with a $20 discount during Black Friday 2018.
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