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New Kindle Paperwhite: Thinner, Lighter and Waterproof

For a while there, I thought that Amazon was finished with the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, which it hadn't updated since 2015. Then, Amazon announced a fourth-generation model of its popular device, which is waterproof, features a more-flush display and costs $10 more, at $129.99/£119.99 (available for pre-order now; ships Nov. 7).

And when Amazon claims the new tablet is waterproof, I'm inclined to believe the company. The new Paperwhite is rated for IPX8-level protection. That's the same as the $249.99 Kindle Oasis, which I found worked while submerged in water during my testing.

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The new Paperwhite is also thinner and lighter, measuring 0.32 inches in height and starting at 6.4 ounces. The third-gen Paperwhite was 0.36 inches thick and weighed 7.2 ounces. If you get the model with 4G LTE, the weight goes up a bit, to 6.8 ounces. 

The new Paperwhite's 6-inch, 300ppi screen matches that of the third gen Paperwhite and the Kindle Oasis. It's also got the same 8 GB storage as the entry-level Oasis: an amount that's twice as the 4GB in the third gen model. An upgrade to 32GB costs an extra $30, and the upgrade to remove Amazon's "special offers" (ads) costs $20.

Kindle Paperwhite (4th Gen)View Deal

One other perk that Amazon's bringing over from its high-end e-reader is Audible support, so you can listen to audiobooks with the e-reader. Amazon is offering a limited-time deal to give away six months of Kindle Unlimited ($60) to those who purchase the all-new Kindle Paperwhite.

For customers who have held onto their older Paperwhites forever, this new model looks like a pretty good reason to upgrade. And if you bought an Oasis, which launched in late 2017, we wouldn't be surprised if you're feeling a little annoyance right now for plunking down $250.

Aside from its luxe graphite/aluminum design, the only perks the Oasis still holds above the Paperwhite are its larger 7-inch screen, physical page turning buttons, 5 extra LED backlights (12 vs. the Paperwhite's five) and its adaptive light sensor.