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Amazon Unveils $119 Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the $119 Kindle Paperwhite WiFi eReader at a Santa Monica press conference today. The 3G edition will cost $179. AppNewser has more about the new Kindle Fire HD that was also revealed at the event.

It began with a television spot showing Amazon delivery boxes on a stoop. “We’re the people with a smile on the box,” it read, reminding this GalleyCat editor of a famous New Yorker cover.

Bezos explained: “People don’t want gadgets anymore, they want services. They want services that improve over time” and introduced Kindle Paperwhite. The reading device has 25 percent more contrast compared to the original device and 62 percent more pixels per page. It has capacitive touch and a new front light system that Amazon took four years to develop.

“It’s exactly light ambient light,” he said. It can get eight weeks of battery life, even when the device is lit. He demonstrated the tool with George R. R. Martin‘s best selling novel, Game of Thrones. The device also tells how many minutes of reading you have left in a book. You can also “x-ray” a title, seeing characters and key terms in the digital book.

Bezos also played video interviews with three Kindle Direct Publishing authors about their experience. He then introduced Kindle Serials, a chance to pay once for all episodes of a serialized book. The book will automatically add installments and keep your notes and highlights while reading.

Author Neal Pollack will publish a yoga murder mystery and they will also republish a Charles Dickens serialized novel to pay tribute to the master of the serial medium.

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