Amazon.com Inc. unveiled a slew of new products Thursday, including a tablet for under $100 and an e-reader for as high as $289, called the Kindle Voyage. The high-end successor to the Paperwhite line is Amazon’s clearest yet, and its thinnest.
The Kindle Voyage has a built-in light like the one found on the earlier Paperwhite models, and the sharpest screen of any e-reader on the market: 300 pixels per inch (ppi) on a 6-inch display. Amazon will continue to sell the Paperwhite alongside a basic model new for 2014, a $79 Kindle with a lower, 167ppi resolution that lacks a backlight.
Amazon taught the newest Kindle e-reader a couple of neat tricks, including to turn pages without the user touching the screen, and the ability to adjust its brightness based on surrounding light with a built-in sensor. Earlier Kindle models had buttons on either side of the screen for turning the page, while the Kindle Paperwhites required a swipe on their touchscreens.
The new technology, which Amazon calls PagePress, is a pressure-sensitive area on the Kindle Voyage that you squeeze to move through a book. It gives a slight vibration, or haptic feedback, to let you know it has registered your touch.
The arrival of Amazon’s Kindle Voyage e-reader, which shows no colors and costs as much as $289, alongside a $99 6-inch tablet and another made for kids that Amazon promises to replace if it breaks, shows the e-commerce giant attempting to squeeze the most out of product niches around Apple Inc.’s popular tablet, the iPad.
The company also announced a lower-cost alternative to Apple Inc.’s iPad Air (starts at $499) the 2014 Kindle Fire HDX, a 8.9-inch tablet that ranges from $379 to $494. Apple itself is expected to unveil a new iPad sometime next month.