Amazon last week unveiled its new Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader in what probably one of the most understated events of the kind in this market. Probably because the rushed announcement was caused by the accidental leak publication of the new device’s landing page earlier in the day.

Either way, the new eReader comes with some nice upgrades, albeit no dramatic overhaul of its previous versions. Among these upgrades are an improved built-in light, better contrast and higher speed.

Amazon Unveils New Kindle Paperwhite

The higher contrast for the frontlit screen is probably the most obvious upgrade. The new Kindle Paperwhite model has about the same screen resolution of about 1024 x 758, but the whites and blacks are more vibrant, making the text easier to read. The high contrast makes the display almost indistinguishable from a real book, according to the company.

Another upgrade is the built-in light, which according to Amazon uses the same light-guide tech that was used for the previous Paperwhite model. However, the new system has been improved in order to significantly reduce eyestrain, the company said.

The new Kindle Paperwhite also has a 25 percent faster processor than its predecessor, which will be interesting to see in action and what impact it will have on page turning.  Other new features include a tighter touch grid which Amazon says will make the eReader more responsive even to small touches.

The device will further feature Goodreads integration and the new Amazon Kindle Page Flip, which allows readers to go through a book and read or re-read other pages without losing their current spot.

And if you’re one of those readers who have to check on the meaning and etymology of every strange word they encounter in a book, you should know the new Kindle will also have a Smart Lookup option, which includes Amazon’s X-Ray, a dictionary and Wikipedia access.

The new Kindle Paperwhite is available for preorder and will start shipping on September 30. It is available for $119 or $139, the latter offering an ad-free experience. What do you think of the upgraded eReader from Amazon? Would you buy it?

[Image via Gizmag]