As if fall wasn’t already busy enough in the consumer electronics industry, companies caught wind of a mid-September iPhone 5 announcement from Apple (AAPL) so we’re now in the midst of a gadget avalanche as vendors try to show off their wares ahead of Apple’s big event next week. Among them is Amazon (AMZN), which just kicked off its press conference by announcing the Kindle Paperwhite, a new front-lit eReader with Amazon’s latest E Ink display.
The new Kindle features a black and white touchscreen E Ink display with 25% better contrast than previous-generation Kindles and 212 pixels per inch. Overall, the unit is just 9.1 millimeters thick, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos noted is thinner than the average magazine.
The lighting technology caused the battery in the new Kindle to take a slight hit, and Amazon says it will last about 8 weeks on a charge.
The new unit will start at $119 and it is available immediately for preorder for an October 1st launch. A 3G version of the new Kindle Paperwhite will cost $179, and the old Kindle without front lighting will remain available for $69.