Amazon Kindle Paperwhite officially ships today with glowing reviews

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Check out our review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.

The next generation of Amazon e-readers begins shipping today. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, unveiled earlier this month in Santa Monica along with the Kindle Fire HD, should be available to those who pre-ordered as early as today or later in the week — depending on the shipment speed selected. The new e-reader boasts a 6-inch screen with 25 percent higher contrast and 62 percent more pixels to give the cleanest display e-ink can get. The models are available in a Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and 3G edition.

In our hands-on impression, we were impressed with how amazing and crisp e-ink looked under the illuminated screen. We also thought the X-Ray feature, which allows users to scan the whole book for recurring characters and terms almost as a glossary, was neat if only a bit novel. One of the more impressive spec, by far, is Amazon’s claim of an eight-week battery life per single charge. Amazon announced the beginning of Paperwhite’s shipment with a slew of glowing reviews from many press outlets, and it’s easy to see why with its highly updated specs while maintaining the modest price point. Our full review should be coming up shortly, so stay tuned for expert analysis.

Meanwhile, the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire HD still have some challenges ahead this holiday season now that Barnes & Noble has fought back with its own refreshed line of Nook HD tablets. Which will be the more desired gadget by Christmas time? This may depend solely on Amazon customer loyalty for those who live and breathe their shopping experience on the online superstore, and will find the integrated shopping features built into the Kindle Fire HD convenient and less of a nuisance. With a competitive pricing structure and plenty of features and high end specs to offer, both Amazon and B&N are in for a long fight.

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