What's our biggest beef with the Kindle? Same thing it was on day one: the lack of a backlight. The Kindle Paperwhite ($120-$180) is here to change all that. It's based on an all-new touch display tech that offers 25% more contrast and 62% more pixels — 212 ppi, for the resolution geeks out there — and uses a patented light guide to spread LED light across the surface just like ambient light. Other features include a 9mm, 7.5 oz. body, 8-week battery life, a refreshingly dark paint scheme, and optional free 3G wireless networking. Arriving in October.
Leave it to the boys in Redmond to make purchasing a tablet confusing. The new Microsoft Surface Tablets ($TBA) will come in two varieties: one with an ARM processor running Windows RT, and one with an Intel processor running Windows 8 Pro. The RT model sports a 10.6-inch HD display, microSD slot, USB 2.0, a Micro HD video port, and your choice of 32GB or 64GB of storage, while the Pro model features a 10.6-inch Full HD display, a microSDXC slot, USB 3.0, a Mini DisplayPort video port, and either 64GB or 128GB of storage. No matter which one you choose, you'll be able to attach the magnetic Touch Cover or Type Cover to add a keyboard to the otherwise touchscreen device. But don't go losing your shit just yet — no release date and no prices were given.
eReaders built around ePaper displays are great — until the sun goes down and you find yourself propping lamps in strange positions in order to get a light on the things. Now, you could just get yourself a Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight ($140) instead. This new six-inch eReader sports a built-in light that gets diffused across the entire screen for an even reading experience, as well as the touchscreen interface, built-in Wi-Fi, and microSD features of the standard Nook Touch.