Amazon has started US shipping of the Kindle Paperwhite, which it describes as the most advanced e-reader ever.
The product, which could boost demand for Amazon delivery services when it comes to the UK market, possibly in 2013, was designed to offer 62 per cent more pixels and 25 per cent higher contrast.
It boasts features including a patented front light for reading in all light conditions and battery life of up to eight weeks, and comes in a 3G wireless version that means users will not have to worry about finding Wi-Fi hotspots.
Amazon Kindle vice president Jay Marine said: "Kindle Paperwhite is the most advanced e-reader ever created and the Kindle we always wanted to build.
"Pre-orders have far exceeded our expectations and we're excited to start shipping Kindle Paperwhite to customers today."
The retailer highlighted several positive reviews of the new product, one of which came from Wired magazine, which said it is "light, eminently pocketable, and presents the best electronic reading experience".
Putting the Paperwhite in context, The Verge pointed out that it is the latest addition to a series of "innovative and daring" products that are moving book reading into the new century.
"Amazon has pioneered e-readers in ways that few other companies have or could," the site said.
While the Paperwhite is not yet available in Britain, online shoppers and users of parcel delivery services in the UK can order a new version of the Kindle, which was recently given an upgrade and discounted to a starting price of £69.
Shoppers can choose from different varieties of the product, the most advanced of which features a keyboard, Wi-Fi connectivity and free 3G access.
The Kindle Fire HD tablet is being launched on the UK market this month and is currently available to pre-order ahead of its release on October 25th.
Author: Adrian Medland