The display used in the Kindle Paperwhite has a higher resolution, higher contrast display with LED front lighting to allow reading in any light from darkness to bright sunlight.
The capacitative touch screen is said to provide even better accuracy than that used on previous Kindles.
The higher resolution display has allowed the use of a wider range of fonts, including some with thin stems such as Baskerville and Palatino.
"Paperwhite is the Kindle we've always wanted to build — the technology didn't exist to build a display with this level of contrast, resolution, brightness and battery life, so our engineers invented it," said Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
As with previous Kindles, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity is built in to the high end ($US179) model, with 3G charges absorbed into content charges.
Without wireless connectivity, the Kindle Paperwhite costs $US119.
No indication was been given about Australian pricing or availability.