A new Kindle Paperwhite has been released and it has eight times more storage than the original version, which should satisfy the most voracious of the book-loving public. Unfortunately, U.S. customers will not be able to purchase it because this variant will only roll out in Japan.
The 32 GB Kindle Paperwhite is being dubbed as the Manga Model, which should indicate why the storage has been significantly fattened. Manga content, which is practically a national staple in Japan, is so graphic-heavy that the conventional 4 GB Kindle could not possibly keep up with storage requirements. This is underscored by the fact that Amazon Japan offers more than 4.5 million graphic novels and about 400,000 of these are Japanese manga titles.
Consider the case of Naruto manga as an example. The Volume 1 alone will already eat up at least 30 MB of storage space. With the upgrade, a reader will have a decent number of titles in the Kindle library, enough to include the entire narrative of the Naruto series and two or three more manga titles of equal length. In terms of books, the new storage will be able to accommodate at least 700. While it won't last a lifetime for many readers, it will give the notoriously long Kindle battery life a run for its money.
The Kindle Manga Model has also been tweaked to perform better. Amazon has stated that it has 33 percent faster page-turning capability. Based on the Manga Model's description, this was achieved through software enhancements rather than a hardware upgrade. Nonetheless, this addresses the problem of Kindle users who consume graphic novels.
A Reddit thread devoted to this issue, for example, chronicles a list of user complaints about the difficulty in reading manga or graphic novels because Kindle generally takes ages to flip a page. There are users who have turned to third-party file applications such as KCC and Mangle to convert manga files into smaller and less graphic-intensive versions. There are those who opted to convert manga files to images, which could be very time-consuming when done manually.
The Kindle Manga Model will cost $157. That price is $39 less if the buyer is an Amazon Prime member. Clearly, these numbers are significantly steeper than the price of the conventional Kindle Paperwhite model but for graphic novel consumers, the pricing will not keep it from becoming the best e-reader to buy.
The device is not yet available but is already up for preorder with an Oct. 21 shipping schedule. Amazon Japan has reportedly stocked a very limited supply so the demand is expected to be robust.