When Amazon announced their new Kindle Paperwhite, they wouldn't say what kind of E Ink panel is used - just that it's got a higher resolution (XGA), better contrast, better touch capabilities and a faster refresh rate. Our friend Sriram Peruvemba, E Ink's marketing chief explains that the major advances in this new display is a better TFT and improved software.
The new TFT backplane allows them to achieve a higher resolution - 212 dpi (XGA), compared to the older generation TFT which allowed only 167 dpi (SVGA). The new software design also allows for faster refresh. Now grey-to-grey speed is 450 mSecs, compared to 600 mSecs using the older software (i.e. 25% faster).
E Ink supplies not just the E Ink layer itself - the display panel also includes moisture protection, UV protection, hardness coating, Oleophobic coating, anti-glare/anti-reflective and more. E Ink managed to improve all those layers, which means that the new display has better electro-optic performance - for example better contrast.
So, should we call this panel a "Pearl+" E Ink display? It seems that branding E Ink panels is not so easy as the customer (Amazon in this case) can call it what they want (Paperwhite), and the display itself contains many parts (E Ink panel, extra layers, touch layer, backlight layer).
Whatever you want to call the new display, the Kindle Paperwhite will ship on October 1st 2012, for $139 (or $119 with ads) or $199 with 3G ($179 with ads).