Should I get a Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite?
This is the question many of you have written in to ask us.
In today’s article, we’ll give you a detailed comparison between the Basic Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite then serve up our recommendation as to which would best suit your needs.
Is it worth to upgrade?
How does the Kindle compare to the latest Kindle Paperwhite?
What are the pros and cons of the basic Kindle compared to Kindle Paperwhite?
These are just some of the questions we’ll be addressing today. First, though, a brief overview of the basic Kindle…
Kindle Basic Overview
Amazon Kindle is indeed a dedicated e-reader that punches above its weight.
The Kindle is by far the world’s most popular e-reader and Amazon invests heavily to continuously update the product with new features.
Can you believe the first Kindle was released back in 2007 and was priced at $399?
Today, the basic Kindle sells for less than one-third of that and is thinner, lighter, and faster.
Kindle Vs Kindle Paperwhite – Technical Comparisons
Amazon states that the Kindle Paperwhite is its best selling e-reader out of the entire line.
Packed with more features than the basic Kindle but still reasonably priced, Paperwhite is a solid choice for anyone with a reasonably fluid budget wanting a slighly more advanced experience.
That said, the basic Kindle represents a real bargain at less than half the price.
So are the features of Paperwhite worth the extra money?
The decision ultimately comes down to what you need and how much you can comfortably afford to spend.
The table below describes the technical specs of each model…
|Display Technology||Paperwhite Built-in light||E Ink Pearl (No Built in Light)|
|Resolution/Pixel density||300 Pixels per inch||167 Pixels per inch|
|Connectivity||3G + Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi only||Wi-Fi only|
|Dimension||6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36"||6.3" x 4.5" x 0.36"|
|Weight||7.6 oz (3G+Wi-Fi) and 7.2 oz (Wi-Fi only)||5.7 oz|
|Battery life||8 weeks wireless off||4 weeks wireless off|
|Screen Size||6 inch glare free||6 inch glare free|
As you can see, the biggest difference between Paperwhite and the basic Kindle is the resolution and the built-in 4-LED light as well as free Wi-Fi connectivity so you can use your Kindle in over 100 countries free of charge.
Of course, price is always a factor and you can find out today’s pricing on Amazon below:
Which One Is Better For Reading Books – Paperwhite Vs Kindle?
We feel the Kindle Paperwhite provides a significant upgrade for those who read often.
This is especially important in conditions such as bright sunlight (like when you’re reading on the beach) or on a plane (like when that guy opens his sunshade and a flood of light comes in). It’s also handy when it’s dark (like when you are in bed and your partner wants to sleep while you read).
The Kindle Paperwhite reads just like paper but has the added benefit of not hurting your eyes when it is dark. The basic Kindle does not have a backlight so in our tests, we found it difficult to read at night.
As Amazon states, the “Kindle Paperwhite guides light toward the surface of the display with its built-in front light—unlike back-lit tablets that shine in your eyes—so you can read comfortably for hours without eyestrain.”
Our recommendation is that if you want the flexibility of being able to read in different conditions and at all times of the day, go for the Paperwhite .
If, on the other hand, you’re a casual reader that plans to use it during the day or only occasionally, we would suggest saving the money and buying the Basic Kindle.
Regardless of which one you buy, we strongly suggest you buy it directly from Amazon so that you get the full warranty and service that Amazon is famous for.
What’s So Good About The Basic Kindle? What Are Its Features?
The Basic Kindle is a strong choice for it’s diminutive size and extreme portability.
Our tests also show it’s pretty durable and can easily be packaged in a suitcase or backpack without too much wear and tear.
You can even pop it in your pocket without feeling weighed down since it tips the scales at less than 6-oz.
For reading, it has the same 6” display as Kindle Paperwhite. It can be held with one hand and there is no meaningful glare.
Amazon has frequently updated the basic Kindle and in 2016, announced that the new Kindle would have a touchscreen instead of the old 5-way physical controller. While some users have complained that they preferred the physical buttons, the touchscreen is here to stay and we are unlikely to see Amazon go back to a physical controller anytime soon. The advantage of a touchscreen is improved typing ability so you can take notes and make comments easily. The previous controller made things difficult since you had to literally click through the on-screen keyboard.
The basic Kindle offers overall incredible value. It is the cheapest version of the Kindle line so if you want to save some money, the product would work just fine at night with a reading light (though the lighting will be uneven across the Kindle). Also, having an external reading light puts less strain the Kindle’s battery life.
Kindle is a great budget e-reader with many of the features of a more expensive device.
What’s So Good About Paperwhite Compared To the Basic Kindle?
The best thing about the Kindle Paperwhite is its display technology. It has an amazing resolution of 300 pixels per inch making text appears laser crisp.
The patented built-in light is in a league of its own with 3 layers delivering a comfortable and stellar reading experience.
The lighting helps achieve perfectly balanced whiteness. It has 4 low-power LED lights that project over the cover so you can read at night with no eye strain and outside without sun glare. The light is not uneven like a reading light that you can attach to a Kindle or one positioned above you. While you can customize the light with 24 different levels, you can’t turn it off.
The light is not supposed to drain the battery life as it uses low-power LEDs. In fact, our tests show that the Paperwhite lasts for several weeks which we feel is more than enough for the majority of users.
Lastly, with the Paperwhite, you have the option of a 3G+Wi-Fi or a Wi-Fi only version. The basic Kindle comes with Wi-Fi connectivity only. For many people, it’s a lot more convenient to use 3G services to download books as Wi-Fi hotspots are not always available and 3G services are available in over 100 countries. Amazon provides the 3G service free of charge which means you can download and browse books on the go with ease. This is a huge advantage for the traveling reader.
What’s Bad About Paperwhite Compared To Kindle
The price is the only thing that puts the Paperwhite at a disadvantage.
Compared to the Basic Kindle, we feel that the Paperwhite is a bit overpriced for adding what is essentially a better reading light and slightly better resolution display.
In 2016, Amazon gave both devices touchscreen so this eliminates a significant difference between the two.
Therefore, we recommend you look at your overall lifestyle and use to determine whether the Paperwhite is worth the price you pay. Both devices have superb build quality and we feel it’s highly likely either model will satisfy you depending on your requirements and expectations.
Choose Kindle – If you want a basic e-reader without too many features and you want to save a few bucks. It’s a fantastic choice for the casual reader.
Choose Kindle Paperwhite – If you are a serious, heavy reader demanding performance in varying environments. You’ll love the enhanced self-illumination as well as the crisper, clearer text. If you are planning on keeping it for the long haul, the price difference is not such a big deal.
Amazon regularly offers discounts and promotions with the Kindle.
Find out current prices, promotions, and look into more details of each model on the Amazon website by clicking the links below:
Must-Have Accessories for Kindle
Regardless of which Kindle model you choose, here are the top 5 accessories for Kindle under $25 that every owner should have:
- A protective case – We feel the Fintie Kindle Paperwhite case offers the best combination of protection without sacrificing usability. The reviews speak for themselves
- Squaretrade Warranty – Protect your investment for a fraction of the price with a Squaretrade warranty. Squaretrade has amazing customer service and covers everything
- A rapid wall charger – The Kindle does not come with a wall charger. Again, our choice is the fast charger from Amazon which charges it in just 4 hours
- A quality USB Cable – Everyone needs plenty of USB cables. The official one from Amazon is high quality and doesn’t fall apart like the cheaper ones tend to
- Tempered Glass Protector – Prevent your screen from scratches and even from cracking with a Tempered Glass Protector.
More In-Depth Reviews
If you would like more information on these 2 devices, check out our individual reviews:
Amazon Basic Kindle Review – Choosing Basic Kindle Over Advanced Kindle
Kindle Paperwhite 3G Review – Why Would You Pay More And Buy Kindle Paperwhite
Amazon Echo vs Amazon Dot New! – Compare Amazon Echo vs. Amazon Dot