- The Kindle Paperwhite is the mid-level product in Amazon’s family of ebook readers. It’s notable for its high-resolution screen and waterproof design.
- The Paperwhite is priced starting at $130 for the 8 GB model and has enough features to satisfy most ebook readers.
- Here is everything you need to know about the Kindle Paperwhite and how it compares to other Kindle models.
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Amazon’s Kindle family of ebook readers remain popular despite the fact that you can read digital books on general-purpose tablets like the iPad. That’s due in large part to the Kindle’s paper-like E Ink display, which is easier on the eyes in a lot of reading situations because it is specifically designed for that purpose. The Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon’s middle child, falling between the basic Amazon Kindle and the premium Kindle Oasis. As such, it’s a popular choice for many ebook buyers. Here’s what you need to know about the Kindle Paperwhite.
What is the Kindle Paperwhite?
The Kindle Paperwhite is an ebook reader with a sharp E Ink Carta 300-ppi 6-inch display that is glare-free with built-in light. Its IPX8 water-resistance rating means that you can feel free to use it in places where it might get wet, like the beach, pool, and even in a bathtub. According to Amazon, the Paperwhite can withstand being fully immersed in two meters of freshwater for up to 60 minutes, making it ideal for tropical vacations and downtime in the sun.
The battery lasts a long time – about 28 hours of use between charges, which Amazon estimates is about six weeks of 30 minutes of reading per day. Otherwise, battery life largely depends on individual use and the measures one takes to preserve it.
The Paperwhite is thin and light (just over 8 mm thick and about 6.4 ounces). The screen is flush with the bezel, so there is no recessed indent that can trap dirt or sand, and the back of the reader has a soft, almost rubbery finish that’s easier to grip.
Kindle Paperwhite cost
The Paperwhite comes in two versions: an 8GB model which sells for $130 and a 32GB model for $160. Both are available in four colors, and you can also opt for an ad-free version for $20 more.
How the Kindle Paperwhite compares to other Kindle models
While each model has distinctive features, all three main models – the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis – are more common than they are different. The underlying E Ink screen is the same for all three Kindles, but the basic Kindle has a modest 167 ppi resolution screen, though it can be hard to see the difference most of the time. Here are the main differences:
Display. The Kindle has a 6-inch 167 ppi display, while the Kindle Paperwhite has a 6-inch 300 ppi screen. The Kindle Oasis has the same 300 ppi screen in a slightly larger 7-inch format. The Kindle has an indented screen, while it’s flush on the Paperwhite and Oasis – which probably contributes to those two more premium models being waterproof. The basic Kindle has four LED lights, while the Paperwhite has five, but neither compare to the 25 LED lights the Oasis has, which contributes to the screen glowing more evenly.
Battery life. You should expect the base Kindle to run for about 4 weeks of regular reading on a single charge. The Paperwhite and Oasis both have an upgraded battery that should last for about 6 weeks.
Storage. The Kindle has 8GB of storage while both the Paperwhite and Oasis are available with your choice of 8GB or 32GB.
Other features. While the internal specs of an ebook reader are not usually very important, the Kindle Oasis has a faster processor than the Paperwhite, which makes page turns and other features, like opening the menu, a little snappier. The Oasis also has a few additional “premium” features, like sensors that automatically adjust the backlight and an adjustable warm light, as well as buttons in the extended bezel to turn pages so you don’t need to swipe the screen.
Price. The Kindle is the most affordable model, priced at $90 (or $110 without ads). The Oasis is substantially more expensive — $250 for the 8GB version or $280 for 32GB (and add $20 to each for no ads). That makes the Kindle Paperwhite a good in-between choice for users looking for a waterproof, high resolution ebook reader, priced at the aforementioned $130 for the 8GB model.
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