Looking for an e-reader that will take reading to a whole new level? Then check out Amazon’s 2 top-selling devices: the Kindle Paperwhite 3 (released in 2015) and the Kindle Paperwhite 2. These e-readers are a cut above the rest and causing quite a buzz, as consumers everywhere are debating which one is best. While they both give consumers their money’s worth, there are subtle, but important differences you should know before buying either one. To help you make the right choice we compiled this review of the Kindle Paperwhite 3 vs Paperwhite 2, so you can compare these e-readers side by side and see how they stack up.
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Paperwhite 3: Greatness Personified ($30 off this Black Friday – Best Seller 2017)
The Paperwhite 3, or 3rd Generation, is an upgraded version of the Paperwhite 2. While most of the main features are the same, the differences make a BIG difference when it comes to quality. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer:
- 300 ppi Resolution: The higher resolution improves clarity, eliminates glare and makes reading easy and comfortable. Images are crisp and clear, so there is no eye-strain whether you are reading in broad daylight or deep into the night. It’s great for students or professionals who will use it often as an easy, portable source of entertainment. Plus, only the Kindle Voyage has 300 ppi, and it costs almost $200- the Paperwhite 3 is only $119, so you are really getting a great value.
- Bookerly Font: This font is only for the Paperwhite 3 and improves the way words fit and flow on the screen. This font makes letters look more defined and takes up less space without being smaller than the other fonts. So you can fit more words on a page and read seamlessly.
- Sleek/Chic New Design: The 3 has the same black shell, but it has been upgraded. It has a subtle texture to it that makes it easier to grip and the Kindle and Amazon logos are in black, giving it an engraved, polished look.
- Built-In WiFi: The built-in WiFi feature means you can connect anywhere, giving you access to Amazon’s full library and other features wherever a connection is available.
- Best Price Online at Amazon
Paperwhite 2: Style & Function All In One
Amazon’s Paperwhite 2 has a lot to offer anyone who loves to read. From its long-lasting battery to its lightweight design it is a great choice for anyone looking for quality and style. Plus, with all the Kindle deals being offered, it comes at a great price. Let’s take a closer look:
- Lightweight Design: The Paperwhite 2 is 30% lighter than the iPad mini, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. It also makes it easy to hold with just one hand, so you can read even if you’re standing on a crowded train.
- 212 ppi Resolution: The 212 ppi resolution means there is no light reflecting back at you when you read, so you can use it on the beach or in the moonlight with no problem. The words are easy to see and stand out without being too bright.
- Ample Storage: This model can hold up to thousands of titles, so you don’t have to worry about erasing one book to make room for another one.
- Great Value: The Paperwhite 2 is just $109, making it a steal when you look at all it has to offer.
- $10 off comparing to Paperwhite 2015
What Separates The Paperwhite 3 from The Paperwhite 2
No doubt the 2015 Paperwhite is the Winner!
Now that you see what each device offers and what they have in common, let’s look at how they differ:
- Physical Specs: The 2015 has a matte finish with a gritty feel that makes it easy to grip. It also looks more sophisticated with its black on black detailing. The Paperwhite 2 has a smooth, shiny black finish, with details like the kindle logo written in white. It also weighs slightly less, making it feel better in your grasp.
This is a toss-up because the 2 weighs a bit less, but the 3 has a nicer style. If you want a bit more substance the 3 is the way to go, but if you are looking for something that feels feather light in your hands, go with the 2.
- Resolution: The latest model has a 300 PPI display, giving the pages a smoother, more defined look. Words flow easier and reading is quicker. Its predecessor has a 212 ppi, which gives it a nice clarity with no glare, but, compared against the Paperwhite 3, it is a bit harsher on the eyes.
The 3 wins here easily thanks to crystal clear resolution that eliminates any eye irritation. With the 3 you can read for longer periods of time, which is great for avid readers who don’t want to put down that great book.
The 3 wins again thanks to a more streamlined reading experience. Bookerly gives any magazine, newspaper of book a smooth flow when reading, so it feels natural.
- Price: Both devices are a steal: the 3 is $119 and the $2 is $109. However, you get more with the 3 for just an extra $10, so the 3 wins in this category as well.
Kindle Paperwhite 3 (2015) vs Paperwhite (2013): The Similarities are endless
The Paperwhite 3 and the 2 both have a lot of the same core features in common, which is why they are both solid choices. Let’s see the features they share:
- Extended Battery Life: Both devices can last for a month on a single charge. That means you don’t have to be hassled with constantly plugging it in or worry about it dying when you’re traveling.
- Amazon Library Access: Users of both the 3 and 2 have full access to Amazon’s libraries. That means thousands of e-books, magazines and more, right at your fingertips. Many of the titles are free and the ones you pay for are almost free thanks to all the Paperwhite discounts available.
- Built-in Light: The built-in front light makes it easy to read at nightwithout having to shield your eyes or strain to see clearer. Most tablets use backlights, which are bright and shine in your eyes.
- Interactive Features: Both let you hover over a word to see what it means, allow you to take notes and can translate books into other languages. They also both have Goodreads so you can share books and passages with friends and family and-ray, which lets you explore the facts behind the book (such as giving information about historical figures or places).
The Paperwhite 3 Versus the Voyage
The only other e-reader that can compete with the 3, besides the 2, is the Voyage. It shares all of the same features as the 3 but has the added ability to turn pages without lifting a finger and is lighter than the Paperwhite. The ability to just press down to turn the page is nice and the thinness makes it super comfortable. But it comes at a price. The Voyage costs $199, making those extras very expensive – which is why many feel the 3 is the better deal.
Pros & Cons
Both the Paperwhite 3 and the Paperwhite 2 have a lot to offer. Let’s look at the Pros & Cons for each:
Pro: On the plus side it gives users everything they want at a great price. The increased resolution andnew font transform the reader’s experience. You can read a novel in any light without strain and the words look crisp without being too bright and hurting your eyes.
Con: On the negative side, shoppers can get all these features plus more with the Voyage, even if it does cost a lot more.
Pro: One of the best-priced tablets and a top seller, it offers a value that can’t be beaten and is one of the best quality readers around. You get a great value for your money and it is great for traveling thanks to its lightweight construction.
Con: On the downside, some models ship without 3G, which can be a bit of a hassle – although it can be added for an additional price. You just have to configure it yourself, which can be annoying.
Q & A
Here are some frequently asked consumer questions that can help you choose:
1. Does the Bookerly font really make a difference?
Yes. When you hold the 2 devices side-by-side you can see how much easier the font is on your eyes, making reading much more pleasurable.
2. How much clearer is the 300 ppi?
Much clearer. It makes the words stand out, without brightening the page, so reading feels even closer to that natural book feeling.
Shoppers love the Paperwhite 3 and the Paperwhite 2, and the reviews prove it. Users of the 3 say it’s “a marvelous replacement” and gush that they “love it”. Those who use the 2 say it’s “excellent all around” and “so amazing”. While each believes their device is the best, the one thing they each agree on is that these e-readers are the best of the best.
When it comes to the Kindle Paperwhite 3 vs Paperwhite 2, it is hard to choose a winner. Both are exceptionally made and offer users tons of extras to make reading more fun and informative. The Paperwhite 2 is a steal at just over $100, especially since it has such a high screen resolution and is super lightweight. However the 3 is just as impressive, and with an even better resolution and improved font choice, it is almost too good to pass up.
Whichever e-reader you choose, chances are you will be very satisfied. These are 2 high-end devices at bargain prices, so you really can’t make a wrong choice. The one thing that is certain is that whichever one you do choose will make you love reading even more than you already do. That’s something you can’t put a price on.
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.
Amazon has also developed a whole line of Kindle devices designed to satisfy all tastes and budgets including the Paperwhite, Voyage, and Oasis.
We have reviewed the other Kindle models here (Voyage) and here (Oasis).
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:
✔ CHECK TODAY’S DEAL FOR KINDLE (The All New Version)
✔ CHECK TODAY’S DEAL FOR KINDLE PAPERWHITE
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:
✔ KINDLE PAPERWHITE WI-FI ONLY ON AMAZON
✔ KINDLE PAPERWHITE WI-FI + 3G ON AMAZON
✔ BASIC KINDLE WITH SPECIAL OFFERS ON AMAZON
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
Last updated by David Richardson at .