The Kindle Paperwhite is an eBook Reader, while the Kindle Fire is a tablet. They are the two major product lines of portable devices from Amazon, and they are designed for different purposes.
Here we explore further on the differences between the two product series.
Difference between Kindle Paperwhite and Fire Tablet
Since 2014, Amazon has dropped the word “Kindle” for the names of their tablets, so now they are officially called the Fire tablets and only their e-readers are called the Kindle e-readers. But since many people still refer Amazon’s tablet as the Kindle Fire, we also use this old name throughout our articles.
When comparing the two, the two major differences are the screen and battery life. The Kindle e-readers (including the latest Kindle Paperwhite 3 which has a 300 ppi screen) are using eInk screen, while the Kindle Fire tablets (including the Amazon Fire 5th generation, Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX) are using IPS LCD screen. For battery life, the Paperwhite can last up to 6 weeks if you just read for 30 mins per day (or around 20 hours of continuous use); while Fire tablets can only last up to 8 hours of continuous use
Kindle Paperwhite 3
The Kindle Paperwhite has a high resolution screen (300 ppi) and is using E Ink Carta technology. There are 16 shades of gray to show you the image on the screen. The E Ink screen provides high brightness and contrast, a wide viewing angle, and it uses very low power.
Thus you can read eBooks under direct sunlight. Moreover, it won’t easily cause eye-strain even for long hours of reading. In short, reading an eBook using the Paperwhite is like reading on a paperback book.
The overall benefit of getting the Kindle e-reader is that you would be able to get a better reading experience, plus the longer battery life of several weeks on a single charge. You can be concentrated on reading without being distracted by messages, emails, etc., that can come in very handy on tablets.
However, keep in mind that the Kindle Paperwhite is strictly for reading purposes only. You can do a little internet browsing using its experimental browser which is only good for websites that are mainly text. You can also check and write email on it, but it won’t be able to do it as fast as on a tablet.
You cannot watch movies or play games on it. The built-in storage is 4 GB, which is good enough for storing over a thousand eBooks. You also have an unlimited free cloud storage for all of your Amazon content.
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Kindle Fire (5th Generation)
The Kindle Fire, on the other hand, is a full-featured tablet and you can do a lot more stuff like:
- Movies / TV shows / YouTube videos
- Games / Apps
- Web surfing
- Skype video calling and chatting
- Music / Audio books
- Read large-size books, magazines, PDF, ePub files, etc.
Most of these features are not available or not handled well on the Kindle Paperwhite. In addition, it has a larger screen, and it can handle large-size textbooks, magazines, PDF, etc., better than the Paperwhite. You can also use it for listening audiobooks while the Paperwhite have no audio function.
However, one drawback is that you can’t read on the Fire tablet under direct sunlight. And if you have long hours of reading session, you may have eye strain because of watching too long on the LCD screen. The Fire tablet is also heavier in weight, so it’s less preferable if you want to hold the device with one hand while you are reading. For those uses, the Paperwhite would be better for you.
If you’re an avid reader and you want a device only for reading, or you want to read under direct sunlight, then the Kindle Paperwhite would be the better option for you. However, if you want a device that can do more (reading inclusive), and you are the kind of person who won’t easily get distracted by those gaming features while you’re reading, then the Fire Tablet would be the better option.