What Is The Difference Between Kindle (2022) And Kindle Paperwhite (2021)?



What Is The Difference Between Kindle And Kindle Paperwhite

If you’re in the market for an e-reader, you’ve likely encountered two of the most popular options: the Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite. While both offer a great reading experience, there are some key differences that set them apart. In this article, I will explore these differences to help you determine which one is the best fit for your needs.

Specs Comparison: Kindle Vs Kindle Paperwhite

SpecsKindle (2022)Kindle Paperwhite (2021)
Display Size6″ 6.8″ 
Resolution300 ppi300 ppi
Front light4 LEDs17 LEDs
Flush-front designNot Available Available 
Waterproof (IPX8)Not Available Available 
Adjustable warm lightNot Available Available 
Storage16 GB16 GB
ColorBlack or DenimBlack 
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Specs Comparison: Kindle Vs Kindle Paperwhite

Size and Portability

One of the most noticeable differences between the Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite is their size. 

The basic Kindle has a 6-inch screen, while the Paperwhite boasts a slightly larger 6.8-inch display. This might not seem like a huge difference, but it can impact the overall reading experience and portability.

If you have smaller hands or prefer a more compact device, the basic Kindle might be the way to go. It typically measures around 6.3 x 4.5 x 0.34 inches and weighs approximately 6.1 ounces, making it easy to hold for extended reading sessions. 

Its smaller form makes it highly portable, easily fitting into small bags and even some pockets. You can whip it out during your commute, at the coffee shop, or while waiting in line without any hassle. 

Regarding durability, the basic Kindle has a simple plastic exterior that does the job. It’s not fancy, but it’s durable enough for everyday use.

On the other hand, if you don’t mind a slightly larger device, the Paperwhite’s bigger screen can provide a more immersive reading experience. 

It measures about 6.9 x 4.9 x 0.32 inches and weighs around 7.23 ounces. The increased display size allows for more words per page, reducing the frequency of page turns. It’s still compact enough to carry around, but it might not be as pocketable as the basic Kindle.

The Paperwhite, however, has a more premium vibe with its soft-touch rubbery back. It feels great in the hand, but watch out for fingerprints!

display-kindle Basic 2022-vs-kindle-paperwhite-2021

Display Quality

Both devices have glare-free screens that look like paper, even in bright sunlight. However, there is a slight difference in display quality between the two.

While both Kindles have a 300 ppi resolution, which provides clear and crisp text, the Paperwhite enhances the reading experience with additional front LED lights.

If you have eagle eyes, you might appreciate the extra crispness of the Paperwhite. But here’s the thing—the basic Kindle’s screen is actually slightly sharper because it does not have that extra glass layer like the Paperwhite. It’s a slight difference, but something to consider.

Another difference lies in the screen flush. The basic Kindle has a slightly recessed screen, which some people find helps to create a more paper-like feel. On the other hand, the Paperwhite has a waterproof and scratch-resistant flush glass screen. While this makes it more durable, it can cause more glare compared to the recessed screen of the basic Kindle.

Lighting and Reading Comfort

One of the standout features of the Kindle Paperwhite is its 17 built-in adjustable warm LEDs. These LEDs allow you to customize the screen’s color temperature, shifting from a cool white to a warm amber tone. Warm light reduces eye strain during long reading sessions, especially when using low light.

While the basic Kindle does have 4 built-in front LEDs, it doesn’t offer the warm light option. The front light is still adjustable, allowing you to find the perfect brightness level for your environment, but you can’t change the color temperature.

Paperwhite’s warm light might be a game-changer if you frequently read in low-light conditions or enjoy reading before bed. However, the basic Kindle’s front light should suffice if you mainly read during the day or in well-lit areas.

Kindle-Paperwhite-5-11th Gen-Waterproofing


The Kindle Paperwhite is perfect for those who enjoy reading by the pool or at the beach. It has an IPX8 rating, which means it can withstand immersion in up to 2 meters of freshwater for up to 60 minutes. 

This added protection gives you peace of mind and allows you to enjoy your favorite books in more places without worrying about accidental water damage.

Unfortunately, the basic Kindle doesn’t offer any waterproofing. While it’s still a durable device, you’ll need to be more cautious around water and keep it away from splashes or spills.

Battery Life

One of the great things about e-readers is their long battery life; both the Kindle and Paperwhite excel in this department. Amazon claims a single charge can last weeks, depending on your usage patterns.

The basic Kindle offers impressive battery life, typically lasting up to 4 weeks on a single charge, based on 30 minutes of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 13.

The Paperwhite, however, can last up to ten weeks under the same conditions. This extended battery life is a significant advantage for those wanting to avoid frequent charging.

Remember that factors like wireless usage, screen brightness, and page-turn frequency can impact battery life. However, both devices are designed to provide long-lasting reading sessions without constant charging.

Storage Capacity

Regarding Kindle storage, the Kindle and the Paperwhite offer massive space for your ebooks, audiobooks and PDFs. 

The basic Kindle has 16 GB of storage, which can hold thousands of books. This is enough for 99% of readers who don’t need to store a massive collection on their device.

However, the Paperwhite offers multiple storage options, starting at 8GB and going up to 32GB with the Signature Edition. 

The 16 GB or 32 GB version is ideal for those who prefer an extensive library at their fingertips or enjoy listening to audiobooks, as they take up more space than ebooks.


Of course, price is often a deciding factor when choosing between the Kindle and the Paperwhite. The basic Kindle is the more affordable, making it an attractive choice for budget-conscious readers or those new to e-readers.

The Paperwhite is priced higher than the basic Kindle, but its additional features justify the cost for many users. If you read a lot, prefer a more premium device, or need the waterproofing feature, the Paperwhite offers better value in the long run.

However, it’s worth noting that Amazon often offers promotions and discounts on their devices, so keep an eye out for deals that can make the Paperwhite more accessible.

Reasons to Choose Kindle Basic

  • Smaller, lighter and more portable – more accessible to hold for long periods and fits in pockets/small bags
  • The screen is slightly crisper/sharper due to the lack of extra glass layers, like on the Paperwhite.
  • It has a dark mode for comfortable night reading.
  • Cheaper price 

Reasons to choose Kindle Paperwhite

  • A larger 6.8″ screen (vs 6″ on Basic) provides more space.
  • Adjustable warm light is more accessible to the eyes, especially for night reading.
  • Waterproof (IPX8 rating)
  • Faster performance
  • Slightly longer battery life
  • Has page turn animations (Basic does not)
  • The flush screen design looks more premium.

Other considerations

  • All Kindles have the same OS and core reading features.
  • Covers and cases can improve ergonomics and protection.
  • Kindles last many years if treated well.
  • Amazon often has trade-in deals to upgrade to newer models.
  • Certified refurbished models offer savings.
  • The Paperwhite Kids edition includes one year of Amazon Kids+, a cover, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee.

Final Thoughts

Now you know the differences, which one should you choose?

Go with the Kindle Basic if you prioritize maximum portability, lower price, and sharper text.

Choose the Paperwhite for a larger screen, warm light, waterproofing and faster performance.

In the end, either model will provide an excellent reading experience—pick based on your needs and preferences.

Recommended Readings: E-Readers vs. Tablets – Which Is the Best Device for You?

Sharing is caring!

About the author


This site is owned and operated by Umme Salma. TabletSage.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.

Latest Posts

  • iPad Pro As A Macbook Replacement: Pros, Cons, And User Experiences

    iPad Pro As A Macbook Replacement: Pros, Cons, And User Experiences

    As a long-time MacBook user, I’ve always appreciated Apple’s laptops’ power and versatility.  However, after 5 years of relying on MacBooks for my daily computing needs, I found myself yearning for a new adventure—a device that could offer the same level of performance but with added portability and a touch-based interface.  That’s when I decided…

    Read more

  • What Is The Difference Between Kindle (2022) And Kindle Paperwhite (2021)?

    What Is The Difference Between Kindle (2022) And Kindle Paperwhite (2021)?

    If you’re in the market for an e-reader, you’ve likely encountered two of the most popular options: the Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite. While both offer a great reading experience, there are some key differences that set them apart. In this article, I will explore these differences to help you determine which one is the…

    Read more

  • The Best Kindle Scribe Cases

    The Best Kindle Scribe Cases

    It’s a painstaking task to find the perfect case for a Kindle Scribe from the thousands of cases available in the market. To ease your pain, I’ve curated a list of the five best cases for the Kindle Scribe. 5 Best Kindle Scribe Cases Aircawin  Clear Case   The first case I chose for you is…

    Read more