As Amazon's mid-price e-reader model, the Kindle Paperwhite has worked hard on improving many of the practical facets of the basic Kindle, while leaving the more luxurious additions to the Oasis. This focus on aspects like readability and connectivity has really appealed to customers, and—combined with the affordable pricing–has made the Paperwhite consistently the most popular Kindle on the market.
Now that Amazon has just released the Paperwhite 4, a new version of the Paperwhite for the first time in over three years, readers have even more choices when looking into a Kindle purchase, not to mention more chances to score a sweet deal. Is the Paperwhite right for the digital bookworm in your life? What are the differences between the Paperwhite 3 and the Paperwhite 4? Read on to find out!
To understand what makes the Paperwhite such a popular e-reader, look no further than these innovative features it added to the basic Kindle model.
This is really the big one: the Paperwhite allows you to read in the dark by adding screen lighting. However unlike other handheld devices, the Paperwhite doesn't just blast harsh light up and into your eyes from the back of the screen. Instead, it points its tiny, energy-conserving LEDs back toward the screen from the bezel in the front, greatly reducing eye irritation.
One of the most important measurements when looking at a device's readability is the screen's pixels per inch, or ppi. The basic Kindle clocks in at 167 ppi, but the Paperwhite squeezes in a whopping 300 ppi. I did the math—that's almost 80% more pixels.
When you buy, there's an option to upgrade more for cellular connectivity, but it means you no longer need to be on a wifi network to browse for and download books. As long as you're in a place that gets a good cellular signal, chances are you can access and use the Kindle Store. The best part is that while you're browsing for books from the beach, Amazon pays for the connectivity. No surprise phone bill for your Paperwhite!
So which Kindle Paperwhite version should you buy? To help you figure that out, here are the added features that come on the newest Paperwhite 4 version.
Lightweight, easy to use, and versatile, e-readers would seem to be a natural match with relaxing by the pool or in the bath. The catch has always been that electronic devices and water don't really go well together. But the newest Paperwhite is waterproof! The International Electrotechnical Commission has rated the Paperwhite 4 able to withstand immersion in up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) of fresh water for up to 60 minutes.
You can now pair the new Paperwhite with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones to use the Audible service for audiobooks. The best part is that the Kindle keeps track of where you are in the book, so you can switch seamlessly between reading and listening to your story without missing a beat.
The new Paperwhite 4 comes with 8 GB of storage standard—twice that of the Kindle or Paperwhite 3. Need more capacity? You can upgrade to the 32 GB model instead.
What's better than four LED lights? Five LED lights, of course. The addition of one more light sounds minor, but having more bulbs to position around the screen leads to a more even light distribution and a better reading experience.
|167 ppi||300 ppi||300 ppi|
|No||Yes: 4 LEDs||Yes: 5 LEDs|
|Audible||Yes: when paired with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones||No||Yes: when paired with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones|
|4 GB||4 GB||8 GB or 32 GB|
|Connectivity||WiFi||WiFi or WiFi + Free Cellular Connectivity||WiFi or WiFi + Free Cellular Connectivity|