What is the advantage of Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite 2019 in comparison: why the two?

When Amazon delivered the new model of the “small” Kindle on April 10, 2019 for a price of 79.99 euros, the better Kindle Paperwhite was also available as a “spring offer” for 79.99 euros. Why is there still the small model? We compared the devices in a practical test.

Sure, the list price of the Kindle Paperwhite in spring 2019 is 119.99 euros. But if you missed the "Spring Offer", you just wait until the "Summer Offer" or the "Autumn Offer" or until Christmas, then the Kindle Paperwhite will certainly be cheaper again. But even the Kindle entry-level model will eventually fall in price and will certainly soon be available as an offer for 49.99 euros. Addendum: For Amazon Prime customers, the entry-level model already cost 49.99 euros on Prime Day 2019 (July 15, 2919). For the “Black Friday Week 2019” at the end of November, the devices cost all customers only 54.99 euros and 79.99 euros, after which they were available for a few days for 64.99 euros and 99.99 euros. During the Corona lockdown in March / April 2020, the Paperwhite also only cost 79.99 euros. On Prime Day 2020, the Paperwhite was available for 68.22 euros and the small Kindle model was only 48.72 euros. That was the cheapest price of the devices so far, but it was only valid for two days for Prime customers. In addition, VAT was reduced to 16% in 2020.

What's new in the entry-level model?

So why is there an entry-level model at all when it is on par with its "big brother" Kindle Paperwhite when it is on sale?

So far, the clearly visible difference was the non-illuminated reading display of the small Kindle (see our review of the previous model). Amazon tried to sell this euphemistically as "easy on the eyes". In fact, an external light source was always required if you wanted to read in the dark with the entry-level Kindle.

With the new 2019 model, four built-in LEDs now also illuminate the display of the entry-level device. The current Paperwhite has six LEDs, which acts like an artificial technical delimitation. Compared to its predecessor, the digital e-ink paper in the new entry-level model is already lighter because a different type of display is used. And since we are asked again and again: Yes, the light of the new Kindle can also be switched off completely.

With the illuminated reading surface, the light intensity of which has to be adjusted manually to different light situations like the Kindle Paperwhite, the main disadvantage of the small Kindle has disappeared.

The differences to the Kindle Paperwhite

So where are the differences to the Kindle Paperwhite?

  • The Reading area is still slightly set back in the case of the small Kindle, while it is flush with the case of the Paperwhite. This is not an advantage or disadvantage, but a matter of personal preference. Since both devices are scrolled on the screen with a swiping or tapping gesture, the surface of the small Kindle can at least be felt clearly. Because of the tablet-like look, the design of the Paperwhite is considered more contemporary, but that's a matter of taste.
  • The small model is almost half as small Pixel density (600 × 800 pixels) like the Kindle Paperwhite (1,080 × 1,440 pixels). Fonts and graphics are therefore displayed much more sharply on the Paperwhite and without visible "steps". However, if you do not have the direct comparison and always read on the slightly poorer display of the small Kindle, this is not noticeable. The size of the reading surface is identical on all devices with a 6-inch diagonal.
  • The casing the small Kindle is otherwise actually a bit smaller than that of the Paperwhite, 3 millimeters narrower, 7 millimeters shorter, but 0.5 millimeters higher. The small one is 8 grams lighter than the Paperwhite in the WLAN version.
    The small Kindle is available in black and white, the Paperwhite is currently only available in black.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite is water resistant, so you can fall into the bathtub, or you can read at the bus stop when it rains. The small model is not waterproof.
  • The small model only has 4 GB Storage, the Paperwhite is available with 8 or 32 GB. In the case of book files, this hardly makes a difference, especially since you can always access your library via the cloud. Both devices can play audiobooks from Audible with the help of an external loudspeaker or headphones via Bluetooth connection, which already require 400 or more megabytes of storage space, so that 4 GB of space could run out of space. However, compared to the smartphone, both devices are not comfortable audio book players. If you switch it off, for example, playback is also canceled. None of the models have connection sockets for wired headphones.

And what's the same?

On the software side the two devices are absolutely identical. Bookmarks, highlights, translations, settings for the display of text - all of this is the same on both devices.

Both devices usually come with the WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS connected to download e-books and audiobooks to the device. There is a more expensive version of the Paperwhite with additional cell phone access.

Like all Kindle readers, Amazon e-readers are designed for reading e-books purchased from Amazon. The EPUB format is not supported for political reasons, which is why you cannot use the online library of the public libraries with the Kindle devices.

Instead, when you switch it on for the first time you are gently urged - and free of charge, as always - whether you want to use the Amazon reading flat rate (Kindle Unlimited), which is only attractive for those who read a lot of self-publishing titles. Current bestsellers from publishers cannot be found in the Amazon reading flat rate range. An Audible subscription is also requested. So you should first bravely look for the less optically highlighted no links and click.

Conclusion: which device for whom?

The little Kindle can do everything the Paperwhite can do. The slightly poorer equipment (lower resolution, less memory, not waterproof), however, hardly plays a role in reading practice. Although the devices are usually around 40 euros apart in price, those who wait for the regular offers sometimes get both devices for the same or almost the same price.

Amazon's hardly different equipment and pricing policy is strange, as the devices have no clearly identifiable delimitation or target group. If the small Kindle model were much cheaper and would cost 29.99 euros, it would be a buy recommendation, as it hardly differs from the Paperwhite in terms of features. However, it will certainly soon be cheaper than the 79.99 euros that the device cost when it was launched. From an offer price of 49.99 euros you can strike.

Until then, the only recommendation to buy a Kindle is: Wait until the Paperwhite is on sale again and then buy it, because it has the slightly better display.

The "little" Kindle:
Kindle, now with integrated front light - with advertising - black. Electronics. Amazon. ISBN / EAN: 0841667139920. 79.99 € »Order at amazon.de display

The Kindle Paperwhite:
Kindle Paperwhite, waterproof, 6 inch (15 cm) high resolution display, 8 GB - with advertising - black. Electronics. Amazon. ISBN / EAN: 0841667177908. 119.99 € »Order at amazon.de display