Basic Kindle vs New & Old Paperwhite vs Oas
(Pocket Ribbon) – There’s nothing like going on vacation without weighing down your luggage with piles of books. Now, though, there’s also a lot to be said for accessing nearly unlimited numbers of books without having to go to a store to buy more. The Kindle reader is one of the most popular choices for ebook reading, allowing you to read your favorite books on a digital device, without the drawbacks associated with using a tablet or smartphone.
Not only is the Kindle energy efficient, but it’s also well connected, meaning you can easily download new books. It’s also incredibly easy to use with seamless integration with your Amazon account. The best prices are usually available on days like Prime Day or Black Friday, but there are regular discounts throughout the year.
The real decision is which model to buy. There are currently seven models of Kindle offered by Amazon: the new Kindle Paperwhite, Paperwhite Kids, and Paperwhite Signature Edition, the Kindle with Front Light, old Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Kids Edition, and Kindle Oasis. Here’s how they break.
Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite Family from 2021
In 2021, Amazon announced a new family of devices consisting of the Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Paperwhite Kids, and the Kindle Paperwhite Signature. These devices are currently in pre-order, so we’re presenting them alongside existing Kindle models for consideration.
Amazon Kindle Paper White (2021)
174 x 125 x 8.1 mm, 205 g 6.8 inch screen, 300 ppi 8 GB, WiFi IPX8 waterproof
Amazon’s new Kindle Paperwhite, refreshed in 2021, makes some significant changes over the older model. The bezels have been reduced slightly, but there’s now a larger 6.8-inch screen, taller than other Kindles – except for the Oasis at 7 inches.
This model is actually a bit wider and taller than the 2018 model it replaces, and heavier at 205g. There’s 8GB of storage and it’s limited to Wi-Fi connectivity only – there’s no option for cellular connectivity.
As before, there’s a front lighting system so you can read in the dark, but you can also adjust its color temperature, like with the Kindle Oasis (2019).
There’s now a USB-C port for charging, with battery lasting up to 10 weeks – that’s 4 weeks longer than the older Paperwhite. It is waterproof with an IPX8 rating.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite for Kids
174 x 125 x 8.1 mm, 205 g 6.8 inch screen, 300 ppi 8 GB, Wi-Fi IPX8 waterproof case, Amazon Kids+ and 2 year warranty
The Kindle Paperwhite Kids is the same model as the Kindle Paperwhite (2021), so it has exactly the same features as the model above, but comes in a bundle designed for kids.
That includes a cover to keep it protected, a Kindle Kids+ subscription, and a 2-year warranty, so if your kids break it, Amazon will replace it.
The best part is that when your kids outgrow the kids content, they can use the Kindle like a normal kindle for adults.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition
174 x 125 x 8.1 mm, 207 g 6.8 inch screen, 300 ppi 8 GB, WiFi IPX8 waterproof
The Paperwhite Signature Edition is based on the Kindle Paperwhite 2021, but makes a few changes to make it a little more premium.
While it has the same chassis and exterior design, it offers 32GB of storage, 4x as much as the standard Kindle Paperwhite. It also offers an auto-adjusting front light to suit the reading conditions you’re in.
There’s also wireless charging, with a Wireless charging station specially designed for this model (an optional extra), so you don’t have to plug it in. All this makes for a slightly more premium experience overall.
Existing Kindle Models
The following models are older, but still widely available and may offer more bang for your buck if you’re looking for a Kindle.
Amazon Kindle with front light
160 x 113 x 8.7 mm, 174 g 6.0 inch screen, 167 ppi 8 GB, Wi-Fi
Amazon’s standard Kindle was updated in 2019 with the big addition of front lighting. That makes this cheapest Kindle practical, while offering the same storage space as the latest devices.
The design isn’t as sophisticated as the Paperwhite models, but with a raised bezel around the screen and that screen has a lower resolution, so it’s not as sharp as the old or new Paperwhite models.
That said, the experience is pretty much the same when it comes to accessing books, and reading those books is still a pleasure.
Amazon Kindle Kids Edition
160 x 113 x 8.7 mm, 174 g 6.0 inch screen, 167 ppi 8 GB, Wi-Fi
The Kindle Kids edition is, of course, aimed at kids and has some services that the other Kindles don’t have.
Beneath the surface, though, it’s the same as the standard Kindle above. The extra bits are a standard case and a worry-free guarantee that the Kindle will be replaced, even if it is accidentally damaged.
It also comes with a year of free content for kids from Audible audiobooks and Kindle books, thanks to Amazon Kids+.
Amazon Kindle Paper White (2018)
167 x 116 x 8.2 mm, 182 g 6.0 inch screen, 300 ppi 8/32 GB, Wi-Fi or mobile IPX8 water resistance
When the Paperwhite was launched, its unique feature was the lighting, meaning you could read it without the lights on. That’s now a standard feature, keeping the Kindle Paperwhite (2018) in a mid-range position.
The 6-inch E-Ink display has 300 ppi and has better contrast than the regular Kindle, meaning whites are brighter and blacks are deeper. Again, this is a touchscreen device with a battery that will last for weeks. In this design (2018), it’s thinner and lighter than before, and now offers IPX8 waterproofing, with a flat front – so no bezel on that bezel like the standard Kindle.
The Paperwhite comes in Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G options. The 3G option initially costs a little more to buy, but there are no ongoing charges, after that it’s a free connection.
It has now been updated with the 2021 Paperwhite, but has seen a healthy price cut to reflect this.
Amazon Kindle Oasis
159 x 141 x 3.4-8.4 mm, 188 g 7.0 inch screen, 300 ppi 8/32 GB, Wi-Fi or mobile IPX8 water resistance
Bigger and better, the Kindle Oasis is designed to be the ultimate reading device.
This model has a 7-inch display—larger than any other Kindle—and includes all the top features. It provides lighting, but with more LEDs so that everything is more evenly distributed. It also features automatic brightness, as found on the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.
The Kindle Oasis is waterproof, but has a thin and light design, so it fits easily in any pocket. With a battery life of 6 weeks, it is a premium reader and a topper in the Kindle family.
As with Paperwhite, there’s a choice of Wi-Fi or 3G models, with the 8GB Wi-Fi model being the most affordable of the selection and the 32GB 3G version seeing the price rise. The Oasis is easily the most accomplished Kindle – if you read every day, you’ll appreciate the extra skills it offers.
Written by Chris Hall. Editing by Cam Bunton.