Fire vs Kindle Paperwhite: Which is Better for Reading?

Amazon, one of the world's most profitable and wealthiest companies, has also been the market leader in E-Readers, and to some degree, one of the most sought-after Tablet manufacturers.

The Kindle has redefined the E-Reader market with innovative features like its proprietary E-Ink display and unmatched battery life. The Fire Tablet line has also made its mark on the technology world by sticking ardently to its value-for-money proposition.

Kindle Paperwhite is better than the Fire tablet for reading due to its e-ink display. The Fire tablet is a do-it-all tablet with a custom Fire OS UI and Amazon's own App Store, whereas the Kindle is a single-purpose device designed for reading.

Here is a more comprehensive analysis of the Fire tablet and the Kindle Paperwhite.

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Kindle Paperwhite

The Paperwhite has been the staple, not only among the E-reader circuit but also with the kindle range, and that's because it lies in the middle ground between the entry-level Kindle and the premium Oasis model.

So, essentially you're getting the best of both worlds with this device.

The 6.8" screen size is just right for a device like Paperwhite, which essentially fits in the palm of your hand. The bigger bezels and walls of the screen provide extra protection and grip.

One of the most distinguishing features of the Kindle lineup is its E-ink monochrome display.

Designed to mimic the touch and feel of paper, the E-ink display accomplishes this task by providing a rough, friction-induced touch interface.

The matte screen also provides ample daylight viewing under harsh sunlight.

The newer adjustable warm light feature also adds to the already spectacular reading experience on a Kindle Paperwhite by letting you tweak the display tint to a more warmer shade.

You could download all your favorite books from the Kindle store and store them right on your device.

Speaking of storage, the Paperwhite comes with either 8 GB, 16 GB, or 32 GB (signature edition) storage space.

There is no provision for expansion, though. You can download the books from the store using WiFi.

And then we come to the most important attribute of this device, the battery life. You can expect a strong 6-10 weeks of battery life with a half-hour of reading per day.

And that might be the justification Amazon might claim when considering the 6-hour charging time. All Paperwhite devices now come with USB-C charging ports.

The all-new Paperwhite lineup consists of 3 devices: the regular Paperwhite, the Paperwhite Kids edition, and the Paperwhite Signature edition.

The Paperwhite Kids is in many ways similar to the regular Paperwhite but includes some kids-friendly back covers and graphics along with a one-year membership for Amazon kids+.

The Signature edition provides a jump in storage space (32 GB standard) and supports wireless charging. It also has support for page-turning buttons and also costs dearly.

All Paperwhite devices are waterproof, thanks to the IPX8 rating.

Even though there is no headphone jack available on the device, you can connect your wireless headphones using Bluetooth and hear unlimited Audiobooks on your Paperwhite.

That's about it for the Paperwhite. Let's now look at the Fire tablet, shall we?

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Amazon Fire Tablet: Serious Value for Money

Amazon Fire Tablet

Back in 2011, when the Fire Tablet made its debut, it took the tablet market by storm because of its radical pricing and features on offer.

A decade and some later, the Fire Tablet lineup remains the best option on the market if you are on a tight budget.

Over the years, Amazon has expanded this lineup to include a tablet for all budget ranges without compromising the features.

From the cheapest Fire HD 7 to the top-of-the-line Fire HD 10+ or even the newer Fire HD productivity, Amazon hasn't cut any corners in terms of features onboard.

The screen sizes range from a 7" HD display to a 10.1" Full-HD display. Nothing special about them, just the plain old IPS displays with crisp pictures and ample brightness.

The processing power stretches from a 2.0 GHz quad-core processor to a 2.0 GHz octa-core processor. Availability of RAM also varies from model to model, anywhere from 2 GB up to 4 GB.

All this horsepower to drive the many games and apps, hundreds and thousands of them in fact, available on the Amazon App store.

Sadly, even though operating on Android OS, there isn't a Playstore app available on the Fire.

And to store all your favorite apps and games, the storage ranges from 16 GB to 64 GB. You can also expand the storage through a micro SD card up to 1TB.

You can browse the internet using the Silk browser, Amazon's version of Chrome if you know what I mean!

You can connect to the internet through either a 2 GHz band or the higher bandwidth 5GHz band, thanks to the dual-band provision of these devices.

The device has two cameras, one on each flat side. The base models come with 2MP cameras, while the higher-end models house up to 5MP cameras.

These devices have an inbuilt headphone jack and have support for Bluetooth, which is a bonus considering the accepted normalcy of a 3.5mm jack-less world.

Unlike Paperwhite, the Fire tablets are not waterproof, not a significant loss considering the price tag.

The battery life is also pretty good, ranging from 6-12 hours of use on a single charge.

Higher-end models support charging through a USB-C port, while the lower-end devices have to suffice with micro-USB ports.

All devices come with Handsfree Alexa integration so that you can add these devices to your blooming Alexa ecosystem.

Related: Can Alexa Read the Bible?

Here is a table to help you understand a bit more about the features and specs of the various Fire tablets.

Specifications Fire HD 7 Fire HD 8/Fire HD 8+ Fire HD 10/Fire HD 10 Plus
Screen and Resolution7", 1024*600 (171 PPI)8", 1280*800 (189 PPI) 10.1", 1920*1200 (224 PPI)
Battery BackupUp to 10 hoursUp to 11-13 hoursUp to 12 hours
Charging Time3-4 hours3-5 hours4 hours
Storage16/32 GB (Expandable up to 1 TB)32/64 GB (Expandable up to 1 TB) 32/64 GB (Expandable up to 1 TB)
CPU and RAMQuad-core 2.0 GHz, 2 GB RAMHexa-core 2 GHz, 2-3 GB RAM Octa-Core 2 GHz, 3-4 GB RAM
PortsUSB-C, 3.5mm Headphone jackUSB-C (2.0), 3.5mm Headphone jack USB-C(2.0), 3.5mm Headphone jack
Camera2 MP front and rear 2 MP front and 5MP rear (Plus model) 2 MP front and 5 MP rear
Wireless and Fast Charging
AudioMono SpeakersDual speakers with support for Dolby Atmos Dual speakers with support for Dolby Atmos
Kindle Fire Tablet comparison

If you want to check out the latest and greatest fire tablet, do so on Amazon:

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus
Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus tablet, 10.1inch, 1080p Full HD, 32 GB, latest model (2021 release), Slate

Fire Tablet vs Kindle Paperwhite

Fire Tablet vs. Kindle Paperwhite

As evident from the product introductions, these devices vary drastically in their intended purpose.

Unlike the Fire Tablets, the Paperwhite cannot perform any other function other than reading and listening. Even though there is a browser and some games present on the Kindle, better steer away from it if you want a tablet to more than just read.

Screen Quality

One of the most identifiable features of the Kindle Paperwhite is its E-Ink display. Not only because of its black-and-white contrasty interface but also because of its paperlike touch and feel.

The 6.8" screen offers an excellent 300 PPI (pixels per inch) resolution meaning excellent sharpness and quality. This much pixel count is an unseen and unheard-of feature in this price range.

All Paperwhite tablets employ "front lighting", an innovative lighting technique in which 17 LEDs are lined along the inner walls of the display to light up the screen.

Such an implementation eases the intensity of the light on our eyes and also provides better outdoor visibility.

Kindle Warm light feature

And talking about the easiness on the eyes, the Paperwhite also flaunts warm light adjustment, shifting the screen from white to amber under low brightness or during night readings.

The Signature edition also has adaptive front light adjusting that automatically changes the brightness according to the ambient conditions.

The Fire tablets sport various display configurations, none similar to the Paperwhite. Almost all of them are IPS panels that offer vibrant colors and crisp picture quality.

The base model Fire HD 7 has a 7" IPS screen with a pixel count of 171 PPI, far less than that of the Paperwhite.

The top-of-the-line Fire HD 10+ has a 10.1" 1080p panel with 224 PPI, still less than the Paperwhite.

But that's not an issue considering its use case scenarios which is mainly media consumption. The screen offers brilliant contrast and good brightness even under harsh lighting conditions.

These devices may be a bit under-equipped when talking about video playback, especially in the lower specced versions.

You can only play videos at a low SD resolution on the base model HD 7, which is a bit depressing.

Other modern screen features like auto-brightness, color shifts, and low-power modes are all available in this series.

Battery Backup

Another closely watched requirement for tablets is their battery life.

With Paperwhite, you can get almost 6-10 weeks of battery use on a single charge. I have come to this conclusion after using the device for about half an hour daily.

This enormous battery life is all thanks to the E-Ink display and the simplistic execution of the device.

Kindle USB-C port

All current Paperwhite models support a USB-C port for charging.

You can completely charge the device within 6 hours using the standard charger. You can use a fast charger to reduce the charging time to about 2.5 hours.

The Signature edition also has support for wireless charging, completely charging the device within 3.5 hours. You will have to buy the wireless charger and the fast charger separately.

The Fire Tablet series doesn't offer the weeks-long battery backup of the Paperwhite but does provide enough battery to power the device through the day.

Battery life, again, varies from device to device, but you will be able to get an average of 7-13 hours of use on a single charge.

The higher-end Fire HD 10/10+ can withstand the day with almost 12 hours of use time, a powerhouse by all means.

Such battery backup is uncommon among tablets, especially considering their power-hungry use case scenarios like gaming, video playback, or even productivity-related work.

All the tablet models in the Fire lineup support a USB-C (2.0) port for charging. Charging time can range between 4-5 hours, depending on the model.

Sadly, none of the fire tablets, save the flagship HD 10+ model, feature a wireless charging feature similar to the Signature edition Paperwhite.

Even though the Fire HD 10/10+ model comes with a 9W charger, it doesn't necessarily support fast charging.

The Fire HD 8/8+ doesn't have such a provision and takes about 5 hours to charge completely.

You can buy a 15W charger separately to fast charge these devices in about 3.5 hours.

Features On-Board

As I had mentioned earlier, the Paperwhite is designed and meant to be used only as an E-reader. And so, it is well justified to supply only those features that aid you in your reading endeavors.

The X-Ray feature, smart look-up, and format conversion feature are some of the features available on Paperwhite.

Kindle Voice View Feature

Another feature is voice-to-text recognition using wirelessly connected headphones through Bluetooth.

X-Ray, basically, allows you to access supplementary information about the text/content you have highlighted.

Smart lookup is essentially the name given to the quick search for the word or phrase in the inbuilt dictionary.

The Kindle Paperwhite also has support for file format conversion for any of the following formats: HTML DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP.

The device is also IPX8 water and dustproof rated, a feature exclusive to the Paperwhite.

Sadly, the device has no support for Amazon's handsfree assistant, Alexa.

But the Fire Tablets do support Alexa. You can easily integrate Alexa with all other Alexa-enabled devices to form a Home automation network.

Apart from the assistant feature, the Fire Tablets also host several smart device features like multi-touch capabilities, various sensors, and power-saving modes.

Most of these features are common to most Android tablets. The tables have cameras upfront and on the backside.

The resolutions vary across the models, with the HD 7 model receiving 2 MP cameras on both sides. The HD 7 can record videos up to 720p resolutions, which is a bit underwhelming for the current day and age.

On the higher-end models, you get a 5 MP camera but it is still limited to 720p recordings.

Unlike the Kindle Paperwhite, the Fire tablets don't have IPX ratings, hence no water or dust resistance.

OS and App Support

The Paperwhite runs on a proprietary OS called Kindle OS, and it is limited to just the essentials. Don't expect a full-blown OS that supports thousands of apps.

Kindle OS is pretty simple, you are greeted with your library interface as soon as the device wakes up. That's pretty much it, nothing more other than the usual stuff.

You can check your internet connection, connect to a Bluetooth device, or even search the internet using the Web Browser. You can download your favorite titles from the kindle store.

A thoughtfully-designed OS especially considering the Kindle's low refresh rate E-ink display. It also helps avoid unnecessary interruptions by the many social media apps that plague our reading sessions.

On the other hand, the Fire tablet series is, by all means, a traditional multifunctional tablet that is based on Android OS.

Fire tablets operate on a custom operating system called Fire OS. All the gimmicks aside, it is pretty much the Android OS, minus the Play Store.

Yes, that's right, there is NO Google Play store available on any Fire Tablets. Instead, you get the Amazon App store.

The App store does have a lot of apps and games available in it, in fact, most of the relevant ones at least. Still, it's a bit disappointing to have no Play Store on an Android device, at least a masked one at it.

Apps like Adobe illustrator won't work on the Amazon Fire tablet or the Kindle. Drawing with Adobe Illustrator is only possible with Android, iOS, or Windows.

Related: Best Drawing Tablets for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator [2023]

You also get a custom browser with these devices, the Silk browser. Even if it's not as optimized as the Chrome browser or many other established ones in the market, it sure gets the job done.

You can play media or watch live TV right from the browser, unlike the rudimentary browser present in Kindle devices.

Both devices receive frequent updates from Amazon, but the Fire series may get a few more updates in a year than the Kindle device.

But Kindle devices do get updates for a long time which is not the case with the Fire tablet lineup.

Power and Connectivity

The Fire tablet lineup is powered by quad-core or even octa-core processors so you won't feel a dearth of processing power any time soon.

The base model HD 7 comes with a 2.0 GHz quad-core processor and has 2 GB of RAM. The device is by no means a powerhouse, but the quad-core processor does take care of things pretty smoothly.

The highest-specced model, the HD 10/10+, does come with a much better octa-core chip clocked at 2.0 GHz and 4 GB of RAM. You don't have to worry about processing power with these devices.

Coming to the connectivity side of things all Fire tablets come equipped with dual-band WiFi support, a feature quite rare in this price range.

With dual-band support, you can connect to the internet through the ultra-modern, high bandwidth, 5GHz band for a faster and latency-free connection. You can also use WiFi to exchange data between devices.

In addition to the headphone jack port on all the Fire tablets, they all have support for Bluetooth. The higher-end models also come equipped with support for the latest and greatest version of Bluetooth.

In terms of the computing power exhibited by the Kindle Paperwhite, very little is known.

But that's not an issue because it doesn't need a lot of muscle power for powering a low refresh rate monochrome display that can only display the pages from a book.

The device does have support for both 2.4 and 5GHz bandwidth. But do not expect any peer-to-peer communication through this connection.

The Kindle Paperwhite does not come with a headphone jack. However, you can connect your headphones or speakers to the device using Bluetooth.

Related: Can You Read Kindle Books Offline?

Build Quality and Accessories Available

Kindle Hard Plastic Back

Both the Fire tablet and Paperwhite are made from the same textured hard plastic material.

And so, they may not be as pleasing and luxurious looking as the other tablets in the market, but it is sturdy.

The hard plastic does offer quite a lot of bump and fall protection compared to the glass and metal counterparts.

The Fire Tablet lineup does include buttons for volume and power. Although the regular Paperwhite only sports a power button, the premium edition does have buttons for turning pages.

Fire Tablet Accessories

Starting the list is the cover for the tablets. You can get the cases in several finishes, and they have magnets to make them stick to the screen.

An inbuilt stand mechanism also makes the cover a must-have accessory.

Another accessory for the higher-end models is the Qi Wireless charging dock. The Fire HD 10/10+ does support wireless charging, so it might be worth it to get one.

You can also get a productivity bundle edition of the Fire HD 10+ that comes with a keyboard and 12 months of Microsoft Office 360.

The last accessory that also comes as a bundle offer is the Amazon Luna controller.

You can play games using the Amazon cloud gaming platform. But then again, you will have to get an Amazon Cloud gaming subscription.

Paperwhite Accessories

The Paperwhite also similarly has a number of cases with several finishes. The Kid's edition does come with some attractive designs that may appeal to children.

The Signature edition does support Wireless charging, so you might as well look into the same Qi wireless charging dock.

And that's it for the official accessories. There are a lot of other third-party accessories like screen guards and covers available on Amazon itself.

Fire vs Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis

Amazon Fire Tablet vs Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis

Before we wrap up this article, let's take a look at how the bigger brother of the Paperwhite, the Oasis, fares against these two devices.

Here is a quick comparison table of the Paperwhite and the Oasis since most of the differences between the Fire tablet and the Paperwhite is also applicable to the Oasis.

SpecificationsKindle Paperwhite SeriesKindle Oasis
Screen and resolution6.8"(300 PPI)7"(300 PPI)
Front light LED count1725
Battery Life4-6 weeks2-4 weeks
Charging Time3-5 hours3-4 hours
Storage8/32 GB8/32 GB
ConnectivityWiFi WiFi and limited cellular connectivity(3G)
Fast and Wireless Charging (only on the Signature edition)
IPX8 support
Page turn buttons (only on the Signature edition)
Ergonomic design
Automatic Page Orientation

From the table, it is pretty evident that the Paperwhite does hold ground when comparing it to the premium Oasis.

Let's start with the display. The 7" 300PPI resolution panel provides excellent contrast and has adjustable brightness, good for harsh daylight conditions.

It also has an adjustable warm light feature that lets you change the intensity of the amber light to your liking. The LED count for the front lighting is also high, 25 of them to be precise.

You can get a battery life of about 2-3 weeks with the device if you read for about an hour a day. Wireless connectivity like Bluetooth pairing can limit the battery life.

Charging is also commendable, at about 3 hours for a full charge. However, there is no USB-C port on this device.

What sets apart Oasis from both these devices is their built quality. The Oasis is pretty thin and sleek for most of its form factor.

However, the device has a bulged battery zone, which also acts as a grip for the device. As subjective as it gets, some may dislike this design, while others embrace it wholeheartedly.

The all-glass and metal construction give the device its signature premium feel.

Another distinguishing feature of this device is its bezel and the buttons housed in this bezel.

The buttons help you leaf through the pages, while the bezels provide extra space to hold the device without accidentally turning the pages.

Both Paperwhite and Oasis share the same features on the software side.

Connectivity is also pretty much the same between these devices, except the Oasis allows accessing the internet using limited cellular connectivity.

The device is also waterproof like the Paperwhite, with the same IPX8 water and dust resistance rating.

Unfortunately, the Oasis doesn't support wireless or fast charging, a feature available in the Signature edition Paperwhite.

Amazon had recently come out with yet another ground-breaking device, the Kindle Scribe. Sharing an almost similar feature set of the Kindle Oasis with some obvious upgrades, with the Scribe, you can now annotate and make notes as your read, all on the same device at the same time.

Checkout Kindle Oasis here:

Kindle Oasis
Kindle Oasis – With 7inch display and page turn buttons

Final Verdict

Final Verdict

To be frank, it all comes down to your intended use.

If reading is your utmost priority, look no further the Paperwhite is the one for you.

It even fares well, maybe even better than the premium Oasis. The E-Ink display paired with the no-nonsense Kindle OS makes it an ideal reading device.

An IPX8 rating also ensures additional protection while near a pool or when taking a siesta in the bathtub.

But does this make the Fire tablet useless for reading purposes? Absolutely not.

If you want to have a traditional tablet for all your entertainment purposes, the Fire Tablet lineup is for you.

The 7"-10.1" screens do provide ample lighting and crisp resolutions for reading.

The Fire OS and the Amazon Store can provide you with all your necessary apps and games. Battery life is also really impressive, considering the price range of these tablets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are there ads on Kindle?

Generally, Kindle devices come in two variants- with and without ads. The without-ads model may cost a little more than the ad-supported model. The personalized ads appear as the screensaver on your Kindle. They may also appear at the bottom of the Home screen. You can unsubscribe from the ads on your Kindle device by paying a nominal fee for the service.

Can I download library books to my Kindle Paperwhite?

You can borrow books from your local library if they support online E-Book lending mechanisms like through OneDrive or apps like Libby. Some libraries may also support cloud-based library solutions through websites like Overdrive. Simply make an account, browse the catalog, and select the book of your choice.

How do I transfer data from my old Kindle to my new Kindle?

Yes, and the process is pretty simple. All you have to do is to register the new Kindle with the same Amazon account as the old one. The device will then automatically sync and download all your titles.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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