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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

basic VS Paper White

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Showing 1-21 of 21 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 3, 2012 10:19:43 AM PDT
Kay Anderson says:
I wish someone compare the Paper White to the Basic and let us know which they like better

Posted on Oct 3, 2012 11:42:07 AM PDT
radiantjezzy says:
I had a Kindle 4 (previous basic kindle). The new basic kindle updated the Kindle 4 by making it faster and crisper if I am remembering correctly. Please forgive me as I did not make time to fact check before posting. Even though I bought my basic kindle about four weeks before Amazon announced their new line up of products I ordered the Paper White Kindle. I will be giving the Kindle 4 to my daughter (thanks a lot Amazon for the heads up on the new products :P least with apple we have months to decide to upgrade or not before a product is announced, but I digress).

I have the Kindle 4 and the new Paper White in front of me.

Kindle Basic Pros and Cons (I decided to fact check. The new Kindle is essentially the same but is now 15% faster and has new "darker, hand tuned fonts for easier reading":


-The biggest pro is the cost. The cost makes it accessible to more people and gives greater peace of mind if it ever became lost, stolen, or broken out of warranty.
-As a long time Kindle user (all the way back to the 1st gen) I found a lot of comfort in still having the buttons to click on both sides. I have read some reviews on the previous Kindle Touch where people complained about accidentally turning pages when they did not mean to. As I have just gotten the PaperWhite today I do not know if this is an issue that has been resolved.
-The Basic is less than 6 ounces and even in its case still feels very nice.

- The basic Kindle has no keyboard which makes data entry very awkward. When you do need to enter data a keyboard pops up on the screen and you then use the large button under the screen to ponderously select each letter one by one. On the plus side you really won't use it all that often.
-The next con really has to do with the lighted case and not the Kindle its self. The lighted case seems to shine more in one's eye than on the screen. It soon becomes uncomfortable. It's one of the biggest reasons why I passed this one by for the PaperWhite. I always need a light source to read by. You never know when you will want to pull out your book to read and quite often I have found I need a light. The basic Kindle lighted cover is subpar in directional lighting. If you are going with a basic case then this should not factor into how you make up your mind.

For what you will really be doing with a kindle a Basic covers all the bases. If lighting might be an issue a PaperWhite might be a little more your speed.

Kindle PaperWhite


-Wow, Can I say "how much do I love this screen"? As I previously stated, I bought the PaperWhite because I wanted better lighting on the screen and less glare in my eyes. The PaperWhite delivers 100% and I am doing a happy dance!
-The PaperWhite is a touchscreen which makes data entry easy. The touchscreen is responsive and read the placement of my finger tips correctly. However, there was a slight lag in-between letters when inputting data even though it read and recorded everything correctly. This might or might not happen for you depending on how fast you are entering your data.
-I can now see the cover of books instead of just the title. I like having a line of "books" instead of a row of titles. I don't know how long that will last though because once I start syncing over my whole library and putting it in folders it will make sense to keep it in the "List View" setting instead of the "Cover View".
- It's petty, I know, but I really like that there are more color choices for the cases. Because really, four colors for the Basic Kindle 4? That's just no fun!


-The most obvious is the price. The basic is cheaper but for me I really wanted, nay needed, the better lighting! At least, that's how I explained it to my husband.
-Well, honestly I just got it today so I haven't found anymore yet.


From what I have seen it is a solid and functional device. If price is not your concern than this one is sure to please.

I hope this has been somewhat helpful. Do take time to read the product description of both the Basic Kindle and the Paperwhite to gain further clarity of their differences. I have also found product reviews very helpful when making purchasing decisions.


Please disregard spelling and grammar errors. I have used half a brain to compose this so use half a brain to read it. If something incorrect stands out then let those mental gears start churning to help you figure out how to move past it. I don't want to see any grammatical namby pamby whining. If for some reason you can't seem to move beyond some glaring oversight and feel the need to let me know. Feel free to run to the closest mirror, look yourself in the eyes and tell yourself how much you love YOU! Thank you. That is all.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2012 4:11:32 PM PDT
feline lover says:
Wow, very good review. I'm sure I would not have bothered to go into such detail. I hope that Kay appreciates your doing all her research for her. :-)

All I have to say is I had the Kindle 4 basic and now I have the PW, and I really like the PW much better. But, everyone is different. It depends on what features are most important to you.

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 4:39:10 PM PDT
Nobody says:
I like the PW better, too, and I *loved* the basic Kindle. Amazon keeps making me happier and happier.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2012 5:05:18 PM PDT
A. Dietz says:
You can also go to the product page for each device on and read lots of reviews for each of them.

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 5:09:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 8, 2012 5:17:05 PM PDT
Basic vs Paperwhite boils down to this:
If you always read outdoor in broad daylight or indoor with excellent lighting, get the basic one. You don't need LED lighting in broad daylight.
If you need to use the dictionary frequently, get the Paperwhite. With basic Kindle, it's just too much hassle to use the button and place the cursor at the word you are looking for.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2012 5:14:09 PM PDT
Nobody says:
Good point about the dictionary. Also, turning on and off wifi is much more cumbersome with the basic model. All that arrowing down to settings before you get to the next menu page.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2012 5:18:58 PM PDT
"(thanks a lot Amazon for the heads up on the new products :P least with apple we have months to decide to upgrade or not before a product is announced, but I digress)."

Anyone paying any attention at all knew there was an announcement on September 6 and Amazon has a 30 day return policy whereas Apple's is only 14 days.

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 5:21:22 PM PDT
R. D. Clark says:
The PW is great, and it's already my go-to reader, but there's something so cleanly utilitarian about the Basic, I think I'll always be happy using it. Same reason I drive an '05 Scion xB -- everything you need, nothing you don't, in a minimalist package that fits in the smallest possible space and needs little care or attention.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2012 5:27:12 PM PDT
Nobody says:
I agree with you about the design of the Basic (and the Scion). Such clean lines. It appeals to me in the same way that Art Deco does.

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 7:15:58 PM PDT
Barbara says:
I'm hoping that the new capacitative touch screen on the Paperwhite will reduce the "accidental page-turns" issue with the Touch. The Touch has an IR touch screen, which means it's less sensitive to deliberate touches than - say - an iPad screen, but more sensitive to some types of accidental touches such as a sleeve or the edge of a pillow brushing against the screen. Another nice thing about the capacitative touch screen is that I will be able to wipe dust off the screen with my sleeve or a cloth without turning the page.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2012 9:00:33 PM PDT
R. D. Clark says:
I find the touch-response to be pretty much perfect -- and my benchmark is my iPad 2, which is widely accepted as the gold standard for touch screen performance. Very impressive.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2012 7:27:38 PM PDT
Barbara says:
R.D. Clark, is that the touch-response of the new paperwhite?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2012 8:50:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 9, 2012 8:50:43 PM PDT
R. D. Clark says:
Barbara, yes. By touching "(in reply to) an earlier post" you can see the post I was answering.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 9:38:41 AM PST
Ornella says:
I've preordered a Kindle Paperwhite here in Italy. Its delivery is due between 6-8 February 2013!!! It's a long time... so, as I'm an avid reader, I'm thinking of buying a Kindle Basic instead, which should arrive in 2 or 3 days. Moreover it costs approximately 70 $ less than the PW.
I don't know what to do. The PW is better, that's for sure, but it's hard to wait for two months and a half before getting it and in the meanwhile being obliged to read my ebooks form the netbook (a terrible experience for my eyes)
I've read your helpful reviews, but I'm still unable to make up my mind...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 9:55:25 AM PST
T. Cannon says:
Ultimately YOU are going to have the make the decision. Since you are still having trouble I would do this. List each feature that you believe makes the PW better than the basic (you have already indicated that you think it is better) then ask yourself for each feature, "Am I willing to wait an extra 2 months just to get this feature?" If the answer is Yes to any one then wait for the PW. If the answer is No to all of them then you need to look at your list and ask one more question. "Am I willing to wait an extra 2 months for all of these features combined?" If the answer is yes then wait for the PW. IF the answer is no then cancel your PW order and get the basic.

I suppose one other question you could ask is if you would be willing to give up all of the PW features for $70. If that answer is yes then go with the Basic.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 10:01:42 AM PST
The Blade says:

Buy both. I have multiple Kindles and having more than one can come in handy. If you're going to have a second Kindle, the Basic would sure be a consideration. And you could use the basic as your out and about Kindle. Take it with you and if you damage or lose it, not such a big deal.

Just an option that, if you can afford it solves your problem and answers your question completely.

Best of luck. :-)

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 10:03:20 AM PST
Packergirl12 says:
I am thinking of buying a kindle for my 75 year old mother. I can't decide between he paper white or the older version. She reads in a well light area. Any ideas?

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 10:19:49 AM PST
One other benefit of PW that I didn't see mentioned is that it comes in 3G if you need it. Otherwise, great comparison!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 11:23:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2012 11:25:14 AM PST
D. Beck says:
to S Ebsch - I'm 77 and have 2 KKs, the PW, and just gifted myself with the KF 2nd gen. I really like the PW for reading, weight is good, no additional light is necessary - I'm still getting acquainted with the touch on the PW. To me the KKs are a very easy. But, really love the PW, just Touch is quirky and my hands do shake a bit. the touch on my KFire 2nd gen is much better so far. I think I'd lean toward the KK with a lit cover. Good luck, Dar

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2012 6:41:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2012 6:44:05 AM PST
Ornella says:
many thanks to you all for your useful pieces of advice. I think I'll buy both and as soon as I get the PW , I'll give the Basic to my son :)
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  21
Initial post:  Oct 3, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 20, 2012

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