Which Kindle is Best? Amazon Kindle vs Paperwhite vs Voyage vs Oasis
Amazon undoubtedly has the E-Reader market pinned with it’s Kindle lineup. This is backed up by a fantastic E-book platform where anyone can publish their own books. This has resulted in Amazon being the go-to for anything to do with E-books.
Amazon Kindle vs Tablet
Before we get into which Kindle you should buy, we want to cover why you even need one in the first place and why you may use one over your iPad.
The most obvious point here is going to be the screen. The screen on a tablet is LED and a Kindle uses e-ink display technology.
An e-ink display looks a lot like you are reading something on a piece of actual paper and doesn’t have to light up millions of tiny LED’s to create the image.
What this results in is something that is easier on the eyes and doesn’t keep you awake at night, which is a must-have for anyone who likes to read before bed.
E-ink also only uses power when you change the image, which means you go from hours to potentially weeks/months worth of battery life.
As mentioned previously, an Amazon Kindle uses an e-ink display, which only uses power when changing the image. This is the biggest battery saving that is made by switching to a kindle.
You also don’t have to have expensive power hungry hardware to support a full Android/IOS operating system in the background. The Kindle is essentially in an off state when you are just reading and only uses any battery when you give in an input.
All this means that the battery life of a Kindle is going to be in the weeks to months, vs a tablet which if you are going to be reading for hours at a time will churn through the battery in a matter of hours.
An Amazon Kindle has a focus on using lighter materials to keep the weight down. This combined with there being no need for a heavy LED screen and massive battery means that the Kindle only weighs a fraction of the weight of your standard iPad.
This is the only category where we would say that the Kindle loses out to a standard tablet.
The e-ink displays on the cheaper Kindles can be quite fragile and so we would recommend a decent case which covers the screen. If you accidentally sit on an iPad, chances are it will survive. Do the same with a kindle and you are likely going to end up having to send it back to Amazon for a repair (which they are very efficient with!).
The screens on the more expensive offerings do include glass though and are less prone to breaking.
Aside from the screen though the Kindle uses a solid plastic construction which is pretty durable. Just make sure you cover that screen if you are chucking your shiny new Kindle in a bag!
Only the very cheapest of the cheap Android tablets can beat the Kindle for price and we wouldn’t recommend anyone buy a tablet at that budget anyway.
Why you should buy the base Kindle: Cheap and cheerful
So first up we have the base level Amazon Kindle which has just recently had a nice little update.
This kindle is going to suit anyone on a budget as the price is pretty unbelievable. This does mean that it lacks some of the features of the more expensive Kindle’s on this list, but for a lot of people who don’t need fancy backlights and higher resolution screens, then this will be a great option.
The base Kindle comes with a 6″ touchscreen and is is 11% thinner and 16% lighter than the previous model. It also comes with built-in Bluetooth audio, which means you can connect your Kindle up to your speakers or headphones to have it read the book for you… If you are too lazy to read it yourself!
Although the screen is only half as sharp as it’s bigger brothers, it is still a lovely reading experience and is perfectly serviceable.
Who’s it for?
This would be a great Kindle for someone either on a budget or for someone who doesn’t require a backlight for reading at night… I mean books don’t come with backlights installed either!
- No backlight.
- No 3/4G – Only has WiFi.
Why you should buy the Kindle Paperwhite: Bang for buck
So this is the middleweight Amazon Kindle. The Kindle Paperwhite has recently been upgraded with a nice 300 PPI 6″ touchscreen, which is double what comes on the base spec kindle.
The upgraded screen means that text appears much sharper and pleasant to read.
The Kindle Paperwhite also comes with a built-in backlight, which some find is a must have if you are reading in a dark room before going to sleep.
This is the heaviest of the Kindle lineup, which may be off-putting for some, but that’s only because it’s brothers are so damn light!. This isn’t a heavy device by any means and you shouldn’t really notice the extra weight all that much.
Another potential upgrade is the addition of optional 3G, which means you can download books without the need of an internet connection. This does bump up the price more than we would like though!
Who’s it for?
This Kindle will suit anyone who likes the extra features of the more expensive Kindle’s but doesn’t want to break the bank. This is probably the best bang for buck Kindle in the lineup.
- Backlit screen.
- 300ppi 6″ touchscreen display.
- Can be specked with 3G.
- 3G is costly.
Why you should buy the Kindle Paperwhite: Build quality
The Kindle Voyage is a more premium kindle, with a metal and glass construction, instead of the plastic found on it’s cheaper cousins.
The kindle voyage comes with a nice flush glass screen, which is more durable and premium feeling than plastic and feels more in line with something you would get on a tablet (although still e-ink).
Despite being a more premium construction, the Kindle Voyage manages to keep the weight down and is the second lightest kindle in the lineup, only second to the new range-topping Oasis.
One thing that the Voyage has that none of the others have is an adaptive backlight which automatically adjusts the backlight depending on the darkness of the room, much like you will find on most smartphones and tablets. This means less faffing around if you start reading a book in your living room but want to take it to bed with you.
Under the premium glass is the same 6″ 300 PPI screen that is found on the Paperwhite, which is no bad thing!.
We also ditch the physical buttons for turning pages and instead get haptic touch bars instead, which we found worked quite well and aren’t as annoying as we may have initially expected.
Oddly Amazon has chosen to discontinue the 3G variant of the Voyage, which we think is because it may be due a refresh soon. Still an odd move to make though.
Who’s it for?
The Voyage is ideal for anyone looking for a more premium device but doesn’t quite want to stretch to the newer range-topping Oasis, which is currently quite a bit more expensive. The extra features on the Voyage are a nice step up and the device has an overall more premium feel.
- Auto-adjusting backlight.
- Premium construction.
- No more 3g option.
The Oasis is the new range-topping Kindle in the lineup and comes with a price to match.
The Kindle Oasis is the lightest in the range and comes with an updated backlight, which means crisper text and a more uniform lighting, even though it has the same screen as the Paperwhite and Voyage.
We also see a return of physical buttons on the right of the device, instead of touch screen or haptic buttons, this may be appealing to some who miss having physical buttons on some of the older Kindles.
Another feature for the Oasis is the inclusion of a leather magnetic snap-on case, which is an expensive feature on its brothers and helps to justify the extra money you will be parting with if you choose to buy the Kindle Oasis.
The included case also has a battery built into it so you can extend your battery life from weeks to months! we aren’t sure if that’s overkill but we certainly arent complaining either.
If money is no object then we would say that this really is the best E-Reader on the market by a mile and if you are an avid reader, then it is well worth the money!.
The Oasis also feels like the most durable Kindle on offer and even comes with IPX8 Waterproofing which is ideal for those of us who like to read on the beach or in the bath!.
Who is it for?
If you do a lot of reading and want the best device on the market, then this is a worthwhile investment. It is more expensive than its brothers, but it justifies that price with a premium build, plenty of features and an included leather case.
- Lightest in the lineup.
- Fantastic build quality.
- Physical buttons.
- Included magnetic snap on case with build in battery.
- Months of battery life.
Which Amazon Kindle Should you Buy – Conclusion?
There really is a Kindle to suit every budget and none of them are bad products. It really comes down to your individual needs.
If you only do some light reading in well-lit conditions then the base Kindle will do you fine without costing the earth.
The Paperwhite stands out as the best bang for buck and will suit almost anyone. The included backlight and upgraded screen put it ahead of the base Kindle and justifies the little bit extra cost.
The Oasis and Voyage are going to be for the heavy readers who just want the best overall experience and don’t mind spending a little extra moola to get it.
Overall Winner: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
If we absolutely had to pick one winner then the Paperwhite would be it. It offers an amazing product at an even more amazing price.