Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle 5

It’s really a comparison between the new with the original (albeit updated) – Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle 5. Even though the Paperwhite is the new kid on the block, with new special features, there is still very much a place for the original, and it should in no way be discounted. The main advantage the original has over the new is its comparatively low price. Even though the Paperwhite isn’t expensive, it’s still higher priced, and depending on what and how you will use your ebook reader, will determine which direction you should go.

The aim of this article is to point out to you, some of the main differences, to help you understand the best route for you to take.

Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle 5 Head-to-Head Comparison

Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle 5

Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle 5

Screen Make Up

This is the most interesting difference. Although both devices are able to be read in direct sunlight with no effect on the ability to read, the Paperwhite has one significant advantage: it’s ability to be read at night.

This was always the Kindle’s original problem, in that it couldn’t be read in the dark. The Paperwhite has an option to turn a back light on, which illuminates the text to be read in dark conditions. The original Kindle always had to rely on an external light, or utilize a special cover which hooked into the battery supply and powered a built in light. You can still go the route of the Kindle if night time reading isn’t an issue, but if you did want to read at night, you’d have to source light – Kindle Reading Light. If you go the cover route, then you’re looking at a similar price to the Paperwhite anyway.

Screen Resolution

As expected, the resolution of the Paperwhite is superior to the regular Kindle. It has around 62% more pixels, has better contrast control for darker text, and this does make it easier to read. For people with poorer eyesight, this is a blessing, but for most able eyed people either device will suffice in this area. So again, in this kindle 5 vs kindle paperwhite comparison, the Paperwhite is the most advanced.

Dimensions and Weight

Next up on this Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle 5 comparison, is dimensions and weight. These figures are pretty similar with the Paperwhite at 6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″ compared to the Kindle 5 at 6.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.34″. The Kindle 5 is also slightly lighter, but this could be a negative as it doesn’t feel like you’re holding anything at times. But really this is negligible.

Battery Life

The Kindle has always had an excellent battery life, but the new Paperwhite has an even superior life, as it can last up to eight weeks with the light left on. Personally, I don’t think battery life is that much of an issue anyway, even if it was only two weeks between charges, does it really matter. It’s an ok feature, but recharging really shouldn’t be that much of an issue. But it’s there; both have got a good battery life.

Charging times are roughly the same, although the Kindle 5 takes just an hour less to charge.


One area of this Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle 5 comparison where the Kindle 5 comes up on top is in accessories. There’s a wider choice to choose from, but this is only because the Paperwhite is still new. Also, the Kindle 5 has a lot of illumination type accessory which is necessary for it to operate in the dark. The Paperwhite will never require this.

Direct Comparison of Main Features

Kindle 5
* E ink pearl display
* 6 ounces weight
* 2 gb internal storage plus free cloud storage
* Wi fi enabled
* Touchscreen

Kindle Paperwhite
* Superior resolution up to 62% more pixels
* Backlit display for night time use
* 2 gb internal storage plus free cloud storage
* Wi fi enabled
* Touchscreen

TitleKindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special OffersKindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
Height0.36 inch0.34 inch
Weight0.47 pound0.37 pound
Width4.6 inch4.5 inch
Length6.7 inch6.5 inch
ReviewsRead ReviewsRead Reviews
LinkMore InfoMore Info

The cost of the Paperwhite is approximately $50 more than the Kindle 5, so your main question should be how will you use it?

If you are going to use it at night, then the Paperwhite is the one to go for. If not, then you may as well stick with the regular Kindle 5 as most other features are the same. Both have the same amount of storage and access to Amazon’s cloud storage, and both have pretty much the same dimensions too.

I hope this Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle 5 comparison has helped you decide which is best for you.

4avg.rating 15 votes.

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