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Kindle Paperwhite vs Fire HD 8 (2022): Which E-Reader Should You Buy?

The Kindle Paperwhite is designed specifically for reading and it excels in this area, especially with its e-ink technology. On the other hand, the Fire HD 8 is an all-purpose budget tablet that can be used for all types of media, including watching videos, reading eBooks and more. If you are in the market for a budget tablet or e-reader, it’s highly likely that you are considering these devices. Below is our comparison of the two, highlighting their pros and cons, so that you can make an informed decision before choosing.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Fire HD 8 Comparison Chart

ModelKindle Paperwhite Fire HD 8
 
PriceCheck price at AmazonCheck price at Amazon
Dimensions6.9 ร— 4.9 ร— 0.32 inches7.95 x 5.39 x 0.38 inches
Weight7.34 oz12.52 oz
Display6.8 inches
Glare-free
300ppi
8 inches
Glass
189ppi
WaterproofIPX8N/A
Storage32GB
non-expandable
64GB or 32GB
expandable to up to 1TB
ConnectivityWiFi
Bluetooth 5.0 (audio only)
WiFi
Bluetooth 5.0
AudioBluetooth headphones or speakersBuilt-in stereo speakers
3.5mm audio jack
Bluetooth audio
CameraN/AMain: 2MP
Selfie: 2MP
BatteryUp to 10 weeks
5 hours charging time (2.5 hours with 9W charger – sold separately)
Up to 12 hours
5 hours charging time with included charger
Included in the BoxKindle Paperwhite
USB-C charging cable
Quick start guide
Fire HD 8
USB-C charging cable
5W power adapter
Quick start guide
Warranty1 year90 days

Design

As the smaller device, the Kindle Paperwhite is easier and more comfortable to hold than the Fire HD 8.

The Kindle Paperwhite (left) and Fire HD 8 (right) are both compact and lightweight for excellent portability.

In terms of design, these two look just like your standard tablet. Both are well-built, especially considering their prices and they come with the same textured plastic at the back. That said, the Kindle Paperwhite is more compact and easier to use, measuring at 6.9 ร— 4.9 ร— 0.32 inches whereas the Fire HD 8 measures 7.95 x 5.39 x 0.38 inches.

The Kindle Paperwhite is also lightweight—weighing only 7.35 oz. In contrast, the Fire HD 8 weighs 12.52 oz. While the difference in weight might seem small, it can be felt when these tablets are used for extended periods. The Kindle Paperwhite, with its compact and lightweight build is easier to hold one-handed than the Fire HD 8.

Display

The Fire HD 8 has a larger screen, but the screen of the Kindle Paperwhite is designed specifically for reading.

The Kindle Paperwhite (left) has an anti-glare screen while the Fire HD 8 (right) has a glass screen that will struggle when under direct sunlight.

When you look at these two devices, the most glaring difference is with their screens. The Kindle Paperwhite uses e-ink display technology which allows it to resemble the appearance of actual paper. On the other hand, the Fire HD 8 has a standard LCD display that you can find on most tablets. The LCD display of the Fire HD 8 is susceptible to glare from light sources, whereas the screen of the Kindle Paperwhite can adjust and react to different light sources to eliminate glare.

When it comes to screen size, the Kindle Paperwhite has a 6.8-inch display while the Fire HD 8 has a bigger 8-inch display. However, when it comes to pixel density, the Kindle Paperwhite beats the Fire HD 8 by a huge margin (300ppi vs 189ppi).

The higher pixel count of the Kindle Paperwhite allows it to display sharper and clearer text, making it more suitable for reading. The e-ink display technology is great for reading, but only that.

Software

Kindle Paperwhite devices are limited to reading eBooks and listening to audiobooks, while Fire tablets can play other media content.

The Kindle Paperwhite (left) is strictly an e-reader, whereas the Fire HD 8 (right) allows you to enjoy other forms of media.

While both have the shape and form factor of a tablet, they are vastly different when it comes to software and functions. Kindle Paperwhite devices come with the Kindle firmware and this firmware does not give you access to various apps that you might want to use in the future. The Kindle Paperwhite is designed solely for reading eBooks and listening to audiobooks.

Meanwhile, the FireOS that comes with every Fire tablet is a proprietary version of Android that is developed by Amazon. You will have access to various apps in the Amazon app store and you can even sideload the Google Play Store if you know how to.

It’s clear that the Fire HD 8 has the advantage on the software side of things since you can do pretty much anything with it, whereas on the Kindle Paperwhite, you are limited to just reading and listening to audiobooks.

Kindle Paperwhite Versions Compared

Kindle Paperwhite vs Regular Kindle

The Kindle Paperwhite has a 6.8-inch screen while the regular Kindle only has a 6-inch display.

Aside from having a bigger screen, the Kindle Paperwhite (left) also comes with a flush-front design, IPX8 waterproofing and an adjustable warm light.

Looking at the two, the most obvious difference is with the size of their screens. As mentioned above, the Kindle Paperwhite has a 6.8-inch screen with 300ppi while the regular Kindle has a smaller 6-inch screen with 167ppi. The bigger screen and higher pixel density of the Kindle Paperwhite can lead to a more enjoyable reading experience with less eye strain due to sharper text. However, as it is bigger, it’s not as portable.

Aside from their screen sizes, other differences with these models are as follows. The Kindle Paperwhite has 17 front LEDs compared to the 4 on the regular Kindle. Also, the Kindle Paperwhite has a flush front design which makes it more modern looking, IPX8 waterproofing and an adjustable warm light. The adjustable warm light gives the Kindle Paperwhite a huge advantage when it comes to preventing eye strain, especially when reading at night.

Kindle Paperwhite 10 vs 11 (gen)

The most noticeable difference between the 10th gen and 11th gen Kindle Paperwhite devices is their screen size.

Both the 10th gen (left) and 11th gen (right) Kindle Paperwhite come with a 300ppi screen, but the latter has 12 more built-in front LED lights.

At a glance, the most obvious difference between the 10th gen and 11th gen Kindle Paperwhite devices is their screen size. The 10th gen has a 6-inch screen and you’ll notice that the top and bottom bezels are thicker. Meanwhile, the 11th gen has a bigger 6.8-inch screen and the top bezel has been reduced to be in uniform with the side bezels.

They both have a pixel density of 300ppi, but since the 10th gen has a smaller display, it has sharper text. That said, the 300ppi pixel density of the 11th gen is still very good and it will still show clear and sharp text.

Features-wise, they are pretty similar, the only difference is that the 11th gen has more front LED lights—12, to be exact. The 10th gen only has 5 front LEDs while the 11th gen has 17. More front LED lights means that the 11th gen can get brighter to reduce eye strain.

Verdict

Both Kindle Paperwhite and Fire HD 8 are excellent budget friendly devices with different use cases.

Kindle Paperwhite

Better for reading eBooks

Fire HD 8

Better for content consumption

If you are looking to get an e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite is one of the best value devices that you can get. It’s designed specifically for reading books with its e-ink display so you’ll have a great time reading without having to deal with glare. It also has various features such as an adjustable warm light for less eye strain, IPX8 waterproofing if you need to bring it with you outdoors or to the toilet, and Bluetooth audio for listening to audiobooks.

Meanwhile, the Fire HD 8 is one of the best budget tablets with decent performance that you can buy. Its Fire OS is a bit limited since by default, you won’t have access to the Google Play Store, but there are workarounds to that. If you are looking to get a budget tablet for consuming various types of media—not just reading eBooks, the Fire HD 8 is an excellent choice.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is a Kindle or Nook better?

It depends on what you are looking for in a reader. If you are only interested in reading books, the Kindle lineup can be the better option. However, if you also want to read colored pages, you should consider the Nook.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Kindle Paperwhite worth it?

If you are only interested in reading books and listening to Audible audiobooks, the Kindle Paperwhite is worth buying. However, if you also want to watch movies or videos, the Fire HD 8 is a much better option.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is the Fire HD 8 good for reading books?

You can use the Fire HD 8 for reading books, but the Kindle Paperwhite will offer a much better experience since it is designed specifically for it.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which Kindle reader is the best?

In terms of features, the Kindle Oasis is the best, but it also very expensive. The Kindle Paperwhite is, in our opinion, the device that offers the best value in the Kindle lineup.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.