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Fire HD vs Kindle Paperwhite: Which is Better for Reading?

Fire HD vs Kindle Paperwhite: Which is Better for Reading?

In this article I’m going to compare the Kindle Paperwhite vs the fire hd tablet. The Amazon fire tablet is considered by many because for roughly the same price of the kindle Paperwhite, you can get a full tablet. However there’s some pros and cons to choosing a tablet over an e-reader.

Between the two devices, the Kindle Paperwhite is objectively better than the Fire HD tablet for reading books due to it’s e-ink technology (Paper-like Display).

If you need a tablet for other uses in addition to reading eBooks, then the amazon fire hd 8 & 10 models work well; however the reading experience is very different.

The Kindle Paperwhite was made specifically for reading, while the Kindle fire models are not… I will show you why I ultimately chose the Paperwhite and what the differences are.

Related: What can you do with the Amazon Fire Tablet? (Fire HD)

This post I’m going to cover the pros and cons between the two devices for reading. I’ll also include how we tested the two tablets for reading.

Hands on test of both devices – Our results

We polled our audience who grabbed the Kindle Paperwhite rather than a Fire HD. These are the top 5 most reported benefits:

  1. Kindle Paperwhite allows users to read outdoors and in direct sunlight (e-ink display)
  2. Battery lasts significantly longer and is much faster to charge
  3. Kindle Paperwhite feels like you are reading a real book
  4. No distraction when reading (notifications)
  5. Ability to handle several different formats, such as EPUB, PDF, and rich text formats.

I personally own the Kindle Paperwhite and the Fire HD. I highly recommend the Paperwhite due to the above reasons.

What is the difference between the Amazon Fire HD Tablet (8 & 10) vs the Kindle Paperwhite?

What is the difference between the Amazon Fire HD Tablet (8 & 10) vs the Kindle Paperwhite_

The differences when comparing the kindle vs fire hd is the e-ink technology on the Kindle Paperwhite. It allows you to see the screen in broad daylight which is something you can’t do on the Fire HD tablet.

For one, the battery lasts much longer and is faster to charge on the Kindle Paperwhite.

Compared the the amazon fire tablet HD & 10, the Kindle Paperwhite provides no distractions and is very easy on eye strain. The pages turn just like a real book and its significantly smaller, more lightweight, and thinner than the fire hd. I was very excited and still am to use the kindle paperwhite over the Amazon fire hd.

Just like any other tablet, the Fire HD lets you read books on it, but it feels like a tablet… meanwhile the kindle paperwhite felt just like a real book, including the bonus that it is around the size of a small book.

Fire HD series are affordable tablets recommended for all the basic daily tasks like video streaming, surfing on the internet, downloading applications, taking photos, and more. Nevertheless, it is also a well-known-tablet approved for reading purposes. They have a high-quality LED screen with pleasing colors that makes it suitable for digital graphic books. 

Related: Best Tablets for reading PDF files

On the other hand, Kindle Paperwhite is made solely for reading e-books. It gives you the impression that you are reading the pages of a book with its paper-like glare-free display. Moreover, you can read even if you are standing directly under sunlight. You can also adjust the text size and boldness.

One substantial advantage is that the Kindle Paperwhite has a waterproof construction. Thus, you don’t have to worry if the device drops in your bathtub for example.

Related: Best Cases for Fire HD 8 & 8+ with Stand, Keyboard, Cover

Bluetooth & Wi-fi: As it concerns connectivity, both of them offer WiFi and Bluetooth functions. Kindle Paperwhite and Fire HD tablets can connect to the internet and listen to an audiobook. Yet, Kindle Paperwhite doesn’t support the immersion reading function, which lets you read and listen at the same time while texting highlights. With the Fire HD tablets series, you have the option to enable immersion reading.

Kindle Paperwhite doesn’t have night mode, and it is not adjustable at warm light like other more expensive Kindle versions (Kindle Oasis). Moreover, it is an “ad-support” device. However, even though ads will pop up, this won’t happen while reading, only on the lock screen. 

Which is better for reading: Fire HD or Kindle Paperwhite?

Which is better for reading_ Fire HD or Kindle Paperwhite_

Fire HD is a fully functional tablet which is recommended for reading. On the flip side, Kindle Paperwhite is specially designed for reading.

Thus, if you are looking for a device strictly for reading e-books and listening to audiobooks then Paperwhite is the best option for you. It is smaller (6.6 x 4.6 x 0.3 inches) and lighter (191 gr) than any tablet on the market. Accordingly, it is the best device to carry around everywhere. A E-reader is designed to make you feel like holding and reading a traditional book.

Related: 7 Best Amazon Fire HD Tablets for Reading E-books

One of the best features that Kindle Paperwhite offers is a different type of display which is called e-ink. E-ink lights up in daylight without any brightness on the screen. Moreover, the screen reacts to physical light in a similar way to actual paper and it gives a more matte appearance. On the flip side the LED screen that Fire HD has, requires adjustments to be able to read in the dark and in the daylight as well.

Thus, the e-ink makes it much easier to read and is better for your eyes. Plus, the battery can last weeks. Another big difference between Fire HD tablets and Kindle Paperwhite is that the Kindle allows you to read without any distractions. Don’t forget that reading on other devices can be tricky with all the notifications floating.

Related: How to Fix Alexa Not Working on Fire HD 8 & 10 (Amazon Fire Tablet)

Is the Fire HD good for reading books?

Is the Fire HD good for reading books_

The Fire HD is good and does work for reading books, but it also has some drawbacks compared to some e-readers, like the Kobo clara or the kindle paperwhite. 

Related: What is E-Paper Technology?

If you prefer to purchase a multifunctional device, the Fire HD is the best option for you. Fire HD tablets can produce all the basic tasks like browsing the internet or downloading applications. Thus, while you are reading an ebook, you can also check your emails or play a game.

Kindle Paperwhite is not recommended for browsing in general. Although you can use the internet for searching definitions or web pages like Wikipedia, Paperwhite isn’t fast enough to really handle browsing. Let’s dive now deeper into the technical details of Fire HD tablets and Kindle Paperwhite.

Related: Cool, Useful Things to Ask Alexa (good questions)

Audio book capabilities: 

Both of them have audiobook capabilities and you can enjoy listening to them. Yet, the Paperwhite doesn’t have the immersion reading function. Thus, you can listen to the audiobook but not read it at the same time. Fire HD series of tablets support the immersion reading mode. 

Fire HD also has Alexa voice control: Creepy things to Never Ask Alexa (This is scary)


Fire HD tablets and Kindle Paperwhite can connect via Bluetooth to other accessories and WiFi. You can use Bluetooth to switch between reading and listening to audiobooks through speakers or headphones with both of them. However,  you can use Bluetooth with Fire HD tablets to connect with other Bluetooth devices like a keyboard and mouse. Fire HD series also have USB portals like any other tablet. Kindle Paperwhite comes with WiFi and a free cellular plan as well.

Related: SuperNote A5x/A6x vs reMarkable 2


Fire HD tablets have a high-quality LED screen. The display is recommended mainly for streaming, yet due to the excellent resolution (171-224 ppi depending on the tablet model), you can easily read e-books. The colors are crispy, and you can use the device at night without any problem. Moreover, the displays’ inches are varying between 8” to 10.1”.

See our post: Best Cheap Tablets for Watching Movies

Kindle’s Paperwhite display (6 inches) is smaller than Fire HD. The big difference between them is that Kindle has the e-ink function, which mimics the look of ink on paper. The e-ink display provides low power consumption along with high contrast. As a result, the user has good readability under a wide range of lighting conditions, and that is why you can read even in sunlight. The resolution is better than Fire HD, with 300 ppi. 

Related: BOOX Note air 2 vs SuperNote A5x/A6x

Battery life: 

The battery of the Kindle Paperwhite is significantly better, mainly because you cannot use it for other tasks like the Fire HD. Thus, the battery lasts up to 6 weeks with a single charge.

Related: E-ink Tablet vs iPad: Choosing between an E-Book reader and a Tablet

If you are using the device to read a few hours per day or using Bluetooth regularly, or if you often adjust the display to different levels of brightness, it will probably last up to 3 weeks. To fully charge the device, you need 3-4 hours, depending on how you charge it for a single charge. (via USB or adaptor).

Long battery life is ideal for most use cases, especially if you’re also reading comics on your tablet.

Fire HD tablets offer a battery life of up to 12 hours. Like any device, it depends on the usage, yet according to consumers, the battery can last up to 8 hours of continuous reading and 7.5 hours of streaming. To fully charge the tablet, you will need 3-4 hours if it is flat.


The apps that you can use in your Kindle Paperwhite are limited. You can download content from the Kindle book store (books and audiobooks) and a few games like solitaire, but most are related to word and number type games like sudoku. Remember that it is a slow device and that you cannot download video apps.

See, Why is my Kindle Paper white slow? [How to fix it]

Fire HD tablets offer, like any Kindle, access to the Kindle book store content. Moreover, you can download streaming apps like Netflix, social media platforms, games, and every Android app. They offer an extra feature: you can connect it with your Amazon Alexa.

Weight & Design:

Paperwhite is super light, and its weight is only 191 grams. The dimensions are 6.6 x 4.6 x 0.3 inches. Thus, this device is tiny, and it fits anywhere. It is the perfect example of a compatible device. It is slim and beautiful. It is designed and manufactured to resemble a physical book.

Related: Best Bluetooth Headphones for Kindle Fire, PaperWhite, and Oasis

Fire HD series of tablets are designed for portable entertainment. The dimensions vary between 8.0” x 5.4” x 0.4” (Fire HD 8 and 8 plus) and 10.3” x 6.3” x 0.4” (Fire HD 10). Moreover, they are light in weight as well, with only 355 grams (Fire HD 8 and 8 plus) or 504 grams (Fire HD 10). 

See our post: 10 Rude Things to Never Ask Alexa (She gets Mad)


Amazon’s Fire HD tablets run the Fire OS operating system, which is based on Android. Usually, it restricts the user to the Amazon App store, yet you can install Google’s Play Store and access Android apps. Thus, it is a straightforward and well-known operating system even for children.

See: Best Kindle Paperwhite Stands and Holders (stand cases)

Kindle Paperwhite’s interface is even easier to learn and use. Since it has just a power button and a touch screen, you can navigate various touch icons across the screen. It is made for reading, so you have all the options you will need on the screen, making it super easy to use.


Cost varies between the devices. Kindle Paperwhite starts from $129.99. The Fire HD tablets’ cost starts from $89.99 for the Fire HD 8, from $109.99 for the Fire HD Plus, and from $149.99 for the Fire HD 10. 

If you are a person who loves reading, Kindle Paperwhite is totally worth the money that you will pay. It is perfect and less tiring for your eyes, so it is fully recommended from every aspect. Nevertheless, the Fire HD tablets offer you the chance to do more than just reading at a reasonable price. 


Fire HD tablets, due to their operating system, can run fast enough different apps at the same time and stream without any issues. They are coming with quad and octa-core, depending on the model. Moreover, the RAM is between 2-3 GB. 

Kindle Paperwhite is made for reading, so it is not a fast device, especially when navigating to the internet. If your using the tablet for web browsing in addition the reading, then see our post on the 9 Best Tablets for Reading and Web Browsing (Reading Pads)

Do Kindle Devices like the Paper white & Fire HD come with a charger out of the box?

Unlike Apple devices like the iPhone or MacBook Air, the majority of Kindle devices ship with a charging device for it’s battery inside the box. Most Kindle Fire HD 10 & 8 devices will come with a charger as well. 

There were some cases reported that the Kindle usually comes with just the USB charging cable and the Kindle Fire Tablets come with both the charging cord as well as the charger – but to solve this the only true way is to check the product page and search for “what’s included” in the box. 

This is because the models and what is included changes so often based on the new models that get released.

If you’re planning on getting a Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, Kindle Paperwhite Kids, or the Kindle Oasis, you’ll get a standard charger, but not a enhanced premium charger that allows for even quicker charging. 

Don’t worry, your device will still work fine. In my humble opinion, the premium charger isn’t worth it unless your device is ancient and you need to charge it all the time (or you really don’t want to spend cash on replacing it).

But hey, at least you’ll get a USB cable with your device! Just be aware that you’ll have to buy the power adaptor separately in most cases (You likely already have the power adapter from another device already in your outlet).

Now, if you want to speed up the charging process, you can get the 9W charger with a 1.8A powerhead. This will shorten the charging time for your Kindle Fire Tablets. Or, you could just use the 5W charger instead, but it’ll take longer to charge your tablet.

Just a heads up, different Kindle devices use different chargers. Most Kindle devices use a 5W charging head, but the Kindle Fire HD 10 uses a 9W charger. And, depending on the type of Kindle you have, you might need a USB 2.0 or a USB Type C charging cable. So, you know, keep that in mind.

Kindle Oasis vs Fire HD tablet: Differences Explained 

Kindle Oasis vs Fire HD tablet_ Differences Explained

Just like Paperwhite, the latest Kindle Oasis is specifically developed by Amazon for reading. Accordingly, the built-in display allows you to read with relaxation and the device gives you the essence of holding and reading a physical book. Moreover, Oasis allows you to read under sunlight without any difficulty or brightness adjustments. 

Another advantage of Oasis is that it is a waterproof device. Also, Kindle Oasis comes with new features that the previous Kindles did not include. Oasis has an adjustable warm light screen. Thus, you can shift the screen shade from white to amber, or you can turn to adjust automatically. Accordingly, you can schedule when you prefer the light to change. 

In Oasis, you can automatically rotate page orientation, and you can use the page buttons on the screen to make it easier for you to read your e-books. Its ergonomic design allows you to hold the device better than ever.

One thing that is different is that it is easier to Jailbreak the Amazon Fire HD Tablet than the Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Oasis; this allows you to use unique features by rooting it.

See our post if you are choosing between Kindle (Ads vs No Ads) Is Without Ads Worth It?

When it comes to connectivity, the Fire HD series are better and faster. Even though both devices have WiFi and Bluetooth, Fire HD tablets have USB ports as well. Moreover, Oasis, like Paperwhite, doesn’t offer the immersion reading feature.

In a few words, Oasis is the strongest and fastest device when it comes to reading. Still, it is not as fast and multifunctional as Fire HD tablets.

Kindle Oasis vs Fire HD: Which is better for reading? 

Kindle Oasis vs Fire HD_ Which is better for reading_

Like already mentioned, Fire HD tablets do work for reading. However, the Kindle Oasis is made solely for that purpose with added benefits and minimal disadvantages. 

Kindle Oasis is a very small and portable device. Its dimensions are 6.3 x 5.6 x 0.13 inches, and it weighs only 188 gr. Fire HD tablets are heavier than any device which was made for e-reading. 

Moreover, it has an ergonomic and modern design with an aluminum body, making it charming and the perfect reading device. It also gives you the impression that you are holding a physical book, and you can read 30% more than any other reading device on each page.

By using its e-ink feature, Oasis allows you to have the essence of reading a physical book. Thus, it is easier for your eyes to read for many hours.

The latest Oasis introduces you to new features which make it unique and easy to use. One of the best features that the Oasis offers is the adjustable warm light screen. The reader can change the screen shade from white to amber. Moreover, you can press the automatic option for the adjustment or schedule when you prefer the light to change.

Related: Best Stylus for Amazon Fire HD 8 & 10

Another new feature is that due to the lack of physical buttons, Amazon adds buttons on the screen to rotate the page orientation and go to the next or previous page of your book. Although these features (adjustable light screen, buttons on the screen to change the page) are relatively new on reading devices, tablets like the Fire HD series already have them. 

Furthermore, Fire tablets have a special reading mode, which allows the screen to have a warmer light. In a few words, it depends on whether you prefer to have a multifunctional device or a device specially made for reading.

Audio Book capabilities:

Both Fire HD and Oasis can play audiobooks. With both of them, you will enjoy listening to them. However, you can have the immersion reading function, in which you can listen and read simultaneously, only with the Fire HD series. 


When it comes to connectivity, you can connect to your local WiFi and other devices via Bluetooth, like mouse or keyboard, with both Oasis and Fire HD tablets. The extra feature that the Fire HD series has is the USB portals. Oasis comes with WiFi and a free cellular plan as well.


Fire HD tablets have a high-quality LED display. You can use the tablets mostly for online streaming due to the excellent resolution (171-224 ppi depending on the model of tablet) and the displays’ inches, which vary depending on the model (8” to 10.1”). However, these models are also recommended for reading.

On the flip side, Oasis has a smaller display (7 inches) yet better resolution (300 ppi). Let’s not forget the e-ink function, which gives you the essence of a physical book, makes it easy for your eyes and allows you to read even under direct sunlight.

Battery life: 

Fire HD tablets have a battery life of up to 12 hours. According to the customer’s feedback, the battery can last up to 8 hours. Within 3-4 hours, you can fully charge the battery. Oasis has a much better battery life due to the limited number of things a user can do. It can last up to 6 weeks with just one charge. To fully charge the device, you will need 3 hours. In any case, you have to remember that battery life depends on your daily usage. 


Like Kindle Paperwhite, the apps that you can use on Oasis are limited, yet except for the books, you can download a few games. On the flip side, with Fire HD tablets, you can have access to the Kindle book store and pretty much all the apps. Furthermore, if you own Amazon Alexa, you can control it from the Alexa app.

Weight & Design: 

Oasis is a thin, stylish, and light device, which weighs only 188 grams. It is perfect if you want to carry it everywhere (6.3” x 5.6” x 0.13-.33). Fire HD tablets are beautiful and portable as well. Like already mentioned, the dimensions vary between 8.0” x 5.4” x 0.4” (Fire HD 8 and 8 plus) and 10.3” x 6.3” x 0.4” (Fire HD 10). They are a few grams heavier than Oasis, with only 355 grams (Fire HD 8 and 8 plus) or 504 grams (Fire HD 10).  


Fire HD tablets run the Fire OS operating system, which is based on Android. Thus, you can download the Google Play store and have access to all Android apps. Kindle Oasis has only a few essential functions and buttons, making it super-easy to use. 


Kindle Oasis is the most expensive of the reading Kindle devices and starts from $249.99. The Fire HD tablets’ price starts from $89.99 for the Fire HD 8, from $109.99 for the Fire HD Plus, and from $149.99 for the Fire HD 10. 


You can use the Fire HD tablets to run different apps and stream fast enough. They run either quad or octa-core with 2GB or 3GB RAM. Oasis is simply the best device when it comes to reading. Yet, if you want to use it for anything else, it would be very slow.

E-reader vs Tablet: Differences explained

E-reader vs Tablet_ Differences explained

The Kindle is a type of e-reader which provides users with access to thousands of books, magazines and newspapers. The Fire tablet is a tablet that comes with built-in apps for games, music, movies and more.

What is an E-Reader?

An e-reader is a handheld electronic device that allows you to read digital books and other materials, such as periodicals. The device offers an electronically lit screen. Most of the text found on electronic readers is in black and white. E-readers are categorized as either backlit or frontlit, depending on whether the light source is from behind or below the surface of the display layer.

What is a tablet?

A tablet is a mobile computer with a screen that can be operated either with an attached stylus or by touching the screen. Tablets often also provide built-in handwriting input and run on an operating system typically designed for touchscreen smartphones, such as the iOS and Android systems.

Tablets typically have more advanced computing capabilities than most computers and many mobile devices, and their size allows them to be used in one hand. It is common for a Tablet to be smaller than a laptop. There are also 2-in-1 laptops that have similar attributes like a tablet has.

See our post: How to Use an Old Tablet as a Digital Picture Frame

What is E-ink technology?

What is E ink Technology Fire HD Kindle paperwhite

E-ink is a type of display technology that can be used to create ‘electronic paper’. This type of screen is often black and white, but it has the benefit of being much more energy efficient than other types of displays. It’s often used in e-readers and can be used to see the screen in sunlight without difficulty and without a large amount of battery consumption when compared to a standard tablet.

How bright is the screen on kindle fire vs kindle Paperwhite

iPad Pro 12.9 Best Drawing tablet with a screen built in iOS based 3

The brightness is technically brighter of the Kindle Fire tablet, but the Kindle Paperwhite is brighter when used in the sun.

Both Tablets have very bright screens, but are different because they have two completely different types of displays.

The Kindle Paperwhite uses E-ink technology, while the Fire Hd 10 uses a 149 ppi, 1280 x 800 LCD display.


Can you read kindle books on the Amazon Fire Tablet

Yes, you can. It is not entirely necessary to have an Amazon Kindle for this purpose when you can read it on the Amazon fire tablet and don’t care about the disadvantages. While it does pose many benefits to use an e-reader like the kindle paperwhite; the amazon fire tablet allows for this with the help of an application. You will be able to read books on all your devices in a matter of seconds.

Kindle Fire vs PaperWhite

When it comes to the kindle fire and which device is best for reading; ones with e-ink technology will usually win there are many different features to consider which make each e-reader better or worse for certain situations.

These factors include battery life, design, weight and screen size. The Paperwhite model has a display that lets you read easily in the daylight, where the kindle fire has distractions and battery issues when reading during the day. 

What are special offers on the kindle paperwhite?

“Hello: Special Offers are advertisements from Amazon that show up on the Lock Screen of the device before you unlock it. They will not interfere with you when you read your e-books, play your games/apps on it, 

when you watch movies through Prime Video app or when it is downloaded onto your Kindle Fire tablet through Prime Video. Amazon is able to offer Kindle e-reader and Fire tablet models at a subsidized price 

by delivering Special Offers and Sponsored Screensavers, including personalized advertising. If you want them removed, you will need to contact Amazon Customer Service at 888-280-4331 to get them removed for “

Ads vs no ads on Kindle Paper White

So, how bad are the ads on kindle paper white? The ads & special offers are in the form of a screensaver and and appear on the Lock Screen (locked). They didn’t pop up otherwise for me when I tested the kindle paperwhite.

Also, these advertisements on the Lock Screen were not very noticeable. However, if you’re used to the lack of special offers on devices like the kobo Clara or the ad free version, then you may enjoy seeing the book title when in sleep mode of the tablet instead of an intrusive advertisement.

Can you remove ads & special offers on the kindle paper white?

Yes, you can remove this by simply paying extra money for the amazon fire tablet “no ads” model. This is not a substantial difference and most won’t mind, but it is nice to not have ads on your lockscreen. In comparison, on the kobo Clara (kindle paper white competitor), you can see the type of book and its cover on the lock screen instead of ads.


Electronic devices such as Kindle Oasis and paper white have given book lovers the option to pick and choose what features they would like and not have to carry around a big heavy book. 

When comparing the the kindle vs fire, the big question were covered is which one is better when it comes to reading: the kindle fire or the amazon fire tablets, we decided on the kindle paper white because the fire HD does not have e-ink technology which is objectively better for reading.

On the surface, Kindle Oasis & paper white models are superior to a standard tablet for reading with its e-ink screen which allows you to read for many hours without straining your eyes. 

When it comes down to battery life, its multiple charges make it worth every penny for those who read a lot. When it comes down to connectivity, both devices can connect via WiFi or Bluetooth.

In terms of apps, Amazon’s Fire HD tablets offer access to other apps such as YouTube and social sharing apps while by comparison Fire HD tablets offer access into the Amazon’s own app store with many more features and capabilities for everything other than reading.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ