Should I buy Kindle Paperwhite 4? These five questions will help you decide

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Do I need Kindle Paperwhite 4 or the basic Kindle 9 2019
Ask yourself whether you need all the features Kindle Paperwhite 4 offers and how many times you will be using them / Image: Amazon

You can dive into comparing features and tech specs of the newest Kindle models – but only after you define your own preferences and habits.

When Kindle Paperwhite 4 was launched, many Kindle users were wondering whether it was the right time to upgrade from their entry-level Kindle.

Right now, you could ask yourself another question: whether it is a right time to upgrade from your old model to the new basic Kindle released in 2019.

The new 2019 entry-level Kindle (also called “Kindle 9”) costs $89.99. A regular price of the Paperwhite 4 is $129.99. Is the latter model worth spending $40 more?

Go though the list of questions focused on addressing your own preferences and habits, and you will be much closer to making the right decision.

Do I need Paperwhite 4 or Kindle 9?

How many books do I have in my Kindle library?

If less than 1,000, you don’t need the Paperwhite

The basic Kindle comes with 4 GB of internal memory, out of which some 3 GB will be available to you. It’s enough to hold 1,000 medium-length ebooks.

It means that if you have up to 1,000 ebooks in your Kindle cloud library and wanted to download all of them to the Kindle, they will all fit.

Most Kindle users keep most of their books archived in the cloud, and download to their Kindles or Kindle apps only the books they are going to read in the near future. For them, the storage in the 2019 entry-level Kindle is more than enough.

Kindle 9 vs. Paperwhite 4 – ebooks

Basic Kindle 9
Paperwhite 4
Storage 4 GB 8 / 32 GB
Enough for 1,000 ebooks 2,000 / 8,000 ebooks
Price from

Do I want to listen to audiobooks on the new Kindle?

If the answer is “yes,” you should consider getting the Paperwhite

As of 2018, all Kindle models are capable of playing Audible audiobooks via connected Bluetooth speakers or headphones.

If you are going to use the Kindle as an audiobook player, and want to store for offline playback as many Audible audiobooks as possible, you should not hesitate to invest in the latest-generation Paperwhite. The more disc space you have, the better.

Let’s compare files sizes. On average:

  • Kindle edition takes 3 MB of space
  • Audible edition takes 150 MB of space

In other words, an average audiobook takes 50 times more space than an ebook. If you are going for a long holiday, and would love to have enough audiobooks for offline playback, the disc space in the basic Kindle may not be sufficient for your needs.

Kindle 9 vs. Paperwhite 4 – audiobooks

Basic Kindle 9
Paperwhite 4
Storage 4 GB 8 / 32 GB
Enough for 20 audiobooks 40 / 160 audiobooks
Price from

Have I ever dropped the Kindle into water or spilled liquid on it?

If you need a waterproof Kindle, pick up the Paperwhite

Opposite to Kindle 2019, the latest Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof. You can keep it at the bottom of the swimming pool (2 meters deep) for 60 minutes, and it will be working just fine after you take it out from the water.

Obviously, no one needs to throw the Kindle into the swimming pool. Water resistance is helpful in emergency situations, for instance, when you spill coffee or wine on the display, read outside when it suddenly starts raining, or accidentally drop the Kindle when reading in the bathtub.

Ask yourself when and how many times you have ever encountered such situations, and what were the consequences. It may turn out you don’t need a waterproof device at all.

Do I want the white Kindle?

If “yes,” Paperwhite 4 is not an option

Some users are crazy about white Kindles. For the time being, Paperwhite 4 is only available in black. It will change, but if you are looking for the white Kindle right now, the only option is the 2019 entry-level model.

Kindle cheat sheet 2019

Latest Amazon Kindle models

Together with links to tech specs and best case covers.

All-new Amazon Kindle 11th-generation, 2019 release

Basic Kindle (2019)

The newest entry-level Kindle e-reader sports built-in adjustable 4 LED front light system, crispier glare-free display, and all-new design. Available in black and white. Prices start from $89.99.

Storage: 4 GB Colors: Black, White

Tech specs Best cases

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 4th-generation, 2018 release

Kindle Paperwhite 4 (2018)

This sleek e-reader sports the all-glass front, is ready to play Audible audiobooks, and withstands immersion in 2 meters of water for 60 minutes. Prices start from $129.99.

Storage: 8, 32 GB Colors: Black, Twilight Blue

Tech specs Best cases

Amazon Kindle Oasis 3rd-generation, 2019 release

Kindle Oasis 3 (2019)

Amazon’s most innovative features now a display with adjustable front light to prevent sleep problems. Plus it’s water resistant (IPX8) and supports Audible audiobooks. Prices start from $249.99.

Storage: 8, 32 GB Colors: Graphite, Champagne Gold

Tech specs Best cases

Do I prefer small font for reading?

If “yes,” consider getting Paperwhite 4

Some users choose larger font size in the Kindle settings. Others prefer to keep the font as small as possible.

It you are in the second group, one feature will matter more than anything else: the quality of the display. The bigger the screen resolution and pixel density are, the crispier the text is.

The display of the 2019 basic Kindle has been improved (bigger contrast is the most prominent benefit), but its screen resolution and pixel density have not been changed.

You should go for a better and crispier screen in the Kindle Paperwhite 4 if you care about how the text is rendered on the screen.

Kindle 9 vs. Paperwhite 4 – display

Basic Kindle
Paperwhite 4
Screen size 6 inches 6 inches
Pixel density 167 ppi 300 ppi
Screen resolution 800 × 600 px 1448 × 1072 px
Grayscale 16-level 16-level
Price from

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Recommendation box

Best Kindle cases and accessories in 2019

Based on recommendations from top tech sites and best customer reviews.

Best Kindle case covers to buy in 2019 - Infiland Kindle 10th Gen 2019 slim-shell case

Infiland slim-shell Kindle 2019 case

Designed for the latest Kindle, this slim and lightweight case is made of advanced synthetic leather and comes with lifetime warranty.

Average rating: 4.5/5


Top Kindle accessories to get in 2019 - Senso waterproof Bluetooth earphones

Senso Waterproof Bluetooth Earphones

Comfortable and secure, these earphones feature IPX-7 waterproof rating. Improved battery lets you listen to audiobooks for up to 8 hours. Compatible with the basic Kindle, Paperwhite 4, and Oasis 2.

Average rating: 4.0/5


Best Kindle cases and sleeves to buy in 2019 - MoKo Felt Cover Pouch Bag

MoKo Felt Cover Pouch Bag

Fashionable, elegant, and lightweight, this sleeve bag is made of durable shock-absorbing felt, and is great for organizing your portable electronics on the go. Compatible with Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite.

Average rating: 4.7/5


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