E-Reader or Tablet?

Which is best for you?

E-Readers vs Tablet Computers

E-Reader or Tablet Computer?

It’s hardly surprising that many people get tablet computers and e-readers mixed up. After all, you can use your tablet computer to read e-books if you like (among other things) – and companies like Amazon and Barnes and Noble market both e-readers and tablet computers under the same brand name – the Kindle and the Nook respectively.

However, the fact of the matter is that both these devices are very different – for the moment at least. They may well converge at some point in future, but today, e-readers and tablets are different animals.

Neither is it an “either/or” choice. You can decide to have one of each if you wish. It just depends upon your particular needs and, to some extent, on your budget.

E-Readers v Tablets In A Nutshell

Here’s the short version of the difference between e-readers and tablet computers. See if it helps you to make up your mind as to which one is right for you.

E-Reader Tablet Computer
  • E-ink technology display.
  • Monochrome.
  • Battery life measured in weeks.
  • E-ink technology display is best for reading for long periods. No eye strain.
  • Clunky web browsing.
  • No video playback.
  • Light and portable (8 ounces or less is typical).
  • Relatively cheap (plenty available for less than $ 100)

Made your mind up already? Check out this post for details of the best e-readers.

  • Back-lit LCD display.
  • Color.
  • Battery life measured in hours.
  • Not ideal for prolonged reading sessions – back-lit screen may cause eye strain.
  • Ideal for browsing.
  • Great video playback.
  • Still portable but heavier (e.g. iPad – 24 ounces).
  • Currently somewhat pricey (but prices are falling fast).

Know what you want? Check out details of the top tablet computers.

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers

Introducing the all-new Kindle Paperwhite—Featuring our highest resolution display, hand-crafted font Bookerly, and a new typesetting engine for even more beautiful rendering of pages. Our best-selling Kindle is now even better.

Kindle Paperwhite

Highest resolution e-reader display

New—With twice as many pixels as the previous generation, the all-new Kindle Paperwhite has an improved high-resolution 300 ppi display for crisp, laser quality text. No other e-reader offers a higher resolution display.

Next-generation reading experience

New—The all-new Kindle Paperwhite now offers Bookerly, an exclusive font crafted from the ground up for reading on digital screens. Warm and contemporary, Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books, but is hand-crafted for great readability at any font size.

Coming soon—All-new typesetting engine lays out words just as the author intended for beautiful rendering of pages. With improved character spacing and the addition of hyphenation, justification, kerning, ligatures, and drop cap support, our best-in-class typography helps you read faster with less eyestrain.

Enjoy reading with larger font sizes without compromising your reading experience. Page layout and margins automatically adapt to work well at even the largest font sizes. The new typography and layout improvements are available on over half a million books, including many best sellers, with thousands more being added every week.

No glare in bright sunlight

Unlike reflective tablet and smartphone screens, the latest Kindle Paperwhite reads like paper.

Won't tire your eyes in the dark

Kindle Paperwhite guides light toward the surface of the display with its built-in front light—so you can read comfortably without eyestrain. Adjust your screen's brightness for great reading in any light.

Charge monthly, not daily

Kindle Paperwhite won't leave you tethered to an outlet. A single charge can last up to six weeks (based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless turned off and the light setting at ten).

Kindle Paperwhite

Read comfortably with one hand

Lighter than a paperback, comfortably hold Kindle Paperwhite in one hand for those times when you can't put the book down.

Lose yourself in a book

By design, Kindle Paperwhite is purpose-built for reading and creates a sanctuary so you can lose yourself in a book. Unlike tablets and phones, Kindle doesn't distract you with social media, emails, and text messages.

Take and share notes

Add margin notes that you can edit, delete, or even export from your device to your computer. Share highlighted sections and meaningful quotes on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, and see passages frequently highlighted by other Kindle readers.

Kindle Paperwhite

Look it up instantly without leaving your page

Smart Lookup integrates entries from The New Oxford American Dictionary with information from X-Ray and Wikipedia, so you can access definitions, characters, settings, and more without losing your place.

Read more challenging books

Word Wise makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions. Tap on a word to bring up a simple card with definitions, synonyms, and more. Available on many popular English language titles.

Build your vocabulary

Words looked up in the dictionary are automatically added to Vocabulary Builder to expand your knowledge and reinforce retention. Swipe through your vocabulary words, quiz yourself with flashcards, and instantly see those words in context.

Share your library

With Family Library, you and your family can access and easily share not only your own Kindle books, but also books from the linked Amazon account of a spouse or partner.

Lowest book prices, massive selection

Over a million titles are priced at $2.99 or less. Over 2 million titles are $9.99 or less.

Kindle Paperwhite

Set goals and celebrate with achievement badges

Kids can read books in a simple, fun, and safe environment designed specifically for them with Kindle FreeTime. Kids are rewarded with achievement badges when they reach their reading milestones. A progress report keeps parents updated on total time spent reading, number of words looked up, badges earned, and books read.

Compare Kindle E-readers

  Kindle Kindle Paperwhite Kindle Voyage
Price From $79 From $119 From $199
Resolution 167 ppi 300 ppi 300 ppi
Built-In Light No Yes Yes + Adaptive light sensor
Page Turns Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen + PagePress
Connectivity Wi-Fi Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G
Screen Size 6"
Glare-Free Screen Yes
Battery Life Weeks on a single charge
Storage Holds thousands of books
Weight 6.7 oz Wi-Fi: 7.2 oz
Wi-Fi + 3G: 7.6 oz
Wi-Fi: 6.3 oz
Wi-Fi + 3G: 6.6 oz
Dimensions 6.7" x 4.7" x 0.40" 6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36" 6.4" x 4.5" x 0.30"
More...
Lowest price: $119.00
Kindle Voyage, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers

Kindle Voyage is our thinnest Kindle ever, with the brightest, highest resolution, and highest contrast display, plus reimagined page turns and an adaptive front light.

Hero Image

Brilliantly crisp display

New—The high-resolution display (300 ppi) features sharp, dark text that reads even more like the printed page. The micro-etched glass display diffuses light to eliminate glare and match the feel of paper. Kindle Voyage features the brightest, highest resolution, and highest contrast display of any Kindle.

Effortless page turns

New—PagePress allows you to turn the page without lifting a finger. Simply apply pressure on the bezel to turn the page, and PagePress will provide a silent haptic response for consistent and immediate feedback. PagePress is a custom-designed force sensor made of carbon and silver, which reacts to a subtle increase of pressure, triggers a page-turn, and provides a haptic response only your thumb can perceive.

PagePress Image

Light that adjusts with you

New—Kindle Voyage can be read in bright sunlight or total darkness—and it's smart enough to know the difference. The new adaptive front light automatically adjusts the brightness of the display based on your environment, and can even be fine-tuned further to your personal preferences. When reading in the dark, the adaptive front light slowly lowers the display's brightness over time to match the way the eye responds to darkness.

Remarkably thin design

Improved—At just 7.6mm thin, Voyage is our thinnest Kindle ever. Comfortably hold Kindle Voyage in one hand for long reading sessions. Kindle Voyage was designed to come one step closer to a sheet of paper, with a flush-front bezel for a clean, streamlined design. With a magnesium back and a specially-reinforced glass front, Kindle Voyage is both durable and sleek.

Thin Image

Go beyond a book with the following features (coming soon)

Enhanced search

It’s even easier to find what you are looking for by combining and previewing results from your Library, Goodreads, and the Kindle Store on the same page.

Family Library

Family Library links your Amazon account to that of your spouse or partner. For the first time, you and your family can access and easily share not only your own Kindle books, but also books from the Amazon account of a spouse or partner.

Word Wise

Word Wise, available on many popular English language titles, makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions. Tap on a word to bring up a simple card with definitions, synonyms, and more. You can adjust the number of hints you see with a simple slider.

Expanded X-Ray

X-Ray’s new timeline view lets you easily flip through notable passages to remind yourself of what’s happened in the book, or navigate easily through images. X-Ray lets you explore the "Bones of the Book." See all the passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places, or topics of interest.

Xray Image

About the Book

With About the Book, see information about the book as you start to read, including its place in a series and author information, plus mark it as "Currently Reading" on Goodreads.

Never be without a book

Shop Amazon’s expansive selection, choose a title, and begin reading in seconds. Download books in under 60 seconds—no computer required. Connect easily to your home Wi-Fi network or Wi-Fi hotspots on the road. Enjoy free Wi-Fi access at AT&T hotspots across the U.S. With our fast, free wireless delivery, borrow Kindle books from your public library and start reading on your Kindle.

Compare Kindle E-readers

Kindle Kindle Paperwhite Kindle Voyage
Price From $79 From $119 From $199
Resolution 167 ppi 300 ppi 300 ppi
Built-In Light No Yes Yes + Adaptive light sensor
Page Turns Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen + PagePress
Connectivity Wi-Fi Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G
Screen Size 6"
Glare-Free Screen Yes
Battery Life Weeks on a single charge
Storage Holds thousands of books
Weight 6.7 oz Wi-Fi: 7.2 oz
Wi-Fi + 3G: 7.6 oz
Wi-Fi: 6.3 oz
Wi-Fi + 3G: 6.6 oz
Dimensions 6.7" x 4.7" x 0.40" 6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36" 6.4" x 4.5" x 0.30"
More...
Lowest price: $199.00
Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A Tablet 16GB, WiFi, Black (Certified Refurbished)
The all-new thinner and lighter design makes the Apple iPad 2 with Wi-Fi (Black, 16GB) even more comfortable to hold. The Refurbished Apple iPad 2 is even more powerful with the dual-core A5 chip, yet has the same 10 hours of battery life. With two cameras, you can make FaceTime video calls, record HD video, and put a twist on your snapshots in Photo Booth. Apple iPad 2 with Wi-Fi (Black, 16GB), Refurbished: Apple iPad 2 16GB available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology Dual-core A5 chip Front and back cameras on the Refurbished Apple iPad 2 Up to 10 hours of battery life 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology
More...
Lowest price: $219.95
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 (7-Inch, White) - WiFi Only
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0
Samsung Logo
At a Glance:
  • High-resolution, 7.0-inch display for vivid detail
  • Read e-books, watch movies, play games, browse the web, and more
  • IR blaster allows you to use tablet as universal remote
  • Search TV listings and receive recommendations
  • Share your tablet with multi-user mode
  • Switch to Kids Mode for a colorful, easy-to-use interface
  • Rear and front cameras for photos and video chat
  • Add up to 32 GB memory with microSD slot
  • Easily multitask with two apps using Multi Window
  • Lightweight, portable design

Crisp, Clear Display for Hours of Immersive Entertainment

Brilliant, High-Resolution Display for Exceptional Detail

Ideal for reading, playing games, browsing the web, or watching movies, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 features a 7.0-inch, 1280x800 resolution screen, so you experience rich graphics, bright colors, and crisp text.

Receive Personalized Recommendations with WatchON

The WatchON feature lets you type in your zip code and cable provider to browse and search current TV listings and get personalized recommendations based on your viewing history.

Functions As a Universal Remote Control

The Galaxy Tab 4 has a built-in IR blaster, which allows you to use the tablet as a universal remote control.

Customize Your Preferences and Share Your Experiences

Share Your Tablet with Multi-User Mode

Great for sharing your tablet with family members, multi-user mode lets you add up to eight profiles. This allows up to eight different users to log in separately, so you each see only your own apps, backgrounds, and email.

Kids Mode Offers a Child-Friendly Interface

Create a separate profile for your kids and switch to Kids Mode--a child-friendly interface that is fun and easy to control. Parents can track the time their kids spend and even set preferences to manage which features their children can access.

Built-in Cameras for Photos and Video Chat

Equipped with a 3-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel front camera, the Galaxy Tab 4 lets you take photos and video chat with friends and family members.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0

Personalize your experience with separate logins. View Larger.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0

Use two apps at once on the same screen. View Larger.

Expandable Memory and Easy Multitasking

Lightweight, Portable Design

At only 0.35 inches thick and weighing .61 pounds, the Galaxy Tab 4 is comfortable to hold and convenient to take with you wherever you go.

Expandable Memory to Store Photos, Music, and Videos

The tablet offers 8 GB of onboard memory and includes a microSD card slot that allows you to add up to 32 GB of additional memory, making it easy to store more songs, videos, photos, and games.

Use Two Applications at Once

With the Multi Window feature, you can place two applications side by side and drag content from one app to the other. You can even open the same app twice, which is handy if you're writing two email messages or want to reference two websites side by side.

Free Content with Galaxy Perks

Comes with Sirius XM, Dropbox Storage, and More

With Galaxy Perks you'll receive free content and services, including three months of SiriusXM Internet Radio for new users, three audiobooks from Audible for new users, 50 GB of Dropbox space, and more.

What's in the Box

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0, USB charging cable, wall adapter, and quick start guide.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 7.0

Take photos with a 3-megapixel rear camera. View Larger.

More...
Lowest price: Too low to display
Fire HDX 8.9, 8.9" HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers

The all-new Fire HDX 8.9 delivers powerful performance with an ultrafast 2.5 GHz quad-core processor, a 70% faster graphics engine, up to 4X faster Wi-Fi, and exceptional stereo sound with Dolby Atmos.

Hero

Ultrafast quad-core processor

Fire HDX 8.9 features the all-new, faster quad-core 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 805 processor—delivering quick app launches and smooth multi-tasking.

Console-quality graphics

The new Adreno 420 graphics processor on Fire HDX 8.9 delivers high frame rates and console-quality graphics—70% faster graphics performance than the previous generation Fire HDX.

Exclusive HDX display

Fire HDX 8.9 has the highest resolution (2560x1600) and the best pixel density (339 ppi) of any Fire tablet, providing an incredible multimedia experience. The HDX display features over 4 million pixels for vivid, lifelike images that go beyond standard HD.

HD Display

Front and rear HD cameras

High-resolution 8MP rear-facing camera, plus a front-facing HD camera—capture beautiful photos, shoot stunning 1080p videos, and connect with HD video calls.

Camera

4x faster Wi-Fi

Equipped with 802.11ac Wi-Fi, speeds can reach up to 600Mbps which is up to 4X faster than the previous generation Fire HDX. With MIMO (Multiple Input and Multiple Output) and 802.11ac you can seamlessly multi-task high-bandwidth activities like streaming music while downloading an HD movie.

Stay connected

Amazon Silk is our cloud-optimized web browser, exclusively available on Fire Tablets and Phones. The latest version now includes print support and Private Browsing mode (coming soon). Private Browsing allows you to browse the web without Silk saving a record of what you visit. Other features include Reading View, which provides a clean, easy-to-read version of websites by removing unnecessary images and clutter.

The email app on Fire tablets makes sending mail, viewing attachments, grouping conversations by subject, and syncing contacts simple. The app provides full support for the world's most popular email providers.

Fire tablets are fully integrated with Facebook and Twitter, making it easy to connect and share with friends and family.

Be entertained

Rent or purchase the biggest new releases and most popular movies and TV shows. Stream instantly over Wi-Fi or download to enjoy later.

Entertainment Image

Fire tablets are built for the best in gaming, with tilt, turn, and multi-touch controls.

With X-Ray for music, see lyrics that display line-by-line while you listen to many of your favorite songs. You can also explore an immersive artist experience with photos, videos, and more.

Our interactive magazine experience allows you to start reading in just a few seconds with access to any back issue at any time on the cloud. Many Kindle Magazines come with a 30-day free trial.

Be productive

Create, edit, view, and print Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files on your Fire tablet with WPS Office. Check and reply to work email on-the-go with a robust Exchange email experience with ActiveSync. Fire tablets also support printing to your home or office's wireless printer.

Work

Amazon FreeTime

Parents can create a profile for each of their children and choose what books, apps, games, and videos they want to give their kids access to. Amazon FreeTime is free on every Fire tablet. Parents can also set daily limits for tablet use, or restrict certain categories—like games and video—while leaving unlimited time for reading.

Compare Fire Tablets

  Fire HD 6 Fire HD 7 Kindle Fire HDX Fire HDX 8.9
Starting Price $99 $139 $199 $379
Screen Size 6" 7" 7" 8.9"
Resolution 1280 x 800 (252 ppi) 1280 x 800 (216 ppi) 1920 x 1200 (323 ppi) 2560 x 1600 (339 ppi)
Processor Quad-core up to 1.5 GHz Quad-core 2.2 GHz Quad-core 2.5 GHz
Battery Life 8 hours mixed use 8 hours mixed use 11 hours mixed use 12 hours mixed use
Audio Dolby Audio, Mono speaker, Built-in micro-phone Dolby Audio, Dual stereo speakers, Built-in micro-phone Dolby Audio, Dual stereo speakers, Built-in micro-phone Dolby Atmos, Dual stereo speakers, Built-in micro-phone
Wi-Fi Single band Wi-Fi Dual band, Dual antenna (MIMO) Wi-Fi Dual band, Dual antenna (MIMO
+HT80) Wi-Fi
4G None Wi-Fi + 4G LTE Unlocked GSM (incl. AT&T)
Wi-Fi + 4G LTE (Verizon)
Camera Front-facing VGA camera + 2 MP rear-facing Front-facing HD camera Front-facing HD camera + 8 MP rear-facing camera
Storage 8 or 16GB 16, 32, or 64GB
Dimensions 6.7" x 4.1" x 0.4"
(169 X 103 X 10.7 mm)
7.5" x 5.0" x 0.42"
(191 X 128 X 10.6 mm)
7.3" x 5.0" x 0.35"
(186 X 128 X 9.0mm)
9.1" x 6.2" x 0.31"
(231 X 158 X 7.8mm)
Weight 10.1 oz
(290 grams)
11.9 oz
(337 grams)
Wi-Fi: 10.7 oz (303 grams)
4G: 11 oz (311 grams)
Wi-Fi: 13.2 oz (375 grams)
4G: 13.7 oz (390 grams)
Customer Support Email, web, and phone On-device "Mayday" button + email, web, and phone
More...
Lowest price: $379.00
Kindle Fire HD 7", HD Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 3rd)
The new Kindle Fire HD is a full-featured HD tablet at an SD price. There's more to enjoy than ever before with a stunning HD display, faster performance, longer battery life, and lighter design

Kindle Fire HD

Faster Performance

Kindle Fire HD is over 60% faster than the previous generation Kindle Fire—a fast dual-core processor and an Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core ensure games and video run smoothly.

Longer Battery Life

The Kindle Fire HD battery lasts longer than the previous generation Kindle Fire—up to 10 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music.

Streamlined New Design

Kindle Fire HD features a smaller bezel, cleaner lines, and optimized button placements. This all-new, streamlined design helps Kindle Fire HD disappear in your hands, so you can get lost in your viewing.

Custom Dolby Audio

Kindle Fire HD uses the power of Dolby Digital Plus to create a world class audio experience. Kindle Fire HD is designed to automatically optimize the audio profile based on what you're doing (with or without headphones), such as watching a movie or listening to music.

Kindle Freetime

Perfect for the entire family

Kindle FreeTime is free on every new Kindle Fire. Parents can create a profile for each of their children and choose what books, apps, games, and videos they want to give their kids access to. Parents can also set daily limits for tablet use, or restrict certain categories-like games and video-while leaving unlimited time for reading.

Stay connected

With every Kindle Fire you can stay connected with a cloud-optimized web browser, our new e-mail app and full social media integration.

Silk, a cloud-optimized web browser, is faster and packed with new features like Reading View that removes all unnecessary images and other website clutter for a clean, easy-to-read version of the site.

The new e-mail app on Kindle Fire makes sending mail, viewing attachments, grouping conversations by subject, and syncing contacts simple and provides full support for popular e-mail providers.

Kindle Fire tablets are fully integrated with Facebook and Twitter, making it easy to connect and share with friends and family.

Be entertained

Be entertained

Rent or purchase the biggest new releases and most popular titles from every major movie studio and TV network. Stream instantly over Wi-Fi or download to enjoy later.

Kindle Fire is built for the best in gaming, with tilt, turn, and multi-touch controls.

See lyrics that display line by line while you listen to many of your favorite songs. You can also explore a more immersive artist experience with more photos, videos, and more.

Our interactive magazine experience allows you to start reading in just a few seconds with access to any back issue at any time on the cloud. All Kindle Magazines come with a 30-day free trial.

Be entertained

Get work done on Kindle

Kindle Fire tablets provide a robust Exchange email experience with ActiveSync, so you can check and reply to work e-mail on-the-go. View Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. Kindle Fire tablets also support printing to your home or office's wireless printer.

Compare Kindle Fire tablets

  Kindle Fire HD Kindle Fire HDX Kindle Fire HDX 8.9"
Starting Price $139 $229 $379
Screen Size 7" 7" 8.9"
Resolution 1280 x 800 1920 x 1200 2560 x 1600
Processor Dual-Core 1.5 GHz Quad-Core 2.2 GHz Quad-Core 2.2 GHz
Battery Life 10 hrs mixed use 11 hrs mixed use
17 hrs reading
12 hrs mixed use
18 hrs reading
Audio Dolby Audio,
Dual Stereo Speakers
Dolby Audio,
Dual stereo speakers,
Built-in microphone
Dolby Audio,
Dual stereo speakers,
Built-in microphone
Wi-Fi Dual band Wi-Fi Dual band, dual antenna
(MIMO) Wi-Fi
Dual band, dual antenna
(MIMO) Wi-Fi
4G None 4G Model Available 4G Model Available
Camera None Front-facing HD camera Front-facing HD camera
8 MP rear-facing camera
Storage 8 or 16GB 16, 32, or 64GB 16, 32, or 64GB
Dimensions 7.5" x 5.0" x 0.42"
7.3" x 5.0" x 0.35" 9.1" x 6.2" x 0.31"
Weight 12.2 oz
10.7 oz
4G: 11.0 oz

13.2 oz
4G: 13.5 oz
Customer Support Email, web, phone "Mayday" button +
email, web, phone
"Mayday" button +
email, web, phone

Technical details

  • Display: 7" high definition touchscreen; 1280x800 resolution at 216 ppi, video playback up to 720p, with IPS (in-plane switching) technology, advanced polarizing filter, and anti-glare technology
  • Size and Weight: 7.5" x 5.0" x 0.42" (191 mm x 128 mm x 10.6 mm). 12.2 ounces (345 grams). Actual size and weight may vary by configuration and manufacturing process
  • CPU & RAM: 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU, with 1GB of RAM
  • Storage: 8GB (4.8GB available to user) or 16GB (11.9GB available to user) of internal storage
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours of reading, surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music. Battery life will vary based on device settings, usage, and other factors such as web browsing and downloading content. Actual results may vary
  • Charge Time: Fully charges in under 6 hours using the micro-USB power adapter included in the box, or slightly longer with other micro-USB power adapters that you may already have
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Dual-band, single-antenna Wi-Fi. Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks
  • Ports: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) port for connection to a PC or Macintosh computer or to charge your device with the included power adapter
  • Audio: 3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus audio engine
  • Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), KF8, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, PCM/WAVE, OGG, WAV, M4V, MP4, AAC LC/LTP, HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2, MKV, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, HTML5, CSS3, 3GP, VP8 (WEBM)
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope
  • Location Services: Location-based services via Wi-Fi
  • Additional Features: External volume controls, built-in Bluetooth with support for A2DP compatible stereo headphones and speakers (no microphone support)
  • Accessibility Features: Screen Reader, Explore by Touch, and Screen Magnifier, enabling access to the vast majority of Kindle Fire features. Screen Reader features IVONA's award-winning natural language text-to-speech voice. Also includes adjustable font sizes/color, and built-in Oxford dictionary.
  • System Requirements: Kindle Fire HD is ready to use right out of the box—no setup, no software to install, no computer required to download content
  • Warranty and Service: 1-year Limited Warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately.
  • Included in the Box: Kindle Fire 7" HD tablet, USB 2.0 cable, 5W power adapter, and Quick Start Guide
More...

View e-readers on Amazon or tablet computers on Amazon.

The main differences between e-readers and tablet computers are driven by the display technology. This leads to significant variances in some of the important features – such as battery life and price. If you’re in the market for a new portable electronic device, and you still can’t decide which one is right for you, then check out the information below.

Hopefully, this will help you to decide which device is right for you – or maybe it will just help you decide which one to buy first!

And please, if you have experience of using either of these devices, feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts. You might help other readers to make the right decision for them (thanks in advance).

E-Readers

What They’re Good At:

At the risk of stating the obvious, e-readers are great if what you mainly want to do is read e-books.

This is due to their special e-ink technology displays. If you haven’t used an e-ink display yet, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Reading on an e-ink screen is as near as makes no difference to reading text printed on paper. Because e-ink displays are not backlit, you will get less eye strain than when reading on either a notebook or laptop computer, both of which use backlit screens.

All-New Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers

Introducing the all-new Kindle Paperwhite—Featuring our highest resolution display, hand-crafted font Bookerly, and a new typesetting engine for even more beautiful rendering of pages. Our best-selling Kindle is now even better.

Kindle Paperwhite

Highest resolution e-reader display

New—With twice as many pixels as the previous generation, the all-new Kindle Paperwhite has an improved high-resolution 300 ppi display for crisp, laser quality text. No other e-reader offers a higher resolution display.

Next-generation reading experience

New—The all-new Kindle Paperwhite now offers Bookerly, an exclusive font crafted from the ground up for reading on digital screens. Warm and contemporary, Bookerly is inspired by the artistry of the best fonts in modern print books, but is hand-crafted for great readability at any font size.

Coming soon—All-new typesetting engine lays out words just as the author intended for beautiful rendering of pages. With improved character spacing and the addition of hyphenation, justification, kerning, ligatures, and drop cap support, our best-in-class typography helps you read faster with less eyestrain.

Enjoy reading with larger font sizes without compromising your reading experience. Page layout and margins automatically adapt to work well at even the largest font sizes. The new typography and layout improvements are available on over half a million books, including many best sellers, with thousands more being added every week.

No glare in bright sunlight

Unlike reflective tablet and smartphone screens, the latest Kindle Paperwhite reads like paper.

Won't tire your eyes in the dark

Kindle Paperwhite guides light toward the surface of the display with its built-in front light—so you can read comfortably without eyestrain. Adjust your screen's brightness for great reading in any light.

Charge monthly, not daily

Kindle Paperwhite won't leave you tethered to an outlet. A single charge can last up to six weeks (based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless turned off and the light setting at ten).

Kindle Paperwhite

Read comfortably with one hand

Lighter than a paperback, comfortably hold Kindle Paperwhite in one hand for those times when you can't put the book down.

Lose yourself in a book

By design, Kindle Paperwhite is purpose-built for reading and creates a sanctuary so you can lose yourself in a book. Unlike tablets and phones, Kindle doesn't distract you with social media, emails, and text messages.

Take and share notes

Add margin notes that you can edit, delete, or even export from your device to your computer. Share highlighted sections and meaningful quotes on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads, and see passages frequently highlighted by other Kindle readers.

Kindle Paperwhite

Look it up instantly without leaving your page

Smart Lookup integrates entries from The New Oxford American Dictionary with information from X-Ray and Wikipedia, so you can access definitions, characters, settings, and more without losing your place.

Read more challenging books

Word Wise makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions. Tap on a word to bring up a simple card with definitions, synonyms, and more. Available on many popular English language titles.

Build your vocabulary

Words looked up in the dictionary are automatically added to Vocabulary Builder to expand your knowledge and reinforce retention. Swipe through your vocabulary words, quiz yourself with flashcards, and instantly see those words in context.

Share your library

With Family Library, you and your family can access and easily share not only your own Kindle books, but also books from the linked Amazon account of a spouse or partner.

Lowest book prices, massive selection

Over a million titles are priced at $2.99 or less. Over 2 million titles are $9.99 or less.

Kindle Paperwhite

Set goals and celebrate with achievement badges

Kids can read books in a simple, fun, and safe environment designed specifically for them with Kindle FreeTime. Kids are rewarded with achievement badges when they reach their reading milestones. A progress report keeps parents updated on total time spent reading, number of words looked up, badges earned, and books read.

Compare Kindle E-readers

  Kindle Kindle Paperwhite Kindle Voyage
Price From $79 From $119 From $199
Resolution 167 ppi 300 ppi 300 ppi
Built-In Light No Yes Yes + Adaptive light sensor
Page Turns Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen + PagePress
Connectivity Wi-Fi Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G
Screen Size 6"
Glare-Free Screen Yes
Battery Life Weeks on a single charge
Storage Holds thousands of books
Weight 6.7 oz Wi-Fi: 7.2 oz
Wi-Fi + 3G: 7.6 oz
Wi-Fi: 6.3 oz
Wi-Fi + 3G: 6.6 oz
Dimensions 6.7" x 4.7" x 0.40" 6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36" 6.4" x 4.5" x 0.30"
More...
Lowest price: $119.00
Kindle Voyage, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi

Kindle Voyage is our thinnest Kindle ever, with the brightest, highest resolution, and highest contrast display, plus reimagined page turns and an adaptive front light.

Hero Image

Brilliantly crisp display

New—The high-resolution display (300 ppi) features sharp, dark text that reads even more like the printed page. The micro-etched glass display diffuses light to eliminate glare and match the feel of paper. Kindle Voyage features the brightest, highest resolution, and highest contrast display of any Kindle.

Effortless page turns

New—PagePress allows you to turn the page without lifting a finger. Simply apply pressure on the bezel to turn the page, and PagePress will provide a silent haptic response for consistent and immediate feedback. PagePress is a custom-designed force sensor made of carbon and silver, which reacts to a subtle increase of pressure, triggers a page-turn, and provides a haptic response only your thumb can perceive.

PagePress Image

Light that adjusts with you

New—Kindle Voyage can be read in bright sunlight or total darkness—and it's smart enough to know the difference. The new adaptive front light automatically adjusts the brightness of the display based on your environment, and can even be fine-tuned further to your personal preferences. When reading in the dark, the adaptive front light slowly lowers the display's brightness over time to match the way the eye responds to darkness.

Remarkably thin design

Improved—At just 7.6mm thin, Voyage is our thinnest Kindle ever. Comfortably hold Kindle Voyage in one hand for long reading sessions. Kindle Voyage was designed to come one step closer to a sheet of paper, with a flush-front bezel for a clean, streamlined design. With a magnesium back and a specially-reinforced glass front, Kindle Voyage is both durable and sleek.

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Go beyond a book with the following features (coming soon)

Enhanced search

It’s even easier to find what you are looking for by combining and previewing results from your Library, Goodreads, and the Kindle Store on the same page.

Family Library

Family Library links your Amazon account to that of your spouse or partner. For the first time, you and your family can access and easily share not only your own Kindle books, but also books from the Amazon account of a spouse or partner.

Word Wise

Word Wise, available on many popular English language titles, makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions. Tap on a word to bring up a simple card with definitions, synonyms, and more. You can adjust the number of hints you see with a simple slider.

Expanded X-Ray

X-Ray’s new timeline view lets you easily flip through notable passages to remind yourself of what’s happened in the book, or navigate easily through images. X-Ray lets you explore the "Bones of the Book." See all the passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places, or topics of interest.

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About the Book

With About the Book, see information about the book as you start to read, including its place in a series and author information, plus mark it as "Currently Reading" on Goodreads.

Never be without a book

Shop Amazon’s expansive selection, choose a title, and begin reading in seconds. Download books in under 60 seconds—no computer required. Connect easily to your home Wi-Fi network or Wi-Fi hotspots on the road. Enjoy free Wi-Fi access at AT&T hotspots across the U.S. With our fast, free wireless delivery, borrow Kindle books from your public library and start reading on your Kindle.

Compare Kindle E-readers

Kindle Kindle Paperwhite Kindle Voyage
Price From $79 From $119 From $199
Resolution 167 ppi 300 ppi 300 ppi
Built-In Light No Yes Yes + Adaptive light sensor
Page Turns Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen + PagePress
Connectivity Wi-Fi Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G
Screen Size 6"
Glare-Free Screen Yes
Battery Life Weeks on a single charge
Storage Holds thousands of books
Weight 6.7 oz Wi-Fi: 7.2 oz
Wi-Fi + 3G: 7.6 oz
Wi-Fi: 6.3 oz
Wi-Fi + 3G: 6.6 oz
Dimensions 6.7" x 4.7" x 0.40" 6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36" 6.4" x 4.5" x 0.30"
More...
Lowest price: $219.00
Kobo Aura Digital Text Reader-pink
AURA 6IN EPD W/ XGA DISPLAY WHITE/PINK FRONT LIGHT
More...
Lowest price: $149.00

 

The other benefit derived from e-ink displays is the fact that they only draw power when the page is being updated. That means that e-readers can go for weeks between battery charges (rather than hours like a tablet computer).

E-readers are also small and compact. You can carry a collection of hundreds, or thousands, of books around with you in a gadget that is smaller and lighter than the average paperback book.

Finally, e-readers are good value for money. They (generally) cost a lot less than tablet computers and you can choose from millions of out-of-copyright e-books to download for free. Make your reader pay for itself if you like.

What They’re Not So Good At:

It’s all about the display again. As good as e-ink displays are for reading on, they have a slow refresh rate. That makes them unsuitable for watching video on.

They are also, at the moment, monochrome only. That may change in the (fairly) near future, but right now, you’re limited to black and white with e-ink.

Some e-readers have web browsing facilities, but given that they can’t play video and are monochrome only, it’s a somewhat clunky experience at best. Generally speaking, those e-readers that have web browsing capabilities are probably best suited to choosing and downloading new books to read and maybe sending the odd e-mail when your other gadgets are out of juice, on the blink or left lying somewhere else.

Tablet Computers

What’s Good About Them

Tablet computers are, in very broad terms, notebook computers with a touch screen and no keyboard (although you can add these on if you like). They are great if you want to browse the net when you’re out and about. Most have pretty decent screens which make video playback not just possible, but enjoyable.

You can use a tablet computer for pretty much anything that you might want to do on either a desktop or a notebook computer, with the caveat that anything which requires extensive typing will be somewhat painful unless you bolt a keyboard on.

There are plenty of apps for tablet computers and they should provide you with plenty of entertainment when you’re on the go.

What’s Less Good About Them

Those lovely, high definition, video playing, web browsing touch screen displays may look great – but they use a lot of juice. You’ll be lucky to get 10 hours between battery charges – although that does depend upon what you run on them (video playback might be more power hungry than browsing for example).

Whilst the backlit, LCD screens found on most tablets are great for video and web browsing, they are less satisfactory for reading e-books on. They are fine if you’re just going to read for a short time, but prolonged reading might lead to eye strain and even headaches for some people. It’s a bit like reading a book with someone shining a light in your eyes when you think about it.

Apple iPad Air Retina Display Tablet 32GB, Wi-Fi, Silver (Certified Refurbished)
What's in the box: Apple iPad Air 32GB Silver Retina Display Wi-Fi Certified Refurbished Tablet, a USB Cable/Adapter. Item comes in a Generic Box with a 90 Day Limited Warranty.
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Lowest price: $349.95
Apple iPad Air MD785LL/B (16GB, Wi-Fi, Space Gray / Black)
Apple iPad Air 16GB WiFi
More...
Lowest price: $324.53
Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A Tablet 16GB, WiFi, Black With Bonus Stylus (Certified Refurbished) FC769LL/A
The all-new thinner and lighter design makes the Apple iPad 2 with Wi-Fi (Black, 16GB) even more comfortable to hold. The Refurbished Apple iPad 2 is even more powerful with the dual-core A5 chip, yet has the same 10 hours of battery life. With two cameras, you can make FaceTime video calls, record HD video, and put a twist on your snapshots in Photo Booth. Apple iPad 2 with Wi-Fi (Black, 16GB), Refurbished: Apple iPad 2 16GB available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology Dual-core A5 chip Front and back cameras on the Refurbished Apple iPad 2 Up to 10 hours of battery life 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology Includes Bonus Stylus for easy use
More...
Lowest price: $224.95
Lifeproof Fre Case for iPad Air Water Proof Tablet - Black (Certified Refurbished)
Lifeproof Fre Case for iPad Air Water Proof Tablet - Black (Certified Refurbished)
More...
Lowest price: Too low to display
iPad Air 2 Case,iPad 6 Case,TOPSKY(TM)[Kickstand Feature],Shock-Absorption / High Impact Resistant Hybrid Three Layer Armor Defender Full Body Protective Case Cover with Stylus and Screen Protector,Grey/Blue

TOPSKY(TM) is a Registered trademark in USA.As we are running an Amazon business,your satisfaction are very important for us.We strive to offer you the best value and service possible.Please let me know if you have any issue about our products,our team will provide best service to you.

How to install?
1.Take off the silicone from outside of the case.
2.Open the hard plastic into two parts and place your iPad on, then snap it shut.(Please review the picture which to show three pieces.)
3.Put the silicone back.
4.Enjoy your Case Now!

Please Contact us if you have any quetions or need any help!We will provide the best service to you in 12 hours.

-This case is designed for iPad Air 2/iPad 6 only. It does NOT fit any other model.
-Accessory only, iPad is NOT included.

Contents:
-1 x Topsky(TM) Case.
-1 x Stylus Pen.
-1 x Screen Protector.
-1 x Topsky(TM) Microfiber Cleaning Cloth.
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Lowest price: $14.49
iPad Air Case, ULAK iPad Air Cover - Impact Resistant Hybrid Dual Layer Case Cover with Built-in KickStand for Apple iPad Air 5th Gen 2013 (Black/Green)
ULAK is US brand producing a full line of accessories for all Apple products, Samsung phones and tablets. We are dedicated to creating products that provide our Amazon customers best service.
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Lowest price: $14.49

The touch screens used by most tablets also tend to be more reflective and will not be good for reading in bright sunlight or under certain types of artificial light. Whether that’s a big problem for you or not will depend upon how often you might feel the need to read in such conditions of course.

Finally, all of that computing power and color screen loveliness doesn’t come cheap. Tablet computers tend to cost quite a bit more than e-readers, although the new range of 7″ tablets does seem to be priced quite a bit cheaper than larger tablets.

So Which Should You Choose?

Choose An E-Reader If:

  • You expect to read books, magazines and newspapers that don’t have a lot of graphical content.
  • You expect to read for long periods of time.
  • Long battery life between charges is important to you.
  • You have some other means of browsing the web (or you don’t intend to do this very often).
  • You don’t want to spend a large amount of money on what is, when all’s said and done, a secondary gadget.

Get Yourself A Tablet Computer If:

  • You expect to be surfing the web and/or playing video a lot.
  • You only intend to read for short periods at a time.
  • You want to read magazines or books which rely heavily on color and/or graphics to get their message across.
  • You don’t mind charging your device often – or even using it when connected to the mains.
  • You aren’t on a tight budget and are happy to spend a fairly large amount on a tablet.

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14 Comments

  • Kristen S. says:

    Thank you! This website just helped me make up my mind on which device to get!

  • Yvette says:

    This was very informative… Thank you for this article it helped me a lot! E-Reader it is!!! :-)

  • Marvin says:

    Thanks for the informative comparison.

  • Surendra Joshi says:

    Thank you very much. very informative.

  • Nancy Hardin says:

    I just recently bought a Kindle Fire 7 HD. I love it on the days when I have to sit in a doctor’s office waiting my turn! HA! I use a desktop computer at home, finding it more convenient for my writing. And the best part of my recent purchase, was that it was a gift of an Amazon gift card from my uncle. A good deal all the way around. I appreciate the pros and cons on the various devices here. Good work and thanks.

    • admin says:

      Hi Nancy – Glad to hear you’re enjoying your Fire HD. I take my Kindle with me everywhere these days (including the doctor’s surgery).

  • Cynthia says:

    I have actually never owned a tablet, but have often thought I would like to have one. I have wondered if my wrist / arm would get tired from holding one up to see it. I do own a Kindle and I love it. Of course, as you indicated, I only use it for reading ebooks. I do find it lightweight enough that, unless I am literally falling asleep, I don’t have any trouble holding it up in front of my eyes for hours at a time.

    • admin says:

      Hi Cynthia,

      Glad you enjoy your Kindle. It’s a good point about holding up a tablet computer – you really are best to use these with a stand/cover so that you don’t put too much strain on your wrists.

  • Robin says:

    I have a Kindle Fire hd 8.9. At this point it won’t charge. So if I decide to go with a Samsung tablet can I transfer my books over to the new tablet?

    • admin says:

      Hi Robin,

      Sorry to hear that your Kindle is acting up.

      If the books were bought from Amazon they will all be stored in your cloud drive. You can access them using the “Manage Your Content and Devices” link from within your Amazon account (find it at the bottom of most pages in fact).

      The Kindle for Android app can be downloaded free from Amazon and that should let you read them on your new Samsung.

      If the books weren’t bought from Amazon, but you put them onto your Kindle some other way, you’ll need to get them off onto a memory stick or upload them to the cloud so that you can access them with your new Samsung. Maybe you can do that with the power cable in – I assume that although it won’t charge it will work when connected to mains power?

      Best of luck.

  • george says:

    can I used ereader to down from public library

    • admin says:

      Yes, it is certainly possible to use e-readers to “borrow” books from public libraries.

      Which type of e-readers are supported and the selection of available books will vary from library to library – so you would need to check with the particular library in question.

  • khawaja bilal ahmad says:

    HI
    I have to buy kindle in Pakistan but amazon is not shipping kindle in Pakistan.
    AMAZON
    Please start shipping kindle in Pakistan.

    • admin says:

      Hello Khawaja,

      I understand your frustration – but you might be better to make your comment on the Amazon website itself, I doubt if Jeff Bezos reads my little blog.

      Amazon has expanded its international shipping of the Kindle, among other things, greatly over the last few years. I do hope that you get your wish and they begin shipping Kindles to Pakistan in the near future.

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