Which Kindle to buy for reading books

Ebook Reader: Kindle or Fire?

Simon Lohmann

Opinions on ebook readers vary widely: some say that nothing in the world can replace a hardcover book with real pages and printer ink. Others say, however, that ebook readers have many advantages over books: you can read in the dark, the font and size can be adjusted as you like, and you no longer have to go to a bookstore to buy new novels. On the occasion of the Amazon Cyber ​​Monday week, we are introducing a number of devices that are worth taking a closer look at.

EnlargeKindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyager and the Fire (7 inch) and Fire HD 8 in comparison.

Amazon currently produces two different classes of tablets that can also be used as ebook readers at the same time. There are the Kindle Series - tablets with black and white displays and e-ink technology - and the Fire Devices: tablets with colored LC displays. Even though the latter are among Amazon's more versatile tablets, as they can be used to watch videos, play music, surf the web, and play games, the Fire devices cannot display text in the same high resolution as a Kindle.

Here are a few more aspects that should be considered: In contrast to the Fire series, every Kindle can be equipped with a 3G option, so that purchased books can also be accessed on the go via an account in the cloud. Otherwise this is also possible via a Wi-Fi connection.

Amazon's “Special Offers” advertising can be deactivated for a price of 20 euros. Otherwise, the advertisement will appear on the device's lock screen when it is put to sleep. The first thing to appear when you switch on is the advertisement. Fortunately, while reading a book on the device, the ads won't appear. If you do not complete this option when you buy the device, you can make these settings afterwards.

Through the Kindle devices

Every Kindle device has a mirror-free display, which is very helpful when reading. The Kindle Voyage and Kindle Paperwhite also offer integrated lighting so that you can read without problems even in the dark. If you do without this function, sooner or later you will have to rely on external light sources. Therefore, before buying, you should consider whether you want to do without this feature.

Kindle Voyage:

The Kindle Voyage is not only Amazon's best ebook reader, but probably the best ever. The 6-inch device is available for 190 euros, although it only offers WLAN functionality. The same device with an additional 3G function costs 60 euros. Both variants offer a high-resolution 300 ppi display so that, according to the manufacturer, the device can be read “like on printed paper”. Readers can turn the pages comfortably and easily using the PagePress function. The intelligent front light also ensures ideal exposure day and night, even if it drains the device's battery more quickly. But Amazon promises that the battery will last for weeks. A built-in light sensor automatically detects the lighting conditions and, if necessary, activates the backlight function so that the battery lasts longer. To protect the Kindle Voyage, Amazon offers various covers that automatically switch the device on or put it to sleep when the cover is opened and closed.

Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite is available for 100 euros until November 30, 2015, and the regular price of 120 euros will apply again from December 1. If you also want to use the 3G function, the price in the offer period is 160 euros, instead of the regular 180 euros. Here, too, the device provides a high-resolution 300 ppi display with an integrated front light. The great feature of the Kindle Paperwhite is the non-reflective screen, so you can read in the sun very well. However, it is a bit thicker and heavier than the Voyage and you have to set the backlight function manually. So if you should consider buying a pure ebook reader, you should take this offer. If you would like to forego the advertising of the special offers from Amazon, you can save the 20 euros with the current offer.

Fire (7 inches)

For just 60 euros (with special offers, without: 74 euros) you can get the 7-inch Fire from Amazon. Unfortunately, the tablet only has a rather slow quad-core processor with 1.3 GHz and cameras on the front and back. The most important detail, however, is the screen resolution. If you want to use the device as an ebook reader, you should know that the Fire only has a resolution of 1024x600 pixels, that is 171 ppi. (By comparison, the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyage are both 300 ppi).

Amazon Prime members can stream Prime videos and also have access to over a million songs with Prime Music and over 950,000 ebooks. If the internal storage space of 8 GB is not sufficient, you can provide additional storage space with a micro SD card. If you want to supply your whole family with the Fire tablet, Amazon has a special deal: Buy five Fire devices and get an additional free one.

The Fire is not the best ebook reader, but it can do some things that even the Kindle Voyage cannot do. Among other things, you can watch videos and surf the web. Reading is not just limited to books, as you can also access your emails with the Fire. Games are also possible on the Fire and run fairly stable as long as they don't put the processor to the test too much. In addition to photo and video recordings, you can also access the social networks Facebook and Twitter. So can the Fire be compared to an Android or Apple tablet? Of course not, but first of all you can find a tablet with this size for just 60 euros.

Fire HD 8

The Fire HD 8 is already in a different price league. The smallest version with 8 GB storage space and with special offers costs 160 euros (without special offers: 175 euros), the larger version with 16 GB storage space with special offers costs 180 euros (without special offers: 195 euros). In addition to the black version, Amazon offers three other colors: blue, magenta and orange. The Fire HD 8 is the thinnest Fire tablet and with its 8 inch display has a screen resolution of 1280x800 (189 ppi). Although the tablet is only an inch larger, the larger model has a faster processor and stereo speakers. If you want to read a book on the Fire HD 8, you might be more bothered by weight than the lower screen resolution compared to a Kindle. The Fire HD 8 weighs around 312 grams, the Paperwhite weighs only 204 grams and the Kindle Voyage even only 187 grams. The Fire HD 8 is better for games and other powerful apps, whereas the slightly higher screen resolution compared to the Fire Reading doesn't make much of a difference.


Do you only want to read books? Then one of the Kindle devices would be a better choice. If you want to read a book every now and then, but otherwise use other content, such as streaming videos or listening to music, you are better off with a Fire device. These are also more suitable for graphic presentations, such as graphic novels. And if you are not bothered by the advertising that will often appear on your reader or tablet, you can also save the 20 euros with which you can deactivate the special offers with a clear conscience.