Kindle Comparison: Which Kindle E-Reader Is Right for You?

Product Comparisons, Shopping
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Kindles are some of the best-known e-readers out there, but with Amazon regularly adding new models to its lineup, it can be confusing to decide which version is right for your reading habits.

So what makes one Kindle better than another? We’re comparing the Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite, the Kindle Voyage and the Kindle Oasis to find out.

The basics

Regardless of the specific Kindle model you choose, these features will come standard: a 6-inch screen, a touch-screen display and enough storage space to hold thousands of books.

But not all Kindles are created equal. Let’s see where they differ.

 KindleKindle PaperwhiteKindle VoyageKindle Oasis
Price$79.99$119.99$199.99$289.99
Built-in lightNoYes – 4 LEDsYes – 6 LEDsYes – 10 LEDs
Resolution167 ppi300 ppi300 ppi300 ppi
Battery lifeWeeksWeeksWeeksMonths
Weight (Wi-Fi version)6.7 ounces7.2 ounces6.3 ounces4.6 ounces
Page turn buttonsNoNoNoYes
Charging coverNoNoNoYes
Sold in Wi-Fi + 3G versionNoYesYesYes
Buy on Amazon
Buy Kindle
Buy Paperwhite
Buy Voyage
Buy Oasis

Kindle

  • Price: $79.99
  • Features: The introductory-level Kindle has all of the basic essentials an e-reader should offer, while boasting the most affordable price tag in the line. Designed to be small and lighter than a paperback, the Kindle weighs 6.7 ounces and has a 6-inch screen. It has a 167 ppi resolution, 4GB of on-device storage and a battery life of up to four weeks. The device also offers free cloud storage of all Amazon content and can fully charge in four hours.
  • Good fit for: The standard Kindle is great for casual readers who will be using their e-reader at home. It’s affordably priced, but unlike the other models, it’s available only in a Wi-Fi version (as opposed to a Wi-Fi + 3G option as well). But if you’re always using it when you’re connected to your personal Wi-Fi network, this shouldn’t be a problem.

» MORE: Kindle Oasis vs. Kindle Voyage

Kindle Paperwhite

  • Price: $119.99
  • Features: The next step up in the Kindle line — in terms of features, capabilities and price — is the Paperwhite. In addition to the same 6-inch screen size you enjoy with the basic Kindle, this model introduces users to a built-in light for better reading in daylight or nighttime conditions and a 300 ppi resolution for a better-quality display. The Paperwhite is sold in a Wi-Fi-only version or a Wi-Fi + 3G edition for $70 more. The device fully charges in four hours and has a battery life of up to six weeks.
  • Good fit for: The Kindle Paperwhite is a great midmarket option for budget-conscious bookworms. This e-reader offers more advanced features than the basic Kindle, while still keeping its price relatively affordable.

» MORE: Kindle Paperwhite vs. Nook GlowLight Plus

Kindle Voyage

  • Price: $199.99
  • Features: For just under $200, the Voyage takes Kindle functionality up another notch from the Paperwhite. Its adaptive front light automatically adjusts to your lighting conditions, and its PagePress feature makes page turning as easy as applying increased pressure. The Voyage has a 300 ppi resolution, 4GB of on-device storage and a battery life of up to six weeks. It’s also sold in a Wi-Fi-only version or a Wi-Fi + 3G edition for $70 more.
  • Good fit for: Thanks to its advanced light capability, the Voyage works well for dedicated readers who will be taking their e-reader outside regularly.

» MORE: Kindle Voyage vs. Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Oasis

  • Price: $289.99
  • Features: The most recent Kindle from Amazon, the Oasis, is also the company’s most advanced (and most expensive) e-reader to date. It offers the staple features the previous versions do, plus more. Noteworthy additions include physical page-turn buttons on the side of the e-reader, a tapered design that thins out at the top to aid the user’s ability to hold the reader in one hand, and an included charging cover that adds to the product’s battery life — taking it from weeks to months. The Oasis also has more built-in LED lights than any other model for an enhanced reading experience.
  • Good fit for: If you treat your e-reader like a tablet, go for the Oasis. With the longest battery life and lightest weight of any of the Kindles, it’s best suited for tech-savvy consumers who intend to get frequent use out of it.

Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.