Kindle Paperwhite vs. Signature Edition: Which Kindle Reigns Supreme?

BookSummaryClub Blog Kindle Paperwhite vs. Signature Edition: Which Kindle Reigns Supreme?
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Every avid reader knows that the right ebook can make all the difference. Physical book lovers can bask in the smell and feel of their book pages, but nothing beats the longevity, convenience, and ability to carry thousands of books without strain, as well as the ability to read in the dark, that an ebook offers.

While there are many ebook readers on the market, it goes without saying that Amazon’s Kindle takes the lead. Now, Kindle, in a bid to offer diversity, has made available different models of ebook readers for all of its book lovers.

The Kindle Paperwhite and the Signature Edition have made it to the top of the viewer’s choice list and for all the right reasons.

We’ve taken the time to draft an extensive review of both Kindles to help you decide whether to stick with your regular $140 for a Paperwhite or throw in an extra $50 and get the new Signature Edition.

Which Came First?

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The Kindle Paperwhite was the first to be introduced. It made its market debut in 2012. Booklovers worldwide were impressed with the built-in light, which allowed them to read in any lighting condition. It was the first of its kind to be launched with this feature. 

Another impressive inbuilt feature that impressed the bookworms was the reading speed tracker, which helped readers estimate how long it would take to finish a chapter or a book. The flush-front feature it came with also made it more comfortable to hold than all other previous models.

Regardless of these innovations, there were still a few drawbacks that left users unsatisfied. First, it had no expandable storage. It was only imbued with a maximum of 4 GB of storage, out of which only 3GB was usable. Also, the constant ads were bothersome, to say the least. 

Months after the release, extra updates were implemented to improve the user experience. And, in the years that followed, more models of the Kindle Paperwhite were released into the market—the latest of them being the 11th generation Paperwhite, which was released alongside the signature edition in 2021.

The signature edition was released in 2021. It goes without saying that the inbuilt features in this version are a far cry from the first Kindle Paperwhite. There are 10 upgraded models between the first Paperwhite and the Signature edition.

The most notable feature of the Signature Edition was the addition of wireless charging. No previous model allowed you to charge your Kindle without having to plug it in.

Are There Similarities Between the Two?

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Despite the advanced innovation between the two models, there are a few similarities that join them together. Here are a few of them:

Audible audiobooks

You can listen to audiobooks on both models, provided that you have a dedicated audiobook player and that you live in one of the countries where Kindle supports audible reading. The audiobooks come with forwarding and rewinding options; you can also jump between paragraphs or skip as many chapters as you like.

Switchability

This feature allows you to switch between reading text and listening to audiobooks. It is powered by Whispersync technology. However, even though this feature is present in the signature edition, most people are usually too obsessed with the new turn-page buttons to care about it.

Inbuilt light

Both models come with 300 ppi glare-free lighting that makes reading more convenient for those who prefer to read when the light of day is gone. 

30-day trial access to Kindle Unlimited

Like the majority of all other models, these two offer a 30-day free trial to anyone looking to get a feel for Kindle Unlimited. However, you will be required to meet a few terms and conditions before you are eligible for a free trial.

Comparison Metrics

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The following are a few comparison metrics that will help you decide which of the Kindles is best for you:

Storage 

The Kindle Paperwhite has two storage options: 8GB and 16GB. The Signature edition, on the other hand, is a single 32GB model.

  • Capacity

With 32 GB of storage, you can store thousands of books—you can go on a saving spree if you want! With 16 GB of storage, however, you might be limited to only 7000 books. This is also a lot, but then again, considering that the signature edition gives you double this capacity, it’s something to consider.

The 8GB grade is not entirely useless. Those who are interested in only reading ebooks (rather than listening to them) will have little issue with this storage grade.

  • Expansion

Also, you can expand the default storage of your signature edition—the Paperwhite model does not allow this. However, when you begin to run out of space in your library, the easy fix would be to store them in the free cloud storage that Kindle provides, then delete them from your Paperwhite storage.

Display

While both models have similar lighting, there is a difference in display. The Paperwhite model has a 6-inch viewing area, while its opponent comes with a 6.8-inch display. 

Both are great, but if you ideally prefer wider screens, the Signature edition would be a natural option for you.

Price 

There is a $50 difference in price between the two models. The starting Price for the Paperwhite stands at $139.99, while that of the Signature edition stands at $149.99. While these are static prices, other factors may increase or decrease the cost if you decide to purchase now. 

  • Discounts

Amazon often runs sales and promotions for its beloved e-readers. If you can get a coupon during this time, you can save a few dollars.

  • Taxes

Also, if you’re a non-US citizen, exchange rates will determine the actual amount you’ll be getting them for. That’s not all—there are still government taxes to worry about. The tax you’ll be paying also depends on your location.

Waterproof Rating

Water resistance is a key feature to look out for when deciding which model is worth your money. Both models now have great waterproof ratings. The Kindle Paperwhite has an IPX8 rating (meaning it can withstand fresh water for as long as 60 minutes before it gives in). 

The upgraded signature edition has a better rating—it withstands both freshwater and saltwater. This is something to be happy about if you sweat a lot or if you plan to stay near water bodies during your reading expedition.

Light Adjustments

While the lighting is a shared feature on both models, they do not share the same adjustability. The Paperwhite adjusts on its own. Its ambient light will adjust its illumination after scrutinizing the amount of illumination in the reader’s environment.

If you’re among those who prefer dark modes and dim lighting, you’d appreciate the adjustment feature that the signature edition possesses.

Wireless Charging 

As mentioned earlier, the most notable feature of the signature edition was the addition of the wireless charging pad. Not only is this an exciting feature, but it also offers convenience and easy boosting. 

However, there is a downside to this feature. When there is a cradle on the device, it sometimes comes into contact with the power button at the bottom of the tab.

Ads

Nobody likes ads, especially those that do not concern the reader in any way. Unfortunately, Paperwhite is not free from these bothersome ads. They pop up unprovoked at intervals and require you to click a button before they leave you alone.

Everyone who has used the Signature edition appreciates the ad-free nature of the model. You peruse your pages without interruption–this is an amazing experience, to say the least.

Battery Life 

Overall, both Kindles have amazing battery life. They are ideal for long journeys into the suburbs,  where electricity is not always available.

They can both last as long as 10 weeks without a recharge. Now, both models have battery-saving features that help prolong the battery life.

For the Paperwhite model, this feature is manual. You would have to reduce the lighting manually to conserve power. The signature edition, on the other hand, will do this automatically.

Which Kindle Is Best for Everyone?

There are different categories of ebook readers, and luckily, no matter which one you fall under, there is a Kindle reader that will be perfect for you. Here are a few recommendations:

For Those on a Tight Budget

Budget is usually the primary determinant of any purchase. Now, if you have financial constraints, you would have no other choice but to settle for the Paperwhite model, regardless of your other preferences. But not to worry, this model comes with exclusive features that will make your experience worthwhile.

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For Heavy Readers

If you’re the type that loves to bookmark every book with an interesting title, you should settle for the 32GB signature edition. With this one, there’s literally no limit to how much you can bookmark.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (32 GB) – With auto-adjusting front light, wireless charging, 6.8“ display, and up to 10 weeks of battery life – Without Lockscreen Ads – Black
26,639 people on Amazon loves this❣️
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (32 GB) – With auto-adjusting front light, wireless charging, 6.8“ display, and up to 10 weeks of battery life – Without Lockscreen Ads – Black
  • Get more with Signature Edition – Everything in the Kindle Paperwhite, plus wireless charging, auto-adjusting front light, and 32 GB storage.
  • Purpose-built for reading – With a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight.
  • More reading time – A single charge via USB-C or compatible Qi wireless charger (sold separately) now lasts up to 10 weeks.
  • Adjustable screen – Now with adjustable warm light and auto-adjusting front light for a personalized reading experience, day or night.
  • More books in more places – Store thousands of titles, then take them all with you.
  • Find new stories – With Kindle Unlimited, get unlimited access to over 2 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and more.
  • Go hands-free – Pair with an Audible subscription and Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen to your story.

For Bookworms

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition Essentials Bundle including Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition - Wifi, Without Ads, Amazon Leather Cover, and Wireless charging dock
3,275 people on Amazon loves this❣️
Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition Essentials Bundle including Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition – Wifi, Without Ads, Amazon Leather Cover, and Wireless charging dock
  • Get more with Signature Edition – Everything in the Kindle Paperwhite, plus wireless charging, auto-adjusting front light, and 32 GB storage.
  • Purpose-built for reading – With a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight.
  • More reading time – A single charge via USB-C or compatible Qi wireless charger (included) now lasts up to 10 weeks.
  • Adjustable screen – Now with adjustable warm light and auto-adjusting front light for a personalized reading experience, day or night.
  • More books in more places – Store thousands of titles, then take them all with you.
  • Find new stories – With Kindle Unlimited, get unlimited access to over 2 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and more.
  • Go hands free – Pair with an Audible subscription and Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen to your story.

There’s a category of readers who are obsessed with organization; if you fall under this category, you’d appreciate the collection features that the signature edition has in store for you– Very impressive stuff in there!

For Casual Readers

Then, there are those who are not exactly book fanatics; they love to read, but only when they feel like it (and they don’t often feel like it). If you belong here, you can save a few dollars by investing in the Paperwhite option. It’s a great choice for you.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (16 GB) – Now with a larger display, adjustable warm light, increased battery life, and faster page turns – Black
54,738 people on Amazon loves this❣️
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (16 GB) – Now with a larger display, adjustable warm light, increased battery life, and faster page turns – Black
  • Kindle Paperwhite – Now with a 6.8” display and thinner borders, adjustable warm light, up to 10 weeks of battery life, and 20% faster page turns.
  • Purpose-built for reading – With a flush-front design and 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight.
  • More books in more places – Store thousands of titles, then take them all with you. A single charge via USB-C last weeks, not hours.
  • Easy on the eyes – Now with adjustable warm light to shift screen shade from white to amber.
  • Waterproof reading – Built to withstand accidental immersion in water, so you’re good from the beach to the bath.
  • Find new stories – With Kindle Unlimited, get unlimited access to over 2 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and more.
  • Go hands-free – Pair with an Audible subscription and Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen to your story.

Final Thoughts

As promised, we have given you an extensive review of the top Kindle competitors. Each of them is tailored to suit specific needs and preferences. 

If you can afford it, you should really consider investing in the Signature edition—it’s new, it’s improved, and it’s totally worth the extra $50.

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