Kindle Paperwhite 3G vs WIFI comparison

kindle paperwhite 3g vs wifi

When comparing the Kindle Paperwhite 3G vs WIFI the main difference between them is their connectivity. The Kindle Paperwhite WI-FI version only has Wi-Fi Connectivity, while The Kindle Paperwhite 3G has both 3G and WiFI.

Kindle Paperwhite 3G vs WIFI

The Kindle product range is Amazon’s crown jewel, and clearly, it’s a favorite with the public too. Not only the sales on Kindle products are incredibly strong, but Amazon keeps releasing new devices on a regular basis. This doesn’t just mean updating existing products either, but frequently includes brand new products that offer new features and new technology not seen in previous versions. The latest example of this is with the Kindle Paperwhite 3G – Amazon’s entry into competition with the Nook GlowLight. So how does it fare in this new product category? Read on to find out.

Kindle Paperwhite 3G Pros and Cons


  • Ultra-Portable.
  • High Resolution and Contrast.
  • Battery Life.


  • Small Storage Space.
  • Ads On The Device.

Kindle Paperwhite 3G/WIFI Key Specs

  • Release Year: 2012
  • Battery Life: 8 weeks
  • Screen Size: 6 inches
  • Screen Type: e-Ink with glowlight
  • Weight: 7.8 oz/7.5 oz
  • Storage Size: 2GB
  • Internet: 3G+Wi-Fi / Wi-Fi
  • Main eBook Format: AZW (Kindle)

Kindle Paperwhite 3G vs WIFI In-Depth Review

Also you may like to read: Compare the Kindles in a chart.

Size and Weight

Barely any bigger than the new Kindle standard, the Kindle 3G is incredibly portable. It’ll slip into any bag comfortably, making it ideal as a travel companion whether you’re going on holiday or just commuting on the train.

Aside from making the device portable, the small size also makes it easier to hold while you read. Amazon has done a great job of scaling down the overall size of the product without sacrificing screen size, and this really shows.

As well as being small, the Paperwhite 3G is very light. It actually weighs barely any more than the new Kindle, which is fantastic for those who like to take their Kindles out with them for the day. It’s also brilliant news for comfort, as the top complaint from users about the comfort of eReaders is the product’s weight. If you’re an avid reader, you’ll be holding the product in your hand for a long period of time. A product as light as this is lighter than the average paperback book, so it’s easier than ever to read.

Interested in a Kindle vs iPad review?

Built-In Light

The Paperwhite’s real selling point is the built-in light. This is a really big deal because it’s one of the first attempts to give eReaders a built-in light that doesn’t cause eye strain like a conventional computer screen.

The technology essentially works by projecting the light down through the screen from the top edge, rather than sending the light outwards directly at your eyes. That takes a lot of the intensity out while still offering a clearly lit screen that’s viewable in the dark as well as all kinds of lighting conditions.

While Barnes & Noble actually got to the lighting technology first with the Nook GlowLight, the Kindle has quickly caught up and offers better screen quality and battery life than the GlowLight.

Display and Screen Resolution

The Kindle Paperwhite features a new and improved reading experience. This has been achieved by changing the backlit reading display from previous models. The Paperwhite draws light from the surface of the e-ink display area. What this means is that the light will never directly shine into your eyes. The result is that you can read very comfortably without straining your eyes.

It has taken the developers at Amazon over 2 years to improve the uniformity of the built-in lighting on the device. This new design uses nanoimprinting and nanoscale to bring you a screen that displays a balanced whiteness.

This new technology allows your Paperwhite ereader to use fewer LED’s which use very little power to light your screen evenly. As you will be reading in different lighting conditions the Paperwhite has an improved brightness control, allowing you to adjust your Kindle from low to full brightness as required.

Another great improvement over the previous models is in the screen resolution. The Paperwhite has a much higher screen resolution than all of the previous products in the Kindle eReader range, which basically means that the image quality is vastly improved.

In practical terms, you’ll notice this most in the quality of the text. While it has looked a bit ragged and pixelated on previous Kindles, the Paperwhite offers a clean and crisp text that’s easier to read and just more pleasing to look at. It’s a more professional look.

Along with improved resolution comes increased contrast. This allows text to stand out more clearly against the background, again improving the reading experience by making the text easier on the eye and also helping those with poor vision to read more easily.


Another great feature of the Kindle Paperwhite 3G is the touch screen. It manages to offer touch screen technology without resorting to a backlit screen – an excellent development over the technology employed by the Kindle Touch. Having a touch screen allows users to interact with the device in the way we’ve come to expect as modern technology users.

Also, the EasyReach Tap zone on the display provides fast page-turning times. One light tap is all that is needed to turn the page.

Battery Life

One of the most impressive features of is the battery life. Even though this device is a touch screen and uses a light that is switched on by default, the battery life is longer than ever. On a single charge users can expect to get around 8 weeks of continuous use out of this device. This is a remarkable achievement that’s completely unrivaled by the offerings from Barnes and Noble or Kobo.

However, the battery in your Paperwhite last for up to 8 weeks based on using your Kindle for 30 minutes per day with the wireless turned off and a lighting set at level 10.

As you can see these are new and improved features from Amazon and this can help you decide which Kindle would suit your purposes the best.

Storage Memory Space

While not a massive problem, some users may not be happy about the small on-board storage of 2GB. Many other devices have 4GB of storage, and rival eReaders offer even more. If you think you plan on storing thousands of books on your device, this could be a problem.

Your Reading Experience

The Paperwhite ereader allows you to customize your reading experience. You can easily choose from 8 text sizes to fit your reading preferences. There are 6 fonts that have been ‘hand-tuned’ to increase resolution and allows elegant fonts to be displayed more effectively.

With the Paperwhite ebook reader, you can add notes, bookmarks, and highlights which can then be exported. You can even share your quotes on Facebook and Twitter.

The Paperwhite will be the first Kindle to display real page numbers that would correspond to the text in a print book. This will be helpful to students who need to cite passages or for those who are reading a book as part of a group setting.

Time to Read is a new feature that picks up on your reading habits. It will estimate the time it will take you to read a chapter or finish a book based on our recent reading speed.

Want to know more about the author? Now you can see all the details the author has entered about themselves from their Author Central account including their bio and other books they have written.

Additional Notable Features

Amazon automatically backs up your library in the Cloud, so you don’t have to worry about losing any of your books. The Paperwhite features a built-in dictionary of up to 250,000 words so you don’t have to leave the page to find the definition of a word.

You can now easily search the Web using an experimental web browser called WebKit. Instant translations are also available on your new Kindle using the Bing Translator. Global language support is another new feature allowing readers to read Chinese or Japanese text on their devices.

Korean, Cyrillic, Latin, and Greek scripts are also supported and users are provided with free access to several international dictionaries.

Cons Ads On The Device

While the lowest priced model will save you money, it’ll also mean you have to endure ads. Some will see this as a fair trade, but others may complain about the ads being annoying or intrusive. It’s certainly better to use the device without the ads, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

Kindle Paperwhite 3G vs WIFI Final Thoughts

The Kindle Paperwhite 3G and WiFi versions both are very similar. The main difference is that the 3G version has wi-fi while the WiFi version doesn’t have 3G connectivity.

The Paperwhite 3G is absolutely worth buying. It’s a fantastic piece of technology that doesn’t even cost very much. The only real shortcoming is the storage capacity. And for users on a very tight budget, it may be beyond their price range. Although it is still priced extremely competitively, undercutting its major rivals. An all-around excellent product is well worth the price.

With Or Without Special Offers. Another nice touch is the option of buying this Kindle for a lower price in exchange for allowing ads to appear on your device.