The new kindle paperwhite (generation 10) has been available for a few months. If you’re looking for an eink device and decide to get a new one on Amazon’s website, this is the one they sell these days. That being said, whether we are looking for a second hand paperwhite or wondering it it’s worth it to upgrade to a PW4 we can ask ourselves: is the PW4 really better than the PW3?
Hardware: both devices share similar specs
Both devices share a lot: 6 inch eInk Carta screen (300ppi) very similar CPU (i.MX6SL (SoloLite) vs. i.MX6SLL), as much RAM in both… CPU wise, that’s the stuff we find in most Kindle eReaders (even in the higher end Kindle Oasis). More than enough for an ereader, but the difference between both devices isn’t to be seen on that front. What did change?
The PW4 comes with more storage (32GB) and offers the ability to listen to one’s ebooks. It’s water resistant, making it easy and reassuring to read in the bath or on the side of a swimming pool. The protective layer, on top of the screen is slightly different, not as cold as it used to be. Both ereader come with a Carta eInk screen, with a thin layer of glass: it isn’t as resistant to shocks than the Mobius screen available in some devices with a larger screen, like the Kobo Forma or the PocketBook Inkpad X.
PW3 vs PW4? Well, can you find a good deal?
If you already have a PW3, if seems useless to upgrade, even though the paperwhite 10 can be found at a really fair price on Amazon’s website. Both devices are really similar, and there is no reason to buy a PW4 unless you need to put it under water or find the 8GB storage of your current device limiting.
If you are looking for a second hand ereader, a PW3 can be a good choice if you find it at the right price: a PW3 will offer almost the same performance of a PW4, for a fraction of the cost and both will share Kindle’s strength (nice interface, great integration with Amazon library) as well as it’s drawbacks (closeness that makes it complicated to install third party apps, incompatibility with several file formats).
What will matter is what you find, and at what price: a second hand PW3 for EUR 50 will be more interesting than a brand new PW4, but if the seller wants to get rid of a PW3 for a price tag close to a new Paperwhite 4, keep in mind that both devices aren’t exactly the same: it might be worth it to negotiate the price a bit to take that into account.
In both cases, both devices are well done, have great software and can provide a very pleasant reading experience. Keep in mind that they don’t have the adaptative light we can now find on the Kobo Clara HD, which is more open and could be a great alternative to a Kindle Paperwhite.