eWritable > Blog > What is the difference between the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Paperwhite “Signature Edition”?

What is the difference between the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Paperwhite “Signature Edition”?

The Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon’s mid-range e-reader, however, it comes in two varieties; the standard Paperwhite, and the Paperwhite Signature Edition.

In this short post, I want to quickly go over the differences between these two devices.

First, the similarities…

Both the Paperwhite and the Paperwhite Signature Edition use the same plastic chassis and 6.8″ 300DPI flush screen.

They both have a frontlight with temperature settings and they are both waterproof. They also both support listening to Audible audiobooks via Bluetooth speakers or headphones.

And, they also use the same Kindle software.

In fact, if you lay them side-by-side, there is no distinguishable difference between them.

So, what are the differences?

The first difference is the price. The Signature Edition can be $30+ more expensive than the standard Paperwhite.

One of the reasons for this additional expense is that the Signature Edition has more storage capacity (32Gb) than the standard Paperwhite (which is available in 8Gb and 16Gb varieties).

And whilst you can get a small discount on the standard Paperwhite by agreeing for it to have advertisements shown when the screen is locked, this option is not available for the Signature Edition.

Another difference is that the Signature Edition supports auto-brightness. This means that the frontlight will automatically change to its optimal settings dependent on the ambient light in your environment. So, for example, if you are reading in a dimly-lit room, the light on the Paperwhite Signature Edition will automatically brighten. This feature is not available on the standard Paperwhite, however, you can adjust the brightness of the frontlight manually.

The Signature Edition supports wireless inductive charging – it is the only current model of Kindle that has this capability. This means that you don’t have to fiddle around with plugs and sockets to charge your e-reader. You simply place it down on a wireless charging pad or puck and the battery will recharge.

Finally, the additional hardware means that the Signature Edition weighs a few grams more than the standard Paperwhite (208g compared to 205g).

Summary

Although the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition appears to be identical to its sibling, it has some neat features that set it apart.

The most obvious is the additional storage capacity, which means that it has the potential to store a much larger library of books. However, with the average ebook weighing in at around 2-3Mb in size, even 8Gb of storage space can potentially hold over 2000 ebooks with room to spare. Of course this depends on the sort of ebooks you read – for example, textbooks or comic books will usually be larger. Similarly, audiobooks will also take up more space.

Auto-brightness is a nice feature to have but, in my opinion, it is no great hardship to adjust the frontlight manually.

Likewise, wireless charging is more of a desirable feature than a necessity, and you also have to account for the additional expense of a wireless charging pad or puck, which (personally) I could only justify to myself if I had other devices that use wireless charging technology.

Although the Signature Edition does not have ads shown on the lock-screen, you can opt to pay an additional $10 or so for a regular Paperwhite without lock-screen ads.

In conclusion, my recommendation would be that if you are unlikely to use the additional storage capacity and wireless charging and are not too fussed about the auto-brightness, then save a few bucks and get the regular Paperwhite. However, if you value these premium features, then go for the Signature Edition.

Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

Check out my e-reader comparison table to compare more e-readers.

PRODUCTKINDLE PAPERWHITEKINDLE PAPERWHITE S.E
Specs & ratings infoKINDLE PAPERWHITEKINDLE PAPERWHITE SIGNATURE EDITION
Okay
My Rating
Price (approx)$160
$200
ManufacturerAmazonAmazon
Release year20212021
SCREENKINDLE PAPERWHITEKINDLE PAPERWHITE S.E
Screen size6.8"6.8"
Screen density (B/W)300dpi300dpi
Colour
Screen density (Colour)n/an/a
Frontlight
Buy
HARDWAREKINDLE PAPERWHITEKINDLE PAPERWHITE S.E
Storage8-16Gb32Gb
Super Refresh
Speakers
Microphone
G-Sensor
Bluetooth
SD card slot
Waterproof
Page Turn Buttons
Width125mm125mm
Height174mm174mm
Thickness8.1mm8.1mm
Weight205g208g
Buy
SOFTWAREKINDLE PAPERWHITEKINDLE PAPERWHITE S.E
Operating systemKindleOSKindleOS
Google Play Store
Kindle support
ADE support
File formatsPDF, EPUB (via conversion), DOC, DOCX, TXT, RTF, HTML, KFX (Kindle), AZW3, MOBI (Limited support), AZW (Limited support)PDF, EPUB (via conversion), DOC, DOCX, TXT, RTF, HTML, KFX (Kindle), AZW3, MOBI (Limited support), AZW (Limited support)
File formats (image)PNG, JPG, BMP, GIFPNG, JPG, BMP, GIF
File formats (Audio)AAX (Audible) via BluetoothAAX (Audible) via Bluetooth
Additional notes-Wireless charging
Buy
Where to buyAmazon
Amazon
PRODUCTKINDLE PAPERWHITEKINDLE PAPERWHITE S.E

About the author

Website | + posts

Dan Dutton is passionate about E-ink writing tablets, which bring together the pleasure of writing on paper with the power of digital technology. When he bought his first tablet, he realised that there wasn't a lot of unbiased information available for people that were considering buying an E-ink tablet, and so he built eWritable.

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