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These are templates that you can download and print to get an idea of the actual size of the Kindle Paperwhite.

US Letter Size 8.5 x 11"

A4 Size 210 x 297 mm

Before deciding to go all-in on the Kindle, I wanted to double check how big is the screen compared to other devices. And is it large enough to read all my books.

The Kindle Paperwhite has a 6 inch screen (15.24 cm) measured diagonally. It supports a high resolution of 1072 x 1448 pixels at 300 ppi (pixels per inch). It has adjustable font sizes, line height and margins to quickly optimize the text to the screen size. This makes reading text very comfortable.

Exhibit A. The Kindle screen and a puzzle: Can you guess the conclusion of the highlighted passage above from Sherlock Holmes? Clues are marked below with a {!}

Kindle Paperwhite printable model

It helps to have something tangible to appreciate sizes. So we prepared printable templates showing the Kindle’s actual size. The templates are on US Letter (8.5 x 13”) and A4 (210 x 297mm) sizes. 

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Click here to download the templates.

Kindle Paperwhite screen size vs. other Kindle devices

The 6” screen has been the sweet spot for Kindles since the first devices were released in 2007. Here’s a table showing all the previous Kindle models and their screen sizes.

Kindle DeviceRelease dateScreen size, in. (diagonal)Screen size, mm (diagonal)Resolution (pixels)Pixel Density
Kindle Paperwhite 4 (10th generation)20186"152.4 mm1448 x 1072300 ppi
Kindle Oasis 3 (10th generation)20197"177.8 mm1680 x 1264300 ppi
Kindle Basic 3 (10th generation)20196"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi
Kindle Kids (10th generation)20196"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi
Kindle Oasis 2 (9th generation)20177"177.8 mm1680 x 1264300 ppi
Kindle Oasis (8th generation)20166"152.4 mm1448 x 1072300 ppi
Kindle Basic 2 (8th generation)20166"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi
Kindle Paperwhite 3 (7th generation)20156"152.4 mm1448 x 1072300 ppi
Kindle Basic 1 (7th generation)20146"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi
Kindle Voyage (7th generation)20146"152.4 mm1448 x 1072300 ppi
Kindle Paperwhite 2 (Sixth generation)20136"152.4 mm1448 x 1072300 ppi
Kindle 5 (Fifth generation)20126"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi
Kindle Paperwhite 1 (Fifth generation)20126"152.4 mm758 x 1024212 ppi
Kindle Touch20116"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi
Kindle 4 (Fourth generation)20116"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi
Kindle DX Graphite (DXG)20109.7"246.4 cm1200 x 824150 ppi
Kindle 3 / Kindle Keyboard (Third generation)20106"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi
Kindle 2 (Second generation)20096"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi
Kindle DX20099.7"246.4 cm1200 x 824150 ppi
Kindle 1 (First generation)20076"152.4 mm800 x 600167 ppi

The sizes above were compiled from multiple sources, including the Amazon website and others.

The Kindle was designed in large part to match the portability of printed pocket books. Here’s a table of how they compare.

Kindle Paperwhite screen size vs. usual pocket books

Kindle PaperwhiteMass Market PaperbacksTrade Paperbacks
Size (inches, diagonal)Screen: 6”
Device: ~8.04”
8.08”9.43” to 10.82”
Screen Size (mm, diagonal)Screen: 152.4 mm Device: ~203.33 mm205.19 mm239.62 to 274.74 mm
Size (inches, length x width)Screen: 4.82 x 3.57"
Device: 6.6 x 4.6”
4.25 x 6.87”5 x 8” to 6 x 9”
Size (mm, length x width)Screen: 122.55 x 90.6 mm
Device: 167 x 116 mm
107.95 x 174.50 mm127 x 203.2 mm to 152.4 x 228.6 mm

In this table we show both the Kindle screen dimensions and the actual device’s dimensions. As you can see, the device dimensions are very close to that of a mass market paperback.

When comparing the screen size with pocket books, keep in mind that the Kindle can adjust fonts, line spacing, and margins easily. This removes the difficulty of having to read very small text. On the flip-side, larger fonts means more page turns.

The measurements for the Kindle Paperwhite above are based on the Amazon website. Whereas the measurements for paperbacks are the printed book standards.

The image below shows the Kindle and a mass market paperback side-by-side. The actual book can be found here.

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NOTE: Highlights were marked only on the photographs. No Kindles or books were harmed in the creation of this image =)

A note on screen resolution vs print resolution. The common standard is 300 dpi (dots per inch) for printed images. 300 dpi roughly equates to 300 ppi. 

But for text in printed pocket books, it’s not a very practical and straightforward conversion. There are factors such as ink viscosity and paper quality that would affect the clarity of the text. Hence, I did not include screen resolution in the table above. 

However, we could compare the Kindle’s screen resolution with other digital devices. 

{!}

Kindle Paperwhite screen size vs. popular mobiles and tablets

Screen size (inches, diagonal)Screen size (mm, diagonal)Resolution (pixels)Pixel density
Kindle Paperwhite6"152.4 mm1448 x 1072300 ppi
iPhone 126.1”154.94 mm2532 x 1170460 ppi
Samsung Galaxy S216"152.4 mm2400 x 1080421 ppi
Google Pixel 56”152.4 mm2340 x 1080432 ppi
iPad Mini7.9”200.66 mm2048 x 1536326 ppi
iPad10.2”259.08 mm2160 x 1620264 ppi

This table shows various device information as of February 2021.

{!} The Kindle screen and a 7.9" iPad Mini.

{!} The Kindle screen and a 5.4" Sony Xperia mobile phone

Other screen size considerations

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Can I hold with one hand?

This is one of the areas where the Kindle Paperwhite excels. It was designed and built to be held with one hand comfortably.

The screen size, non-slip back, and lightweight body make the Kindle easy to hold with one hand. At only 6.4 oz (182 g), it's about the weight of a 160-page 5x8" (127 x 203.2 mm) paperback.

Turning pages forward is also convenient with a light tap of the thumb. Turning pages backward can easily be done if holding with the left hand.

A much larger screen would have been more difficult if not impossible to operate in this way.

Zooming in the Kindle Paperwhite

On first glance, the 6" screen may seem rather small. Specially for viewing books with images, tables or charts. Indeed, the Kindle is not the best at those, but there is a zoom feature that can be sufficient for occasional images.

Zooming in the Kindle isn't the smoothest though, and you'll find a bit of lag between zoom steps. Panning is also rather cumbersome.

In a way, this is not surprising as the Kindle's main purpose is to read just text. And it excels very well at that.

Why won’t Amazon build a Kindle with a larger screen?

Amazon released a much larger 9.7" screen back in 2009. It was called the Kindle DX and Kindle DX Graphite. This model lasted only for 2 years and was discontinued.

When Amazon first released the Kindle DX, it was positioned as a possible replacement for paper textbooks. However, users didn't really find the device responsive enough.

That and somewhat limited features prevented the Kindle DX from finding it's footing in the market.

Fast forward to the present, Amazon has yet to offer a larger Kindle device than the 7" Kindle Oasis.

There is a clear trade-off between the screen size and the price. This has to be considered carefully in order to develop a sustainable (and profitable) product. And it appears that Amazon hasn't yet found a compelling case for those larger screens.

Screen size relative to content

For most text only books, the size of the Kindle works very well. Especially since you can adjust the font settings. 

However, for image heavy books such as magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, etc., there is a very noticeable compression in image sizes. This makes reading those types of content on the Kindle very difficult.
More information can be found here about displaying images on the Kindle screen.

And as always, if you have a Kindle or eReader question you need investigated, please don't hesitate to drop us a line.

P.S. Here's the answer to Exhibit A.

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