I'm trying to decide between buying a Kindle vs. a Kindle Paperwhite. The Kindle has a resolution of 167 ppi and the Paperwhite has a resolution of 300 ppi.

I don't care about the backlighting since I use a lamp. So the only question is, is the resolution on the Kindle bad for my eyes? Is it really better to have a higher res screen?

7 Answers 7


Here's a comparison of 300 ppi (Voyage, Oasis, 2015 Paperwhite) vs 221 ppi (2014 and earlier Paperwhite) vs 167 ppi (Classic Kindle).

enter image description here

Actual dimensions seem to be

  • 1072 x 1448 (300 ppi)
  • 758 x 1024 (221 ppi)
  • 600 x 800 (167 ppi)

The 300 ppi can legitimately claim to be nearly indistiguishable from paper to my eye, once you factor in the natural fuzziness of eInk and the 16 shades of grey.

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    – Anthon
    Commented Apr 14, 2016 at 15:22

I think it's always better to have a good resolution. It's not a problem if you are reading ePubs. But when reading PDFs, I feel it is very hard to continue because I feel tired with low resolution. If the resolution is low and I try to read zoomed out, then my eyes can really feel tired.

Even when the resolution is high, don't read too tiny letters for a long time. If you do so, you may unknowingly take the device very close to your eyes and blur your vision.

Even if you have a back light in your device, it is always better to read with a lamp because when we read in the dark with a back light, the pupils of the eyes automatically adjust to the dark, but we are sending more light than the retinas expected.


Is the resolution on the Kindle bad for my eyes?


The resolution is fine for your eyes and for any eyes for that matter.

The question should be: Do you care for the resolution of the Kindle?

And the answer to this question depends solely on you. I despise low resolutions, they're an eyesore for me, so I had to had the Paperwhite. My girlfriend on the other hand, either doesn't care or can't spot a major difference most of the time. So she has the low res Kindle and she's perfectly happy with it.


Resolution is neither good nor bad for your eyes—all a lower resolution will do is make your text more jaggedy and less aesthetically appealing, which will be exacerbated at large font sizes. For reference, most print books are in the 200–300 dpi range. Books on glossy paper can be higher dpi (because the ink doesn't soak in as readily).

Basically, higher dpi will make your text crisper (to a point), but if that's not a big deal to you, you'll be fine. For reference, most of the web is still at 72ppi.

  • 3
    Most typesetting devices have a resolution greater than 1000 dpi; very few human eyes can discern differences above 500 dpi, and most books printed by offset have a resolution above 500 dpi. Also, I wouldn't say the web is at 72ppi — the web is dependent on the device YOU are using and you have to go back some years to hit display devices less than 100 ppi.
    – Roger_S
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 22:03

There are lots of filters that you can add for free that make this easier to answer. I use kindle fire and a bluelight filter. This has way more to do on your eyes than the res. Here is the skinny on all the research. I use Twilight on my Kindle and F.lux on my pc and my tablet. I hope this helps, also there is an eye health app on android that you can get

Description Protect your eyesight with your iPhone/iPad!

This is a quit nice app which can reduce your visual fatigue and protect your eyesight! When you feel visual fatigue or strain your eyes for a long time, just open it!Portect your eyesight with rotational eyeball!

Why does it work:

Myopia results from asthenopia, staring for a long time.

This application helps in restoring vision and relaxing your eyes.

How to use it: 1 Open this application. Exercise and relax your eyes by following the rotational balls for 10 minutes every 1 or 2 hours.

2 Close your eyes and recall the movement, rotate your eyeballs.

3 We provide you with tips of how to protect your eyesight.

Notes: 1 Please don't move your head with the ball, rotate your eyeballs only! 2 This application is for recreation and relaxation only. It can not be used as medical device! Call your doctor if you have problem in your eyesight!

FreeDragon Web Site


answer is No. specially if you want to read a simple text document I assure they are all identical (add Voyage to your list).

there are many comparison in internet, just google name of both devices and look at google images.

maybe it is unrelated, but I suggest you to go for pw because back-light makes it even easier to read during the day. amazon occasionally give discount for pw for price as low as 100€ so I would say it definitively worth it.


Having upgraded from Kindle to Paperwhite I have both and still use both. For reading after dark I use the Paperwhite and its backlight but I carry my Kindle with me for reading in the day. I find no problem with the difference in resolution though I prefer the higher resolution.

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