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Here’s why I’m ditching my iPad mini for the Kindle Paperwhite

Published May 18th, 2024 9:01AM EDT
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021 Front
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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I know, I know. This is a really weird idea, especially considering that the Kindle Paperwhite is not a full-fledged tablet like the 6th-generation iPad mini. But hear me out! This is what’s best for me, and I think it might also be the best move for others who have my needs as well.

I’ve owned my iPad mini for a couple of years now (at least, it feels like a couple of years). It’s a great little tablet and has been a staple for me when traveling. It’s great for downloading movies and television shows, games, and books to enjoy on the plane.

However, the longer I’ve owned the little tablet, the more I’ve realized that the plane is pretty much the only place that I end up using my iPad mini. When I’m home, my devices of choice are my M2 MacBook Air and my iPhone 15 Pro. If I want to watch a movie or television show, I’ll throw it on my Apple TV. If I want to play a game, I have my PS5 or Xbox Series X.

That only left books for something I still used my iPad mini for at home. And, after looking more into the world of eReaders and how they compare to the iPad, I’ve decided to switch from my iPad mini to the Kindle Paperwhite. Here’s why.

I don’t need a computer, I need an eReader

While the iPad mini can obviously do much, much more than the Kindle, I don’t actually need all of this capability in a tablet. I have all of that already on my laptop. What I really need is a device to read on, and in this case, the Kindle is a much better eReader than the iPad mini for a few reasons.

The first is that it’s a purpose-built device for reading. When I try and read on my iPad, the temptation to swipe up and hop into the YouTube or Messages app is high. That problem doesn’t exist with the Kindle. All you can do is read, and I actually appreciate that limitation. That’s not a bug — it’s a feature.

The stunning display on the Apple iPad Mini 2021
The iPad mini is a curious little device. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The next reason is weight. While the iPad mini is the company’s smallest and lightest iPad, it still comes in at over 10 ounces, almost rounding third base on its way to a full pound. The Kindle Paperwhite, in comparison, comes in at just over seven ounces, less than half a pound — making it a much more comfortable device to hold for long reading sessions.

Another reason is performance in sunlight. I recently brought my iPad mini with me on vacation and tried reading on the beach. While it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t great. Sunlight can really blow out that LED display. The Kindle, in comparison, looks clear as day in sunlight due to its E-Ink display. As someone who hikes, goes to the pool, and generally likes to be outdoors, having a device that is easy to read on despite glaring sunlight is important.

Speaking of hiking, I also would love to bring my reading device with me when I’m camping, backpacking, or hanging out at the pool or beach. While I tried the beach with my iPad mini, I was still nervous about bringing such an expensive device with me — especially considering that the iPad mini is not waterproof. The Kindle Paperwhite is not only waterproof but also roughly a quarter of the price of the iPad mini. I feel much better risking that device than my iPad.

The Kindle Paperwhite has a lot of advantages of the iPad mini, and light is one of them. Image source: Kindle

One more reason to choose the Kindle over the iPad is the battery life. I’ll be honest: battery life with my iPad mini hasn’t been great. Even with the tablet in sleep mode, it has drained battery pretty fast and I’ve commonly picked my iPad up, only to find out that it’s already dead. The Kindle Paperwhite has a battery that will last up to 10 weeks and, with its USB-C charging port, can recharge in a few hours. No more battery anxiety.

The last thing that sold me on the Kindle over my iPad was that, despite being an eReader, it still works with Libby, the app that lets you connect with your library and borrow ebooks and audiobooks. Libby is such an unlock for someone who historically purchased every book and audiobook for full price through the Apple Books app.

Best yet, I can read all of my Libby books with my Kindle, so I don’t have to sacrifice that capability by ditching my iPad. Kindle Unlimited isn’t too shabby, either. There are also so many ways to use Libby to get access to free books and audiobooks. I won’t give away those tips here but I haven’t paid for a book ever since learning about how to take advantage of the app.

I wonder if I’ll ever use my iPad mini again

I’m just getting started with my Kindle Paperwhite, but I’m already wondering if I’ll ever use my iPad mini again. While I’ll certainly lose movies and television shows if I don’t bring it with me on the plane with only bringing the Kindle, I could always through that stuff on my iPhone. I’ve also wondered about investing in an iPad Air instead. Being a writer, I wonder if it might be nicer to grab that and the Magic Keyboard for when I’m traveling.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite got a great review from our own Christian de Looper. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

For now, I’ll stick with my Kindle and my iPhone when I’m traveling. Who knows, maybe I’ll bring along the iPad mini as well. However, if I find myself keeping it at home or it staying stuck in my bag while I’m chilling back and forth with the Kindle, I could end up getting out of the iPad game altogether, something I wouldn’t have thought possible before.

I’ve loved my iPad, but I think the future setup for me is my MacBook Air for productivity, my Kindle for reading, and my iPhone for everything else. Perhaps I’ll re-invest in a Backbone controller for when I want to game on the plane — those things are awesome. I hate the idea of bringing my Macbook on the plane, though. Have you ever tried using a laptop in coach?! I’d rather not. I’ll stick with my iPhone and my Kindle.

Apple apparently isn’t the only one having trouble figuring out how to incorporate the iPad into its customer’s lives. After years of bouncing between the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini, I’m having the same problem. Maybe it needs to embrace E-Ink and make an E-Ink iPad! Now we’re talking.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.