kindle graphite vs kindle white – which Kindle 3?

We have the new Kindle 3 available in two colors – white and graphite. The kindle graphite vs kindle white decision has a few nuances this post will cover.

Note: The Kindle WiFi is only available in graphite. If you are concerned about that – By the end of the post you won’t be.

Kindle graphite vs kindle white – benefits of the white kindle 3 

There are a few potential advantages of the white kindle 3 -

  1. Some people feel it disappears into the background quicker. This is probably true. Reading on the graphite Kindle DX 2 hasn’t been a problem – However, the graphite case is pretty striking and there’s almost a shimmer to it if held at just the right angle to the light. Probably not the best ‘fades in the background’ Kindle if you are noticing the prettiness of it. So, it’s not a big difference – but the difference is there.
  2. Some people have a preference for white. For me the white is a preferred color for the Kindle 3 (though I saw only the graphite kindle 3). For DX the DX 2 appeals more to me than the white dx. Not sure why it’s different. Perhaps an attachment to my Kindle 2.  
  3. If you get little fibers or very light dust particles they blend into the white while on the graphite kindle dx 2 they really stand out. On the flip side, the white does get dirtier quicker (dirt and marks are more visible). 
  4. The alphabets stand out a little bit more.  
  5. White Kindle stands out more - unless you have white bed sheets and are reading in bed.
  6. There must be more – Amazon seems to be using the graphite for the kindle 3 and the kindle dx 2 to highlight the improved contrast (graphite casing really brings it out). There must be a reason Amazon chose to go with white for earlier Kindles and it probably has to do with the Kindle needing to disappear.

To see a little of what the visual difference is like please check out the Kindle DX 2 photo page and the Kindle DX 2 video page. The 4th and 7th videos (DX 2 vs Kindle 2) and the 4th photo onwards (DX 2 vs various eReaders) provide a good approximation of graphite kindle vs white kindle.

Do keep in mind that both kindle graphite and kindle white will have the same, improved eInk Pearl Screen. Also, the Kindle 3 graphite and white will be the same size – a bit smaller than the Kindle 2.

Kindle graphite vs white kindle – the mighty graphite

The graphite kindle 3 has its own advantages including its major advantage of improving/bringing out the 50% better screen contrast -

  1. Graphite kindle’s graphite casing helps bring out the screen contrast more. You can see this in one of the photos on the Kindle DX 2 Photo page where the DX 2 is overlapping the Kindle 2. It seems like both have the graphite casing and the difference in screen contrast suddenly seems less – compare with the photo above it. 
  2. It’s proven now that the eInk Pearl screen really does have 50% better contrast and Amazon has added software tweaks to help the contrast. However, it STILL helps to have the graphite casing on the Kindle 3. If it comes down to your preference for white versus getting the benefit of the graphite case my recommendation would be to err on the side of the slightly better contrast of the graphite kindle 3 (due to the color of the case).
  3. Graphite kindle also has an advantage when it comes to staying clean – A lot of the marks and smudges that really stand out on the white Kindle aren’t even noticeable on the graphite kindle 3. The downside is that dust and white fibers stand out a lot.
  4. The graphite kindle is prettier – The letters aren’t as clear as on the white (a tiny difference) but they have this beautiful color that goes very well with the graphite. There’s something about the graphite kindle’s surface that makes it shimmer if you hold it at the right angle.  
  5. Graphite Kindle will stand out more at a Kindle Owners Convention or if you read a lot in bed with white or light-colored sheets.

Kindle graphite vs white – Which Kindle 3?

My vote would be to go with the Kindle Graphite unless you have a strong preference for white as a color and are sure that the 50% better contrast of the eInk Pearl screen on the white kindle (as compared to kindle 2) is enough for you. If you’re thinking white kindle 3 – my recommendation would be to wait a bit for some kindle graphite vs kindle white videos to show up. 

Before buying a white Kindle 3 please make sure you can do without the non-trivial improvement in contrast the kindle graphite’s casing provides. You can always get a white case if you like white as a color.

What if you choose the wrong Kindle 3 color?

If you change your mind about kindle graphite vs kindle white down the line the Kindle 3 color is easily changed via a skin. Simply get a Kindle 3 skin in white or graphite – whichever color you wish you’d gotten.

10 Responses

  1. I’m debating getting a Kindle 3 – possibly wifi only – but even if I sprung for the 3G, it would be a graphite. I find it more aesthetic, and definitely like the adding to the screen contrast aspect.

  2. [...] a bit strange that two of the top 5 questions would be – White or Graphite Kindle, and Kindle 3G or WiFi. There aren’t that many people asking for Kindle 3 vs Nook [...]

  3. [...] written about both Kindle 3G or WiFi and Kindle graphite or white. However, this information and much more detailed, conclusive information needs to be on the Amazon [...]

  4. [...] The Kindle Graphite is a better choice for screen contrast as the graphite casing helps to really bring out the contrast of the eInk Pearl screen. Here’s a post discussing the various nuances of Kindle graphite vs white. [...]

  5. [...] There’s not much difference. Here’s a pointless post comparing Kindle graphite vs white. [...]

  6. “If you change your mind about kindle graphite vs kindle white down the line the Kindle 3 color is easily changed via a skin.”

    Good point. Obvious too (after it’s been made). I’m surprised this is the first place I’ve read it.

  7. [...] you’re on the fence on graphite or white Kindle Review has some thoughts on the [...]

  8. THere is one REALLY big difference in the two. MANY complaints (including mine) have been made that the keyboard on the graphite fades. I have heard NO complaints from those w/ white ones. So I returned my replacement Kindle because the keyboard was more faded on that than my original. I have since sent back my original for a refund.. and plan to purchase a white one.

    • Agreed that there are quite a few complaints.

      The thing is – I use my Kindle 3 a lot, and have a graphite Kindle and the numbers are fine. So not sure whether it’s 2% getting affected and being very loud about it, or whether it’s 15%.

  9. I love my graphite Kindle 3. It is extremely readable in the brightest sunlight compared to an iPad or Nook. However, the bright sunlight posed another problem I didn’t anticipate. It wasn’t long before the graphite case was almost too hot to touch. It was so hot that I worried that excessive heat might result in electronic failure. So I thought I’d better avoid direct sun and sought some shade. Now I’m thinking that a white case would have been a better choice if lying in the sun to read was a major use of the Kindle.

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