What Are the Differences Between a Kindle and a Kindle Fire?

Will Ireland/Future Publishing/Future/Getty Images

The differences between Kindle and Kindle Fire devices include the type of display they use and the type of media they’re capable of reproducing. They also differ based on the computational power, the ability to run apps and the type of lighting that’s used to illuminate the screen.

The disparity in processing power is evident in the speed of the processors included in the devices. Kindle devices feature processors with speeds up to one gigahertz, while the processors in Kindle Fire tablets reach speeds up to 2.5 gigahertz, as of 2015. The higher processing power provides Kindle Fire tablets with better graphics performance and higher refresh rates, making them the better option for watching movies or browsing the Internet, especially when coupled with the high-resolution LCD screens. However, Kindle e-readers have an advantage when reproducing e-book content due to the resolution that mimics the look of a printed page and the lack of screen glare, on account of the e-ink technology that they utilize.

Unlike most Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire devices use backlighting to illuminate the screen. Although it allows consumers to use their Kindle Fire devices in the dark, it can cause eye strain. Some Kindle e-readers, such as the Voyage and Paperwhite models, include lighting, but it causes less eye strain due to the white matte screen and the presence of LED lights on the edge of screens instead of behind them.