The latest version of the Kindle touch device is the Kindle Voyage, it was launched on the 21st October 2014 in the US and the 4th November 2014 in the UK. It is as they say very much evolution rather than revolution, Amazon is currently number one in terms of e-readers and given the size of the Kindle Store, they will be number one for years to come. We take a look in this Kindle Voyage Review, what this new version has to offer.
Kindle Voyage Specs
- Ample Storage with 4GB, it holds thousands of books.
- 6 inch screen
- 300ppi Screen Resolution
- PagePress - page turning
- Kindle Unlimited - Unlimited eBook rental for £7.99 a month.
- 180g in weight
- WiFI, 3G/4G Option
Kindle Voyage Summary
6 inch screen with E-Ink display
4GB - store 000's of books
Up to 6 weeks Usage
USB 2.0 micro-B connector
£169 WiFi Only
£229 WiFi & 3G
Brilliant e-ink screen with a touch screen
Super Fast Delivery
I am not sure if it represents value for money. However, if you like high end gadgets, that's not an issue.
What is a Kindle Voyage?
It's the same technology and concept as all the other Kindles that Amazon have made. Voyage is just a brand name. The biggest difference with the Kindle Voyage and the other Kindles available, is the quality of the parts being used.
The Kindle Voyage features the following to set it apart from the other Kindles:
- Better and faster processor
- Higher quality case
- Edge to edge glass
The Kindle has changed dramatically over the years. I still own and use one of the original keyboard versions but as with everything these days, touch interfaces seem to be the way forward.
The first Kindle touch screen was launched in the US in 2011 and shortly afterward in the UK in April 2012, by removing the keyboard the device became a lot more compact and just felt right when holding it in the palm of your hand.
For example, Amazon now uses something called PagePress on the Kindle Voyage. This enables you to turn pages in a book by squeezing the edge of the e-reader. This is made possible by the fact that unlike other versions of the Kindle, the glass screen goes to the edge of the device. The sensors in the glass enable it to detect the squeezes.
Amazon have definitely created a very special gadget here. It's lightweight, the screen is unreal and it oozes quality.
Kindle Voyage Touch Interface
With most of the Kindles that Amazon have released. The touch interface isn’t as intuitive or responsive as some other devices out there like smartphones and tablets, there seems a slight delay between the press and the page change.
A lot of the touch gestures on the Kindle start at the outer edges of the screen with a swipe inwards towards the centre of the screen. Once you have touched the edge of the Kindle the swipe action activates a menu. You can then select which option you want from the menu.
As previously mentioned, the Kindle Voyage features something called PagePress and it will be interesting to see if they roll this feature out to other devices.
TOP FEATURE - PagePress
PagePress enables you to turn pages, by squeezing the edge of the device.
Something that is currently only available on the Kindle Voyage.
Kindle Voyage Controls
Like all Kindles there is an option to change the size and style of the font. If you struggle reading small text then the font can be adjusted accordingly. The touch interface works 99% of the time but can be a little frustrating, you find yourself every now and again pressing the screen for a second time to get it to do what you want it to. I am sure in future versions of the Amazon Kindle, Amazon will no doubt refine the technology to make it better. It is however a massive improvement from the keyboard and button press days and I can’t see Amazon ever producing an non touch Kindle again.
Like the Paperwhite the Voyage has a backlight. My wife likes to go to bed earlier and I love to use the opportunity to make the most of the peace and quiet by catching up on a good book. When reading on the tablet she complains the screen is too bright and keeps her awake. I did buy her some eyepatches but she is not a fan LOL!
A bed side lamp causes similar issues but the backlit screen on the Voyage helps the wife get some sleep and I get to enjoy my bedtime reads. The other benefit is that the backlight doesn’t weaken the quality of the screen.
Another exclusive to the Voyage is that it is the first Kindle to feature adaptive brightness. This means the screen auto adjusts itself based on how dark the room is. Another feature of the adaptive brightness is that in rooms where it is completely dark, the screen starts brighter and slowly gets dimmer with time.
The theory behind this is that your eyes adjust to the darkness with time, so the screen doesn't need to be as bright.
My biggest issue with a tablet is that is my eyes start to sting after a while, this is even worse at night or in low light. The Kindle Voyage has a brightness control so the amount of light it produces can be controlled.
The other big benefit is that the light shines across the surface of the screen from the edges, whereas a tablet works with pixels that shine from the back of the screen. The tablet produces a bright glare, the Kindle produces a subtle illumination that is simply a pleasure to use.
TOP FEATURE - Adaptive Brightness
Kindle Voyage is the first e-reader to feature adaptive brightness.
The screen will adjust it's brightness based on the darkness of the room.
3G or not 3G?
The Kindle Voyage comes with and without a 3G option. Although I own a 3G version for the purposes of writing a review, I can honestly say for an extra £60 it simply isn’t worth it. The spec between the Kindle Voyage and the Kindle Voyage 3G is exactly the same, except with 3G you are able to download data like a mobile phone and it is slightly heavier. It’s advertised as worldwide 3G but unlike my keyboard version you are limited to a narrow list of sites, like Wikipedia and the Kindle Store for example.
Whilst this may be useful only a small amount of the time because free WiFi is practically available everywhere, I am not sure it justifies the extra cost.
You could buy two Kindle Paperwhites for the cost of the Kindle Voyage 3G and have £10 left to buy some books. A that price point it starts to lose some of the attractiveness because it’s a very expensive piece of kit that should be shown some T.L.C not dragged to the beach.
What is Whispersync for?
Whispersync enables you to sync your progress across multiple devices. Say for example that you are fortunate to own two Kindles, a smartphone and a PC. Whenever you read on any device using the Kindle App or the Kindle e-reader, as long as you are connected to the internet, your progress is kept in sync.
Therefore you can read a book on one device, stop reading, then pick up another device and carry on where you left off.
The Kindle Voyage has a 300 ppi screen, weighs 180 grams (3G version 188 grams) and is 162 mm x 115 mm x 7.6 mm in size.
Just for comparison purposes the Kindle Paperwhite is 169 mm x 117 mm x 9.1 mm and weighs 205 grams (3G version 217 grams).
The Kindle (entry level) is 169 mm x 119 mm x 10.2 mm and weighs 191 grams.
This is a significant improvement and it does make a massive difference when reading a book. It’s the thinnest, lightest Kindle to date.
With 4GB of storage there is ample space to store all of your books, should you ever fill it (I doubt this is even possible) then books can be stored in the cloud and downloaded as and when needed.
Kindle Voyage Wrap Up
Pros: Amazon have released possibly the best Kindle to date.
Cons: Price - I am not sure if this represents the best value for money. It costs the same as their most expensive tablet.