Smartphones and tablets have failed to kill off e-readers. While iOS and Android devices nip at each other’s heels — claiming to be the sharpest and fastest, among other techie braggadocio — the e-reader has stuck to its guns, channeling everything it’s got into creating a better reading experience. The king of them all, Amazon’s Kindle, has continually topped itself. And now Amazon’s done it again with the Kindle Voyage.
Since their maiden Kindle in 2007, Amazon has almost annually knocked out new iterations, each signaling the fratricide of its predecessor. The Kindle Voyage is their seventh-generation device, and it rubs the reigning e-reader, 2013’s Kindle Paperwhite, in the dirt. Comparing the two is simple: everything the Paperwhite has, the Voyage has, and more. Both have 4 GB of storage and access to cloud storage, 6-inch, glare-free screens, built-in backlights, touchscreen page turning, wi-fi connectivity and batteries that last for weeks (approximately six) on a single charge. At 181 grams and 7.6mm thick, it’s slightly thinner and lighter than the Paperwhite.
But where the Voyage really distinguishes itself is its display. Amazon hails their 30ppi (pixels per inch) screen as “the brightest, highest-resolution and highest-contrast display of any Kindle”. It senses ambient light and adjusts screen brightness accordingly with its new Adaptive Font Lighting; this Kindle fears neither direct sunlight nor a pitch-black bedroom. It’s the first e-reader to have flush-front glass; that glass is more responsive to the touch than ever before and chemically strengthened to prevent scratches. It’s also micro etched to imitate the texture of the real element. But if you want to feel a “click”, it’s got you covered as well: on either side of the display are PagePress sensors, made of carbon and silver, that’ll turn pages when pressure is applied. Features like Vocabulary Builder and X-Ray are simple touchscreen functions that are well executed; you won’t even lose your spot on the page while using them.
The Kindle Voyage merges the charms of the physical page with the perks of a smart device. It’s the thinnest, most crisp e-reader to hit the market (CNET, Engadget, The Verge and Wired all agree). The only setback is price: at $200, the Kindle Voyage is $80 more than the Kindle Paperwhite. But as a real reader’s companion — faster, easier to read and more travel friendly than ever — the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.
Display: 6-inch display with Carta e-paper technology and adaptive front light
Weight: 6.3 ounces
Battery Life: 6 weeks