Length:: 1:06 Mins
The 'other Kindle' is a Paperwhite. The video shows some of Voyage's distinguishing features: the auto-adjust setting for the light and the way you do page turns by simply squeezing the sensors on the sides. Given Amazon's video resolution limitations it would be hard to show how the Voyage's display is much sharper.
UPDATE: DOWNGRADED TO 3 STARS, HOPEFULLY TEMPORARY
I still love the Voyage but I am now waiting for Amazon to ship me a replacement because of a number of issues I detected while using it on 'day 2' and 'day 3'. I am assuming that 'my issues' do not apply to all of Voyagers but, here is why I am downgrading my rating from 4 stars (not 5 because of price) to 3 stars.
- The page turn haptic feedback is almost non-existent, even at the highest setting. The Voyage makes very soft noise when squeezing the page turn sensor, it turns the page but... no feeling.
- The 'auto-brightness' seems to have a mind of its own. It's not clear what drives it but it turned the page so dark, it was almost unreadable last night. Then, after I manually set the brightness to a higher setting with the 'auto' check still on, it kept it high for the rest of my reading session. While I was talking with Amazon's help person this morning, without me ever turning lights on/off, I watched the brightness level moving from 17 up to 21, then down to 17 again. Strange.
And... I am thinking more about the price difference vs. the added features. Yes, the display is sharper but, especially if 'Auto Brightness' turns not to be as useful as expected, it's becoming even harder to justify the price difference. I am going to keep the Voyage - the replacement, anyway - because I love Kindles but, keep in mind that, as far as I can tell so far, every single software feature that Voyage supports is also supported by the Paperwhite.
I may revise my rating once the replacement arrives and I spend more time with the Voyage but, for now, it's down to 3 stars.
The Voyage is clearly the best Kindle today and picking one rather than a Paperwhite would be an easy decision if it wasn't for the Voyage's much higher price. All three sections of my reviews are discussing basically the same same thing. The first tries to be very brief, the second is more opinionated, the third (the FAQ) is as factual and objective as possible.
Hope one or all may help make anyone who needs to decide which is the 'right' product make a better informed decision.
As for my rating... while an exceptional reader, I have no choice but take out at least one star because of the high price.
VOYAGE VS PAPERWHITE (briefly)
I've been using Kindle readers for quite a few years already and, not surprisingly since it's 'the latest', the Voyage is also 'the greatest' Amazon reader in existence (wrote this in Oct., 2014). At the same time, I can see why not everyone would be persuaded to pay significantly more for the Voyage when the Paperwhite is almost as good.
When compared to the Paperwhite, the Voyage comes with the following improvements:
* much better display due to better screen resolution (300 dpi vs. 212 dpi, twice as many dots per square inch)
* adaptive light intensity (manual set on Paperwhite)
* glass screen (Paperwhite is plastic)
* magnesium back (Paperwhite is plastic)
* 1 oz lighter (6.3 oz vs. 7.3 oz)
* 2.5 mm thinner (7.6 mm vs. 9.1 mm)
* page turn touch sensors on bezel with haptic feedback (touch-screen only on Paperwhite)
I believe that the Paperwhite gets a better battery life but not by much. And, of course, it costs a lot less.
WHY A VOYAGE? (more verbose and opinionated)
The Kindle readers, not the Fire tablets are in my view Amazon's truly innovative and revolutionary product. Voyage's Paperwhite much improved display ensures that Amazon will continue to lead for the time being when it comes to readers. We've been using Kindles ever since the Kindle 3 a.k.a. the Kindle Keyboard so, maybe I'm a little biased but I believe that we keep buying more Kindles because they are good products that serve our needs, in addition to saving a tree or two. Besides the Keyboard model we also own a Kindle Touch, a 'plain' Kindle (no keyboard, no touch) and one each of the two Paperwhite generations. [Why? Because of 'family of five' and because we read books.]
When compared to previous Kindle generations, the Voyage improves significantly on display (got to see it to believe it), build and design - it's lighter, smaller, prettier and the screen is now glass rather than plastic - and a number of other hardware features such as self-adjusting brightness and the ability to turn pages by touching sensors on the sides rather than the screen. The software, on the other hand, is very much what you see on all recent Kindle models which is Okay because, with so many models around, I appreciate the unified experience. I am not going to talk a lot about software features in my review because Amazon's Kindle software keeps evolving and improving, with new capabilities popping up every now and then (the Goodreads tab and the vocabulary builder feature for example appeared not too long ago) so what I wrote today may be surpassed in a few months by an upgrade.
The Voyage improves on the best features of its predecessors. The display, again, is super-sharp, the body is lighter, the touch controls appear to be more responsive with the added page-turning touch on the rim, the battery life I am told is only slightly shorter than its predecessor's but still measured in 'weeks' and all of the Kindle's e-reader frills are supported: borrowing, all the social features, Whispersync, X-Ray, parental controls...
As in the previous 2 generations or so, this reader lacks speakers. I am not trying to be an Amazon apologist but I actually don't mind 'no speakers'. Not because I've only used them once and only once on my old Kindle Keyboard but their absence allows for the e-reader to be significantly smaller and lighter and, since probably most Kindle owners don't care much about using their reader as an MP3 player... the good of the many... But, yes, anyone who was hoping or expecting audio books support, it's available on phones, tablets but not on this reader. I view the Kindle readers as 'books' and traditional books don't come with speakers so... there.
I put together this little FAQ to record my experience with Amazon's Voyage. Since I've just started using it, I will add to it when I discover anything new worth sharing and and expanded it with answers to whatever questions may be asked in the Comments section.
THE FAQ SECTION (as factual and unbiased as possible)
Q: Why buy a dedicated reader given that I could read my Amazon e-books on my laptop/tablet/phone?
A: The reader experience is much closer to reading an actual book. While a tablet or phone could be used in a portrait orientation to simulate a book's page, the reader's e-paper display combined with the Paperwhite lighting technology make the reader look very much like an actual piece of paper. Tablets and phones have glare. And, speaking for myself, I much appreciate the ability to read my books offline (Airplane Mode on) without the constant distractions that pop in and out on a tablet or phone.
Q: Is it worth paying this much more for a Voyage?
A: It depends. In my view, I'd go with the Voyage if I could easily afford it and the emphasis is on 'easily'. This may be Amazon's greatest reader yet but I could be happily reading my books on a much less expensive Paperwhite or pay one third of the price for an even less expensive basic Kindle.
Q: Should I pay a little extra for an 'ads free' model?
A: I personally would not and I did not. The Kindle never shows ads while in the process of reading a book. Ads only appear as the 'screen saver' when the Kindle goes to sleep or on a narrow strip at the bottom on the screen when not actually reading a book. Besides, I heard that you can still pay Amazon later to turn the ads off if you just can't stand them.
Q: Should I pay more for a 3G model?
A: Yes, if you can easily afford it. I've never bought a 3G Kindle and I never missed it but I don't use my Kindles to read time-sensitive content such as newspapers. Wi-Fi is good enough for me because books are rarely impulse buys and a Wi-Fi hot spot or a laptop with an USB port tend to be only minutes or at worst hours away.
Q: Should I buy a cover for my Paperwhite?
A: I did because I was planning to try the new Origami cover for a while now. After a couple of hours of use I think I like it but it's far from cheap. I would expect many third party alternatives soon.
Q: What if the Paperwhite does not meet my expectations. Can I return it?
A: Yes. You may return it within 30 days of delivery date for a full refund. Amazon pays for shipping it back if you are returning a defective item but you will pay if you return it because you changed your mind or didn't like it. Last time I returned a small gadget about the size of a Kindle the shipping charge was about $3. I received the refund 2 or 3 days after Amazon received the package.
Q: How does the Voyage compare with previous models?
A: When compared to the Paperwhites, the Voyage has a visibly improved display, a lighter, sleeker, more high-end looking body and has the ability to auto-adjust its brightness to match the ambient light.
Q: Describe the display.
A: The Paperwhite display technology featured on the Voyage allows for LED-produced light to distribute almost evenly across the reading surface. This makes the display brighter during the day and eliminates the need of a lamp at night. It is also impervious to glare, allowing the one to use the reader very much one would use a book.
Q: How bright is the Voyage's display?
A: See above. It's better to leave it in auto, self-adjusting mode but, if you insist, you can make it just about as bright as you want it to be. There is a sliding scale that allows you to easily select your preferred level from almost 'off' to a level of brightness that almost hurt my eyes.
Q: In what way is the 'paperwhite' technology better than a tablet's hi-res display?
A: Tablets screens are backlit. Backlit screens are generally difficult to read outdoors and tend to cause eyestrain if read at night. Voyage's display reflects daylight and the light generated by Kindle's LEDs the same way paper does and this is good for reading. Books can be read without difficulty outdoors even during a bright sunny day as well as at night.
Q: Is the Voyage's display better than the previous Kindles, especially the current Paperwhite's?
A: Yes. The resolution is significantly higher.
Q: Is the light evenly distributed on the screen?
A: By and large yes, light is distributed on Voyage's screen significantly more even, especially when compared with the first generation Paperwhite's display.
Q: Is the Paperwhite display larger than that of previous Kindles?
A: No. Paperwhite's display is the exact same size as that of previous Kindle e-readers but the reader's body is smaller because of the narrower bezel.
Q: Is Paperwhite's page turning faster than on previous models?
Q: Does the Kindle Voyage come with speakers or an audio out port?
Q: How much storage (memory) is available on the Voyage?
A: 4 GB overall but there is some OS overhead so less is available for storing content.
Q: Is there a MicroSD slot or any other memory expansion?
Q: Is a charger included?
A: No, but like all Kindle e-readers, the Voyage can be easily and quickly charged off a laptop or most generic or branded USB chargers.
Q: Is a charging/data cable included?
A: Yes, a black Type A to Micro-B USB cable is in the box.
Q: How easy/difficult was it to set up the Wi-Fi connection? And how do you turn it off?
A: Individual experiences may vary but my Kindle immediately detected our home network, prompted me for a password and once I entered it it connected. You turn Wi-Fi off by turning on "Airplane Mode".
Q: Does it come with a manual?
A: Not a physical 'paper' manual but there is one as a preloaded User Guide. It shows you everything this Kindle can do, from setting up the level of brightness to shopping or borrowing to X-Ray and beyond.
Q: Are there any physical buttons?
A: There is only one On/Off button on the back and the page turning sensors on the bezel. All other controls, are through screen touch.
Q: How much does it weigh?
A: 6.3 oz.
Q: Do I need to backup my Kindle?
A: In the event of a disaster all Amazon-purchased content can be retrieved from Amazon's cloud but if you uploaded non-Amazon content to your Kindle it's your responsibility to back it up.
Q: How is content delivered to the Voyage?
A: Content can be uploaded either through Wi-Fi (or 3G) or or through the USB port.
Q: Is the Kindle Voyage confined to Amazon's content?
A: No. You can upload non-DRMed content, including MOBI book files. Kindle does not support EPUB but there are very good free EPUB to MOBI converter apps. Not officially endorsing it but Calibre happens to be my favoriteEPUB to MOBI converter.
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