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Amazon Kindle Voyage: 6 Features to get excited about

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Kindle Voyage
Kindle Voyage

It might be time for an e-reader upgrade...

After the Kindle Paperwhite, comes the Kindle Voyage. Amazon's latest flagship e-reader was unveiled alongside a whole bundle of Kindle Fire tablets and was definitely the pick of the announcements.

Launching in the UK on November 4th, the Wi-Fi Voyage is priced at £169 while the model with built-in free 3G is unsurprisingly more expensive at £229.99.

It's the priciest e-reader Amazon has launched but here's why we think Kindle fans could be persuaded to go for the Voyage when it lands.

Sharper text

Thought text on your Kindle Paperwhite looked as good as fine magazine print? Take a look at the Kindle Voyage's screen and you'll be forced to think again. Amazon has boosted the resolution dramatically, to the point where it crams 300ppi (pixels per inch) into its 6-inch screen. By way of a comparison, both the Paperwhite and the Nook GlowLight manage 212ppi.

It even beats the previous standard bearer for text sharpness, the 265ppi Kobo Aura HD.

Brighter screen

The Kindle Voyage's screen isn't just sharper - it's also much brighter than before. And we don't just mean that its front-lit display is physically brighter, though it is indeed 39 percent brighter then before, and with superior contrast to boot.

It's also brighter in the sense that it's cleverer. There's a new ambient light sensor that adjusts the brightness according to immediate light conditions. This actually goes beyond quickly dimming in dark conditions, like your smartphone or tablet does. Rather, on such occasions the Voyage's screen will gradually dim to the appropriate level, matching the rate at which your eyes adjust to darkness.

Read More: Kindle Fire HDX 7 review

Voyage

No more plastic

This is the first Amazon Kindle to come with a glass screen instead of a plastic one. It reflects the Voyage's position as a distinctly premium e-reader, but there's a practical reason too.

The screen now sits flush with the device's bezels, which has obvious aesthetic benefits, but it also means that it's more exposed to general wear and tear. By switching out soft plastic for toughened glass, the Voyage's display should survive the additional scuffs and scrapes that will inevitably come its way.

Of course, one of the biggest downsides with glass screens is their tendency to glint and reflect light - a particular problem when much reading is done outside in the garden or on a beach.

Amazon has countered this by micro-etching the screen so as to diffuse any light that hits it. Clever.

Thin and light

More than any tablet device, e-readers need to be comfortable to hold for long periods. The Amazon Kindle Voyage excels in this regard, too.

At just 7.6mm thick, it's 1.5mm thinner than the Kindle Paperwhite, and 3mm thinner than the Nook GlowLight. As we've just mentioned, Amazon has helped achieve this by making the glass display sit flush with the bezels.

At 181g, the Voyage is also a fair bit lighter than the 206g Paperwhite, though it's 6g heavier than the Nook GlowLight.

Voyage thin

Buttonless design

Amazon has made a bold move and done away with its functional, tactile, yet somewhat inelegant and bulky page-flipping buttons.

In their place, the Voyage has a clever PagePress system that hides pressure-sensitive sensors under the side bezels. A slightly squeeze, and the page will turn accordingly, accompanied by a subtle dose of haptic feedback (a little vibration).

Double the storage

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite only had 2GB of storage, which is good for about 1,000 books. The Kindle Voyage matches the Nook GlowLight with double that.

And carting more books around with us is what we're here for, right?

MORE: Best tablets to buy 2014

Do you like the sound of the Kindle Voyage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below

EdCov

September 20, 2014, 11:25 pm

Wouldn't micro etching the screen mean that it will be less clear? In other words they've scratched it.

Prem Desai

September 22, 2014, 9:40 am

Lol! Reminds me of the line from Toy Story about not flying but falling with style.

The micro-etching is scratching with style ...

The diffusion will be uniform so your eye won't see the difference. A normal scratch in not uniform.

I have yet to see this screen but if it's any good, hopefully other manufacturers will start using it too ....

playtech1

September 22, 2014, 10:48 am

The high price is pretty bold when compared to the price of full-featured tablets - particularly Amazon's own - but I think this will find a market for the non-technophile types and keen and/or well-heeled book readers. It answers my main issue with the Paperwhite - the loss of side buttons.

Hans Pedersen

September 22, 2014, 4:24 pm

If the micro etching is done with a higher resolution than the display, it shouldn't affect the clearness. Though, I wonder if they're able to do that, creating a pattern with substantially more than 300 lines per inch... :p

paddyharben

September 22, 2014, 7:32 pm

Err... not excited yet. Maybe if it is the first ereader to handle pdfs with graphics and text in columns acceptably (and, yes, I have tried the Kobo aura HD) I might start to get moderately interested.

Jamie Maclean

September 22, 2014, 10:46 pm

No audio?

pilotdrh

September 25, 2014, 1:46 am

Actually, the original Kindle was $399.

大海 方

September 25, 2014, 10:46 pm

I wish Amazon would build 8 inch kindle, just slightly heavier than paperwhite.

David Wilson

October 6, 2014, 4:35 pm

It looks like a very nice product, but let's face it the price point is not appealing, given what you can get for the same/a little more in tablet world. I am going to operate on the assumption that they will have to eventually cut price / offer it periodically as a "gold box" deal over the holidays to move units past the initial spurt, and patiently wait for that.

For me, it would have to be a minimum of $50 less.

大海 方

December 15, 2014, 11:09 pm

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is only 270 gram, with 8 inch screen and similar ppi (~283 ppi pixel density).

I think it's better choice.

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