Seven months after launching the Kindle Voyage, Amazon released the new Kindle Paperwhite 3 in June 2015. The Paperwhite and the Voyage are now both the 7th generation in the Amazon Kindle series, and both have the same high-resolution screen.
The Kindle Voyage is Amazon’s most prestigious and the most expensive e-reader while the Paperwhite is the most popular e-reader in Kindle’s e-reader line.
For many people, the two devices have very close specifications, but the Paperwhite is simply cheaper than the Voyage. Is it worth to buy the Voyage? Why is the Paperwhite so popular? We will give you the answers here.
Kindle Voyage Outdoor
Similarities between Kindle Voyage and Paperwhite
Before exploring the differences, let’s first look into the similarities between the two devices. They both run a virtually identical Linux system for the Kindle and perform very similarly in the following areas:
- Read Kindle books and personal documents, with an E-Ink Carta display.
- Customize various reading settings and fonts.
- Bookmarks, highlights and taking notes.
- Look up meaning of words in the dictionary and Wikipedia.
- Share what you are reading to Goodreads, Facebook and/or Twitter.
- Shop for eBooks from Amazon.
- Basic web surfing with the experimental browser.
- Enjoy some of the latest enhanced features, including the new Bookerly Fonts, X-Ray for books, Page Flip and Word Wise.
- 3G option for downloading Kindle books and surfing the Amazon store and Wikipedia when Wi-Fi is unavailable.
Differences between Kindle Voyage and Paperwhite
The table below will show the differences between the two devices:
|Specs||Kindle Voyage||Kindle Paperwhite 3|
|Screen Size||6 inch|
|Screen Type||E-Ink Carta (16 grayscale levels)|
|Screen Resolution||1,440 x 1,080 (300 ppi)|
|Battery Life*||Up to 21 hours for continuous use
(or 6 weeks)
|Storage**||4 GB (3 GB usable)
Can hold 1,600 eBooks
|3G||3G (Optional)||3G (Optional)|
|Built-in Lighting||Automatic (Adaptive lighting) or|
|Dimension||6.4" x 4.5" x 0.3"||6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36"|
|Weight||Wi-Fi: 6.3 oz (180 g)|
3G: 6.6 oz (188 g)
|Wi-Fi: 7.2 oz (205 g)
3G: 7.6 oz (217 g)
Hardened Glass Screen
|Plastic body with soft touch back|
|Page Turn||PagePress + Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Release Date||October 21, 2014||June 30, 2015|
|Series||Kindle e-reader - 7th Generation|
|Supported Format||Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion|
**To get an idea on how much content you can actually store in these devices, take a look at our article Kindle eBooks storage on Kindle e-readers.
As can be seen, the differences between the Voyage and Paperwhite are small, but telling. The display capability on the Voyage is better due to its micro-etched glass screen.
The Voyage uses a metal and glass construction instead of Paperwhite’s composite plastic. The Voyage’s self-adjusting light also makes reading easier and more intuitive in all conditions.
The major difference between the Voyage and Paperwhite is the price. The Kindle Voyage is more expensive than the Kindle Paperwhite, but the former has a higher contrast, glass screen with adaptive front light, smaller size and a smart way to turn a page.
Advantages of Kindle Voyage over Kindle Paperwhite
Built – The Kindle Voyage sets the bar high with its construction. The first Kindle with both an etched glass front and a magnesium back, the Voyage goes away from the composite plastic construction of its less-expensive brethren (the Paperwhite 3 included).
In another departure from the other Kindles, the front of the Voyage does not have an inside lip. The glass extends all the way to the sides of the device, which Amazon has advertised as the flush front bezel.
- Screen contrast– While the two devices have the same resolution, their contrast differ. Amazon stated that the Voyage has the best contrast among all of its e-reader devices.
When we look at the two devices side-by-side, the Voyage gives a little bit better contrast. The white is a little bit whiter and the black is a little bit blacker. And because the Voyage screen is made of micro-etched glass, which efficiently scatters reflections, it also has less glare under sunlight.
- Lighting – Although you can adjust the lighting on both e-readers, only the Voyage has the adaptive lighting feature in which the lighting will automatically adjust based on the environment. Its adaptive lighting works well and is very convenient for users who read in different lighting environments.
Page-Turn – The Kindle Paperwhite removed the page buttons that were a large part of the original Kindle. The Voyage brought them back, but in a sleeker and a more manageable form known as PagePress. The haptic controls aren’t buttons, as such, but pressing on them turns the page and notifies you with an adjustable vibration that it is doing so.
You can rest your thumb on the haptic controls when turning page, which means you can turn the page without lifting a finger (which can’t be done on the Paperwhite). This makes one-handed reading more convenient with the Voyage.
- Weight – Even with the glass front and magnesium back, the Kindle Voyage is thinner than the Paperwhite. It also weighs less, with the Voyage weighing just 6.3 ounces (180 grams), compared to the Paperwhite’s weight of 7.2 ounces (205 grams). The weight of the e-reader adds up to the convenience for one-handed reading, thus lighter is better.
Advantages of Kindle Paperwhite over Kindle Voyage
- Price – The biggest difference between the Paperwhite and the Voyage is the selling price. The Kindle Paperwhite is much cheaper than the Kindle Voyage.
Who Should Get the Kindle Voyage?
Amazon designed the Kindle Voyage with avid readers in mind. The features will appeal to users who spend hours a day reading and desire the best experience possible. If any of the following apply to you, getting the Voyage would be your best option:
- You are a voracious reader who spends hours each day with a Kindle.
- Money is your secondary consideration to having the best e-reader available.
- Easier one-handed controls of the Voyage make your reading more enjoyable over the long-term.
- The lighter weight of the Voyage appeals to you, as you would like to carry your e-reader everywhere you go.
- You enjoy reading eBooks outdoors. Clarity and readability of text is important to you. The Voyage’s better contrast and less glare under direct sunlight will suit you best.
- You want to focus on reading and don’t want to be disturbed at page turn, or you just don’t want to lift a finger to turn a page, then the Voyage with the unique PagePress feature will be your ideal choice.
This review on Amazon from an iPad owner may be useful in helping you decide on whether to get the Voyage.
Who Should Get the Kindle Paperwhite?
For most casual users, the Paperwhite 3 will meet all of their reading needs. The difference between the Paperwhite and the Voyage is more along the lines of the difference between cars. Both will get you to where you are going, the Voyage just makes the journey more comfortable. Readers who should get the Paperwhite include those who:
Are casual readers who want a high-quality e-reader, but have a budget to consider.
Just want the most popular e-reader as well as the best e-reader in terms of value for money in the market. After all, the Paperwhite was selected by PCMAG as the best eBook reader of 2015.
There’s a review on Amazon from an experience e-reader user that may help your decision.
This post includes the most relevant information on these e-readers. If after reading this post, you still can’t make up your mind, you can find more information here:
- Which Model & Accessories Should You Buy for Kindle Voyage?
- Which Model & Accessories Should You Buy for Kindle Paperwhite?
- Kindle Paperwhite 3 vs Regular Kindle E-Reader
- Kindle Voyage Review – Gareth Beavis, TechRadar, December 8, 2014
- Kindle Paperwhite Review (2015) – Chris Velazco, Engadget, July 3, 2015
- The Best Ebook Readers of 2015 – Alex Colon, Jamie Lendino, PCMag, July 7, 2015