Amazon Kindle Basic vs Kindle Voyage Comparison

Buying a Kindle e-reader? Torn between the Amazon Kindle Basic and high-end Kindle Voyage? Then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we discuss the differences between the two Kindle e-readers and which one would be the right one for you.

Amazon introduced their first eBook reader Kindle way back in 2007, and it’s now in its 7th generation. The regular Kindle was upgraded to include a touchscreen for enhanced navigation and voilà the Amazon Kindle Basic Touch Screen was born. In the last quarter of 2014, Amazon launched their most advanced Kindle e-reader, the Kindle Voyage.



But what makes the Amazon Kindle Basic better than the most prestigious e-reader of Amazon, the Kindle Voyage?


Difference between Kindle Voyage and Kindle Basic

In the table below, we’ll explain the specification differences between the two e-readers:

Kindle VoyageKindle Basic
Screen Size6"6"
Screen TypeE-Ink CartaE-Ink Pearl
Screen Resolution1,440 x 1,080 (300 ppi)800 x 600 (167 ppi)
4 GB (3GB)
Can hold 1,600 eBooks
WeightWi-Fi (6.3 oz)
Wi-Fi + 3G (6.6 oz)
Wi-Fi 6.7 oz (191 g)
Dimension6.4" x 4.5"? x 0.3"?6.7" x 4.7" x 0.40"
Battery Life**6 weeks4 weeks
Parental ControlYes
Page TurnsPagePress + TouchscreenTouchscreen
AudioNONE - No Audio Output or Speaker or Media Player
CameraNONE - But has Photo Viewer to view image
Image FormatJPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion
Text Format
Support (native)
Kindle (azw3, azw), Adobe PDF (pdf),
Plain text (txt), Mobipocket (mobi, prc)
Other Formats
(through conversion)
HTML pages (html), Microsoft Word (doc, docx)
Available ColorsBlack (No other color option)
ConnectivityWi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + 3GWi-Fi only
SeriesKindle e-reader - 7th Generation
Release DateOctober 21, 2014October 2, 2014
*Each can hold around 1,600 eBooks based on the average Kindle e-book size that we estimate
**Calculated based on a 30-minute reading per day with wireless off (and light setting at 10 for the Voyage).


Advantages of Kindle Voyage over Kindle

  • Resolution – Like reading smaller fonts? The Kindle Voyage makes the words look clearer. Due to the fact that it boasts a 300 pixel per inch screen compared to the 167 ppi screen of the Kindle Basic, the Kindle Voyage is definitely an e-reader that has clearer and more precise fonts and images.
  • Contrast – When you want the black texts to be darker and the lines to be sharper, then the Voyage is the one to look for. With the E-Ink Carta technology of the Voyage, which proclaims a 50% increase in contrast over the Pearl technology that is found in the Kindle Basic, the Kindle Voyage is more suited for reading out on a bright sunny day.
  • Screen – The Voyage has an all-glass screen, which is “micro-etched” to further reduce glare, while the Kindle Basic only has a plastic screen.
  • Design – The Kindle Basic has overall a plastic construction, in addition to the front having an inside lip. The Voyage is thinner, lighter and with a magnesium back that looks more refined and classy due to the fact that its glass extends all the way to the side of the device.
  • Light – There not much to say, other than that the Kindle Basic is lacking in the lighting department. It offers no light feature so you must rely on having sufficient freestanding light to read. The Voyage, on the other hand, has an integrated adaptive front light display that can automatically adjust the brightness of the screen to suit your environment.

    For example, it can slowly lower the brightness of the screen when you are reading in the evening and the environment is slowly getting darker. You can also manually fine-tunes the brightness of the display. This adaptive front light feature works under various conditions and creates an atmosphere where reading with tons of light or no light is not a problem.

  • Connectivity – The Kindle Voyage offers a 3G connectivity option. This feature allows you to download books as well as access Amazon or Wikipedia wherever you are for free. You can also send documents wirelessly to your Kindle Voyage over 3G but additional charges may apply. Read our guide here to decide between the Wi-Fi and the 3G model.
  • Weight and Size – The Kindle Voyage is a little smaller in size and a bit lighter in weight than the Kindle Basic, making reading less of a strain on your wrists, and just that much more portable. This is something to bear in mind when making your purchase, especially for those who would like to hold less weight when reading.
  • Page Turn – On all the current Kindles, if you want to turn a page, you need to press directly on the touch screen, so your finger need to keep moving between the bezel and the screen.

    The only exception is the Kindle Voyage. In addition to the above, it also has an exclusive feature called PagePress. This feature removes the need to have to touch the screen to turn the page, since it will turn it for you simply by putting pressure on the bezel. The Voyage has a uniquely designed force sensor, made from carbon and silver that reacts to the change in pressure as a sign to turn the page.

  • Battery – Amazon claims that the Voyage can last up to 6 weeks after charging, while the Kindle Basic can only last up to 4 weeks. We used the two devices daily and found that the Kindle Basic’s power bar indicator drops faster. We also needed to charge the Kindle Basic more often. Thus the Voyage does have a longer battery life.


Advantages of Kindle over Kindle Voyage

  • Price – The only advantage that the Kindle Basic has over the Kindle Voyage is its price. It is definitely way cheaper than the Kindle Voyage. The Basic Kindle is not just a popular e-reader but it is also one of the cheapest touchscreen e-reader out on the market.

Just because the Kindle Voyage has more to offer in terms of features compared to the Kindle Basic, that does not mean that the Kindle Voyage must be the way to go.


Our Verdict

Who Should Get the Kindle Basic Touchscreen?


Kindle Basic under the sun

  • Those who want a Kindle e-reader but have a lower budget to consider and won’t want to spend more than $100 for an e-reader.
  • Those who do not mind reading with a lamp or those who read during the day.
  • Those who have not used a Kindle e-reader before. The Kindle Basic is a perfect e-readers for beginners.

The best thing about this e-reader is that it is cheap but not substandard. It does have some limitations (e.g. cannot read without a lamp at night) but it is a good tool to use for reading eBooks.

Check this short review on Amazon from a user who own a Kindle Basic, to help your final decision.


Who Should Get the Kindle Voyage?


Kindle Voyage under the sun

  • Those who are looking for the thinnest and lightest Kindle e-reader on the market.
  • Those who want an e-reader that allow them reading one-handed easily. The Voyage is lighter and has a unique PagePress feature.
  • Those who want an e-reader that they can use whether it is day or night, or just anywhere with or without adequate light source.
  • Those who want an e-reader that is connected to the internet for downloading books as well as surfing on Amazon and Wikipedia no matter where they go (only for the Voyage with 3G connectivity).
  • Those who travel a lot. The Voyage is lighter and has its battery lasting longer.
  • Those who have an earlier generation Kindle e-reader and are looking for an upgrade to have the latest features from Amazon (better visual effect, more resemble reading the real paper, more convenient page turn, etc.).

If you are a bookworm then the Voyage is for you. With a top of the line screen, and sleeker look it is both functional and stylish.

Just a note before making the decision, for those who haven’t heard of the Kindle Paperwhite yet. If you are looking for a built-in light but no other additional features, such as PagePress, you should consider the Paperwhite, which is also cheaper than the Voyage. Check here for the Paperwhite vs Voyage comparison.

For those who have already heard of the Paperwhite, see this short customer review on Amazon that will help your decision on the Kindle Voyage.


A Parting Note: The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes – Marcel Proust



Have a look:

Check out the links below if you want to know more about other Kindle e-readers:

  1. Kindle Voyage – Which Model and Accessories Should You Choose?


    Kindle Paperwhite 3 vs Regular Kindle


    What’s the typical file size of a Kindle eBook?


Further References

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