Review – Is the Kindle Voyage Worth It?

Just when online critics predicted the imminent doom of e-readers, Amazon releases its by far, best single-purpose e-reader, the Kindle Voyage.

This e-reader ticks off all the superlatives Amazon has on their page – the thinnest, smartest, best (and even the priciest – we’ll talk more on this later) – that it bears a unique name rather than just be an upgrade of the Kindle Paperwhite. 

The name encourages readers to go on a journey (to the world of eBooks) and as Amazon has put it, it’s supposed to let you get lost in what you’re reading. Sounds pretty catchy!

Kindle-Voyage-cup-of-coffee

Enjoying Kindle Voyage with a cup of coffee

But if you think about it, avid eBook readers have kept from jumping on to the tablet bandwagon for two reasons: price and convenience when reading in sunlight. Amazon recognizes these and has tagged all their e-readers and evolved e-readers with such elements except the Kindle Voyage.

For this new Kindle there are none of the slashed costs or “upgrade for less” ads that users have come to expect. None. This e-reader is a luxury!

The central question “Is the Kindle Voyage worth your money” is among other relevant questions we’ll be addressing here.

To begin with, let’s look at the technical details of the Kindle Voyage.

Technical
Details
Kindle Voyage
Screen Size6"
Screen TypeE-Ink Carta (16 grayscale levels)
Screen Resolution1,440 x 1,080 (300 ppi)
Internal
Storage*
4 GB (3GB)
Can hold 1,600 eBooks
WeightWi-Fi (6.3 oz)
Wi-Fi + 3G (6.6 oz)
Dimension6.4" x 4.5"? x 0.3"?
Battery Life**6 weeks
Parental ControlYes
Page TurnsPagePress + Touchscreen
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 + 3G
SeriesKindle e-reader - 7th Generation
Release DateOctober 21, 2014
*The usable storage is stated inside the bracket. It can hold up to 1,600 Kindle books, based on our own findings of the typical file size of an eBook.
**Battery life is based on half an hour use per day with wireless off and light setting at 10.

 

The Amazon Kindle Voyage is expensive for an e-reader. It has no camera and no pre-installed software other than an experimental web browser. 

But despite this, people have opted to upgrade their Kindle Paperwhite to the Voyage – There has to be a reason, right? So let’s keep the sky-high price on the sideline, along with the impossibility of taking selfies in this Kindle, and look at the other stuff it does offer.

 

What does the Kindle Voyage have to offer?

Let’s start off with the good stuff.

Pros:

  • The display – The Kindle Voyage has very good display. Its 6-inch screen has 300 ppi resolution that gives deep black text color with a smooth finish. The contrast between text and background is adequate mainly because of the adaptive front lighting – this automatically adjusts the front light depending on the amount of light coming from its environment. And if you’re not satisfied, you can always adjust the setting manually. 
  • PagePress sensors – This feature lets you turn pages without having to remove your thumbs from where they are resting (as can be seen in this Amazon customer review). You just need a little thumb squeeze and you can jump to the next page.
  • Elegant and durable design – The Kindle Voyage has swayed from the plastic design of its predecessor. It now comes with a glass bezel that gives a premium feel. The frame is magnesium making, and it is lightweight.
  • No distractions – The new Kindle Voyage boasts for a distraction-free reading experience. Other than the PagePress and front light sensors, it has the Smart Lookup feature that lets you access entries from The New Oxford American Dictionary, information from X-Ray and Wikipedia for definitions, characters, settings, and more without leaving your page .
  • Comfortable reading in one hand – The Kindle Voyage is very light. It is the lightest Kindle e-reader that Amazon is selling now. You can hold it with just one hand and read for hours. Here is an Amazon customer telling you how his wrist feel while using the Voyage. As mentioned above, you can also flip through pages by a gentle thumb squeeze.
  • “Time to Read” feature – You can estimate how long it will you take to finish a chapter or a book with this feature. You can track your progress as your reading speed and habits change.
  • Goodreads Integration – With Goodreads on the Kindle Voyage, you can get connected with the largest online community of book lovers easily. You can see what your friends or other bookworms are reading. You can share highlights, rate and recommend the books you have read. 
  • Cheaper, vaster downloadable collections – You can choose million of books from Amazon and buy them at a good price.

    You can also download over 600,000 books that are unavailable elsewhere. For example books by famous authors Kurt Vonnegut, Ian Fleming and Oliver Pötzsch are exclusively downloadable from Amazon.

    You can opt to subscribe to some Amazon services to maximize your e-reader. You can choose from these subscriptions according to your reading preference:

    Kindle Unlimited – Subscribing to Kindle Unlimited lets you read as much as you want. You can choose from over 1 million titles

    Kindle MatchBook – The Kindle Matchbook allows you to buy Kindle edition of thousands of qualifying books at a good price. 

  • Access to your public libraries – With your Wi-Fi turned on, you can immediately browse on your public library’s catalog and borrow books. You don’t have to wait in a long queue to get journals that you need for your homework or feel frustrated if you’re unable to make it to the library after office hours. You can just sit comfortably on your couch then swipe and tap to borrow a book and start reading on your Kindle Voyage! 
  • Fast download speed – You can shop Amazon’s massive book collections quickly. With your Kindle Voyage, you can directly choose titles and download them in seconds!
  • Translation feature – You can customize the language in your Kindle Voyage or the book that you are reading according to your preference. The Kindle supports an array of different languages and scripts aside from English. So whether you are a foreign exchange student or an expat in the US, you can conveniently translate text in your Kindle to your native language, say Japanese or Greek for example.    

  • Unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content – You can store all the Kindle books you want in the Amazon Cloud and never be bothered with the account filling up.  
  • WebKit-based browser – The Kindle Voyage has an experimental web browser that’s based on WebKit. You can connect to the Kindle store and access websites such as Wikipedia over Wi-Fi.

Cons:

  • The bezel may be too narrow for big hands – If you have larger hands, there is a good chance you will tap the screen and accidentally turn the page from time to time. In such case, you have to turn off the page turn on screen option and just flip pages through PagePress.
  • Relatively shorter battery life – The battery life of this Kindle lasts for just about 6 weeks (based on 30 minutes reading per day, Wi-Fi off and light setting at 10), in comparison to its predecessor that lasts for about 8 weeks.
  • Ads may be a little distracting  – If you purchase your Kindle with special offers, you can be bombarded with a lot of ads and promos. In order for this not to happen you can pay an extra to remove these “special offers”.
  • Haptics may be uncomfortable for you – The Kindle Voyage employs haptic technology that lets it vibrate every time you flip a page. Some users find this feature a little uncomfortable. The good news is that it’s user configurable, you can turn it off in case you don’t like it. 
  • Power adapter is not included in the box – You still have to pay an extra to purchase a wall adapter, though if you have a computer you can have it charged in 3 hours with the USB cable included.
  • Expensive – We have said this a lot already, but the Kindle Voyage is expensive for just an e-reader.  

Other than the price, we honestly think there’s nothing much to complain about the Kindle Voyage. It’s thin, nearly glare-free, long lasting… Nearly perfect for an e-reader! 

 

Which Kindle Voyage to choose: Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Free 3G?

If you already have a high-speed internet connection and have set up a router in your home, and you don’t travel often, the Kindle Voyage with Wi-Fi is good enough for you. Otherwise, you can pick the one with Wi-Fi and Free 3G as suggested by this Amazon customer.

Perks of getting Wi-Fi + Free 3G

  • No wireless set-up – After unboxing your Kindle Voyage you can turn your network connection on and readily purchase books from Amazon.
  • No additional charges – The built-in 3G service of your Kindle Voyage is already paid by Amazon so you don’t have to pay for additional monthly charges.    
  • No need to find a Wi-Fi hotspot – Because 3G connectivity is built-in, you don’t need to find Wi-Fi hotspots. You can download books whenever you’re in an area covered by 3G .
  • Wide 3G wireless coverage – If you happen to be abroad or on the other side of the country, you can still use the Kindle Voyage’s wireless 3G. The 3G network is accessible in over 100 countries and territories. You can check the 3G coverage area here.

We’ve discussed further here for Kindle Voyage 3G vs WiFi, it will help you decide if you’re still in doubt.

 

Who can benefit from the Kindle Voyage?

  • Very dedicated eBook readers –  If you can’t let a weekend pass without finishing at least one eBook, then the Kindle Voyage is made for you. You can read in a café, in your living room, on the bus, on the train – anywhere! You can have multiple books at your fingertips or inside of your coat, bag, purse, or pocket!
  • Students  – Students who often carry loads of heavy books and who often borrow from the library can benefit highly from the Kindle Voyage. As mentioned, this Kindle is very light and has a massive collection of accessible books!
  • Foreign language students – Foreign language learners can make good use of the Kindle Voyage’s translate feature to practice their foreign language. They can read a book in Spanish if they are learning Spanish.   
  • Teachers – Teachers and school administrators can use Whispercast – a tool that organizes and sends eBooks and learning materials to students via Kindle or other e-reading device. 
  • Kids – You can read comics and other children’s books on the Kindle Voyage. You can read to your children at night using Kindle Voyage and comfortably put them to sleep. 
  • Elderly – Older people who love to read books can also benefit from using this Kindle e-reader. It has an e-Ink technology that reduce eyestrain and a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate.
  • Previous Kindle Paperwhite owners who wish for an improved e-reader – Technically, the Paperwhite’s overhaul kind of leads users to want the Kindle Voyage. Complaints about the plastic bezel, page turn only by touch panel are addressed by the Voyage.  
  • Travelers – Because of the Kindle Voyage’s long battery life, adaptive front lighting, its light weight, and wide 3G coverage, travelers can use this on the road (just like this Amazon customer). Travelers can learn from travel books or journals. 

 

Why Should You Buy the Kindle Voyage?

If you’re perfectly happy with your Paperwhite or other Kindle e-reader, there’s no need to upgrade at this time. On the other hand, if you’re itching to try the latest and the best e-ink reader in the market and you have money to spare, then buy the Kindle Voyage.

 

How can the Kindle Voyage Make Your Life Better?

As mentioned earlier, the Kindle Voyage takes you on a journey to the world of eBooks and you know books are vessels of knowledge and learning. Thus, this, like other e-readers, should elevate your mental capabilities. Reading is a good brain exercise so using the Kindle Voyage should make your brain muscles healthier.

And lastly, you can share your Voyage with your other family members, this gadget should bring joy to you and your loved ones.

Here is a brief Amazon customer review on the Voyage.

 

A Parting Note: Reading, in perspective, is divine. It’s about understanding the text, grasping the conveyed knowledge and sharing such knowledge with others rather than keeping it to yourself.  

 

Further Reading

Want to know more about the Voyage? Check out our article below.

 

 

 

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