Amazon Adds a Premium eReader with the Kindle Voyage

Kindle Voyage on a tablet In the world of ereaders, there is no brand that is more successful than Amazon. The Kindle is synonymous with what an ereader is. Their Kindle Paperwhite is one of the best selling on the market thanks to its great screen, extreme battery life and very affordable price. Several companies have tried to put out luxury ereaders but none of them have really caught on. Now Amazon is attempting to make a premium level offering with their new Kindle Voyage which starts at $199. So what makes this a premium ereader over the Paperwhite?

It Looks Like a Tablet

Kindle Voyage Side ViewAt first glance, many people will probably mistake the Kindle Voyage for one of the Amazon Fire HDX tablets. This is because the design mimics many of the elements of the tablets. For instance, the back of the Voyage is made of a magnesium with a matte finish along with the Amazon logo embossed into it. On the front is a a piece of glass covering it from edge to edge which differs from the other Kindles. Of course there is the Kindle branding at the bottom of the front and the lines and dots that reside on either side of the glass also differ from the Kindle Fire tablets.

The screen of course is the big feature for the Kindle Voyage and what really differentiates it greatly from the previous Kindles. First, the screen pixel density has been increased. The Voyage now sports a 300 pixel per inch density compared to the Paperwhite’s 212. This makes the text and images on the black and white display much more defined such that you would be hard pressed to distinguish individual pixels. Now the display coating with glass would be a concern for glare but Amazon has had it micro-etched which gives the glass surface a texture and also helps reduce the glare which is key for those that like to read in bright sunlight. This is hands down one of the best e-ink displays available on an ereader.

Improved Page Turning

One feature that many people missed on the Kindle Paperwhite devices was a dedicated page turning button. Having to swipe the screen to turn pages may be similar to turning a page in a book but it is less convenient than just touching a button near the hand you hold the device with. This is where the dots and lines on the sides of the display come in. With a simple touch or swipe along them, you can turn to the next page without getting in the way of the text. In addition, the Voyage offers a slight haptic feedback to let you know that the page has been turned.

Availability and Pricing

The Kindle Voyage will start shipping some time in mid to late October but they are taking preorders for the new device right now. As mentioned earlier, the price starts at $199 for the Wi-Fi version with the Special Offers or ads. Removing the ads costs $20 and can be done at the time of ordering or anytime after. There is also a 3G version for those that want to download books when they don’t happen to have Wi-Fi available but the price jumps $70 to $269 with offers or $289 without.

Now with the price of the Kindle Paperwhite being kept at $119, the Voyage is going to be a bit of a hard sell. After all, at $199 you can get a Kindle Fire HDX tablet that offers color and more capabilities even if it is not as useful for reading. Those that already have a Paperwhite device are not likely to upgrade to the new Voyage because of the high cost. This is precisely the problem that many other ereader companies that did premium devices ran into. Consumers want an affordable and functional ereader.

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