Amazon’s Kindle Voyage is a beautiful device.
I mean, it should be beautiful, considering it costs $200. That’s something like two-and-a-half times what I paid for my last e-reader. But still, wow! It’s gorgeous.
I haven’t bought a new e-reader since I bought my fourth-gen Kindle in November 2011. At the time, it was one of the best Amazon made, but it’d soon be blown away by the Paperwhite, which launched in 2012 with its backlight and other fancy features. My old Kindle doesn’t have a touchscreen or a backlight, and all navigation is done from a button with four directional arrows at its base. It’s an antique.
That’s at least part of the reason I’m so blown away by the Voyage. It’s leaps and bounds better than my old device, in just about every way. I can’t vouch for how big of a step up this is over Kindle Paperwhites; I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t like the Voyage, but I’m not sure whether or not it’s worth $200 if you’re perfectly content with a Paperwhite. (Plus, other sites have done that already.) But when compared to my old e-reader, that’s three years old, it’s a whole other ballgame. My fourth-gen Kindle is like AA ball; the Voyage is a major league call-up.
The biggest compliment I can give the Voyage is that it makes me want to read a lot more than I wanted to read yesterday. The reading experience is so much better than it was on my old Kindle. If you’re the type of person who adamantly refuses to switch from physical books to e-books, I’m not sure that this device will sway you – and it definitely doesn’t offer the tactile reading experience that’s your main defense of physical books. But it sure puts up a better argument than any other e-reader to date.
The device is lighter than my old Kindle (though not by much) and slimmer, too – but both of these are due in part to the fact that I don’t have a case for the new device yet. It’s probably about the same shape, size and weight as whatever e-reader you’re using. The backlight is great, and the glass screen is stunning. I’m not crazy about the page-turning yet, but I’ve only used the device for an hour or two. I’m sure I’ll get used to it. As of right now, I prefer the clickable button on my old Kindle as opposed to the squeeze-and-vibrate mechanic of the Voyage. But with every page I turn, it feels a little more normal.
I love technology, and I love buying new gadgets. But I have a hard time justifying an upgrade on a device that works fine. There’s nothing wrong with my old Kindle whatsoever; it just felt old. Upgrading to the Voyage was just the boost I needed to kickstart my reading goal for 2014, which I’ve fallen absurdly behind on. And its launch came at a great time, too – with a couple books coming out this month I’ve been looking forward to for a while, and a series I need to start (and catch up on) by April.
The only catch? Good luck finding one.
Joey is the Manager of Content and Community at ShellyPalmer. With a journalism degree from Ramapo College of New Jersey, he’s a die-hard Minnesota Vikings fan, enjoys watching movies and loves most things tech. You can follow him on Twitter@soulpopped. He’s also the co-host of the award-winning* podcast “Sports 4 Starters.” (*Note*: No awards actually won.)