Way back at the beginning of 2011 I agonised over the decision to purchase a Kindle
I eventually did, loved it and have used it pretty much daily ever since.
I picked up my second Kindle after my first was stolen and the post I wrote at the time looked at the different models available and went down pretty well.
Moving onto present day and I was very lucky to receive a Kindle Voyage for my recent birthday.
My previous device was three and half years old and while it was a little weathered from the constant use, including a couple of dead pixels from an unfortunate “dropping” incident, it was still perfectly usable. However, given how long I had it, and how much I use it, an upgrade was very welcome. It was the birthday gift for me!
The current range is made up of (in order of price)
The bottom two in the range are perfectly fine devices. The PaperWhite is Amazon’s best selling model and after seeing some of those features that weren’t on my old Kindle it’s not hard to see why.
The Voyage is a refinement of the Paperwhite with the Oasis the newest model, turning everything up to 11 (as well as the price!)
So what features make this better than my previous Kindle?
I thought the screen on my old Kindle was decent enough but i was shocked by how much better the newer screen actually is.
The entry model Kindle is 167ppi whereas all the other models are 300ppi. It makes for a much sharper reading experience and it shows this off really well in the library and the Kindle Store where cover art is is displayed instead of just the titles as it did on my old Kindle.
The PaperWhite introduced a subtle light for the screen to help with reading in reduced light.
I didn’t think I’d be too bothered about this. I read with my bedside lamp on and thought that would be the only time I’d really need to make use of it.
I think I’d underestimated how many different levels of light I read in and it’s made everything much easier to read. What I like is that the light shines on the page, not into your eyes as your phone or tablet lights up. The page sort of “glows” and it looks more like the paper is whiter than it would normally be (the name PaperWhite isn’t a coincidence…)
The Voyage is the only model that also has an adaptive light which changes depending on the current conditions. Seems useful at the moment! You can turn it off if you want to set a level.
When I was making the decision last time around I said I wasn’t sure about touching the screen for turning pages and I was happier with the physical buttons on the side of the device.
While I do miss those buttons a little the touchscreen is perfectly fine, even though I do occasionally swipe the wrong way by mistake or sometimes don’t touch the screen hard enough and I need a second attempt. This will be fine once I’ve gotten used to it though (I had a similar thing with the smaller buttons on the last Kindle)
The Voyage also has PagePress. A little area on the of device that you just give a gentle squeeze for a page turn. You get a nice bit of haptic feedback along with it.
It’s a nice addition. One I’m not massively using at the moment but it’s something extra the Voyage has none of the other models do.
This is something I have been yearning for.
I’ve been a member of GoodReads for years. It’s Facebook for book readers and I love seeing what other people are reading as well as finding lots of interesting new books to read as well as interacting with authors who are on there.
So when Amazon announced the purchase of GoodReads I couldn’t wait until it made it’s away to Kindle. Unfortunately my generation of Kindle didn’t get the software update for it.
It’s standard across the whole range now and it’s working out great for me.
Unless you’re a GoodReads user it’s not a massive feature but previously I was juggling lists of books across Amazon and GoodReads and switching between Kindle and my phone/computer for posting progress updates, reviews and adding books.
I’m much happier now!
Also standard across the range now. The five way controller on my old model was fine for selecting books but anything more than that was a chore. Searching for books on the Kindle and in the store or connecting to WiFi were the biggest examples of this. I missed the keyboard from my first Kindle loads when I moved to the second device but the touchscreen makes everything easier.
The Voyage is a physically sleeker device than the PaperWhite. The actual features between the PaperWhite, Voyage and Oasis are pretty much identical so it’s the case and it’s other physical attributes that are the biggest difference between them
The Voyage is thinner than the standard model and the PaperWhite with only the Oasis beating it on that front.
It’s lighter than the PaperWhite and marginally heavier than the standard model with the Oasis trumping all of them.
The Voyage has a magnesium body in comparison to the plastic of the PaperWhite to which it owes the slimmer body.
If you stick it in a case though some of this will be negated so the PaperWhite may work just fine (I have similar thing with phones. We spend a fortune on a shiny sleek pretty device only to stick it in a massive cover so it doesn’t get damaged)
The Oasis is a different beast altogether on this front and looks physically different for an apparently better hand holding experience. It also comes with a leather case that doubles up as an extra battery – not that the others do to bad on the charging front. (weeks at a time!)
There are a ton of other features that are common across the range (X-Ray, time to end of chapter, wikipedia integration, etc) but this post is long enough!
So in very quick summary
If you’re on a budget go for the standard model.
The Paperwhite is the going to be perfect for just about most people
The Voyage is for those heavy users who don’t mind investing a little more for that refined look and feel (or getting it as a gift!)
The Oasis….hard to say. It’s a big jump in price but if you’re a Kindle fan and want the “premium” experience then it’s certainly that
All in all I was very happy when I received it and I’m looking forward to spending many hours with it.