If there’s anything I felt while using the Kindle this past week, it’s the distinct sense of regret - if only I had had one while writing my post-grad dissertation four years ago, life would have been so much easier. Tap on a word to access its dictionary meaning, highlight a passage to save it, access footnotes and the X-Ray feature that lets you identify all the passages related to a keyword – where was all this when I needed it? The new Kindle Voyage has just been released, and Amazon seems to be catering to the tech-savvy bookworm with this one.
The six-inch Voyage is claiming to be the sleekest and lightest Kindle yet, and it delivers on all those counts. The super portable reader fits nicely into the smallest of bags and the weight is hardly noticeable, making it easy to take it absolutely everywhere – which is what you’ll want to do.
At first sight The Voyage comes with all the classic features of the Kindle – the micro-etched screen to prevent glare, battery that lasts for weeks on a single charge, and the page-like reading experience in classic black and white that’s a relief for strained eyes.
The first question that arises about the device, though is the price. Significantly higher than the Paperwhite for what seems like similar features, there are, however, some significant changes and upgrades here. Starting with the display – a full glass front gives the Voyage a tablet-like feel and the 300ppi resolution makes reading a more engaging experience. The adaptive light sensor ensures that the backlight is at optimum level whatever the changing light conditions around you, and automatically adjusts itself even when you’re reading in the dark – perfect for the engrossed reader who can’t be bothered to interrupt the reading to adjust settings.
You can switch from an older Kindle device to the Voyage with Whispersync, and all the books in your account will be available on the cloud. You can download them onto the new device when needed, without needing a net connection.
The right touch The basic aim of the e-reader, ironically enough, is to make it as close to the actual reading-a-book experience as possible. Unlike an e-reader that lets your flip virtual pages just like in a paperback, the Voyage comes with PagePress. Its basically two sets of sensors on either side of the screen, that when lightly pressed turns the page and delivers a mild vibration through a haptic actuator. While we mostly ended up tapping the screen or swiping to go to the next page (touch screens will habituate you to swipe almost any flat surface), there is something to be said for the page press – it is oddly reassuring. And if you’re handling the Voyage with a single hand, it’s the most convenient option. At about 180grams, Voyage is the lightest yet, but, we felt it still was not light enough for prolonged one-hand usage.
It’s a funny space to be in, as an e-reader, that’s so tablet-like. An average user, so accustomed to smartphones and phablets, would expect a touchscreen to be as responsive as their other devices, but the e-ink screen makes the Kindle seem like a slowpoke. Its not that the lag is too much, it’s just that the speed of the average smartphone makes the lag more noticeable, and considering that you’ll be using the Kindle alongside faster devices all the time, the issue is not one that fades over time.
We highly recommend getting the origami case along with the Voyage, for the infinite convenience it provides – the magnetised foldable panels allow it to double up as a stand.
Verdict With the price starting at ₹16,499, it is a bit steep for a device with a single purpose, but for a user who spends a lot of time reading, it’s a great investment. If there’s any complaint about the device, it would be that the six-inch screen is limiting for those who read fast, and require far too frequent page turning, but the limitless cloud storage does make up for it. The Voyage also comes in a WiFi + 3G version, that costs ₹4,000 more, with free 3G at no extra cost.
Price : Starting from ₹16,499 and ₹2,999 for the origami cover
Love : Screen resolution
Hate : Pricey
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