E-readers have come and gone, but the Amazon Kindle is still the world’s favourite digital book for one reason: it is the best e-book reader you can buy. This is where it gets tricky for the company to think of a new version. How do you improve something that is already so good?
Amazon Kindle Voyage
At first look the Kindle Voyage is slightly different from its predecessors. The rear panel has a diamond cut finish that makes the edges thinner and easier to grip. Amazon calls it the Origami cover. The power button has moved from under the screen to the rear and is easier to get to when you are holding the device in reading mode. But the biggest change are the two lines and dots that flank the screen. Click on the dots on either side and you will be taken a page back. Click on the lines and you will mode a page up. Both clicks give you a haptic vibration, feedback to tell you that your command has been understood.
What is good?
I have been a very satisfied Kindle Paperwhite user for the past year or so. This is why the addition of the page turn side panels has come as a such big joy for me. It is much more easier and natural to just squeeze a bit more where you are holding the e-reader. The page turns experience is also faster and better.
The front light on the screen now has a automatic adjust option. So you hold a Kindle Voyage and walk in and out of your house and your eyes wouldn’t have anything to adjust to. The screen will do that for you. The change is subtle and don’t expect the device to flicker to a brighter screen because you switched off the light. And that is the whole beauty of it.
The Amazon Kindle device I reviewed — a few months before Amazon started selling the e-readers in India — could connect to the Internet in India even though it was shipped from the US. Amazon called its global connectivity option Whispernet and it still works like a dream, though now with 3G. It worked out of the box and I did not have to do anything, not even log into my Wi-Fi to set up the Voyage. And it is fast. I downloaded a Devdutt Patnaik book in under a minute even though there was just one-bar connectivity at home. For the Kindle power user, this is a real cutting edge.
The screen quality has also improved. While it is hard to figure this out when you are reading text, it is obvious when you are on a book cover and there are images to be shown.
What is not that good?
The Kindle Voyage is almost the perfect e-reader. The only issue I had was that the page turns could be a bit faster that you would want it to. So instead of one, you might turn two pages at times. The good thing is that you can select the amount of pressure you want to apply for the Pagepress.
Should you buy?
Of course, if you don’t have a e-reader yet. But buy the Voyage only if you are one of those who wants to read on the go and wouldn’t mind paying a bit extra for that connectivity. Others can look at the more affordable options which are still great e-readers. For me, the changes are good enough to start thinking about an upgrade though my Kindle Paperwhite is just a year old.
Price: Rs 16,499