Author Topic: Kindle Voyage review  (Read 26706 times)  

Offline FearIndex

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Kindle Voyage review
« on: November 08, 2014, 02:44:52 AM »
The physical:

As I have previously reviewed the current Kindle (7th Generation) and also reviewed the official Kindle Voyage Origami Cover, I refer to those for comments on covers and how the Kindle Voyage came packaged, which is very similar to the Kindle (7th Generation). What differs between these two and their official Amazon covers is the fact that the basic 7th Generation has a book-like cover that attaches by friction from its sides, whereas the Kindle Voyage official cover is a top-opening origami stand that attaches to the reader by magnets, not traditionally from its sides.

The cover has the automatic on/off feature, but if the Voyage timeouts and turns off while on the table with its cover open, the case covers the unfortunate rear power button and you have to open the cover back to get to it, whereas on other Kindles you just press the power button that's next to the micro-USB port, which remains exposed no matter what the status of the cover. If they can put buttons on the side of a thin smartphone, they should be able to do that with a Kindle Voyage as well... Safe to say, in my use, a side power button would be much superior to a rear one.

The Kindle Voyage is small, although when placed next to Kindle (7h Generation), both in their covers, it doesn't feel quite as small as I expected. It is much better proportioned than the 7th Generation though, as the latter has that big "jaw" underneath - Kindle Voyage is very well proportioned all around and as a device looks nice. Two physical things I find odd about the Kindle Voyage, one is the rear power button (of course familiar sight from Kindle Fires) and the use of glossy plastic on the rear top part - Kindles have a nice history of using rugged materials and I fear glossy plastic may scratch faster than usual, whilst also being a fingerprint magnet (the origami cover mostly covers this area though).

Speaking of fingerprints, as the top of the Kindle Voyage is flush, a large piece of glass from corner to corner with black underneath the bezels, its bezels attract much more fingerprints than even the quite glossy black $69 Kindle 5 does. In fact, these glossy borders pretty much make using a clip-on reading light impossible with the Kindle Voyage, should one want to do something like that, because the bezel area is a glare-fest. I tried it with the nice Verso clip-on light I use with the basic Kindle and it just wasn't working because of that. One could try the DecalGirl route to rectify this, perhaps, but I'm not too keen on that. (DecalGirl would also cover the PagePress button markings, which might be a benefit as I find them a little distracting when reading in not-dark.) The magnetic, top-opening origami cover also makes it pretty hard to nicely clip the clip-on light to the set. Using some other cover, perhaps one that covers the bezels as well if one likes those (I don't), could help too.

Weight of the Kindle Voyage and the official cover compared to some other devices (in grams):

Kindle Voyage without cover: 179 g
Kindle Voyage with official origami cover: 312 g

New Kindle (7th Generation) without cover: 191 g
New Kindle (7th Generation) with official cover: 300 g

$69 Kindle 4B/5 without cover: 168 g
$69 Kindle 4B/5 with official lighted cover: 313 g

Paperwhite 1 3G: 220 g
Paperwhite 1 3G with official cover: 355 g
Paperwhite 2 Wi-Fi: 208 g

Kindle DX "Graphite": 536 g
Kindle DX "Graphite" with official cover: 900 g

The screen:

The big thing about Kindle Voyage is of course its new, sharpest-on-a-Kindle-yet screen, with flush glass, new frontlight lightguide and capacitive touch on top. Kindle Voyage is, basically, a Kindle Paperwhite 3 in the Kindle family parlance, just a bigger change than Paperwhite 1 to 2 was.

As I did with the Paperwhites, I find the Kindle Voyage screen controversial. On the upside, the improved resolution feels to me a bigger step forward than Paperwhite was compared to non-lit Kindles that all have a lower-resolution screen. The text on the Kindle Voyage definitely is sharper and more beautiful than on the Paperwhite, nor is it as muddied as it sometimes feels on the Paperwhites. Contrast is also up, as is text blackness, especially compared to Paperwhites - perhaps even keel with the late-generation non-lit Kindles that have always trumped the Paperwhites on text blackness. So, on contrast and sharpness, the Kindle Voyage screen is definitely the best Kindle screen I have ever witnessed. No doubt about it.

Now, onto the controversy that makes me wonder if I'm playing the exchange game or what. The light layer does have a few bright specks on it, when displaying bright light on a dark background. One pin-hole is especially evident every time you boot up and the light is at a high level, as it is a shining speck smack in the middle of the black hillside on the Kindle bootscreen. I've witnessed some of this on all front-lit Kindles I've seen, some better, some worse, and exchanged a Paperwhite 2 for similar reasons. This, I guess, comes with the territory like dead pixels on LCDs. These specks do not show when light levels are lower or when reading text, so unlike some of the more glaring defects that e.g. made me swap a Paperwhite 2, I'm not sure if this alone is a deal-breaker.

What is more puzzling to my mind is the unevenness of the light itself. When I turn the light all the way off, the Kindle Voyage has a pretty yellow screen, just like Kindle Paperwhite 2 (Paperwhite 1 and non-lit e-ink Kindles have more grey screen generations). This is not an issue for me, reading Kindle Voyage in daylight would probably be pretty nice. My problem is that I read 99% in the dark, in bed. When you flip on the light, the lower portion of the Voyage lights up considerably more than the top part. This is really evident when comparing with a Paperwhite 2, which may be a little darker in the middle, but is well lit both bottom and top. Kindle Voyage is well lit on the bottom and less lit on the top - there is a distinct gradient or even a bottom half/top half thing going on.

What's more, the LEDs make the yellow e-ink screen cooler tone in the bottom, but are not powerful enough to cool the top tones, so the top remains more yellow while the bottom gets a whiter tone on the background. From a day and a night of reading, I can't say I'm personally too bothered by the color shift, though. What troubles me is that I can't seem to get a comfortable balance where the bottom and top would be lit just right - push it up so that top is nice, the bottom is too bright, push it down so bottom is nice, top is too dark. Time will tell if I can find a balance, if I'm bailing or trying the replacements game. FWIW, the screen is not crooked, though.

Finally, for those saying the text in Kindle Voyage feels like it is on top of the glass, I can not share that experience at all. Place dust or something on the screen and the distance from the text and the top of the glass is such that the dust actually shines a shadow on the e-ink screen "far" underneath. So, just like on Paperwhites, Kindle Voyage definitely distances the e-ink screen from the top of the screen glass due to the layers in between. There is now even an added layer: e-ink, light guide, capacitive layer and top glass (compared to just e-ink on the Kindle 7th Generation). For those who like the paper-like text right on top, Kindle Voyage may not be the right choice. This said, when reading in dark using just the frontlight, it is harder to notice this than it would be with a top-down light shining on the reader. Not that I could use a top-down light with the Voyage in any case, without a bezel-cover at least, due to the fingerprint/glare situation.

There are a few innovations in the screen light area, including a night reading option (gradually lowering light as you read) and an ambient sensor. From my initial experience, I turned these off as the ambient sensor would boost up the light too much for me, as I prefer low levels. In longer term, I understand getting a better grasp would require more fiddling and experience, so I'll just leave these as a mention.

The exprience:

The second big thing about Kindle Voyage is the return of the page change buttons, of sorts. Two pushable pressure-sensitive areas line the screen on both sides, with pressable page forward/backward areas on either side. When I first got a Paperwhite 1, I worried that I would miss the page change buttons I so loved on previous Kindles, but turns out I liked the touch just fine. Still, I would have welcomed physical page change buttons back... I'm just not sure these are it.

Not only are the PagePress pressure area markings a little distracting when reading, they are so close to the flush screen (although not a problem when reading in darkness), I find the touchscreen still a nicer way of changing the pages. I get it that the PagePress works well if you just hold Kindle by the page press area with one hand and press down to change page, but that harmony breaks the minute you need to go back a page - and I do that quite often personally. On the upside, the PagePress feature does have quite a bit of configurability with several pressure levels and also adjustable vibration feedback (which works well if you like that). If the Kindle Voyage will become a daily reader for me, I guess this is an area where I just need to experiment. Luckily you can also turn PagePress off, although arguably you would also loose one major reason of getting the Kindle Voyage in the first place...

One thing where I'm finding the Kindle Voyage a bit confusing are the menus. Amazon has been adding all sorts of stuff already on the Paperwhites compared to where they started from, and now the new screen and button features on the Voyage add even more, that settings and stuff are a bit all over the place. I don't find the placement of many of the new settings or newish things like Goodreads/Vocabulary Builder and so forth at all logical. I think it might be Amazon some good to really overhaul the UI to think of natural places for everything, instead of just adding stuff where there is spare room.

The verdict:

At the moment, I find it unlikely this particular Kindle Voyage setup will end up as my daily driver. The contrast and sharpness of the screen is nice (best in a Kindle and thus very inviting), as is the size and shape of the device, and I can live with the somewhat floppy and less-than-perfect-for-me origami cover - its magnetic action is pleasing enough and it doesn't flail around when reading at least.

What bugs me most is the not even the color unevenness of the screen (although that is evident from the moment one turns it on), it is just the fact that the bottom half of the screen is so much brighter than the top half, that it is hard to find a balance. Those pin-holes don't help either, although that is more of a perfectionist notion than a real problem. I would forget about the pin-holes, were the light evenness good enough.

I might also consider, or at least suggest to others pondering this, if DecalGirl and clip-on light might work for Kindle Voyage - perhaps with some other cover that is more suited to clipping a light onto it than the origami is. As it is, I couldn't use a clip-on light with the Kindle Voyage, but with such changes, it might work. You can't turn off the screen light completely, but turn it max down and auto brightness off, an external light will easily overpower it and you have a very nice e-ink screen experience (although with some additional glare and layering from the glass top). I might also consider some of the other cases or replacing the Kindle Voyage.

In the end, I have to end another frontlit Kindle early review with mixed feelings and a note that I hear Kobo Aura H20 has a very even frontlight. Maybe I should check it out. Whether or not I'll return or replace the Kindle Voyage, I don't know yet. If and when I have something more to add, I will.

Edit: Fixed typos.

Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2014, 03:28:43 AM »
FearIndex,

As I mostly read with my Voyafpge in my left hand, I use the button for forward and touch the screen with my thipumb for back. :)

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Offline FearIndex

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2014, 07:10:04 AM »
FearIndex,

As I mostly read with my Voyafpge in my left hand, I use the button for forward and touch the screen with my thipumb for back. :)

Betsy

That is a good tip - I considered the reverse already, using the right forward button to change page while swipeing with the same thumb to go backwards, although with this setup there is the question of how firmly can one hold the device so it doesn't fall. When reading on the Paperwhite 2 and the Kindle (7th Generation), I already use the touchscreen equivalent - tap on the right to forward, swipe on the right to go backwards. Although on the Voyage, so far it seems just tapping the screen to go forwards might be easier - that way the positioning of the finger/hand remains similar independent of in which direction I'm changing the page... I will definitely add to this review thread as I gather more experiences and also decide what to do with this particular unit.

Offline Broadus

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2014, 07:47:46 AM »
Thanks, FearIndex, for your review--thorough and helpful, as always.

I haven't had a Kindle since I returned my splotchy PW1 soon after I received it. I've simply used my iPad (now the Air model). At present, I'm leaning towards a PW2, hopefully at a marked-down price around Black Friday, and waiting perhaps on the next iteration of the Voyage. Unfortunately, I'm too persnickety about imperfections, but I can endure them on a $100 device more so than on a $200 device.

Offline FearIndex

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2014, 08:12:55 AM »
Thank you for the kind words.

Thanks, FearIndex, for your review--thorough and helpful, as always.

I haven't had a Kindle since I returned my splotchy PW1 soon after I received it. I've simply used my iPad (now the Air model). At present, I'm leaning towards a PW2, hopefully at a marked-down price around Black Friday, and waiting perhaps on the next iteration of the Voyage. Unfortunately, I'm too persnickety about imperfections, but I can endure them on a $100 device more so than on a $200 device.

There are sporadic reports that PW2 in 2014 might be even better screen-wise than PW2 in 2013. Certainly it would make sense that when a product matures, the precision and quality also gets better. I'm sure unit-to-unit variance still exists, but chances are likely better for a good one. Kindle Voyage is still very new.

At the moment I'm leaning on replacing the Kindle Voyage I have. I fear getting an even worse unit (replacements are a bit harder when working with Amazon internationally), but I may give it a go. If I can't get the Kindle Voyage to work for me, I probably won't go back to my PW2 though personally, as the Kindle (7th Generation) with a clip-on light seems like the better solution for me.

I hear good things about Kobo Aura H20 too, tempting me to the dark side...

Offline Broadus

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 08:32:06 AM »
Thank you for the kind words.

There are sporadic reports that PW2 in 2014 might be even better screen-wise than PW2 in 2013. Certainly it would make sense that when a product matures, the precision and quality also gets better. I'm sure unit-to-unit variance still exists, but chances are likely better for a good one. Kindle Voyage is still very new.

At the moment I'm leaning on replacing the Kindle Voyage I have. I fear getting an even worse unit (replacements are a bit harder when working with Amazon internationally), but I may give it a go. If I can't get the Kindle Voyage to work for me, I probably won't go back to my PW2 though personally, as the Kindle (7th Generation) with a clip-on light seems like the better solution for me.

I hear good things about Kobo Aura H20 too, tempting me to the dark side...

I'm thinking primarily about reading in bed and not disturbing my wife. My understanding (did this come from you somewhere?) is that the PW2 would emit less light than the Verso light attached to a standard Kindle reader. Were it not for that, I would probably also go with the 7th gen. Kindle with the clip-on light. Were it not for having a lot of unread Kindle books, I would look seriously at the Kobo Aura H20, too.

Offline FearIndex

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 08:59:44 AM »
Spent some time reading Paperwhite 2 and Kindle Voyage in a nearly completely dark room. It is evident the Paperwhite 2 has much more yellow frontlight, the Kindle Voyage - although its e-ink yellowish like that of Paperwhite 2 - is lighted much more coolly. The Paperwhite 2 lightguide manages to light brightly both the top and the bottom, while its center is a bit darker, the Kindle Voyage on the other hand lights up brightly the bottom half, but not the top half.

I probably wouldn't be too bothered by the Kindle Voyage light gradient, were I reading in daylight or better ambient light, or prefer a higher light setting, but I prefer low light and reading in darkness is my scenario. I very fast concluded this particular Kindle Voyage is going back - I can't read on it, because the low light levels that I found passable on the Paperwhite 2 won't be enough to light up the top, and sufficient light levels make the bottom too bright. So, this one is going back while I regroup.

As I look at a stack of Kindles in their official covers (Voyage, K7, PW2, $69 Kindle 5), one additional thing bothers me slightly - the Kindle Voyage cover hugs the screen closely, whereas in other cases there is room between the screen and the cover. I fear eventually something hard will get between the cover and the screen and cause a scratch...

I'm thinking primarily about reading in bed and not disturbing my wife. My understanding (did this come from you somewhere?) is that the PW2 would emit less light than the Verso light attached to a standard Kindle reader. Were it not for that, I would probably also go with the 7th gen. Kindle with the clip-on light. Were it not for having a lot of unread Kindle books, I would look seriously at the Kobo Aura H20, too.

I remember we discussed this - and I still think any frontlit e-reader (PW2, Voyage...) that has an adjustable light will emit less light than a clip-on reading light, especially if the clip-on light is not adjustable (Verso is not) and you can live with a low setting on the e-reader frontlight. The downside of all that is the contrast between the lit screen and the dark surroundings for you yourself is more jarring in a setup like this, whereas a top-down light such as a clip-on would light up the surroundings also for a - possibly - more comfortable overall experience.

I don't think PW2 or Voyage are any different in the "bothering spouse in bed" department, both are probably equal in that, perhaps Voyage is even better if you the added contrast lets you read on a lower setting. That said, I find it hard to use the Voyage I have on a low setting because half of the screen is less bright than the other half, so what I say only applies if you can find a unit/setup that works for your preferences.

Offline Broadus

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2014, 09:25:52 AM »
Thanks for that insight, FearIndex. I may wait to see how well you like the second Voyage that you order before I make a final decision. The greater contrast of the Voyage fonts over the PW2 is certainly something to consider.

I really think these little e-readers have gotten as small as they need to get if they are to be "handable." I think I would prefer the actual size of the Voyage being a smidgen larger.

Offline FearIndex

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2014, 09:37:10 AM »
Thanks for that insight, FearIndex. I may wait to see how well you like the second Voyage that you order before I make a final decision. The greater contrast of the Voyage fonts over the PW2 is certainly something to consider.

I really think these little e-readers have gotten as small as they need to get if they are to be "handable." I think I would prefer the actual size of the Voyage being a smidgen larger.

Good luck! FWIW, some people have said the late 2014 PW2 has better contrast than last year (I have a 2013 PW2). I'm not going to get another PW2 personally, though, so I'll leave it to others to judge. :)

Offline Broadus

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2014, 09:38:58 AM »
Good luck! FWIW, some people have said the late 2014 PW2 has better contrast than last year (I have a 2013 PW2). I'm not going to get another PW2 personally, though, so I'll leave it to others to judge. :)

Thanks--that's good to know! I'll keep it in mind.

Offline FearIndex

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2014, 02:06:33 AM »
A few more notes on the Kindle Voyage:

- The reader and the origami cover, compared to e.g. Paperwhite 2 in its official cover, have pretty sharp edges that eat into the palm of the hand. Holding Voyage in its cover comfortably is much harder than holding the Paperwhite 2 for example. Paperwhite 2 cover has very substantial rounded edges and is thus very comfortable in the palm of the hand, Kindle Voyage in its official origami cover sort of has several sharp edges that start hurting when held in certain ways.

- I can't get a feel for the PagePress buttons. I have been reading on the Kindle Voyage, even though I by now know it is going back for an eventual replacement, but I just can't see how the PagePress would be better than using the touchscreen for me. This is especially true with the origami cover, because holding the reader in a way that works for PagePress, means the palm of the hand gets poked by the sharp corners of the casing.

- Tip for anyone bothered by the color/brightness change on top of the Voyage screen compared to the bottom, use full screen refresh. The screen going black at the same time your eyes move from bottom to top alleviates the problem a little. Personally the bottom is still too bright for comfort when I set the top light level at adequate, but at least the full page refresh blackness makes the transition a little less jarring from the brightness unevenness perspective.

- When using PagePress, personally I found vibration off and sensitivity lowest as the best setting so far. It doesn't seem to register any false presses in my use and sensitivity is almost as light as touching the screen itself to change page. Still, to make this seem beneficial would be if I held the Kindle from the next page area with my thumb, but due to the origami cover I don't really hold it that way. Also, to have to sometimes press a little more (PagePress) and a little less (touchscreen) is confusing. It is more consistent to just use the touchscreen. Maybe if they added real page change buttons...

- Opening the origami cover is more troublesome than using a book-like cover. You kind of have to grab it by a corner and then pull up (as it is held down by quite strong magnets) and watch it bend and then eventually release. Opening a sturdy book-like cover is just so much easier and makes more sense when reading a book. A book-like cover you can open with just your thumb, to open the origami cover two fingers and a little precision are needed. This combined with the uncomfortably sharp corners probably means I will have to look into the third-party options.

In the end, I just turned PagePress off and I think that is the way I will use the Kindle Voyage down the road, assuming I will get a good one in the end. I may also have to consider another cover.

Offline FearIndex

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2014, 03:17:25 PM »
To continue from the other thread:

Got the new Kindle Voyage 3G a couple of nights ago.

I can't say it is a major improvement over the previous one, though it may be a small, if somewhat controversial improvement: It doesn't have the annoying bright pinhole glaring on the hillside every time the Kindle boots, which is good (even though it didn't bother actual reading), and it also has a slightly brighter light, which is good, and overall the light is more even, but also with a bit more pronounced color gradient than the previous one - perhaps due to the more powerful light making the bottom whiter while leaving the top yellower.

Clearly Amazon has got their work cut out for them to calibrate the light guide process so that the light is directed all the way up to the top of the screen, now it seems somewhere around the middle the frontlight starts "loosing light" even if the bottom LEDs in themselves would be powerful enough, so the top remains a little darker and yellower. Considering Kobo Aura H20 is very even, with the same setup of lights only at the bottom, and even Paperwhite 2 managing a bright top, it shouldn't be impossible. It just seems as it stands, if these examples are anything to go by, Kindle Voyage isn't quite there yet.

I have to update the review soon (and add my Kobo Aura H20 musings), but after a couple of nights the new unit seems it like a slight improvement for my reading scenario - very low frontlight levels and reading in the dark. The new unit lights up the top a little better, making a difference. On the other hand, the color gradient is visible when reading on higher light levels (on lower levels it becomes more of a brightness gradient). In any case, it does strike me how cold the Kindle Voyage (both units) frontlight is when reading on those low light levels, it makes the page seem almost blue.

I'll add one positive thing, though, now that I have the origami cover, I've actually used it at times to stand up the Kindle. Maybe I'm in the middle of some serious reading and need a snack, well, prop-up the Kindle in the kitchen and the reading doesn't have to stop. :) Still, overall I would prefer a book-like cover (and know many third party options exist) and I absolutely hate the origami cover and the rear power button getting in each others way when the Kindle has turned off while cover is still open... Rear power button, seriously Amazon? And a magnetic cover that covers that rear power button when opened? Sheesh...

Anyway, barring some unexpected product breakdown, I'm keeping the new Kindle Voyage 3G and returning the old one. I think this is what the product is like I'll not bother myself with it more, the new one corrects the pinhole and adds the 3G option, so that's nice. Next round, next year, maybe. If history is anything to go by that's how long it takes to see real improvement in the manufacturing process. Now I just have to decide in which order I expect to use the current set: Kindle (7th Generation), Kindle Voyage 3G, Kobo Aura H20 and get on with the reading. But I guess I'll have to leave something for the updated review...

Below are my closing remarks on the Kindle Voyage review, based on the "replacement" Kindle Voyage 3G I received recently. I will keep the new Kindle Voyage 3G (and return the first Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi), but find the Kobo Aura H2O a more compelling product at the moment - and the basic Kindle (7th Generation) also a less controversial product than this.

- While I still consider the Kindle Voyage screen the best Kindle e-ink screen and perhaps the best 6" e-ink screen on the market, it is let down by the calibration of its frontlight's LEDs and lightguide. The brightness level and tone of the top part of the screen is different from the bottom part on both of my Kindle Voyage 3G units. It also has a quite cold tone, which is not necessarily the best for someone like myself who reads in the dark.

- I still can't get to grips with the PagePress buttons, although disabling them is of course no problem. The biggest gripe is that to use them, I would like to set them pretty light, but then I find myself activating them accidentally when holding the device from its bezel - not in a normal situation, but when I move the device from hand to hand or something like that, I may accidentally change some pages. Contrast this to, say, Kindle 3rd or 5th generation, where you could hold the bezel from the tip of the thumb and then by twisting the thumb a little, hit the page change buttons on the side of the finger. This is not possible with the vague PagePress areas. To get accustomed to PagePress, I guess one would have to find a new strategy to holding and operating the device. Also, when reading in daylight, I actually find those PagePress markings on the side, so close to the text and with flush bezels, distracting. A skin that covers them could help - this is not a problem when reading in the dark, of course. In the dark it is not easy to find the back squeeze areas, though.

- Another Kindle Voyage first, the auto brightness sensor, also remains pointless for myself. Wanting to control the lighting, keep it as low as possible, is not really the scenario the feature was designed for.

- Kindle Voyage 3G doesn't seem to offer much visible changes in comparison to Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi. 3G kicks in automatically when Wi-Fi is not available and that's that. There are no settings for it, although Device Info shows it under Network Capability. Also the external packaging is the same as with non-3G version, just with a 3G sticker plastered on the back of the box. Another sticker on the box denotes the IMEI code. Finally, the Kindle Voyage 3G doesn't seem that much heavier compared to Kindle Voyage, so I wouldn't worry about that. Some weight measurements below (in grams).

Readers
- Kindle Voyage 3G without cover: 186 g
- Kindle Voyage 3G with official origami cover: 318 g
- Kindle Voyage without cover: 179 g
- Kindle Voyage with official origami cover: 312 g
- Kobo Aura H2O without cover: 230 g
- Kobo Aura H2O with official sleep cover: 366 g
- New Kindle (7th Generation) without cover: 191 g
- New Kindle (7th Generation) with official cover: 300 g
- $69 Kindle 4B/5 without cover: 168 g
- $69 Kindle 4B/5 with official lighted cover: 313 g
- Paperwhite 1 3G: 220 g
- Paperwhite 1 3G with official cover: 355 g
- Paperwhite 2 Wi-Fi: 208 g
- Kindle DX "Graphite": 536 g
- Kindle DX "Graphite" with official cover: 900 g

Just covers
- Kindle Voyage origami cover: 133 g
- Kobo Aura H2O sleep cover: 136 g
- Kindle (7th Generation) cover: 107 g
- Kindle Paperwhite cover: 134 g
- $79/$69 Kindle 4/5 lighted cover: 144 g

Photo of Kindle Voyage 3G (right) with Kobo Aura H2O:



For larger version (click e.g. Download): http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag374/fearindex/kobo_aura_h2o_kindle_voyage_3g_zps19ed32be.jpg.html

Photos of Kindle Voyage (center from left: 3G, Wi-Fi) with Kobo Aura H2O (left) and Kindle Paperwhite 2 (right):



For larger version (click e.g. Download): http://i1373.photobucket.com/albums/ag374/fearindex/kobo_aura_h2o_kindle_voyage_paperwhite_2_frontlights_zps32da799b.jpg.html

For more notes on the photos, see the Kobo Aura H2O review.

Offline northofdivision

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2014, 01:32:58 PM »
Thanks for all the shots. Sadly you can't see the gradient (or I can't) in the same way as I see the light grid differences in person.
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Offline heidi_g

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2014, 02:05:07 PM »
FearIndex, thank you for the terrific review, as I was seriously considering purchasing a Voyage. Since I'm pretty happy with my Paperwhite, I think I'll definitely hold off for a while. I'm really intrigued that you prefer the Kora Auro H20. I'd looked at Kobo readers a few years back, but the search function on the store was on the atrocious side. Do you purchase books from Kobo or Amazon to read on your on your Kobo reader? Not sure you can do that since they use different file types. But if you shop at Kobo, do you find their search function has improved?

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Offline Marie Long

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2014, 04:42:38 AM »
This was a good review.

Part of me regrets having traded in my Paperwhite for the Voyage. For one, I had to buy a slipcase for the Voyage instead of being able to use my favorite cover because the power button is situated in the back of the device instead of the bottom like the Paperwhite, and there are no magnets in the case, so the device won't turn on unless I physically take the kindle out of the case and press the power button.

Another thing is the confusion of the PagePress buttons. I'm used to the buttons on the right paging forward and the buttons on the left paging back. Well the way it's situated, both of the top buttons will page forward and both of the bottom buttons will page back. It's really inconvenient, because the way I hold my Kindle, I instinctively press either the top or bottom left buttons to page back and the top or bottom right buttons to page forward, but it ends up paging a different way than I intended. Based on your review, are you saying these buttons are configurable? That would be wonderful if I can configure the buttons to do what I want them to do. Right now, I'm paging my book by pressing the left and right portion of the screen, which is pretty much how the Paperwhite was. I don't recall seeing the option to configure the buttons, but perhaps that's just ignorance on my part.

Offline FearIndex

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2014, 05:32:19 PM »
FearIndex, thank you for the terrific review, as I was seriously considering purchasing a Voyage. Since I'm pretty happy with my Paperwhite, I think I'll definitely hold off for a while. I'm really intrigued that you prefer the Kora Auro H20. I'd looked at Kobo readers a few years back, but the search function on the store was on the atrocious side. Do you purchase books from Kobo or Amazon to read on your on your Kobo reader? Not sure you can do that since they use different file types. But if you shop at Kobo, do you find their search function has improved?

Thank you for the comments, guys. Sorry it took a while to answer due to the holidays.

heidi_g, indeed Kobo Aura H20 and Kindle use different file types. Free content is usually available in both versions in places like Gutenberg and conversion is easy with tools like Calibre. Commercial stores of course limit the selection. I haven't found the Kobo store search to be bad, but then my needs with such features are very basic. Bigger issue is the more limited selection of the Kobo store, of course.

Also, I wouldn't say I prefer Kobo Aura H20 to Kindle in general. Comparing Kindle Voyage and Kobo Aura H20 specifically, I think the Voyage's frontlight is a little on the bad side, while Kobo's frontlight and bigger screen are great, so in that regard Kobo has merits. Add to that the font adjustability and some stuff like that, the Kobo Aura H20 is a good product indeed. But if we forget about the frontlight or the screen size, then of course Kindles have many superior qualities.

So, for me it is more that I prefer basic Kindle to Kindle Voyage, as a complete package. Kobo Aura H20 I would place on the same level with my basic Kindle and perhaps the Paperwhite 2 - Kobo has the best screen and some features of those three, but lacks in ecosystem and smoothness. Kindle Voyage is a bit of an odd duck because its frontlight makes it a bit controversial, the rear power button sucks and the official cover is odd...

All this said, I do still read on the Kindle Voyage too. The replacement is better than the first. But it does have the frontlight gradient and a quite harshly cool frontlight, so it is not so nice on the eyes compared to the Kobo Aura H20 or my Kindle Paperwhite 2.

Offline FearIndex

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2014, 05:44:08 PM »
Part of me regrets having traded in my Paperwhite for the Voyage. For one, I had to buy a slipcase for the Voyage instead of being able to use my favorite cover because the power button is situated in the back of the device instead of the bottom like the Paperwhite, and there are no magnets in the case, so the device won't turn on unless I physically take the kindle out of the case and press the power button.

Another thing is the confusion of the PagePress buttons. I'm used to the buttons on the right paging forward and the buttons on the left paging back. Well the way it's situated, both of the top buttons will page forward and both of the bottom buttons will page back. It's really inconvenient, because the way I hold my Kindle, I instinctively press either the top or bottom left buttons to page back and the top or bottom right buttons to page forward, but it ends up paging a different way than I intended. Based on your review, are you saying these buttons are configurable? That would be wonderful if I can configure the buttons to do what I want them to do. Right now, I'm paging my book by pressing the left and right portion of the screen, which is pretty much how the Paperwhite was. I don't recall seeing the option to configure the buttons, but perhaps that's just ignorance on my part.

Indeed, with the official origami cover too the reading experience on the Kindle Voyage is quite tedious compared to past Kindles. It is hard to open and then flails around when opened, so it is harder to turn behind the device - and once the cover is behind the device, it magnets in and covers the rear power button, so if you leave the device on the table and it timeouts and turns itself off while the cover is still turned over the back, you have to pull open the magnetically clutching back to power it back on. Also, because the Kindle sits on the official origami cover magnetically, sometimes it is possible the Kindle actually gets pushed out of the cover in the process.

I get it that a big part of the hassle above could be avoided with a third-party cover specifically designed for the Kindle Voyage. If I decide to read significantly on it, maybe I will go that route, but compared to nice experiences with past official Kindle covers and bottom-side power buttons, it is just such a hassle. Basic 7th Generation Kindle is so much easier in this regard, the traditional power button placement and traditional-yet-lighter-designed official book-like cover are very nice. Even though I've used the Voyage origami stand-feature a few times, I hope Amazon will make official book-like covers the norm in the future again. As well as side power-buttons.

As for configuring PagePress, unfortunately when referring to configurability, I was only talking about the ability to adjust their sensitivity, feedback and turn them on/off. Considering Amazon has never offered multiple modes for touch-zones, I doubt they will introduce multiple modes for PagePress like you would prefer - although I would welcome all such configurability my self as well! (Indeed, Kobo Aura H20 has more configurability for some things like this, although it has no page buttons of course.)

Offline devalong

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2015, 09:31:02 AM »
Thank you for this detailed review! Most of my reading is in the dark when everyone is sleeping and I would hate the light gradient you describe, so I'll stick with my trusty, well-lit, and rugged PW2 for now.

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Offline Rasputina

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2016, 09:50:34 AM »
Quote
The cover has the automatic on/off feature, but if the Voyage timeouts and turns off while on the table with its cover open, the case covers the unfortunate rear power button and you have to open the cover back to get to it, whereas on other Kindles you just press the power button that's next to the micro-USB port, which remains exposed no matter what the status of the cover. If they can put buttons on the side of a thin smartphone, they should be able to do that with a Kindle Voyage as well... Safe to say, in my use, a side power button would be much superior to a rear one.

I don't even remember that there is a button at the bottom of my paperwhite, I just close the cover and open it again if it goes to sleep after I've set it down open.

Offline Rasputina

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2016, 10:02:13 AM »
Quote
Kindle Voyage 3G doesn't seem to offer much visible changes in comparison to Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi. 3G kicks in automatically when Wi-Fi is not available and that's that. There are no settings for it, although Device Info shows it under Network Capability.

Thanks for mentioning that. I was considering the 3G version because I sometimes have poor wifi connection on my paperwhite in part of the house. But if there is no way to turn 3G on and off that defeats the purpose for me.

Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2016, 05:33:21 PM »
Thanks for mentioning that. I was considering the 3G version because I sometimes have poor wifi connection on my paperwhite in part of the house. But if there is no way to turn 3G on and off that defeats the purpose for me.

It's true that wireless is either ON or OFF, but the thing is, it will not USE 3G unless there's no viable wifi signal. If you put it in airplane mode, though, all wireless is off and it won't connect at all.

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Offline Rasputina

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Re: Kindle Voyage review
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2016, 10:14:29 AM »
Yes, but I still have one "bar" so it's viable but really slow, and often I don't want to get up and move closer to get a better signal. I have the same problem with my phone and wifi and I just turn wifi off so it has to use the 4G LTE instead.