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Amazon Kindle Voyage first impressions

Amazon Kindle Voyage first impressionsAmazon has launched its latest e-book reader, Kindle Voyage, in the Indian market ata starting price of Rs 16,499. The new e-reader is aimed at those who want the reading experience closest to a book on a digital device, but is likely to put off many due to its high price tag.

We went hands-on with the new Kindle Voyage to see if it is worth the price that Amazon is selling it for, and to determine if it has enough mew features to warrant a purchase or whether you should settle for a Kindle Paperwhite. Here's what we think...

The most striking thing about Kindle Voyage is its design. Gone is the chunky and boxy design of Kindle Paperwhite, replaced by an edgy and angular look on the back and an overall smaller profile. The new Kindle Voyage is the thinnest and lightest Amazon e-reader at 7.6mm and 188gram (3G + Wi-Fi model), respectively.

The front panel has the 6-inch Carta E-Ink screen, with thick bezels on all sides. On the left and right side of the screen are the new PagePress buttons, which we will discuss in the Software segment. The Kindle logo is below the screen, while the top is bare.

The back is made of magnesium and has two types of finishes: while the rear casing is dominated by soft rubbery finish you have seen in Nexus 5 and 7, the top portion is made of glossy plastic. The back panel is a fingerprint magnet, and you would be hard pressed to clean the smudges too. On the back panel, the Amazon branding is in the centre, flanked by the Power button on the left.


The 6-inch display of Kindle Voyage has 300ppi pixel density, twice that of Kindle Paperwhite. This means you get much sharper text and images. We compared the two e-readers' screens and found that there was no fuzziness that you would ordinarily associate with an E-ink display.

We also opened a graphic novel on the Kindle Voyage and found it to be the best in terms of showing details, something you can actually miss on previous generations of Kindles.

Amazon says it has used reinforced glass to ensure that the screen remains devoid of scratches. We tried to scratch the keys with keys, fortunately, to no avail.

The new Kindle Voyage also reduces glare, claims Amazon, as the glass is chemically micro-etched. However, we found that the level of glare in the new e-reader is not much lower compared to Kindle Paperwhite's.

The display of Kindle Voyage also has ambient light sensor, which automatically adjusts the lighting. However, if you want, you can change brightness levels manually with the on-screen button.

One major problem associated with E-ink displays is the slow response time to touch input, something that is still not fixed on Kindle Voyage even though it is faster than previous models.


Amazon Kindle Voyage's biggest new feature is PagePress, a set of buttons on the sides of the screen. PagePress lets you turn the pages on the e-reader by just pressing the requisite button; hit the vertical lines to flip the page, push the dot to go back.

This feature has been demanded by Kindle buyers for long, and works pretty well. Though we found ourselves turning the pages via the
touchscreen in the initial few hours of using Kindle Voyage, eventually we did get used to the PagePress buttons.

Another new feature is Page Flow; from the middle of the screen, you need to swipe from the bottom to top, which lets you move between chapters. The X-Ray feature, which provides details of important characters and places in the books you read, is present on the Kindle Voyage.

Amazon Kindle Voyage also has Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter integration.

Reading on the screen is great in the few hours we used the device, as the images and text appear extremely crisp and you won't miss any details. However, the automatic brightness adjustment works well, but not fast enough.

What we think
Kindle Voyage is a looker, making it the first e-reader to offer aesthetic appeal and great reading experience, albeit at a huge price. In fact, the price tag will probably the only deterrent for buyers, considering that it offers an excellent feature package.

Overall, at Rs 16,499 for the Wi-Fi model and Rs 20,499 for the 3G variant, it is certainly an expensive buy, but one we would suggest to purists looking for the good ol' experience of a book on an e-reader. Stay tuned for our full review of Amazon Kindle Voyage for more details on the e-book reader.

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