In an effort to match an industry that’s going faster and lighter at a frightening pace, Amazon has unveiled its new offering – the new Kindle Voyage. With a dimension of 6.4″ x 4.5″ x 0.30″ (162 mm x 115 mm x 7.6 mm) and a weight of 180 grams (188 g for the 3G model), this is the thinnest and lightest Kindle ever.
However, this is also priced much higher than the original Kindle, which is now selling at $79. You can pre-order Amazon Kindle Voyage at $199 ($269 for the 3G model) which will start shipping only on 7th December. Depending on where you stay, this does not include shipping costs.
The best feature which caught our eyes was the haptic page turn. The page-turning sensors are now placed at the bezel, just under where you would place both your thumbs. So, when you want to turn the page, you literally don’t even need to “lift a finger”, you just need to press the button under your thumb.
However, that isn’t the only unique feature you should expect from this device. According to Amazon, there are also the following improvements.
- Adaptive front light which will adjust the screen brightness according to ambient light, giving the reader the best reading experience while saving battery power where possible.
- A 300 ppi display, an improvement compared to the original Kindle (167 ppi) of and Kindle PaperWeight (212 ppi). This will give you sharper pictures and clearer words – unless you are expecting Retina display quality of course.
- The internal storage has increased from 2 GB to 4 GB
- The look and feel of the Kindle is better, though this improvement is subjective to the user.
- It comes with Wi-Fi fully built-in. You can also get the 3G feature at an extra cost of $70 only.
However, there are a few drawbacks.
Firstly, TNW reportedly says that the back cover acts like a grease-magnet. It starts getting grease spots after using it for a short 30 minutes. We also agree with TNW on the point that Kindle Voyage lacks the built-in speaker and microphone are essential parts of any premium e-book reader.
Finally, forget getting a free cover to save your costly e-book reader from the dust and grease, the price of $199 does not even include the basic charger, which has to be purchased separately at $15. A charger should be included in any electronics product, no question. Buying a separate cover will cost you $45 or $60, the screen protector comes at $30 and the 2 years warranty comes at $50.
In short, the Kindle Voyage, without the extended warranty, comes at $289 at least. For 3G, this basic price soars to a whopping $359. Talk about captive pricing.
Also note that while Kindle Voyage claims that the battery lasts for 6 weeks on a single charge, a simple calculation told me that the battery actually lasts for 21 hours while reading with a very dim light and also with Wi-Fi turned off. Expect a battery life of 15 hours with the Wi-Fi turned on.
Which leads us to these questions: Do we trust the brand of Amazon so much that we will wait for 10-11 weeks after its pre-order date? Are we impressed with the innovative page-turning solution so much that we will pay a least of $289 for this?
While haters will continue to hate, Amazon lovers will protest these claims and show their support for their favourite e-book reader. Only December will tell which side wins.