Kindle Voyage first-impressions mini-review
After figuring out a way to get it shipped quickly (goo.gl/BrPc8t
), I received the Wifi-only Kindle Voyage last night. Here are my first impressions:Pros:
- Smallest and lightest kindle ever. At 180 grams, I don't think arm strain will ever be a concern. Easily fits in the back pocket of my jeans or the side pocket of my jacket.
- If you like e-ink—and I do—then this is as good as you've ever seen, and it can be read comfortably for as long as you'd be able to read a paper book.
- It's an Amazon Kindle, so the book selection and book prices are as good as anywhere, and they've pretty much nailed the multi-device shopping and reading experience (web, kindle, android and ios apps).
- Whispersync, which now also works to sync your place between text Kindle books and Audible audiobooks, is better than anything else. It just works.
- Screen redraws are now fast to the point that changing pages feels immediate, unless you're flipping through many at a time.
- Battery life. Of course I barely drained at all it in the last 12 hours of use, but it's safe to say this Kindle will be as good as all the ones before.
- It arrives signed-in and ready to go. I love that.Mixed:
- I honestly expected more of the 300 DPI screen. I feel like I can still see rough edges around the fonts. Not that the e-ink screen was ever bad in that respect, I'm just surprised it's not more of an upgrade.
- The blotchiness of the Paperwhite's backlighting is gone, but it's replaced by just a bit of a gradual and inconsistent gradient. Better, but not perfect.
- I don't think Caecilia is really that nice a font.
- The new tactile buttons are fantastic if you are holding it in exactly the right way (with your thumb pads over the full button, fingers curled around the back) but inconsistent at best in any other position. I'm sure I'll get used to it, though.
- No color screen. I realize there will almost certainly never
be a color e-ink screen, but I switched back to the Kindle app on my Nexus 7 for a while last night because I was reading a technical book that didn't work well in greyscale. This is a non-issue for most books, though.
- I find 90% of the extra features—the dictionary, highlighting, etc—to be marginal at best on the e-ink capacitive touchscreen because of crazy high latency, inconsistent hit targets, and (obviously) glacial framerates. I use those often on the Nexus 7 Kindle App, though, so they're not bad features, just less useful here.Cons:
- The "Getting Started" guide is unforgivable. Unbelievably long. And unskippable. It happens after you sign in, too, so it already knows I've been using a Kindle since the first one ever made. I got it, thanks.
- Auto-light-leveling isn't what I hoped for. So far it's never felt right, either while reading in bed, or reading at the table at breakfast, but it's not quite bad enough to go in and disable it. Maybe this can be patched?
If you already have a Paperwhite, I don't necessarily think it's worth the upgrade. If you don't have a Kindle yet and want an e-ink device, maybe get a Paperwhite instead at half the price. I plan to keep using the Voyage daily rather than sell it and go back, though. While it's the best e-ink e-reader ever made, I perhaps had higher expectations which weren't quite met.