It looks like Amazon still feels there’s life left in the dedicated e-reader market, so much so that people will be willing to plunk down $200 for one. At least they hope. Yes, the newly released Voyage is pricey for a device that only lets you read books in black and white, but I’m sold.
I bought the first version of the Kindle Paperwhite a couple years ago and I wanted so much to like it. The promise of a backlit screen that would make the display more “white” and easier to read in low lighting was a real draw. But I was really disappointed with the unevenness of the light emanating from the bottom of the device.
Take a gander for yourself…
Like they say on Shark Tank, “For that reason… I’m out!”
No, it’s not horrible in the there-are-starving-children-in-Africa sense, but I just could not get used to the ripples of light. I finally threw in the towel and returned to my cheap, no light Kindle, the one I can throw around and take to the beach without worry.
But I didn’t give up totally. When the new Kindle Voyage was announced last month, I was ready to give it another try.
It turns out there’s a lot to like…
- They’ve mastered the on-board light giving it a nearly realistic paper-like appearance!
- The light can be set up to automatically adjust according to the ambient room lighting.
- The texture of the screen is less gritty than the earlier Paperwhite. The surface is smooth, yet non-reflective.
- The textured, rubberized back feels “less rubbery” than previous versions (if that makes any sense).
- The power switch has been moved from the bottom to the back. That may sound like a minor point, but it’s now less cumbersome to turn on and off.
- The ability to turn pages with touch sensitive buttons on the left and right has been added. There’s no longer a need to touch the reading area.
- Reading in daylight, even direct sunlight, is remarkable!
- The “Kindle” logo at the bottom is a more muted color.
- There is no longer a raised, beveled edge, making the screen flat across the entire device.
- All you can do with it is READ! That’s right, kids, you won’t be distracted by apps, notifications, and other blinky, buzzy nonsense. Get lost in the world of reading!
Yes, it does carry a hefty price tag. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a market for a higher-priced e-reader when there’s a whole range of smaller, full-functioning tablets available for far less than the Voyage.
But I think Amazon has a winner on its hands, and I’m glad they’re still betting on the dedicated e-reader market.