Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Voyage: Which one is best for you?

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Image courtesy of Youtube

If you’re looking for the best Kindle e-reader, your two choices are the Paperwhite and the Voyage. But which one is best for you? Here’s a quick point-by-point comparison that will help you decide.

SCREEN SIZE

Winner: Tie
Both e-readers have a 6-inch screen

OVERALL SIZE

Winner: Voyage
The dimensions of the Voyage are 6.4 x 4.5 x 0.30 compared to Paperwhite’s 6.7 x 4.6 x 0.36. The Voyage fits perfectly in the back pocket of my jeans.

WEIGHT

Winner: Voyage
With standard wi-fi only, Paperwhite weighs 7.2 ounces, whereas Voyage weighs 6.3 ounces. With the wi-fi + 3G combo, the Paperwhite’s weight increases by .4 and Voyage’s weight increases by .3. This means even with wi-fi + 3G, the Voyage is lighter than the Paperwhite with just wi-fi.

FEEL OF THE DEVICE 

Winner: Voyage

The biggest thing I disliked about the Paperwhite might seem petty, but it was a big deal to me.

Bottom of Paperwhite
Bottom of Paperwhite

The designers of the Paperwhite placed the USB port and the power button on the bottom of the device and flanged this area outward (see image). What I quickly discovered was that while reading with one hand, my finger naturally gravitated to this area of the Paperwhite to support it. The flanged-out area didn’t take long to start causing discomfort in my finger.

I could deal with the weird feel of the touch screen if I had to (see below), but the design feature on the bottom of the Paperwhite caused me more discomfort than I was willing to tolerate.

With the Voyage, however, there is no flange on the bottom of the device. Although the USB port still remains on the bottom, the power button is moved to the upper rear of the e-reader. Because of this there is no flange on the bottom which makes the Voyage much more comfortable to hold.

FEEL OF THE SCREEN

Winner: Voyage
One of the other things I didn’t like about the Paperwhite was the way the plastic touchscreen felt. I simply did not like the weird, unnatural feel of the Paperwhite’s screen.

Now, I’m not saying it gave me the same kind of creeped-out, goosebump-inducing feeling that chewing on a wadded ball of aluminum foil does, but it was close.

Voyage, on the other hand, has a glass screen like a tablet so it is smooth to run your fingers across without the hair standing up on the back of your neck.

Another screen feature that makes the Voyage a winner is, unlike all other e-readers, the screen on the Voyage has a flush bezel. This simply means the screen is not recessed below the surrounding frame. The glass surface continues to the edges of the device just like other glass screen devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad, etc.).

BATTERY TIME

Winner: Tie
Both devices last week’s on a single charge.

GLARE-FREE SCREENS

Winner: Tie
Both the Paperwhite and Voyage have screens that limit reflection (as do all Kindle e-readers).

RESOLUTION

Winner: Tie
Both e-readers boast 300 pixels per square inch.

DESIGN

Winner: Voyage
Its shape and design (coupled with its size and weight) makes the Voyage a sleek-looking e-reader that’s a delight to hold.

PAGE-TURNING OPTIONS

Winner: Voyage

Voyage's Page Press feature.
Voyage’s Page Press feature

Both readers have the touch screen and swipe screen ability to turn pages, but Voyage comes with an added feature that Paperwhite doesn’t have. Next to both sides of the reading area of the Voyage (just off the screen) are pressure points that turn the pages when pressure is applied to them. These are not buttons. The Page Press feature simply detects added pressure to these areas and turns the page forward or backward.

This feature is adjustable to low, medium, or high so you can decide how much pressure is necessary for it to recognize your desire to turn a page. So far I’ve kept mine on the lowest pressure setting and I’ve had no problems with accidental page turns.

The Page Press feature is especially nice when you’re eating hot wings and powdered donuts and you don’t want to smudge the reading portion of your screen.

VIBRATING FEEDBACK

Winner: Voyage
Voyage is the clear winner here as Paperwhite simply does not have this feature. But what exactly is it?

Each time you turn the page Voyage responds with haptic feedback in the form of a small inaudible buzz (vibration) to let you know the page has turned.

Some people like it, some people don’t. But the good thing is, you can adjust the haptic feedback (low, medium, high) or turn it off altogether if you choose.

PRICE

Winner: Paperwhite
I simply love my Voyage, but I do not love (or even remotely like) the price tag. I personally think the device is over priced for an e-reader, especially when you can buy most Kindle Fire tablets much cheaper.

As of February 2016, the price of a Paperwhite on Amazon.com starts at $120, whereas the current starting price of the Voyage is $200.

Author's Voyage standing upright with origami cover
Author’s Voyage standing upright with origami cover

Fortunately for me, I did some shopping around and, with a savvy last second eBay bid, was able to get my Voyage (without ads and with an Amazon origami cover) for less than the Amazon list price with ads and without a cover. I still paid more than I felt the device was worth, but now that I have it I am thoroughly happy with it and I foresee a long relationship between the two of us.

CONCLUSION
If you’re willing to spend the extra cash, once you get the Kindle Voyage in your hands it will immediately become your favorite e-reader as it did for me.

 

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