Books are great, but they are heavy and takes too much space. Avid book readers literally have a room full of books, and Amazon saw this as a problem that presents a great opportunity.
They tried to fix this by releasing the world’s first eBook reader. They envisioned that this will change how people perceive and read books, and they wanted to provide more people with their own library of books – all contained inside a device as small as a mass-market paperback book.
In 2007, the world saw the first-ever eBook reader – the Amazon Kindle. It was just called that when it was released, but since then, Kindle has now branched out to different variations that are marketed to suit different needs. Whether you are a total bookworm, a casual reader or just reads books on occasions, there’s definitely a Kindle device that suits you!
Amazon not only does a great job of manufacturing the best e-readers for their customers, but they are also pricing it so competitively. Kindle devices, oftentimes, undercut smaller players in the market, forcing them to offer seemingly more expensive devices or remove some features to match the price range of Kindle devices.
There was even a report published in 2015 that reported Amazon selling their e-readers at a loss, in exchange for grabbing a higher share of the market in the eBook industry.
This strategy has paid-off really well for Amazon because up to this day, their dominance in this market is still unparalleled. Although there are notable competitors to Kindle, consumers are still looking at and comparing different Kindle variations against each other to see which one is perfect for their reading habits. Some of these devices may look similar but are actually offering different features that set it out from other Kindle versions.
Having the world’s largest selection of books is another factor that contributed to the dominance of Amazon’s Kindle in the e-reader market. They have capitalized on this and even made it easier for non-mainstream writers to publish their own eBooks and make it available to consumers who are using a Kindle device. This further capitulated their dominance and solidified their share of the eBook and e-reader market.
All of these factors made Kindle synonymous with the word e-reader. However, it can be daunting to find the right one for you. If you are out, looking for a guide that can help you decide which is perfect for your reading habits, then this Kindle Voyage vs Kindle Paperwhite comparison is the best resource for you.
We will do an in-depth analysis of all the features that make these devices stand out and compare them with each other to help you make a more educated decision.
Table of Contets
- 1 Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Voyage: Comparison
Standout Features of the Kindle Paperwhite
Amazon has transformed the way people consumed books; from holding the actual book to just reading a book from a device and now, audiobooks are also available and made more popular by another Amazon company – Audible.
Paperwhite is one of the first e-readers that support audiobooks. Unlike other devices that can only support eBooks, Paperwhite also allows you to store your audiobooks, making books even more accessible and pleasurable for consumers.
The screen of the Paperwhite is made from a special plastic touchscreen, which makes it a lot cheaper to produce than most e-readers. This is the part where consumers have contrasting opinions. Some prefer the same toughened glass used in the Voyage’s screen because Paperwhite’s screen can be scratched easily. However, there is also an added benefit to a plastic screen because it can take a drop without worrying about damaging it.
Kindle Paperwhite has made some design compromises to make it a lot cheaper than Voyage, and honestly, these are what we can call smart compromises. They removed some unessential features and implemented design elements that do not affect the reading experience, such as plastic body, 3G connectivity, and smaller storage. To give you an idea about the importance of storage in e-reader devices, 1gb of storage is enough to hold 1,000 books!
Standout Features of the Kindle Voyage
The Kindle Voyage was released in 2014 and has not been updated since. However, due to the features that it offers, a lot of people are still choosing it over other Kindle variants and is still available on Amazon through 3rd-party resellers! This only proves that Voyage is really an amazing device and it still competes well with newly released e-readers.
The flush screen of the Voyage adds a more premium feel to this device and it is really nice to touch. It is made of glass, so it offers better resistance from scratch as compared to Paperwhite. Another standout screen feature of this e-reader is the ability to automatically adapt the screen’s brightness according to the surrounding light.
It seamlessly adjusts to the lighting that you will not even notice it. You just know that you can read the texts clearly, whether you are reading indoor or outdoor.
Kindle Voyage features a haptic button they call PagePress, which allows you to navigate through the book with one hand. It also has a more compact and tactile design when compared with Paperwhite, and if we add the storage capacity which is twice as much as Paperwhite has, it’s not so hard to understand why this is a more preferred option for a lot of consumers.
Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Voyage: Comparison
1. Overall Design Comparison
Before we discuss the design features of both devices, let’s make one thing clear; the Paperwhite is not an upgrade to the Voyage. A lot of consumers have this impression since they are the closest when it comes to the price point, but that’s as close as they get. Both devices have very different design elements, features, and functionality.
Paperwhite and Voyage are both thin and lightweight. The Voyage is thinner and lighter with a thickness of only 7.6mm and weighs only 180 grams. The Paperwhite, on the other hand, has a thickness of 9.1mm and weighs 205 grams. These differences are not that much, and you will only notice it when you put them side-by-side.
The materials used for both e-reader also have interesting differences. Voyage utilizes more premium magnesium back covering with glass screen, while the Paperwhite uses plastic material all over the device, including the screen. According to Amazon, this plastic screen makes the texts look sharper and the foreground more balanced, even to the naked eye.
As for the overall design, both e-readers look identical. The back, however, is where the biggest difference between these two, in terms of design, can be found. Voyage has a more premium look with soft edges and angled back panel that is nice to touch, while the Paperwhite has more of a utilitarian feel with its rounded edges and flat back panel.
The Voyage, hands down wins in terms of the overall design. In fact, a lot of people consider it the best-designed e-reader in the market. The only part of the design where Paperwhite is better is its durability. The Voyage may look sleeker and definitely feels more premium, but it’s also quite delicate, so you have to be more careful when using it.
Amazon has tried different approaches when it comes to navigating through their devices and while reading eBooks. The earlier versions of the Kindle even have physical keyboards, then actual physical navigation buttons and were soon turned to touchscreen navigation.
The Voyage is the first attempt of Amazon to reintroduce the physical navigation buttons, which was how a consumer would interact with earlier Kindle versions. The only difference with Voyage is that instead of actual physical buttons that take up unnecessary space, they used haptic feedback that sends vibration with each action that a user performs around the bezels.
PagePress, as Amazon would call this feature, sounds odd at first and it feels unnatural even after a couple of hours using it. Since it looks and feels like an actual part of the bezel, you can’t be sure how hard you have to press these buttons to respond. Although Kindle has a setting to adjust the sensitivity of the PagePress, to suit your preferences, it still took us some time to get used to it.
Another reason that adds to the confusing navigation of the Voyage is that it also features full touchscreen navigation capability. It’s not really hard to use and after some time of using it, PagePress really feels and works as a physical button should but there is a bit of a learning curve to this feature.
Paperwhite on the other hand only utilizes the touchscreen navigation function. There’s really nothing wrong when it comes to turning page using a touchscreen, but after getting used to PagePress, it is a much easier way to navigate with one hand as compared to navigating through a device with a touchscreen.
3. Display Comparison
The reason why book readers prefer e-readers instead of just using a tablet or their phone to read eBooks is that e-readers are optimized for just reading books. There are no notifications, it functions works and functions well even on airplane mode, and most importantly offers great eye-comfort and does not differ from reading an actual book.
The great thing about Kindle devices is they are using e-ink and e-paper, which means that these devices are designed in such a way that your reading experience will be almost identical to the experience of reading an actual book. Both the Voyager and Paperwhite are also using anti-glare technology which lets you read books even under direct sunlight.
For the resolution of the display, Voyage has a 300 PPI while the Paperwhite only has 212 PPI. Aside from this, the Voyager also displays blacker blacks and whiter whites, which makes it more superior than the Paperwhite in terms of the display.
When looking at texts from both devices separately, you know that they are very sharp and easy to read. When you put them side-by-side, however, you will see the difference and the Voyager displays crisper texts.
The resolution and display of the Kindle Voyager are so good that a lot of consumers say it can even compete with the more premium e-readers. Even with the later iterations of Paperwhite that had an upgrade of 300 PPI, the difference between the quality is still evident.
When it comes to taking out your Kindle for outdoor reading, the Voyage also does a great job with its adaptive lighting functionality, which instantaneously adapts to the surrounding environment. What this means is that whether you are reading in a dark room or under direct sunlight, the Kindle Voyage will automatically adjust its brightness to make sure that you can read the texts clearly. This adaptive light is not present in Kindle Paperwhite, although it is possible to adjust the screen brightness manually.
The major feature that Paperwhite has, which the Voyage doesn’t, is the inverted mode. This is a feature that lets you read the book with a black background and white texts, which works well when you prefer reading in a dark room. This will reduce eye strain, and is really a nice feature, considering that Kindle devices do not have the capability to adjust the screen temperature.
All of these things considered doesn’t mean that Paperwhite’s display is inferior to the Voyage. In fact, the Voyage is the one and only Kindle device that utilized toughened glass on the screen display, which contributed to a much pleasurable overall reading experience.
4. Storage & Connectivity Comparison
Just for the eBooks alone, 1gb of storage is enough to hold at least 1,000 titles and that is more than what an average person will ever read in his lifetime.
That’s why the storage feature is not as important as what other people think it is. 2gb to 8gb is the norm when it comes to e-readers and anything above that is probably optimized for storing audiobooks. Using low storage helps the manufacturers to keep the cost of production low, and in turn, make it available to consumers at a lower price point.
However, as audiobooks grow in popularity, year after year, manufacturers are now installing larger storage capabilities for these devices to adapt to the growing need of e-readers to have more capacity. As for the Paperwhite, the initial storage space is at 2gb and the later iterations now come with 4gb, which is the same as the storage capacity of the Voyage.
4gb of storage for Voyage is too much, considering the fact that it does not have the support for audiobooks, but it is crucial for Paperwhite. Some users of the Kindle Paperwhite may be forced to put some of their books into the cloud for later consumption, due to seemingly low storage capacity for a device that supports audiobooks.
The same goes for the connectivity features for e-readers. Of course, it is nice to have 4G connectivity for your devices, but the sizes of eBooks are so small that you won’t even notice the difference between 3G and 4G connection. Downloads will be so fast every time, even with 3G connection, and this also helps keep the cost of these devices low. Both the Voyage and Paperwhite has 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity built-in.
5. Battery Life Comparison
Reading is an activity that a person will, most likely, spend hours on. So it is very important that the battery for these devices will last long. The battery for the Voyage and Paperwhite is the same – they both last for at least 1260 minutes if you keep reading at 10% brightness.
Of course, this can be affected by several factors such as the environment where you are spending most of your time reading. Increasing the brightness will definitely take more power and effectively reducing the lifespan of one full charge on these devices.
Voyage, may well, in fact, have shorter battery life due to its adaptive light feature. So you have to keep this in mind when tracking the battery usage for these devices. However, the way Amazon has built these devices is impressive, considering that these devices are two of the very few e-readers that can go above 1,000 minutes of continuous reading.
6. Pricing & Title Selection Comparison
Now that we have covered every feature that you may want to consider when looking for an e-reader, we can say that Voyage is a far better device than the Paperwhite, in almost every category. This is understandable considering that Amazon has implemented a lot of new design techniques for the Voyage. It is also leaning towards the field of premium e-reader, costing just a bit shy of $200 when it was first introduced.
With the options that are available today for an e-reader, that is a stiff price to pay for all the features that it can offer. The difference in performance, display, and features between Voyage and Paperwhite are not as noticeable as you might think, which makes it an even match for both devices.
When it comes to title selections, they utilize the very rich selection of books from Amazon. They hold the largest collection of titles for books, and this margin was further improved by Amazon’s publishing platform that allowed non-mainstream writers to publish their own books with ease.
The only difference between the two devices come in the form of audiobooks. If you are one of the consumers who prefer audiobooks over eBooks, then Paperwhite is the better option for you. Voyage never had any kind of support for audiobooks, which is understandable, considering that it was released when audiobooks were still in its early stages.
Amazon started as the world’s largest online store for books and has grown to very diverse businesses, but it keeps its foot from where it started and continues to bring new innovations to books. They are getting bigger every year with no signs of stopping. Rest assured that these Kindle devices will let you enjoy the vast network of Amazon and its selection of eBooks.
Voyage is no doubt a better device between the two, but in fairness to Paperwhite, given its very low price point, it has rivaled the Voyage very well, and it’s not easy to compete with, arguably, the best Kindle to ever be released. The only issue that Voyage has right now is that Amazon has stopped releasing iterations for this device since 2014. Although you can still get it from retailers, the future of the Voyage is still yet to be seen.
So, should you go for the newer Kindle Paperwhite and settle for the impressive performance that it offers? Or go with the more feature-rich Voyage and shell out more money for it? E-readers are made for the sole purpose of reading books, and if both devices can give you the same experience, then the reason for paying a premium to do the same activity is greatly reduced.
In all honesty, the difference between the two is so small that the cheaper Paperwhite offers a better deal. You don’t really stare into the texts while reading just to see if they are crisp and sharp. The difference will only be noticeable if you bring both devices together and compare their performances side by side.
In reality, do you do that with your books? Do you look at the texts to see which font was used or how good the print was? Paperwhite is a very good design and priced nicely that you can have access to the wide range of books that Amazon is offering without breaking the bank. However, we are not in any position to tell you which one to buy, so it still depends on you and this comparison between Kindle Paperwhite and Voyage only serves as your reference to help you make a more educated decision.