Why you can trust ZDNet
Our recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product through our links. This helps support our work but does not influence what we write about or the price you pay. Our editors thoroughly review and fact check every article. Our process

‘ZDNet Recommends’ What exactly does that mean?

ZDNet’s recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of YOU, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form


Amazon Kindle Voyage: Great screen, but pricey for an e-reader

  • Editors' rating
    Not yet rated
  • $199.00

Amazon has had huge success with its Kindle e-readers, the introduction of screen lighting to the 2012 Kindle Paperwhite being a big step forward. Having lived with every UK-available Kindle over the years, as well as with many other e-readers, the Paperwhite became my personal favourite.

The new Kindle Voyage is considerably more expensive than the Paperwhite -- if you go for the wi-fi-plus-3G Voyage, it's nearly four times the price of the entry-level E-Ink Kindle. Indeed, at £229 (inc. VAT) with wi-fi and 3G, it's arguably way too expensive for a device that basically lets you read books.


The Kindle Voyage's key new feature is its high-resolution 300ppi E-Ink Carta screen.

Image: Amazon

Amazon sent me the £169 (inc. VAT) wi-fi-only Kindle Voyage, but I assume the mobile broadband works as efficiently as it does in my current Kindle Paperwhite, which I have never had cause to complain about.

The physical design has been refined so that the Kindle Voyage is smaller and considerably lighter than the Paperwhite:

Kindle Paperwhite / 169 x 117 9.1 mm / 206g (wi-fi), 215g (wi-fi+3G)
Kindle Voyage / 162 x 115 x 7.6 mm / 180g (wi-fi), 188g (wi-fi+3G)

The look and feel at the back ties the Voyage in with Amazon's Fire HDX tablets. It doesn't appeal to me as much as the flat design of the Paperwhite, but it's not really an issue -- after all, how often do you look at the back of your e-reader?

Top ZDNET Reviews

That said, you might have to examine the back more than you'd like, in order to find the power button, which is on the right-hand side -- relocated from its more traditional place on the bottom edge next to the Micro-USB 2.0 charging port. It is recessed, and so can be found by touch alone, but it's still not the best location.

Easy on the eye

Updates to existing features abound. The E-Ink Carta screen is six inches across the diagonal, as in the Paperwhite and the older non-screenlit Kindle, but its resolution is vastly improved from the Paperwhite's 768 by 1,024 pixels (212ppi) to a much more generous 1,080 by 1,430 pixels (300ppi). This has a massive impact on the readability of text, which appears clear, crisp and very easy on the eye.

With the front-lighting at its maximum intensity, the screen's background is closer than ever to the white of a printed page. Both of these factors make reading a more natural experience. A sensor automatically adjusts the light to the ambient lighting conditions, and can even be set to gradually reduce the screen brightness over time as your eyes adjust. This works, although I still found myself making manual adjustments.

Amazon says you should get up to six weeks' use from the battery, based on half an hour's use per day with wireless off and the light setting at 10 -- which is just over a third of its maximum intensity. Although this is less than the eight weeks Amazon claims for the Paperwhite, I never got close to running out of battery life -- even though I may read for an hour or more a day. It's no problem to plug in any available Micro-USB 2.0 charging cable for a quick power boost.

Touch-screen & PagePress

The screen, which sits flush to the bezel, is touch-sensitive and I found this made it easier to make accidental taps than on the Paperwhite, whose slightly indented screen forms a tactile barrier -- for me at least.


The Kindle Voyage has pressure-sensitive page-turn strips in the left and right bezels.

Image: Amazon

You need to touch the screen to access a lot of the functions, but there are also pressure-sensitive page-turn strips to its left and right. I found these worked well if I left a finger resting on the strip and applied pressure when a page turn was needed. However, I don't always hold my Kindle with a digit in the right place, and the system, which Amazon calls PagePress, feels a bit like a throwback to older mechanical page-turn buttons; the lines that denote the pressure-sensitive areas also disturb the clean look of the bezel. There's haptic feedback too, which I found intrusive. Thankfully you can disable this feedback, set the pressure level required and even disable the whole system.

PagePress will please some people and irritate others, but overall the Amazon Voyage is mightily impressive from a technical standpoint. You're unlikely to overstep the 4GB of internal storage, but if you do then the Kindle cloud storage service is available to take up the slack.

The problem, really, is whether people will be prepared to pay quite such a hefty price for the features on offer. The Kindle Paperwhite might not be as easy to read, or have the advanced lighting features, but it's fit for purpose and the new features in the Voyage aren't revolutionary. As well as comparing the cost of the Paperwhite, consider that Google's Nexus 7, soon to get Android Lollipop, will cost you £239; or if you're strapped for cash there are options like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite 7.0 at around £125 and the Asus MeMO Pad 7 at around £120.


Resolution (300 ppi)
Touchscreen Yes
Technology Paperwhite
Diagonal Size 6 in
Diagonal Size (metric) 15.2 cm
Output Type monochrome
Pixel Density (ppi) 300
Color Category black
Pricing Type with Special Offers
Manufacturer Warranty
Service & Support Limited warranty - 1 year
Storage 4 GB
Wireless Protocol 802.11b/g/n
Security Protocols & Features WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPS
Wireless Connectivity IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n
EBook Reader
Supported Text Formats AZW, AZW3, DOC, DOCX, HTML, MOBI, PDF, PRC (Mobipocket), TXT
Supported Still Image Formats BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG
Features Free 3G
Touchscreen yes
Run Time (Up To) 1.5 month(s)
Recharge Time 3 hour(s)
Input Device
Type touchscreen
Brand Amazon
Product Line Amazon Kindle
Model Voyage
Packaged Quantity 1
Expansion and Connectivity
Interfaces 1 x USB
Platform Other
Handheld Type eBook reader
Flash Memory
Installed Size 4 GB
Interface Provided
Interface USB
Qty 1
Cable Details
Type USB charge cable
Service & Support
Type 1 year warranty
Dimensions & Weight
Width 4.5 in
Depth 0.3 in
Height 6.4 in
Weight 6.35 oz
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Full Contract Period 1 year
Show Comments