My Kindle, My Kindle, My Kindle and Me!
Anyone remember the My Buddy commercials?
This was me for the last 24 hours as I have been essentially inseparable from my new Kindle Voyage.
So, how do I like it? As if you couldn’t guess from my intro, here’s my detailed review for any of my wonderful readers who are considering this latest generation Kindle:
As usual, Amazon does a wonderful job with packaging. The voyage came in a beautiful black-matte box with a blue lining that is as stylish and compact as the device itself. When you dig into the package, you just know you’re unwrapping something special.
Then there’s the device. It is seriously so pretty.
The overall look is sleeker and more compact than the Paperwhite.
Attention to detail is evident in the sculpted back and the way the screen is flush with the edges instead of being recessed with a bevel that can accumulate dust. When backlighting is off, light reflects off the entire face of the Voyage evenly, as you can see in this image.
Fonts are crisper than with the Paperwhite. The display is brighter when lit.
Something new on the Voage: The adaptive lighting receptor, which adjusts the back-lighting of the display according to the ambient lighting. You can see in this image, the receptor is covered with a shiny finish that gives a nice, modern contrast to the matte finish of the rest of the device.
As for the display, the tool-bar-style menu at the top is the same, so Paperwhite users should be able to transition easily to the Voyage. There are a few additional options within the menus, but you’ll be able to keep your homepage looking the same as with the Paperwhite with a little tinkering (see Organization below).
The Voyage works a lot like the Paperwhite. The major difference in the controls is that you can now turn pages by pressing along the side in addition to the touch-screen page turn when you’re in a book and the swipe-style page turn when you’re navigating menus. You can even use the side-press page turn from either side to go forward or backwards in a book.
I’ve put my Voyage in a hot pink Origami case, and I love it. This is just one of the many cases you can get that’s tailor-made for the new Voyage.
Not only can I easily prop up my Voyage for hands-free reading, but the case is lighter and slimmer than the leather case I used for my Paperwhite, as you can see from the images.
It was much easier to install my Voyage in the Origami case than it was to install the Paperwhite in the leather case. With the Paperwhite, I had to wrestle the device into the leather protective case, and I worried I’d never be able to get it out again without damaging the device or the case. With the Origami case, the Voyage snaps in magnetically and is held there securely.
I do have a couple minor nitpicks about the Origami case. First, the standby/power button is on the back of the device. If the Origami case is in the open position, the button isn’t easy to reach to awaken the Voyage if it has fallen asleep.
Second, the Origami case is flimsier than the leather case for the Paperwhite. As you can see from this image, the case can get a little crooked. If protection of the device is more important to you than comfort when reading, you might consider a sturdier case.
Another thing I really like about the functionality of the Voyage is how easy it is to post reviews to Goodreads. While the response time of typing on the Voyage doesn’t seem much better than the Paperwhite, the accuracy seems better. I make fewer errors when trying to type out a note or review quickly.
Regarding response time, I often end up tapping a selection twice because I’m not sure it “took.” For example, when “checking” a book to put it in a category, I’ll tap a second time because it takes so long for the check to appear. Then the check appears then disappears a moment later. I have to tap a third time and wait patiently (not my thing), and lo and behold, the check appears about a second later. This is frustrating, but it’s no different from the Paperwhite.
It took some doing to figure out how to replicate the “view” I was used to on my Paperwhite home screen. I’m not sure if the collections work differently than they used to or if it was just a matter of me figuring out the right combination of views.
On the Voyage, there are two ways to organize the content of your home screen, and they can be used in any combination, making the options for viewing quite flexible. You can organize by type of item (options are: all items, books, collections, periodicals, and documents). You can also organize by filtering (options are: recent, title, author, collection).
On my Paperwhite, I liked to have my home page organized as follows:
- List vew (not cover view). This way, I can see more items per page, and less ads bombard me on the first page
- At the top of my home page are my collections. I use collections to group my books so I don’t have to scroll through 60 pages of titles. You can see some of my categories in this image.
- Below my list of collections I like to keep a list of all the books I’ve ever added to my kindle and not put in some category and not removed from my device. I use this list as my “action item” list. I needed to DO something with these books. For example, they might be books I’ve read and still need to review on You Gotta Read Reviews. They might be books I’m too eager to read to siphon off to the TBR category. They might be books I’ve read but haven’t yet added to a Goodreads shelf.
Figuring out how to replicate this system on the Voyage took some time. The help section in the user guide didn’t help me at all. It was more a matter of trying different things, panicking that I’d messed up my lists and categories, and trying again. I finally got it! Here’s how:
By choosing the list view, Viewing by book (type of item) and then filtering by category. These options show up on the home screen in either the list view or cover view beneath the toolbar, on the same line as the cloud | device option.
I’m still getting to know my Voyage. I can’t comment on battery life yet, for example. But I’m very pleased with my purchase and would recommend this device to anyone. Organizing content can be a little complicated, but for the most part, it operates just like Paperwhite users will expect.
Remember when budgeting that the price of the Voyage is just the starting point. Add at least $100 for an extended warranty (you want this) and a protective case.
Are you thinking about getting a Voyage, either for yourself or for someone on your Christmas list? What questions do you have? I’m happy to answer!