Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2013 full review

Do you need to spend the extra £60 for the Kindle Voyage, or is the Kindle Paperwhite enough for you? This Amazon Kindle Voyage vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite comparison will help you decide. See also: Best eReader 2014

Amazon's new Kindle Voyage is a high-end eReader aimed at bookworms looking for the best digital reading experience. It has the best Kindle screen yet, as well as an impressive backlight, super-thin design and pressure sensitive buttons, but all that comes at a price of £169.

But do you really need all of those features, or will the £109 Kindle Paperwhite be enough for you? We explore in our Kindle Voyage vs Kindle Paperwhite comparison. See also: Kindle Voyage vs Fire HD 7 vs Fire HD 6

Kindle Voyage vs Kindle Paperwhite: Price & availability

The Kindle Voyage is a whopping £169, which is much more pricey than many of the other Kindles on offer, including the Paperwhite. The Paperwhite is £109 (and it's been known to go on sale for £99 or less), so represents a saving of at least £60.

However, the Kindle Voyage is Amazon's high-end Kindle offering designed for serious bookworms, with everything you could want from an eReader, including a brilliant battery life, a high-res screen and unobtrusive pressure sensor control.

There's also a WiFi + 3G model of the Kindle Voyage available for £229 which gets you free-for-life 3G to allow you to download new books wherever you are. The Paperwhite gets a free-for-life 3G, too, available for £169.

Kindle Voyage vs Kindle Paperwhite: Design

Amazon Kindle Voyage back

The Kindle Voyage (above) is the thinnest Kindle Amazon has made so far, at just 7.6mm thick. It measures 162x115x7.6mm, which makes it a bit smaller and slimmer overall than the Paperwhite's 169mmx117mmx9.1mm. Plus, it's a bit lighter at 188g compared with 215g.

Both Kindles are lighter than your average paperback and virtually effortless to hold for long periods, so we don't think you'll be disappointed with the weight, size and thickness of either of these eReaders.

Kindle Voyage vs Kindle Paperwhite: Screen

What sets the Kindle Voyage apart from its rivals and from the other Kindles in Amazon's line-up is its screen, which is the highest resolution of any Kindle eReader. It crams in 1440x1080 pixels into its 6in micro-etched glass display, which equates to a pixel density of 300ppi.

That means you'll get laser-sharp text, and we found it to be noticeably sharper than the Kindle Paperwhite's 1024x768 (213ppi) 6in E-Ink display.

In addition to the impressive resolution of the Kindle Voyage, Amazon has also introduced edge-to-edge glass, doing away with the thick, raised bezels that are found on previous Kindles including the Paperwhite. The Kindle Voyage brings eReaders one step closer to tablets, but retains the focused purpose of reading, and is still monotone like the Paperwhite and most other eReaders.

The screen of both the Voyage and the Paperwhite is enhanced significantly by a backlight, which can be adjusted to the perfect level whether you're indoors or outdoors. The Paperwhite misses out on the ambient light sensor found in the Voyage, though, which automatically sets the backlight for you.

Another clever feature of the Kindle Voyage that the Paperwhite lacks is Night Light, which works with the Auto Brightness feature to gradually reduce the screen brightness over time as your eyes adjust to the dark.

Kindle Voyage vs Kindle Paperwhite: Hardware, specs & features

PagePress is a new feature found in the Kindle Voyage that involves the use of touch-sensitive buttons either side of the screen. It's helpful for one-handed use, as it allows you to press the long line to go forwards a page and the dot to go back. The sensitivity of these buttons can be customised, as can the level of haptic feedback that you get when you press the buttons.

Of course, you can also tap or swipe the screen to turn pages, too, which is the sole method of page turning on the Kindle Paperwhite.

The Kindle Voyage has a speedy processor that makes a big difference with super-fast page turns and excellent responsiveness ideal for navigating menus or typing.

The Paperwhite, while still faster than some other Kindles and eReaders, isn't quite as speedy as the Voyage, but you shouldn't experience too much lag.

The Kindle Voyage has 4GB of memory, which will allow you to store thousands of books. The Paperwhite has half the storage, at 2GB, and with no microSD card (there isn't one on the Voyage, either) there's no increasing that storage space. You'll still be able to fit hundreds of books on the Kindle Paperwhite, though, which should be enough for most.

When it comes to battery life, the Kindle Voyage won't last quite as long as the Paperwhite. Amazon says you'll get up to six weeks of battery life out of the Voyage if you read for 30 minutes per day, turn WiFi off and set the backlight to level 10. The Paperwhite should last for two months of 30 minute per day reading time with the backlight at 40 per cent.

Kindle Voyage vs Kindle Paperwhite: Verdict

Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Voyage

The new Kindle Voyage is an impressive tablet that book-lovers will be impressed by, but for the more casual reader the Paperwhite, at £60 less, is a perfectly appealing option that will still do its job brilliantly. We love the added extras that the Kindle Voyage provides, but it's really down to personal preference whether those features such as the improved, ambient backlight and the higher resolution screen are worth the bumped up price tag. 


Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2013: Specs

  • Display: 6" E Ink XGA screen with 768x1024 resolution
  • 16 level greyscale, two-point touch
  • Light: Built-in front-light LEDs
  • Storage: 2GB (1.3GB available for books)
  • Buttons: Power on/off
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and micro USB
  • Dimensions: 117 x 169 x 9.1 mm
  • Weight: 206g
  • Battery: 8-week battery life (Wi-Fi off and light at level 10)

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