Actually, I have 7 reviews; I am not excerpting the review posted by Re/Code because I'm not sure it's worth reading.
Update: I now have 10 reviews, not counting the review in the NYTimes, which I again feel is not worth reading. Most of the reviewers love the device but aren't really convinced that it is worth buying.
Is the Voyage worth $199? That depends. For an avid reader or someone who refuses to go digital because it's not book-like enough, this device could change their minds.
If you're a casual reader, though, there are excellent and far more affordable options from Amazon (the $119, 4G Paperwhite), the 6.2 ounce Barnes & Noble Glowlight and Kobo. Just remember that none of them bring it all together quite like the Kindle Voyage.
As much as I like the Kindle Voyage, I can’t in good conscience recommend it when the perfectly capable Paperwhite is $80 less. They’re both easy to hold and include a built-in backlight. Amazon needs to deliver a lot more than a slightly slicker e-reader if it wants to justify a $200 price (and an even heftier $269 for the 3G-equipped version).
If anything, the Kindle Voyage feels like a last gasp for Amazon. Rather than making the case for the high-end e-reader market, the Kindle Voyage ends up reminding us of just how endangered the entire e-reader category is.
Also, Amazon likes to brag that its Kindle devices are made to last, so if you already have the Paperwhite, which came out in 2012, it should still be working well. The new device is thinner and lighter with a better screen and a more convenient way to turn pages, but, at the end of the day, none of those changes are so revolutionary that you should ditch your old model if it still works fine.
f you’re an every day reader and can’t really remember the last time you left the house without a book — electronic or otherwise — in tow, the overall improved reading experience may be well worth the price of admission. This is, without question, the best Kindle ebook reader yet. Heck, between the improved specs and Amazon’s industry-best reading ecosystem, it’s the best devoted e-reader you can buy.
Casual readers, on the other hand, are better off waiting for the inevitable price drops, first when sales slow a bit and then when the company gets ready for a follow up. The waterproof Kindle can’t be that far off, right?
The Kindle Voyage is the Chromebook Pixel of e-readers. It’s undeniably great hardware, the best in its class and far superior to its older, cheaper cousins. Its screen is good; its backlight works exactly as advertised. It’s just that it’s almost twice as expensive as pretty good hardware that does most of the same stuff. It’s for True Believers for whom price is an afterthought rather than a deciding factor.
If that describes you, you’ll really like the Voyage. It’s attractive and understated, and it retains and improves upon all of the good stuff from other Kindles. It’s just that a dedicated e-reader at this price is the king of a very small hill.
If you have enough money that you simply want the best and don't care what it costs, get the Voyage. If you don't mind the occasional splurge, or want to get a gift that says I sprung for the nice one, get the Voyage. It is the best, full stop. Just keep in mind that best doesn't perfect; in the next few years we'll almost certainly see a Voyage that's much cheaper, or waterproof, or both. PagePress could use some refinement, as could the light sensor. Someday we might haveMirasol displays, or something like them, offering the option of full color. But that's then! This is now. I'd just recommend going with the Wi-Fi only version to save yourself some cash.
The Kindle Voyage is undoubtedly the best ereader Amazon has produced. Its display is superb, its backlighting clean and smart, and it ticks the most important box of them all: being comfortable to hold and read for extended periods.
You’ll pay handsomely for that, of course. The existing Kindle Paperwhite may be a little bulkier, a little heavier, have a lower resolution (212 ppi) display, and rely on manual control for its screen lighting, but it’s also $80 less than the Voyage. That’s a fair amount of money to spend on ebooks to fill the two models’ 4GB of storage.
After living with the Kindle Voyage for a full week, two undeniable truths become apparent. First, it's the best e-reader you can buy right now. Second, it's also the most expensive, and therein lies the rub. Who exactly does Amazon expect will pay $199 for one of these things? As far as I can tell, the folks in Seattle are gunning for people like me: persnickety purists who want as little compromise as possible.
Who should buy the Voyage, then? I’m not convinced that even avid ebook readers need it. If your vision is bad AND you read a lot of ebooks, having a better screen and crisper text could make a big difference for you. I’d probably upgrade in that case. Otherwise, I’d probably pass.
If you already feel meh about e-readers, the Voyage won’t change your mind and there is no need to shell out $200 to prove it. If the e-reader is an essential part of your reading life, however, you certainly can’t go wrong with an upgrade here; you’ll just have to decide if you’d rather spend the money on books instead.
Rating the Voyage at 9.1 out of 10, The Verge summed it up just so:
On the whole, Amazon accomplished its goal: it built a better platypus. This is the best E Ink e-reader I’ve used, and it’s unquestionably the best that Amazon has ever made. The thing is, it’s only marginally better than the fantastic Paperwhite in several ways, and significantly better in none. Amazon is also asking a lot of money for the Voyage — it starts at $199, while a 3G model without special offers runs $289. Not since the final days of the doomed Kindle DX has an Amazon e-reader brushed up against the $300 mark.