A blog about books and reading. How very original!

Kindle E-Readers

The Kindle E-Reader Family

kindle voyage e-readerFirst introduced in November of 2007, the Kindle reader quickly established itself as one of Amazon’s best selling products. Today, it has evolved and grown into a whole family of readers, any of which would be great for a book lover.

The range starts with the entry level Kindle, which offers you a great touch screen reader for just $79, and runs up to the top of the range Kindle Voyage with Wi-Fi plus 3G and no ads at a whopping $289. You can also get the Voyage, with Wi-Fi only and “Special Offers” for “just” $199.

The Paperwhite, at $119 for the Wi-Fi option with Special Offers, might be the “compromise choice” for many consumers. In fact, it’s an excellent reader in its own right and is well worth considering.

With such a large difference in price, it’s worth looking at the differences between the three readers before you make up your mind which one to choose. Here’s a quick summary of the main features of each one:

 entry level kindle readerkindle paperwhite readerKindle Voyage reader
KindleKindle PaperwhiteKindle Voyage
Screen Size6"6"6"
Glare free screenYesYesYes
Built-in lightNoYesYes
+ adaptive light sensor
Page TurnsTouchscreenTouchscreenTouchscreen + Pagepress
Resolution167 ppi212 ppi300 ppi
ConnectivityWi-Fi onlyWi-Fi only or
Wi-Fi + 3G
Wi-Fi only or
Wi-Fi + 3G
Battery Life**4 Weeks8 Weeks6 Weeks
StorageThousands of booksThousands of booksThousands of books
Weight6.7 ozWi-Fi only 7.3 oz
Wi-Fi+3G 7.6 oz
Wi-Fi only 6.3 oz
Wi-Fi+3G 6.6 oz
Dimensions6.7" x 4.7" x 0.4"6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36"6.4" x 4.5" x 0.3"

Entry Level Kindle

The entry level Kindle (strictly speaking, it’s just “the Kindle” per Amazon) offers you a touch screen e-reader starting at just $79.

It has 4GB of memory – which is enough to store around about 3,000 books. In the unlikely event that that isn’t sufficient for you, there’s free cloud storage on Amazon.

If you don’t plan reading in the dark, or if you’re happy enough to turn on a bedside reading light, this is a great reader at a great price.

Kindle Paperwhite

For a further $40 you can upgrade to the Paperwhite. The extra money gets you a higher resolution, 212 ppi for the Paperwhite versus vs 167 ppi for the entry level model, and a reading light.

The light shines onto the text. It’s not back-lit, so it’s much better for reading on than a standard computer screen.

It’s a little smaller than the entry level model, but it’s also a fraction heavier at 7.3 oz. instead of 6.7 oz. Some of that extra weight might be the battery – the Paperwhite will go for 8 weeks between charges instead of 4.

Kindle Voyage

Amazon’s new flagship reader is definitely the pick of the bunch. On the one hand, it’s definitely pricey for a dedicated e-reader – on the other, it’s much cheaper than the original Kindle – or even the Kindle 2.0 and 3 when they launched.

At the end of the day, the Voyage provides an awesome reading experience, and if you’re an avid reader, it may well be a very worthwhile investment.

The Voyage has its own lighted screen, again with the light projecting onto the text rather than from behind. The light is also “adaptive”. If you’re reading in a darkened room, the reader will sense that and adjust the light level to suit.

What’s more, as your eyes become used to the ambient light conditions, the Voyage will take account of that and reduce the light level slightly over time. Of course, if you wish, you can override this and set the light level to whatever you like.

The Voyage has a touch screen of course, but it also uses “PagePress” sensors in the bezel so that you can page forward and back using your thumb if you wish (that’s certainly my preference). A page turn also produces “haptic feedback”, in the form of a low level vibration.

The Voyage is very slim and light – it’s the thinnest Kindle to date. Even if you opt for the 3G model, it’s still lighter than the entry level Kindle.

Which Kindle To Choose?

These are all excellent readers, and any one of them will serve you very well. Personally speaking, although you may not think it one hundred percent necessary (and you may be right), I find the lit screen to be much more of an advantage than you might imagine if you haven’t tried one.

Once you have read on a lit reader, you will probably find it difficult to go back to an unlit screen. On that basis, I would recommend the Paperwhite or the Voyage.


And, if you read a lot, if it’s one of your most frequently enjoyed hobbies, then whilst the Voyage may sound just a little pricey, you will probably find that it’s worth every penny.

If reading is an occasional pleasure for you, them the Paperwhite may be a better choice.

In the end, which Kindle reader is best for you will depend upon your personal preferences and reading habits.

Leave a Comment