Kindle goes premium with $299 electronic book reader

Electronic book readers are great for people keen to take lots of books on the road, but while they’re getting brighter and thinner, they’re not always high grade, but Amazon is looking to change that with a new generation of Kindle.

And that new generation is called the “Voyage”, providing what Amazon says is its highest resolution and highest contrast eReader, with a front light that adapts to brightness around you, and a body that manages to be 7.6mm thin and features a magnesium back.


“Kindle Voyage was crafted to give readers the best possible reading experience,” said Neil Lindsay, Vice President of Kindle.

“They can pick from over three million eBooks in the Australian Kindle Store and download their favourite book in seconds, read for hours without eyestrain or glare, and even read in bright sunlight. With a battery life that’s measured in weeks, it’s the perfect reading companion.”

The Kindle Voyage eReader appears to be a little more premium than previous models, though some of its features are pretty normal for Kindle, with 4GB storage and WiFi built-in.

That being said, the screen is higher quality, with a 6 inch display showing 300 pixels per inch, close to that of the iPhone Retina screen and higher than that of the iPad Retina displays, with strengthened glass to stop scratches.


Interestingly, there is also an etching pattern on the glass to not only make sure you can read the Kindle Voyage in bright light, but also to give the feel of paper, so your brain — and hopefully your fingers — can’t tell the difference.

It’s also controlled al little differently, with “PagePress” a new force sensor found under the bezel allowing you to press the frame of the tablet when you want to turn the page, with a bit of haptic vibrating feedback to let you know the page is being turned.

A bit of customisation is also being brought in, with origami covers being used for the Voyage, not only serving as a case and protection for the tablet, but also able to be turned into a stand for the eReader, letting you rest the Kindle Voyage in either portrait or landscape for viewing without needing to be held.


Finally, there’s the battery life, and this is something Amazon measures in weeks rather than days or hours, with the Amazon Kindle Voyager netting close to five or six weeks from a single charge, provided you use it for half an hour of reading per day with wireless switched off. Since most people probably will leave wireless on and could read for closer to an hour per day, we’d say three to four weeks is likely before you need a charge, which isn’t bad, either.

Pricing for the Kindle Voyage comes in at $299, with Dick Smith getting the eReader first, though you should be able to find it in stores from May 1 if you’re interested.

UPDATE (July 14): …and here’s our review!