Amid the usual hysteria surrounding Apple’s latest slate of multifunctional products—the iPad Air 2, the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6—tech writers are collectively lauding a single-task device that’s not from Apple but from Amazon: the new Kindle Voyage e-reader.
The Voyage, Amazon’s successor to the Paperwhite e-reader, will hit shelves tomorrow in the US and Nov. 4 in the UK. It marks the seventh generation in Amazon’s Kindle e-reader series (as distinct from its tablet line, Kindle Fire) and, at $199, the most expensive one since the second-generation Kindle in 2009.
Here’s a roundup of some of the Voyage reviews from across the web:
- The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo fell in love with the device’s crystal-clear resolution: “If you look at the new Kindle for any stretch of time, you don’t just forget that you’re reading an e-book; you forget that you’re using any kind of electronic device at all.”
- Engadget gave it a 94/100 and liked the new PagePress feature, which comes close to mimicking the feeling of turning a real page.
- Re/code, on the other hand, wasn’t as big on the PagePress, but praised the design of the Origami cover.
- The Verge said it’s the best e-reader available, but recommends you go with the cheaper Paperwhite if you’re on a budget, since most of the Voyage’s improvements are minor.
- Another review from The Verge written a month ago was more complimentary, applauding the device’s success in emulating the experience of reading an actual book.
- Gizmodo praised the e-reader’s execution and responsiveness: “If the point of a Kindle is to take away all other distractions so that you can just read, the Voyage is the pinnacle of that process to date…And when you do want to do non-reading things, or more probably supplementary things like taking notes or highlighting, you’ll be able to get them done faster thanks to the Voyage’s responsiveness.”
- Ars Technica argued that, because of its price, it may have little appeal outside of full-on bookworms.
- Wired, like many of the others, says it’s the best product of its kind currently available and gave it a 9/10, the highest score it ever gives out.
The one drawback noted by all tech reviewers was the Voyage’s steep price. At $199, it’s even more expensive than some tablet computers. Another common gripe—the Voyage isn’t waterproof. Waterfi currently makes a waterproof version of the Paperwhite and could, possibly, make one for the Voyage as well. But shouldn’t that really be Amazon’s job?