Amazon announced on Wednesday its most advanced e-reader yet — the Kindle Voyage, which it’s selling for $US199 — as well as a new touch-screen model that’s only $US79.
The Voyage is Amazon’s seventh-generation Kindle device and it has a thinner, more attractive design with glass that’s flush to the magnesium back. The screen higher resolution and better contrast, and the battery lasts longer than other Kindle readers longer battery life than its predecessors. There’s also a new way to turn the page in your ebooks.
You can now simply press lightly on either of the two sensor-strips on the side, which will vibrate a little to acknowledge that you turned the page. Amazon lets you adjust how hard you need to touch the sensors, and you can also turn off the vibration if you don’t like it.
Because Amazon improved its screen quality, you can read the Kindle Voyage even better outside or in the dark without eyestrain or glare.
It really did look great, even in the bright sunlight outside:
The Voyage comes with 3G connectivity, so you don’t have to connect to Wi-Fi to download new books, and its front light is 39% brighter than last year’s Kindle Paperwhite, which cost $US189 with 3G. The front light can also automatically adapt to the lighting around it, and when you’re reading in the dark it will slowly lower its brightness over time to match the way that your eyes get used to darkness.
To dive into specifics, the device is 7.6 mm thick and weighs 6.4 ounces, with 4 GB of memory (or about 3,000 books) and more than a week of battery life.
Amazon compares its thinness to that of a pencil:
The new $US79 Kindle has twice the storage of the last $US69 Kindle model (it’s also 4 GB), as well as a 20% faster processor, and a touch screen. However, the display doesn’t have a front light like the Voyage, so it doesn’t look as bright as the more expensive model.
Amazon’s trying to market this device to people who’ve never had an e-reader before and want a good, cheap, bare-bones device.
There are a few new features that come with all of the different models, including Family Library, which lets users access the books of family members for free. There’s also Word Wise, which will give simple definitions for difficult words, and Notable Clips, which will compile the most important parts of a book. This is handy if you’ve taken a break from a book because you can easily get caught back up. Amazon also improved its search function and its integration with Goodreads, where users can recommend books to their friends.
Both the Voyage and the new Kindle are available for preorder and will start shipping in October. Amazon also updated its Paperwhite model, giving it twice the amount of storage for the same price ($119 without 3G).
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.