New Kindle Voyage Offers Higher Resolution; But Will It Have Better Fonts?

Kindle voyageAmazon has announced a new Kindle, the Kindle Voyage (odd name…) that is due to ship in November. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) A bit smaller than the Kindle Paperwhite, this device boasts a higher screen resolution (300 ppi compared to 212 pip for the Paperwhite), and an adaptive light, so the screen light will vary according to your ambient lighting. There are also page-turn buttons in the device’s frame, on either side of the page, which provide haptic feedback.

This device is a bit lighter than the Paperwhite, but also more expensive: at $199, that’s a big step up from the $119 Paperwhite. (The difference is less here in the UK; the Paperwhite is £109, and the Voyage £169.) It’s not clear whether many people will pay $200 for an ebook reader, but I’m pretty sure that there are enough die-hard Kindle users who will welcome the new device.

One question I have is this: will it have better fonts? I’ve written about how I’d like to see more fonts, and sizes, on the Kindle and in Kindle apps, and seeing the company making a screen with a much better resolution makes me think that this will, for the most part, be wasted if they continue using the same clunky fonts.

We won’t know for a month or so, but I sincerely hope that Amazon makes e-reading a better experience through improved fonts. It’s one of the things I dislike about the Kindle; the fact that the fonts just aren’t very book-like.

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5 thoughts on “New Kindle Voyage Offers Higher Resolution; But Will It Have Better Fonts?

  1. No change in price for the Paperwhite? I have to assume that it will drop below $100 in time for Christmas.

    Higher-res is a Good Thing, but I don’t think that this $200 Kindle is going to sell well.. Considering the (too?) high price, the inability for consumers to see it themselves and compare the screen to the Paperwhite, consumer acceptance of the current-gen Kindles, and my doubt that there’s much more of a market for Kindles than already exists (especially with the advent of phablets and cheap tablets) I don’t see how the high-res Kindle is going to sell in really large numbers.

    • I am surprised at the price. But I think that there are still lots of people who want Kindles as read-only devices. For me, it’s the best device for reading ebooks; I prefer the lighting on the Paperwhite (and the Voyage is lit the same way) to a backlit device, such as an iPad. And I can read outdoors with a Kindle, which is painful with an iPad.

      Consumers can see it and compare; there are retail stores (at least here in the UK) that sell them. And, if you buy it from Amazon and don’t like it, you can just return it. I’ll probably get one, because I prefer that type of device. And, as I point out in another post today, the new Family Library feature will allow my partner and I to share books, which makes buying ebooks much more attractive.

  2. “I think that there are still lots of people who want Kindles as read-only devices.”

    No one is arguing against that.

    However with the wide availability of 5.5″ phones, even if the outdoor reading experience is inferior to a 6″ Kindle’s, *most people* would choose the phone over the Kindle just as they choose a phone over a watch or a camera. And cost-sensitive as most people are, most will choose a $79 or $99 Kindle (or $99 Kindle Fire) for themselves or as a gift over a $200 high-res Kindle. It’s just too expensive given the competition, and most people most days won’t want to carry a 2nd device. It will sell, but it surely won’t be any kind of blockbuster.

    There are hardly any stores in the US you can buy a Kindle, none I know of that carry the full range. Amazon’s retailer page (http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201265630) not only lists tiny shops I’ve never heard of (Nebraska Furniture Mart?), it lists *online* retailers and at least one company (J&R) that went bankrupt and closed its doors months ago. I very much doubt that any of the tiny list of retailers currently selling a limited stock of Kindles (at the very same price Amazon sells online, with free shipping, often without charging tax) will see much merit in stocking a $200 reader when they can far more easily sell a $79 one.

  3. Kirk, I agree with you about the oddly limited choices of fonts on the Paperwhite, even though I do love it. I’m hoping you are getting a Voyage so we can read your review.

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