Amazon's refresh of its Kindle eBook readers this year seems like a massive leap forward for a technology that has surely been hit hard by the rise in tablets, not least the brand's own Fire devices. The Amazon Kindle Voyage is leading the way and if you thought it was just a Paperwhite by a different name, think again. It's possibly the best looking eBook reader we've ever used.
Pocket-lint was invited to Amazon's London head quarters to check out the Kindle Voyage (along with several of the other new devices) and even from a quick play ahead of its 4 November release date we can tell that it's easily the flagship reader in Amazon's collection, perhaps ever.
Many of the features will seem familiar, including a Paperwhite LED lighting system, but even that has had an overhaul this time around. It now features adapative light, which means it adjusts the brightness of the light on the screen depending on the ambient light in the location where you are reading. You can manually change it too and the automatic function will remember your setting to apply the same next time you are in similar surroundings.
There's also higher level of brightness available than ever before and thanks to the latest Carta e-paper display technology, contrast levels are excellent.
Perhaps the biggest aesthetic change though is the front of the Voyage itself. Instead of a plastic bezel, like on all other eBook readers we've ever come into contact with, the front of the Voyage is covered in one sheet of glass. It feels, therefore, much more like a tablet than an eBook reader, except with the benefit of a no glare screen that enables you to continue reading in direct sunlight as before.
It feels more classy and premium than other readers and is super thin. Indeed, at 180g, it is also as light as something could possibly be and still retain a luxury aura.
The sides of the bezel aren't just for show, they can be used to turn pages. There are two light bars either side of the 6-inch screen that when you lightly apply pressure with your thumb or finger, turn the page forward or back. You also feel a small haptic vibration when doing so to signify your applied the right amount of pressure.
Other great new features include Word Wise, a function that explains words in small above the text when tapped on. It helps children or readers where English isn't their first language quickly find out the definition of an awkward word.
Its also very quick to refresh the page, thanks to a beefier processor and refresh of the software, and the text is incredibly crisp.
Some might baulk at the £169 price point (for the Wi-Fi only model, £229 for the one with 3G too) but given the evidence so far, we think there's a gap in the market for an eBook reader with such premium aspirations.
Pocket-lint will be reviewing the Kindle Voyage fully in the coming weeks.