The primary difference between this model and the previous 2013 one is in the display — the latter's was 758 x 1,024-pixels (212dpi), vs this new model's 1,080 × 1,430-pixels (300dpi). Those extra pixels don't make for a huge increase in text sharpness, and they're most noticeable in places like image-rendering, or if you're partial to using teeny font sizes.
From the outside, the Paperwhites are actually fairly similar; both feel great to hold thanks to soft-touch plastic backs and sides, with edges that curve gently and almost organically.
It's not quite as grippy as the Kobo models, but it certainly looks sleeker. This third-gen model does double the onboard storage to 4GB total, although that was available on the 2013 model later in its life, too.
Like all the ereaders here, the Paperwhite's backlight gives off a soft aqua tone, although unlike the Voyage you'll have to manually set it — there's no auto-brightness option at this price.
You do get basically every Voyage software feature, however, including X-Ray, dictionary definitions, language translation, Wikipedia lookup, annotations, social media quote-sharing and parental controls — the last letting you basically turn off any web-browsing and disable purchasing from the Kindle Store.
We should also clarify that while the Kindle font and layout customisation options might not be as extensive as on Kobos, they're not exactly non-existent: you still get to choose from seven fonts (including the Kindle-exclusive Bookerly designed exclusively for e-readers), plus nine font sizes and three choices each for line-spacing and margin-width.
What all Kindles lack is support for library-lending in Australia, or the ability to read ebook files beyond Amazon's own formats (mobi and azw3) and PDF. That does limit the third-party stores you can buy ebooks from, which generally use the ePub format.
Still, at $190 the Wi-Fi version is a reasonable deal — although we'd steer clear of the $260 Wi-Fi+3G model. At that price, you might as well spend the extra $40 and get the better Kindle Voyage instead. On the other hand, there are still some 2013-model Paperwhites being cleared at $150 for the Wi-Fi version, which is a bit of a bargain.
- Read our Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review
Amazon Kindle Voyage
At three-times the price of the most basic Kindle, you'd be right to ask exactly what this model provides over its lesser siblings. The answer is a variety of decidedly neat (but also arguably inessential) upgrades that enhance the overall ereading experience.
Some of those are in the hardware: this is a small, thin and light device with a round power-button placed on the rear, and 'squeeze zones' on each side of the screen for easy page-turning from any position — all of which all help to make the Voyage very comfortable for one-handed use.
There's only one Voyage model in Australia, and it packs 4GB of storage as well as both Wi-Fi and 'worldwide' 3G connectivity. Like the latest Paperwhite, the 6-inch display here is an eInk Carta model at 300ppi (or 1,080 x 1,430), making individual pixels basically indistinguishable.
The Kindle's social/informational features include showing commonly-highlighted passages, plus the unique X-Ray, which will let you tap a character or term to be given a short, non-spoiler summary. It's a great feature for complex books and series', albeit one that's only available on selected titles.
Amazon seems to have been able to decrease the e-ink flickering issue markedly over the generations, and while it's still noticeable on the Voyage, the overall experience is generally less-flickery (and therefore a little easier on the eyes) than on Kobo. Text input is relatively swift and responsive here too — moreso than any other reader we've tested.
The downsides? There's no ability to adjust where the on-screen page-turning areas are, but you can swipe across the display from right to left or vice versa to flip pages forward and back. Squeeze-zone sensitivity can be adjusted or turned off as well, in case you find yourself accidentally turning pages while just holding the sides.