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The question here isn't whether the Kindle Voyage is a good ereader. It is... in fact, it's an excellent one.
The issue is whether I can recommend you spend that much money on what is, really, a one-trick pony when others are cheaper or tablets so much richer in functionality.
How high a price are you willing to pay for the chance to gobble down books with your eyes?
The biggest win for Amazon here is the page turning buttons. Yes, they should be a little more tactile, but for sheer functionality I'm enamoured with them. This was highlighted to me when I dropped back to the old touch and instantly wished I could read one-handed for an entire journey.
The screen is sublime too. I don't think it's leaps and bounds ahead of the competition when it comes to sharpness (it is, but not instantly obvious) but the overall reading experience felt a lot slicker throughout my time with the Voyage.
The speed of the new ereader is strong, and the amount of options to play with to tweak the way you digest books is perfect. Amazon knows what it's doing here.
The real problem here is that the price is really rather high. If this replaced the Kindle Paperwhite at half the cost the Voyage is retailing at, I'd have suggested that all but the super-budget devices pack up and go home.
There's also the fact that the buttons don't always work under the finger (not very regularly, but having to reshuffle your hand to make sure the page turn happens correctly is annoying).
I'm torn here. The question of whether the Voyage is worth the money still perplexes me to some degree.
It's a lot of money. Yes. There's no doubting that. But the build quality, combined with the reading experience, tell me this is a premium product in the same way you can tell someone has a rather high salary when you slide into their Bentley.
Reading is a hobby, and as such you should consider this something to invest in. A smartphone is functional for a lot of people, a necessary evil even, but you buy an ereader because you want to carry a lot of books with you without needing a wheelbarrow.
And if you're investing in that experience, why not invest a little more? At least the model doesn't come with a contract, even if you spend the £229 / $289 for the Wi-Fi and 3G model, which I'd urge you to look at given it's a brilliant trick being able to get your latest newspaper or try out a book you've seen on a billboard while waiting at the station.
The reason the score isn't perfect is that I can't justify the price, as no matter how much you want it, that's still a hefty premium to pay.
So if you're considering this as a gift for a loved one, especially someone that's stuck using an old, battered Kindle, you'll delight them with the Voyage. It's the difference between a designer label and a budget buy - you don't logically need to spend the extra money as it's the same category of clothing, but when you try both on, you know which one impresses more.
The Kindle Voyage is a premium ereader that's designed for avid readers, those that know it will get a huge amount of use over the coming years.
If this is for a casual reading experience, go cheaper, but if you (or the inteneded giftee) loves the ebook experience, I'd recommend splashing out a little more if you can afford to. It'll be worth it... but you'll have to really love them.
Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.