Amazon’s Kindles get a little better every year, but if you already own an older model, there just hasn’t been much incentive to upgrade. Unlike tablets, which upsell you with high resolution screens and other glitzy upgrades, an e-reader from four years ago can still do a bang-up job.
Yet ever since the Kindle went all-in on the touchscreen, first with the Touch in 2011, and then with the Paperwhite in 2012, Amazon’s world-class e-reader has been lacking one of the features that made the original versions with built-in physical keyboards supremely easy to use. The lack of dedicated page-turning buttons in newer models, at least in this author’s estimation, was kind of a nuisance; especially if you like to read single-handed.
Enter the $200 Kindle Voyage, announced today. Sharp, high-resolution e-ink screens and backlighting, blah blah blah. Fine. But the Voyage allows users to slightly “pinch” the plastic bezel ever so slightly in order to turn a page, or go to a previous one.
Amazon calls this new feature “PagePress,” which uses haptic feedback–basically a gentle “buzz” communicating to you that the page has turned–to mimic the feel of an old-school button press on previous Kindles. Only it does so, remarkably, without interrupting the attractive unibody design of the Voyage. (You can also turn pages using the touchscreen if you so desire.)
It’s a small and arguably unnecessary improvement. But if you enjoyed the tactile page-turning abilities of the older keyboarded Kindles, the new Voyage might just be worth taking a look at.