Briefly, I would opt for the Paperwhite, also on sale now. It’s cheaper, and the upgrades on this model could be useful to some, but mostly gimmicks.
Newer models have only just received updates with water resistance, and audiobook capability. But still Micro USB, rather than a more future-thinking USB-C. For many times the price, they don’t offer a ton more.
Either this or the Paperwhite will do fine, but as I have detailed in the forum thread for that product, I would take it for the lower price, and similar capabilities.
Happy hunting, and reading!
I hugely disagree with almost everything you’ve said.
The 2013 Paperwhite (Paperwhite 2) has a screen density of 212ppi and 800MHz CPU. It is slower than every Kindle produced since its generation, even the basic non Paperwhite Kindles.
The Voyage has a screen density of 300ppi and a 1000MHz CPU. It uses the same CPU as every current generation Kindle except for the Oasis series. The screen density is the same as all modern Kindle Paperwhite+. It also has capacitive turn page buttons and is the last in the Paperwhite+ line that you can reasonably replace the battery on. Every Paperwhite/Oasis produced afterwards has traded water resistance for the ability to easily open the device. It’s also well known that the Voyage oddly has the sharpest screen out of all Kindles. If I compare my Oasis 2 vs my Voyage, it’s no comparison.
The Paperwhite 2 is great for trying out kindles, but will quickly leave you wanting for an upgrade for a screen that’s doesn’t have a lesser density than your smartphone. And it’s kind of slow. Once you figure out that, Amazon gives great trade in value for it towards a new one.
The Voyage continues to be relevant and is uniquely the only Paperwhite style Kindle with page turn buttons and the sharpest screen out of all Kindles. I will never sell or trade in my Voyage unless it breaks.
You forgot to mention dynamic lighting, which is why I’d pick it. Dark room it dims, if it’s bright, it’s bright. Also, at least for me, it fits in pants and shirts, unlike my Oasis. Heck of a deal.
Aha! Got me. I forgot that wasn’t a standard feature. I use my Oasis at home and the Voyage on the go for precisely the reason you mention.
I’m glad that you enjoy your Voyage, and that the upgrades are meaningful to you. Honestly, if it works well for you and you use it - that is ultimately the point.
Regarding your points of disagreement:
Screen changes are noticeable. The sharpness is admittedly there. But it’s not anything earth-shaking. At any distance beyond about 1.5 feet, the ppi change becomes less of an issue than the surface treatment, which is superb on the Voyage. However, for someone new to e-ink and e-readers in 2020, it likely won’t be that big of a deal at all. Similarly, the brightness is not necessary, and as many other Kindle owners and reviewers will agree, the adaptive screen brightness just didn’t work well for them. I found myself adjusting it as much on one model as the other in my limited use of a Voyage. But if you find it helpful, then that’s terrific.
With the platform performance, the processor downgrade (or upgrade, depending on which way you look at this) is honestly not huge. I have had both devices side-by-side, and that was the only time I noticed them being any different in responsiveness. They will always seem somewhat laggy due to e-ink’s characteristics. Once you get past the learning curve, the only thing that would then make the Voyage seem more responsive is the page turn buttons, which bypass any touchscreen response and processing. Again, to me that was a minor thing compared to near-constant accidental page turns. The processor may be decidedly last gen, but not bad for $30, and certainly not something that should be the crux of the decision to buy one or the other. The page turn buttons, or screen characteristics are contenders for that sort of choice.
And for $30-50, I don’t expect most people to be thrilled to both with changing their own battery. I would gladly do so, if I felt that my battery life were lacking after over five years of use, but it isn’t a problem for me. And for something this inexpensive, while it is a valid observation that one is more easily serviced by users, it won’t apply to a majority of people.
With respect, I understand your preference, and that’s great that you enjoy your Voyage. My main point was that I wouldn’t recommend that one. Some people may like it, and for others, saving 40% of the cost for a mere 20% reduction in CPU speed (and other trade-offs) is perhaps an easier way to rationalize buying into a proven and well-loved e-reader platform.