Kindle Voyager part of Amazon’s new line-up

September 20, 2014 12:22 PM

Amazon is firmly a technology company now. A class leader in commerce, Amazon has built their reputation by selling products, but what they desire right now is to sell you their products. The lack of success with the Fire Phone hasn’t dissuaded the company from launching new devices, in fact it seems to have given them extra impetus. Amazon have announced 5 new devices and they are all set to launch in October this year. The 5 include: yearly updates for the Fire HD and Fire HDX tablets, a Fire HD Kids Edition and two new kindle e-readers – the all new Kindle Voyager and an updated Kindle (the most basic model).


Introducing the Kindle Voyager

The biggest announcement is the Kindle Voyager, a premium e-reader with a premium price at $199. In their own words “Kindle Voyage features an all-new design, with a beautiful flush glass front and a magnesium back, so it is strong, thin, and light. At just 7.6 mm thin and weighing less than 6.4 ounces, Kindle Voyage is the thinnest device we’ve ever built, making it even easier to hold with one hand and read for hours.” The Kindle Voyager also features a 300 pixels-per-inch (ppi) display and PagePress, a new way to turn pages by pressing on the bezel of the Kindle Voyager. Interestingly, there is a new adaptive front light which automatically adjusts the brightness of the display based on the surrounding light, which would help when transitioning from indoors to outside or day to night. Somewhat amusingly, the Kindle Voyager longs to be an actual book, since the etching pattern on the glass also serves to match the feel of paper. Handily the Voyager is available with free 3G that Amazon provides.

Fret not if your a fan of the touch-based screen that came with the Kindle Paperwhite, since the updated version of the basic Kindle will now include a 20% faster processor, twice the storage, and a touch-based interface. With prices starting at $79 it is also a fair bit kinder to the wallet than the Kindle Voyager.

Moving on to the new tablets, Amazon has introduced a new Fire HDX 8.9″. At $379, it is still cheaper than rivals, Nexus 10 and iPad Air, yet packs a powerful 2.5 GHz Snapdragon 805 processor, a 339 ppi display, 4G LTE wireless enabled and is the first tablet to include Dolby Atmos, a loud and crisp audio system. In the press release Amazon also lauds the fact that the Fire HDX is 20% lighter than the iPad Air and also Dolby Atmos is twice as loud as Apple’s tablet.

Left to right: Fire HD 7", Fire HD 6", Fire HDX, Fire HD Kids Edition

Left to right: Fire HD 7″, Fire HD 6″, Fire HDX, Fire HD Kids Edition

The other two tablets Amazon has in store come October, are the Fire HD and the Fire HD Kids Edition. The Fire HD is being touted as the most powerful tablet under $100 and has taken a page out of Nokia’s book for budget devices by producing the Fire HD in 5 “fun” colours – black, white, cobalt, magenta and citron. The Fire HD Kids Edition, which as the name suggests, is intended for children, is surprisingly more expensive at $150. However, the price tag does include a useful 2 year guarantee, whereby Amazon will replace it “no questions asked”. Don’t be decieved by the gummy-type casing, the Kids Edition is a proper tablet and is essentially the same as the Fire HD. At it’s core are more stringent and customisable parental controls, an example being that a child would have read a book for 30 minutes before the videos and games would unlock.

Certainly Amazon’s new devices are incremental evolution rather than an outstanding revolution. With the launches of each of these devices all in the same month, there is a chance that Amazon could be undermined by self-competition. This launch indicates Amazon is willing to aggressively target the tablet market in the hope of recreating the dominance that they currently hold over e-reader devices. All devices are available to pre-order now; expect to see the Fire HD and the Kindle shipping on the 2nd October and the Kindle Voyager, Fire HDX and Fire HD Kids Edition on the 21st October.