Amazon has put a lot into justifying the higher price tag. The Voyage is a solid device, made of magnesium rather than plastic, giving it a more polished feel. It has the highest-resolution screen of any Kindle to date, with a 300 ppi e-ink display that makes text darker and easier to read. It's frontlit, like the Kindle Paperwhite, but has a display that adjusts depending on the light around you, so you spend less time fussing around with the screen.
It also boasts new controls. The Kindle Voyage has a touchscreen that lets you swipe left and right to turn pages, but it also has pressure sensors on either side that let you squeeze lightly to turn pages forward by pushing on lines that -- in happy news for southpaws -- run down either side of the device. (To turn back, you can tap on dots above those lines, all within a thumb's reach.) It doesn't take a lot of pressure, and the Voyage will buzz slightly with every page turn to give you a little extra tactile feedback.
Reading this way does have a bit of a learning curve, but you get used to it quickly. Users also have the option to turn it off, if they'd prefer only to use the touchscreen.
The reader is Amazon's thinnest to date, at 76 mm and feels about as light as the Paperwhite or, if you prefer, a fairly thick paperback book. It's easy to hold for long stretches of time, and with its controls, you could use it one-handed on a crowded train or subway. The battery of a review unit provided to The Post drained at roughly the same rate as a Kindle Paperwhite; Amazon promises "weeks" of battery life, even with the display changes and buzzing features.
Software-wise, the reader boasts the same features that Amazon has put in the entire Kindle line, including expanded features to build vocabulary lists, the ability to translate certain texts into a variety of languages, and an estimate of how long it will take you to get to the next chapter. It also supports FreeTime, Amazon's parental control software.
Overall, the Kindle Voyage does the best job of any e-reader so far in duplicating the ease of reading an actual book, thanks to its crisp display and easy navigation. But it's undoubtedly a device best suited to voracious readers, who would rather spend their money on a dedicated device than a tablet that would also let them watch video, play games and surf the Web.
The Kindle Voyage is currently available for pre-order; Amazon's site promises the e-readers will begin arriving Tuesday (Amazon's chief executive Jeffrey Bezos owns The Washington Post).