Judge a Kindle by its cover
I recently gave away my Kindle Paperwhite to an elderly woman whose ancient Kindle’s keyboard died. In the course of replacing the Paperwhite, I tried the more expensive Voyage and Oasis.
I figured that since I use the Kindle daily, I’d invest in whatever I liked the most. I didn’t include the least expensive Kindle in my exploration, because it doesn’t have backlighting which is very helpful for reading in bed.
I’ve had good luck with refurbished products, so tried a refurbished Voyage. I didn’t like the page turning buttons at all. I found them difficult to use. I still could tap the screen, but I don’t need a Voyage to do that.
The materials are a bit nicer than those of the Paperwhite, but not remarkably so. I returned the Voyage within Amazon’s generous 30 day window.
It is pleasingly smaller than the others. I found it easy to hold with the cover on or off. It’s lighter, particularly without the cover, than the other Kindles.
Since the screens and reading experience on each of these are quite similar, I sought differentiators that would cause me to prefer one over the other.
I took price into account although it wasn’t a primary concern since I figure that across a nominal lifespan of two years, about 720 reading days, the difference in cost per day isn’t a lot.
The difference in size and weight doesn’t matter much to me. Any of them will fit in the pocket of my jeans or a “man purse.”
My hands are on the large side, so I’m able to hold any of them one handed without much effort. I experimented with the Oasis with and without cover, to see if I valued the size and weight without the cover. Turns out that didn’t matter to me.
The difference in materials wasn’t a meaningful differentiator. I have a slight aversion to the leather of the Oasis (not a beef eater).
I did value the buttons on the Oasis and, as mentioned above, did not like those on the Voyage. Touching the screen to turn pages (which can be done on any of these) works fine for me.
The biggest differentiator for me is the Origami case for the Paperwhite. The Origami lets you prop up the Kindle on a table or couch for hands-free reading. Amazon sells a leather one for about $60, which I find way too expensive given the cost of the Kindle itself.
I got a cheap Origami case from Fintie for $15 which works really well. Using the Kindle Paperwhite hands-free considerably increases my use and enjoyment.
There is an Origami cover available for the Voyage, but in my view, that significantly negates whatever weight and materials advantage the Voyage offers, and you’re left with the poorly functioning buttons to boot.
I didn’t find an Origami cover for the Oasis and given that part of the battery is in the cover, one wouldn’t want to use such a cover anyway. So I returned the Oasis to Amazon.
In summary, I think it’s better to evaluate Kindles along with covers.
After testing the available Kindles, with price not being a big concern, I found the Paperwhite with Fintie Origami cover best meets my needs.
When I bought these two, the aggregate cost was about $100. At this writing, you can get a refurbished Paperwhite and the Fintie Origami case for about $115.