Amazon has driven most of the competition out of the e-reader market because the Seattle company can afford to sell their hardware as cheap as possible, knowing they can make it up with e-book sales. You can purchase an entry level Kindle for $79 or the Paperwhite 3 for $139. Last year, Amazon released the Kindle Voyage, which is a premium e-reader and it carries a hefty price tag of $199. Customers bought the Voyage in such high numbers that this is prompting Amazon to develop a successor that will be released this November.
The Amazon Kindle Voyage 2 will redefine what an e-reader is capable of in a myriad of ways. It will utilize the new Freescale I.MX 7 1 GHZ dual core processor which will dramatically increase the overall performance. This chipset has been optimized with e Ink Regal and the end product will be true refresh free page turns.
Whenever you turn a page in an e-book you will notice a small, but discernible flicker. Every six pages it even becomes more pronounced and it breaks immersion. This will be a thing of the past with the advent of the Kindle Voyage 2.
How does Amazon plan on doing it, where all others have failed? In the past, all e-readers handled everything on the software level, which limited them on the things they could do. Now things are quite different, the i.MX7 adds a Cortex-M4 microcontroller unit core for offloading processing. This will give Amazon the power to basically send all strenuous tasks directly to the processor and there will also be some added benefits.
Have you ever wondered why the Kindle app for Android or iOS feels better than their e-reader? Whenever you flip a page you see a complex page turn animation that occurs. This animation technology will finally be coming to the Kindle Voyage 2, which will blur the lines between an e-reader and a tablet. There is no word yet if specific UI elements such as the battery symbol or the brightness setting will be animated too, but it does make sense that they would. Please keep in mind, all of these new elements will not drain the battery, actually I heard it will actually increase the life of a charge by 30%.
Amazon has proved there is a segment of people willing to spend $200 dollars for a premium e-reader. If its well designed, offers high resolution and a great e-book experience, people will pay the money. The second generation model will ascetically look the same, including Page Press and the ambient light sensor. What I am most excited about is the increased performance in all aspects of the software. PDF files will load quicker, GoodReads discussions will be live, and the overall e-reading experience will be more fluid.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.