Kindle Voyage Review

In the next episode of Bad Voltage, I review the new Kindle Voyage. I typically post the review text after an episode comes out, but this time I’m going to post it ahead of time. Why? Well, during the show myself and the rest of the Bad Voltage team discuss the review and after reading this I hope you’re interested enough to listen in when the show comes out this Thursday. In the mean time, you can listen to the latest episode (where we discuss systemd, ChromeOS and more) here: Everything is Orange

Kindle Voyage

While not necessarily a voracious reader, I am someone who enjoys reading regularly. For a long time, I strongly preferred print books to reading on a screen. The Kindle changed that. While some may not mind reading entire books on a tablet or screen, for me the e-ink display makes all the difference. For reference, the Kindle Voyage is my third Kindle replacing the Kindle Keyboard 3G (2011), which in turn replaced the original OG Kindle (2008). So, how does it compare?

First, let me get a couple boring specs out of the way. This is the thinnest Kindle ever made. At just 7.6mm it’s actually thinner than a Samsung Galaxy S5. Its 16-level gray scale 300 ppi display sits flush with the bezel and delivers twice as many pixels as the previous generation Paperwhite, which my esteemed college Jono reviewed in episode 18. It has an adaptive front light which automatically adjusts to your environment, comes with 4GB of storage and a single charge lasts for over a month of average usage.

With that out of the way, let’s get to actually using the device. First, let me say that the Amazon frustration free packaging is absolutely top shelf. Every time I get an electronic device in Gordian Knot packaging, I wonder why some companies treat their customers with such disdain. I’m going to guess you aren’t going to purchase a device based solely on its packaging, however. The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up the Kindle Voyage is that it’s very well constructed. The magnesium alloy unibody is light, durable and has an attractive design. It also feels significantly better in your hands than the more recent Kindle iterations. You can tell Amazon has put real engineering work into making this feel not only like a solid product, but having it be reminiscent of holding an actual book. The touch UI is a vast improvement over the last model I was using and is surprisingly intuitive, with specific regions on the device dedicated to specific functionality. For example you can turn pages by simply tapping the right or left side of the capacitive touchscreen. For those of you who prefer a more tactile approach, you can use the ‘PagePress’ system, which consist of two pressure-sensitive sensors positioned on either side of the screen bezel and result in some haptic feedback being added to your page turns. The footnote and dictionary functionally are both vastly improved and wikipedia integration has been added. A previous annoyance, there is finally no ghosting or lag when turning pages. Most importantly, the screen really is best in class; it’s a joy to read on and graphics are much improved.

So, what’s the Bad Voltage verdict? At $199 the Kindle Voyage may be a little pricey for those people who are not regular readers or have the most recent Paperwhite. That said, in my opinion it’s the best e-reader on the planet. If you’re a regular reader, it’s a Voyage that’s well worth the trip.

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 28: Everything is Orange

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself present Bad Voltage, in which we celebrate our completed first year of the show by not actually doing anything celebratory. We also discuss:

  • Debian agreed to ship systemd as default and now people are talking about forking the whole distribution. The question is: at what point is it right to fork a distro? (2.45)
  • Bryan reviews ChromeOS on the Chromebook Pixel and explains how someone who doesn’t like requiring an internet connection deals with a laptop which does (16.27)
  • Wrong in 60 Seconds: the first of a new regular feature where one of us steps onto the soapbox for one minute. For this inaugural Wrong in 60 Seconds, Stuart talks about choice (32.58)
  • We speak to Guy Martin, senior open source strategist in Samsung’s open source group, about what open source means to Samsung and what it’s like influencing things inside such a huge organisation (34.32)
  • Technology is increasingly being used to help connect people after recent or alert you of upcoming natural disasters or extreme weather conditions. We look at the existing approaches and suggest some new ones. (50.59)

Listen to 1×28: Everything is Orange

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 27: Buffalo Wild Wings Dollars

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge, and myself present Bad Voltage, in which there is only one. We also discuss:

  • Would it be bad if the open source desktop fails to go mainstream? Is not wanting large public success just elitism? Or is this the year that we pronounce it isn’t and never will be “the year of the Linux desktop”, and is that a terrible thing? (3.14)
  • We review the Canon HF-R500 digital camcorder (27.10)
  • Why do film and TV scripts get technology wrong when it would be just as easy to get it right? Should we be amused or annoyed by technobabble? (39.45)
  • Should programming be part of a school curriculum, not to program specifically but to teach skills of logically constructing an argument and meta-skills of thinking “how to think”? (50.58)

Listen to 1×27: Buffalo Wild Wings Dollars

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 25: On a Stick With No Fripperies

Bryan Lunduke, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge and myself present Bad Voltage, in which we discuss the wonderful products of the Jimmy Dean sausage empire, have unexpected bouts of poetry, lunch each other with frippery, and also discuss:

  • The final installment of the Bad Voltage Reverso Debate, which, due to a tie in the last installment, results in an awkward three-way. Jeremy and Jono are donating to Charity:Water as a result, and we are looking to raise $1500 from the Bad Voltage community to help – go and donate! (2.30)
  • Stuart reviews the EZCast and evaluates whether he can use it to rock the conference circuit on his phone (21.58)
  • We crown the winner of the Bad Voltage Mashed Voltage competition who wins a piece of tat from each member of the team. Go and listen to all the entries (33.27)
  • We cover work/life balance and discuss where the burden of responsibility is between the employer and employee in ensuring people have the balance right (39.32)

Listen to 1×25: On a Stick With No Fripperies

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 24: Bunch of Sockpuppets

From the Bad Voltage site:

Myself, Bryan “the Cheater” Lunduke, Jono Bacon, and Stuart Langridge present Bad Voltage, in which we discuss operating systems, magnanimity in defeat, cheating, mendacious donations to charity, fingerprints being rubbish, how to kiss a Red Hat engineer, and:

  • The “reverso” debate: Jeremy and Jono debate whether projects should have a publicly visible figurehead or if that does harm to the project, but (and this is the key point) argue for the position opposite to what they actually believe. You can (and should) vote for who you think was the winner, by going to the poll topic and choosing in the poll! (2.48)
  • We review the Samsung Galaxy S5 phone running Android, and diverge into the nature of phones and way to choose (20.56)
  • Karsten Wade, CentOS engineering manager at Red Hat, talks about the recent partnership between Red Hat and CentOS and why it happened (36.25)
  • Is it possible to create a political party which runs like an open source project? Run as a meritocracy? (54.12)
  • Lots of stuff going on in the Bad Voltage community: we have a round-up (61.12)

Listen to 1×24: Bunch of Sockpuppets

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Bad Voltage Season 1 Episode 22: Oval Ted Bag

From the Bad Voltage site:

We return to our normal places around the globe and continue to bring you tasty things for your ears. Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, myself and an inexcusable absence of Bryan Lunduke think up a new competition involving things in our houses, and also discuss:

  • Where’s our free culture revolution? Lawrence Lessig predicted a world filled with remix culture and set up the Creative Commons, but little to none of it has actually changed the way people think. Or has it? (2.25)
  • Graham Morrison of Linux Voice answers some of the questions from our discussion in the previous show about their magazine, their process, and why the December issue comes out in June (17.45)
  • Mashed Voltage: we start a new competition. Read about it on the forum and listen to it on the show, and enter before September 10th to celebrate remix culture (36.48)
  • Jono reviews the Samsung Gear Live smartwatch and the team watch, smartly (40.25)
  • Open source projects sometimes decide that they’ll build their own hardware. When they try, they fail. Why? What motivates the decision to do it in the first place? (54.22)

Listen to 1×22: Oval Ted Bag

As mentioned here, Bad Voltage is a new project I’m proud to be a part of. From the Bad Voltage site: Every two weeks Bad Voltage delivers an amusing take on technology, Open Source, politics, music, and anything else we think is interesting, as well as interviews and reviews. Do note that Bad Voltage is in no way related to LinuxQuestions.org, and unlike LQ it will be decidedly NSFW. That said, head over to the Bad Voltage website, take a listen and let us know what you think.

–jeremy

Android Version and Device Stats for LQ Native App II

Now that the native LQ android app is in the 5-10,000 download range, I thought I’d post an update to this previous post on the topic of Android version and device stats. See this post if you’re interested in browser and OS stats for the main LQ site.

Platform Version
Android 4.4 29.54%
Android 4.1 20.42%
Android 4.0.3-4.0.4 13.59%
Android 4.2 12.49%
Android 2.3.3-2.3.7 11.70%
Android 4.3 9.27%
Android 2.2 1.96%

 

Device
Google Nexus 7 (grouper) 6.13%
Samsung Galaxy S3 (m0) 3.53%
Google Nexus 5 2.75%
Samsung Galaxy S2 2.28%
Samsung Galaxy S3 2.20%
Google Nexus 7 (flo) 2.12%
Samsung Galaxy S4 1.81%
Google Nexus 4 1.73%
Samsung Galaxy Tab2 1.49%

So, how has Android fragmentation changed since my original post in February of 2012? At first blush it may appear that it’s actually more fragmented from a device version perspective. Previously, the top two versions accounted for over 70% of all installs, while now that number is just 50%. That’s misleading though, as almost 90% of all installs are now on a 4.x variant. This clustering around a much more polished version of Android, along with the fact that Google has broken so much functionality out into Google Play Services, means that from a developers perspective things are significantly better than they were during the time-frame of my previous post. I will admit I’m surprised by the age of the top devices, but they may be specific to the LQ crowd (and it’s no surprise to me to see the Nexus 5 as the second most popular phone).

–jeremy

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