Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Amazon's Latest Kindle Oasis Is Cheaper Than Its Predecessor

Above Kindle Oasis Aluminium rear Image Credit Paul Sawers  VentureBeat Above Kindle Oasis Aluminium rear Image Credit Paul Sawers VentureBeat
Theresa Hayes | 11 October, 2017, 17:21

Ten years ago next month, Amazon got into the digital-book business by introducing its first Kindle e-reader.

The story doesn't end there, because the new Oasis adds one of the features that was missing from the original and that's adaptive illumination.

The new Oasis retains the same general ergonomics as the last model: there's a big, asymmetrical bezel on one side, complete with dedicated page-turning buttons, and a large hump accompanying it around the back.

It's the first water-resistant Kindle. Last year's Oasis relied on an electroplated metal alloy over a standard plastic case.

The device, which weighs 194 grams (0.4lbs) can be pre-ordered now and will ship on 31 October.

Whereas the previous version of the Kindle Oasis cost $290 and had 4GB of storage, the newer version will cost $250 and have 8 GB of storage. Still, the new model is by far the sturdiest Kindle I've ever held, thanks to its metal case.

Amazon may well be focusing on the smart home and Alexa integration with its hardware, but by releasing a new Kindle today it is also, for now at least, committed to upgrading a device that is coming up to being 10 years old. Amazon says it can withstand up to two meters of water for 60 minutes. It no longer has a little connector on the back - instead it has an all-aluminium rear and a promise of around six weeks of power via the built-in battery.

The battery is now totally self-contained, rather than being split between Kindle and case. That omission is likely what led to the price drop, which seems like a better deal in the long run. The colour Fire tablets have had Audible support since day one. Indeed, the device keeps track of where you have reached in a book, so that if you have purchased a title in both written and audio formats you can switch between the two without losing your place in the narrative. You do, of course, get existing Kindle features such as X-Ray, Whispersync and Goodreads. It's a 300 ppi panel, 30-percent larger than the old model, which Amazon says adds up to fewer page turns. There are also new font options. You can make the display invert black and white, giving it a black background and white text. It makes the overall reader bigger though, and it's a lot less pocketable. The original Kindle Oasis was most definitely targeted at the well-heeled reader, starting at $359.99.

I didn't have much time to demo the new Oasis, but it's certainly intriguing. While Kobo is now into its second generation of bath-proof devices, Amazon has only just introduced the feature - and then it's only the latest, pricey flagship Kindle Oasis that benefits. Amazon says the Kindle (2016) and past Oasis will get this update as well; the popular Kindle Paperwhite will not, since it doesn't support Bluetooth.