Amazon on Wednesday launched an overhauled version of the Kindle Oasis e-reader. Compared to the previous version, which was launched in early 2016, the updated model has several new features and tweaks, but the most important change is that the new Oasis is waterproof.
The new Kindle Oasis e-reader, which is priced at $249.99, is being claimed as the “most advanced Kindle e-reader ever.” The 32GB model is available for $280, while the ad-free models cost $270 and $300, respectively. There is also cellular connectivity 32GB model costing $350. Last year’s Kindle Oasis started at $290 for a 4GB version.
Amazon’s next-gen e-reader comes with an IPX8 rating, means it can hold 5 feet of water for 30 minutes. Amazon claims the waterproofing, unlike most water-resistant devices, will hold in both salt and freshwater. The online retailer gave no details on how it applied waterproofing to the Kindle, but the company is advising users to keep the Kindle upright if submerged as the USB port is still open.
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Amazon’s new 7-inch (compared to 6-inch before) Kindle Oasis e-reader features a 300 pixel-per-inch density, which according to the online retailer accommodates 30% more words per page. The glass, according to the company, is also stronger. The new Oasis has a sleeker body and sports an aluminum back, giving it premium feel than Kindles with soft-touch plastic, notes The Verge.
Further, the internal hardware has also been made better to allow faster page turns. On one side, the Kindle Oasis has a larger bezel accompanied by page turn buttons, allowing easier handling. Further, the screen when rotated, automatically adjusts to the user’s orientation. “The ergonomic design shifts the center of gravity to your palm, to rest in your hand like the spine of a book. Easily turn the page with either the touch display or dedicated page turn buttons,” read the description of the new Oasis.
In addition, the new Kindle Oasis e-reader comes with more LED backlights, making the screen brighter than before. Further, thanks to the ambient light sensor, the screen would be able to dim itself automatically. Another major change is the support for Audible audio books, though a user will still need to purchase ebooks and audio books separately. Support for audio books also justifies the 8GB of storage standard (twice as much as before), notes Gizmodo.
Welcome change has also been made to the battery, which is now a single on-board battery compared to the split one in the old Oasis. According to Amazon, the battery will last upto six weeks on full charge (two weeks less from the last Oasis). The charging port, however, is still microUSB, but the company claims fast charging will get it fully juiced up in just two hours. The awkward looking battery bump on the back is still there.
Amazon’s new Oasis will replace the last year’s Oasis, leaving four Kindle e-reader in the lineup: Kindle Voyage ($200), the Kindle Paperwhite ($120), the original Kindle ($80), and the lastly the new Oasis -reader. The new devices, which are now available for pre-order, will ship by the end of the month.