Kindle Oasis: Amazon's thinnest, lightest, priciest ebook reader

By David Flynn , April 14 2016
Kindle Oasis: Amazon's thinnest, lightest, priciest ebook reader

Amazon's new Kindle Oasis ebook reader is predictably smaller, lighter and with longer battery life.

More of a surprise, though, is that battery life now stretches from weeks to months – and the price tag seems to have grown accordingly, hitting a solid $449.

That's a lot of money for an ebook reader – but then, the Oasis is a lot of Kindle.

Amazon proudly trumpets that the Oasis is 30% thinner and at 131 grams more than 20% lighter than any other Kindle, and it's not as if anybody was complaining those ebook readers were too big and too heavy in the first place.

The overall design also changes from the Kindle's traditional cut.

You still get that crisp 6 inch (15.3cm) touchscreen of the Kindle Paperwhite making for a relaxing reading experience, even when sitting in a darkened business class cabin during an overnight flight.

(And being a front-lit screen makes it a doddle to read ebooks on the Oasis in bright sunlight – try doing that with the backlit display of your average tablet.)

The display area itself is a razor-thin 3.4mm because the electronics and battery are housed in a thicker portion of the chassis offset to the right...

... which also mimics the spine of a hardback book in the way your hand grips it for balance.

Pages are turned by tapping the touchscreen or the physical buttons on the side of the screen. The Oasis detects if you're using your left or right hand on the screen, automatically rotating the page (and buttons) accordingly.

And that camel-like battery life? While the Oasis' inbuilt battery tuns for two weeks, the device comes with a removable high-capacity 'charging cover' which will recharge that battery when it runs low – and keep recharging it again and again for up to seven weeks in toto.

End result: you could go for two months without hooking the Oasis into an AC or USB power socket.

And when you do, fast-charge technology will see 10 minutes of juice add an extra hour to the recharge capacity.

The cover itself is made of high-quality leather with a magnetic closure and wakes the Oasis once opened. The way it wraps snug around the Oasis not only protects the screen but makes the device look somewhat like a real book.

As always, books can be bought and downloaded directly from the Amazon store over any handy WiFi network – and that's your only option, as the Kindles still don't recognise the popular ePub format sold by most online bookstores and used by most other eBook readers and tablets.

The Kindle Oasis tops the rest of Amazon's ebook family, which begins with the basic but still excellent value $109 Kindle; hits mid-ground with the popular and sharp-screened $179 Kindle Paperwhite; then parks in at the $299 mark with the high-res high-contrast Kindle Voyage.

The Kindle Oasis should see Aussie release by early May and is available for pre-order at www.amazon.com.au/kindleoasis.

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Reading books is not my thing, but even if it was I wouldn't spend that much on an ugly ebook reader.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Aug 2014

Total posts 213

Is it that ugly? I think it's fairly inoffensive to look at; just a small black handheld e-reader?

The price might seem high (I won't be buying this new one, as I already own a Kindle), but consider this:

For the rest of the time you own that Kindle, you have free mobile data connectivity to the Amazon Store... Any country in the world, and it's free. No need to buy a SIM or connect it to a WiFi hotspot; Amazon pays for the cost of your mobile data usage!

That means when you're sitting in an airport, or on a beach, or the passenger of a car trip, you can get online and either buy an Amazon title, or download one of the hundreds-of-thousands of classic books whose copyright has expired and is now available for free. Plus you'll never, ever have to lug clunky books around again...

If do you enjoy reading, it's a worthy investment. I don't travel without my Kindle.

P.S. You should read more, it's a great easy habit to pick up. Jump in bed and smash out a chapter before you hit the lights. It's good for ya :-)

QFF

06 Nov 2012

Total posts 47

I agree with almost everything Jay says. One exception is that not all Kindles have the free 3G connection, and many / most rely on wifi. 

One thing I love about e-readers is that two or more readers can share a book simultaneously, no need for one to finish then physically pass it on. The converse is that you can only share it with people on your own Amazon account.

For a traveller the e-reader is a godsend. You can have hundreds of titles in a device not much bigger than a phone. It makes a big difference if you're an avid reader.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 748

Love my Kindle, there is nothing better to take with you when travelling.

I still buy via Amazon but also use ePub format books and convert via Calibre.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2405

Reeves35: how do you find the fidelity when converting from ePub to the Kindle format in terms of characters, spacing, pagination and such?

kko
kko

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 5

I have a 2010 Kindle DX. Woudln't mind upgrading to a newer model if they made one with a larger screen

Mal
Mal

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 360

I tried the DX but found it too large to be practical for holding, I love the 'standard' size Kindles and use mine a lot so I can see why the new Oasis should feel better-balanced when holding it for extended periods.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Nov 2014

Total posts 24

I still have my Kindle classic with the physical keyboard and it has been around the World several times. The new model is tempting but the price is equivalent to a tablet.

Now that charging points are common on aircraft and in lounges there is no real advantage in the long battery life of the Kindle so now I take just a tablet with a Kindle app and get phone, internet access and Kindle reader in the one device.


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