The eighth-generation Kindle is here and it improves on every category — it’s slimmer, lighter, and more vivid. But those upgrades come at a hefty cost, as the Kindle Oasis is one of the most expensive ebook readers to date.
The six-inch Kindle Oasis looks more squarish than its predecessors, but Amazon has extended a side of the bezel and added a bump to make the ebook reader easier to hold — and to cause it to resemble the spine of a hardcover book. It offers a touchscreen experience with added page-turn buttons, but unfortunately, even with the name Oasis, the new Kindle isn’t waterproof.
It’s surprising considering the Kindle’s competitor, Barnes & Noble’s latest Nook, offers a waterproof experience.
There’s a built-in accelerometer in the device, which means the Oasis will recognize if you’re holding the eReader with your left or right hand, and will automatically rotate the page and match the page-turn buttons.
It’s not apparent if the new Kindle performs any differently, but it does have more LEDs to ensure a brighter reading experience. It still maintains the same 300 pixels per inch as the Kindle Voyage and the Kindle Paperwhite 2015 edition.
But apart from the design and brighter LEDs, the biggest change is with the battery, which lasts two weeks on a single charge, a significant step down from the Kindle Voyage, which lasted eight weeks. However, Amazon’s leather extended-battery cover, which comes included, will give the Kindle Oasis eight weeks of battery life and a whopping 20 months of standby time. The eight weeks of juice is “based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 10.”
The Oasis magnetically snaps to the case, and when you plug it in to charge, the Kindle and the cover will charge at the same time. When you’re unplugged, the case will drain its battery first before the Oasis uses its own internal one. These features are likely why the new Kindle is priced at $290.
Without the included leather cover, the Oasis is practically a feather at 4.6 ounces, but in terms of external appearance, the leather cover on the Kindle gives the Oasis a Moleskin-esque look, and you can choose from brown, red, and black. There’s no word on whether a rumored solar-powered case is still in the works.
There’s a Wi-Fi-only version, and one with free 3G and Wi-Fi. The Kindle Oasis is available for pre-order now, and ships on April 27.