It's been almost a year since Amazon last updated its core Kindle ereader range consisting of the basic £60/$80 Kindle, the £110/$120 Kindle Paperwhite and £169/$200 Kindle Voyage. There's the Kindle Fire, of course, but that's a different story.
Now there’s a new device for your reading pleasure – the Kindle Oasis (no Britpop jokes, please). We guess the name comes from the travel theme, like the Voyage. [Update: Amazon tells us in an email that the name comes from the idea of a sanctuary away from calls, texts and notifications - makes sense].
The Kindle Oasis sits above the current Kindle range at £270 (and isn’t waterproof as some thought), but it's a premium experience. We had a play with the new Kindle and loved it, so here's why we reckon the Oasis will make you put down the Kindle app on your iPad (or iBooks, if you’re into that) and get back to reading on a beautiful and simple e-ink display.
1. It’s extremely lightweight
The existing Kindles (which aren’t being replaced and will live on) are fine, but they’re not exactly lightweight, sitting in the 190-220g range. Kindle Oasis is a thin and light Kindle that’s thicker on one side so it can be held in one hand. It weighs 131 grams and is 3.4 mm thick at its thinnest point. In fact, it’s 30% thinner on average and over 20% lighter than any other Kindle.
2. It’s pretty techy
The Oasis can be used either way for right or left-handed people, and the ergonomic grip shifts the centre of gravity to the palm of your hand. The upshot is that it’s designed to be comfortable for several hours of one-handed reading.
Kindle Oasis is also quite advanced inside. It has a featherweight polymer frame that is plated with metal by structural electroplating—this means it’s strong and as rigid as metal so it is resilient.
The frame is on the left of this picture, with the cover on the right and the screen, battery and PCB at the bottom.
3. There are two batteries
Well, sort of. The second battery is inside the included case and gives you ‘months’ of power (certainly several weeks). The battery in the Oasis itself gives you two weeks of power.
You can charge the device and cover simultaneously through micro USB while both are snapped together and plugged in. As soon as you connect the cover to Kindle Oasis, the battery in the cover begins recharging Kindle Oasis automatically.
There’s also a new hibernation mode minimises power consumption when your Kindle is inactive.
4. That charging cover is actually quite nice
The included charging cover opens like a book and fits closely around the bezel. It’s covered in leather and is available in black, merlot, or walnut. The walnut one is definitely our favourite and has that ‘worn’ look.
What’s more the cover doesn’t detach unless you want it to. Which is handy.
5. The controls are effortlessly simple
You can turn the page with either the touch display or physical buttons. A built-in accelerometer detects whether you are reading with your left or right hand, and automatically rotates the page and page turn buttons to match.
6. The display is better than the Paperwhite’s
We LOVED the 300dpi Paperwhite display and while the 6-inch Kindle Oasis display retains the same size and resolution, it has some significant improvements. Sitting behind chemically-reinforced glass, the display is now lit from the side by 60% more LEDs. The result is that there’s a better range of brightness for improved reading. The light is diffracted through a new ‘cylindrical’ method, meaning the display is lit even more evenly than it was before. Most amazingly, the screen is now the same thickness as a sheet of tin foil.
There's also a new sans-serif font we liked, called Amazon Ember, to add to last year's serif Bookerly.
7. It’s got all the usual Kindle cool stuff
Whispersync. Goodreads. X-ray. Word Wise. Kindle for Kids. They’re all here. And you can also get Kindle Unlimited for £7.99 a month for access to over a million Kindle books.
8. Eventually Kindle will just be a single sheet
This is the eighth generation of Kindle and Amazon is quite clear – Kindle will eventually be just a sheet you read from. “We want Kindle to disappear,” says Amazon boss Jeff Bezos. “Kindle Oasis gets out of the way so you can lose yourself in the author’s world.”
9. Kindle Oasis is available to pre-order now and will be in stores, too.
Buy the new Kindle Oasis from Amazon. Kindle Oasis will also be available from John Lewis stores, as well as Dixons Travel, Argos and Currys PC World.
Liked this? Check out what we reckon might be next for the Kindle Fire