Kindle OASIS: Amazon’s New Super E-reader

Almost 9 years after the first Kindle Amazon introduces a new high-end reader – the OASIS, which is extremely thin, very light and quite expensive.

From certain viewing points Kindle Oasis is almost unbelievably thin. It is 3.4 millimeters thick – only half as thick as Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Smartphone. To build a reader that flat, Amazon’s research and development department Lab126 had to conceive a totally new concept in the Silicon Valley.

Kindle Oasis
Kindle Oasis

About 1/3 of the OASIS is twice as thick as its thinnest point. Where the battery, internal storage and the electronics are housed, the device is as thick as its predecessor. That’s the ~3 cm wide and ~8.5 mm thick handgrip.

The handgrip helps to hold the Kindle comfortably between the thumb, index finger and middle finger. This grip is meant to simulate a book spine.

Thanks to the weight of only 131 g (by far the lightest Amazon ereader) it should be easy to hold over longer periods of time. It is lighter compared to the Kindle Voyage (188 grams) and Kindle Paperwhite (205 grams). However, with the cover on, the Oasis weighs about 240 grams.

Sturdier built

Kindle OasisThe frame consists of galvanized, glass-reinforced polymer that is related to aerospace and very resistant.

Display rotates

Whether you are right-handed or left-handed, it does not matter, as an acceleration sensor rotates the content accordingly. Not just the display, but two page turn buttons also adjust accordingly. That’s clever. 

Two batteries

The asymmetrical design has its drawbacks. Only a very small battery fits into the electronics compartment inside the ereader. Its capacity is only 250 mAh; for comparison, modern-day smartphone batteries have at least ten times as large capacity. However, inside the supplied protective cover there is a second battery of 1,290 mAh.

If you place the reader into the supplied protective leather cover (black, red or brown), the reader’s internal battery is recharged by the battery built into the cover. In this combination you can read up to eight weeks on the device. For comparison, for the Voyage, Amazon stated a battery life of six weeks.

Good storage

Amazon specifies that the disk space available is «sufficient for thousands of books» – this translates into 4 gigabytes in technical terms.

Six inches

The new Kindle has maintained its display size of 6 inches, which is equivalent to 15.2 centimeters. It is the size of a small paperback. The display has 300 pixels per inch, which allows for a pleasant read.

In comparison to the Voyage and KPW, the border around the display was reduced somewhat, so the OASIS is even more compact.

Brighter display

Just like the Kindle Paperwhite and Voyage, the OASIS also uses LEDs for the lighting of the screen. It does not rely on external light sources and can be read in complete darkness as well. The lighting is brighter and more uniform, because the LEDs are attached on the sides, rather than below the display. There are 10 rather than 6 or 4 LEDs in the housing, making the display brighter and smoother.

Amazon did away with the ambient light sensor in this version.

As always, the reader comes in two versions. For 290 euro you get the version that connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi. The model with additional 3G Internet costs 350 euros. Amazon is taking orders, shipping will start on April 28, 2016, so the first customers should hold the Kindle oasis on April 28, 2016.

First impressions: What a stunning ereader! Comparing the Kindle Oasis with the first Kindle that launched over 8 years ago, one can imagine that eventually Amazon will reach the perfect paper standard.

Second thoughts: The Kindle Oasis costs around 100 euros more than the previous high-end model, Kindle Voyage (190 euros). Can the Oasis find enough customers?

Please share your opinion on this new Amazon reader.

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