Each new iteration of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader brings with it new innovations and price points that make these devices a great value. However, this time around, Amazon might have jacked up the price a bit too much for the Kindle Oasis.
Early reviews of the Kindle Oasis have been great, with virtually everyone agreeing on the functional improvements Amazon has made for this reader. But they also agree the $289.99 price tag is high, compared to the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyage, which come in at $80, $120, and $200 respectively.
What the Amazon Oasis Gives You for $290
The Kindle Oasis is 30 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than previous Kindles. When portable gadgets lose size, it generally means the battery suffers, and this is the case with Oasis. However, Amazon has overcome this challenge with a frame and cover that doubles as a rechargeable battery. According to the company, you can expect a battery life of eight weeks with 30 minutes of daily reading or months on standby. If you don’t use the case, you can get more than 2 weeks of battery life.
The Kindle Oasis weighs in at only 4.6 ounces or 131 grams with a new 6-inch Paperwhite display. It has 60 percent more LEDs for better reading under all light conditions. It is made from chemically reinforced glass that is much stronger, but still maintains the same 300 ppi resolution and similar contrast of the Paperwhite and Voyage Kindles.
The brains and battery for the Oasis are housed on the right side of the device with a tapered design that doubles as grip (If you are a lefty, don’t worry, a built in accelerometer automatically changes the content when you hold it on your left hand). This makes one handed operation of the Kindle much easier, letting you use your thumb to access the front bezel to turn pages.
Kindle Oasis Specs
- Display: Amazon’s 6″ Paperwhite display technology with E Ink Carta and built-in light, 300 ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale.
- Size: 5.6″ x 4.8″ x 0.13-0.33″ (143 mm x 122 mm x 3.4-8.5 mm)
- Cover: 5.7” x 4.9” x 0.07-0.18” (144 mm x 125 mm x 1.9-4.6 mm)
- Weight Wi-Fi: 4.6 oz (131 g); Wi-Fi + 3G: 4.7 oz (133 g); Cover: 3.8 oz (107 g)
- On-Device Storage: 4 GB; holds thousands of books.
- Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for all Amazon content.
- Charge Time: Fully charges in less than 3 hours from a computer via USB cable.
- Wi-Fi Connectivity: Supports 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).
- Content Formats Supported: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
Kindles are E-readers, and besides the connectivity they offer to download books, there is little else you can use the device for in business. But you can receive documents on it using WiFi or free 3G connectivity.
Unlike other mobile devices, e-readers and tablets have longer lives. This means the well-made Kindle readers of the past are still being used, and it will take real innovation for owners of these devices to buy another one. While the Kindle Oasis has some noteworthy improvements, it may not be enough for older Kindle owners to ditch their perfectly working readers for this version. When you add the higher price tag to the equation, it may be a deal breaker.
You can preorder the Kindle Oasis now, with shipping scheduled to start on April 27th.