Amazon's updated Kindle Oasis can handle a drink

E-readers with E Ink displays are amazing. The experience they offer is often better than reading on paper, so long as you don't need color or large pages. The devices can be held in one hand, work fine in low-light scenarios, and reduce the mass and dimensions of weighty tomes like those found in Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle. Amazon's latest Kindle Oasis e-reader one-ups paperbound books in an impressive new way: offering IPX8 water resistance. Readers can now get their fill of the printed word in the bathtub or at the beach without fear of damaging their e-reader.

The new Oasis has a similar design to the outgoing model, bearing a grip on the one side for one-handed reading. The device can be rotated 180° so the user can hold it with their left or right hand. The screen has grown from 6" to 7" (15.2 cm to 17.8 cm), making the new Oasis the largest Kindle model since the now-defunct Kindle DX. The upgraded E Ink screen has a pixel density of 300 DPI, can be read easily in broad daylight, and has illumination for nighttime reading. Amazon says the battery in the latest Oasis lasts for six weeks of reading. The new model's chassis is made from aluminum instead of plastic, so it should have a premium feel even without the optional case.

The 2017 Kindle Oasis also adds Bluetooth connectivity for playback of audiobooks purchased through Amazon's Audible subsidiary. According to Wired, a future software update will unlock slumbering Bluetooth capability in the original Kindle Oasis and in the latest version of the regular Kindle e-reader. Tim Cook would consider all three models heroic in their lack of headphone jacks, since audio output only works with Bluetooth.

Amazon plans to start shipping the Kindle Oasis on October 31. The base model with 8 GB of storage will cost $250, while the more capacious 32 GB version will set buyers back $280. The alpha dog in the series adds always-on cellular connectivity in exchange for its $350 asking price. If you're a book lover on a tight budget, we stand by our suggestion that you look at the Kindle Paperwhite, which soldiers on for a more palatable $120.

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