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.

Comments closed
    • psuedonymous
    • 2 years ago

    Like with the Paperwhite, no physical page-turn buttons = no-sale.

      • shaq_mobile
      • 2 years ago

      i thought that would bother me as well, but after reading for a half hour i dont even notice it anymore. its pretty seamless when you get into a good book.

    • reckless76
    • 2 years ago

    I loved my Kindle Oasis. However it was quite fragile, as I learned after dropping it from a height of 2 or 3 feet and shattering the screen. The case that came with it was very nice, but didn’t protect it at all. It just fell off when I dropped it. So I went back to a regular Paperwhite, which stands up to all the abuse I can dish out.

    • Chrispy_
    • 2 years ago

    Hahahah, 32GB.

    I have about 150 books on my paperwhite now and in total they use about 250MB. Given that these things are cloud-connected anyway, the local storage is only really a cache anyway. I’d buy a 1GB model if it saved money because frankly an e-ink display isn’t the sort of thing you want for anything other than books.

      • Dazrin
      • 2 years ago

      More memory isn’t needed for novels alone but would be very nice to have for graphic novels and for audio books. I assume the new software will work well with the audible store like the current one works with the kindle store. For heavy listeners or people who read a lot of graphic novels it makes sense. Personally I am very happy with my Voyage and was very happy with my Kindle Keyboard until it died.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Graphic novels in black and white on an e-ink screen? Eww, no thank you.

        I’m going to make the assumption that the Venn-diagram intersection of “technophile enough to want an e-reader” and “technophobic enough to avoid smartphones” doesn’t exist, so everyone will use their phone for audiobooks (maybe even with a heaphone jack!) Plus, I only listen to audiobooks when I don’t have hands free to hold an e-reader, so (for me at least) there is no overlap between a devide to play back audio and an e-reader.

        Graphic novels are something that really do need full-colour screens, and either lots of real-estate on those screens or at least the ability to pan and zoom at 60Hz, rather than 0.5Hz with artifacting. I think that’s the sort of book that should stay on dead trees until e-ink makes huge improvements.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 2 years ago

          It may work for Japanese Manga aka Eastern Comic Books (which are primarily Black-and-white). Naruto, One Piece, Kenshin, that sort of deal.

          A tankobon (bounded book) of Manga is basically the same 6-inch size, the only weird thing is that they read right-to-left (or have to be mirrored in the American version).

            • Chrispy_
            • 2 years ago

            Ah okay. Possibly.

            Based on how poor the image quality of webpage images on my Paperwhite is, I’m assuming it’ll still be a sub-par experience and the files will still be ridiculously tiny, but I guess it’s better than nothing.

            At 7″ diagonal and 300 dpi that’s 1600×1200 resolution, for two megapixels so that’s 256KB/page mono uncompressed and more like 25KB compressed, assuming it’s just black and white linework. let’s say 200 pages for each graphic novel and we have 5MB for each, or 200 novels per GB.

            The 1.25GB on my Paperwhite would likely be overwhelmed by a sizeable Manga collection but ~1500 graphic novels on the 8GB version seems like it would be okay, given it’s just a cache for your account in the cloud.

          • UberGerbil
          • 2 years ago

          I agree that e-ink would only really work for b&w graphic novels (though that does exist), but there’s a guy I see at my pub who reads a [i<]lot[/i<] of graphic novels on an iPad, and the software for that -- which breaks up the individual panels so you move from one to the next rather than trying to scroll around on a page -- seems to work really well. I think it only works for works that have been formatted for it, but he doesn't seem to lack for material, and so I think the dead tree era is fading even for that.

            • Voldenuit
            • 2 years ago

            I buy most of my comics in DRM-free .CBR format from imagecomics.com, and read them on my Android tablet, windows 10 convertible, and desktop using Challenger, Cover and ComicReader apps respectively. Pages are presented as they would appear in print, with some 2-page spreads merged into a single page.

            I read too many Western comics to ever get e-ink, and I’ve gotten used to reading books and comics off LCD and OLED displays such that I don’t suffer from eyestrain (outdoors readability in sunlight remains a problem).

            I know some people who read manga on e-ink devices, but the one mangaka I really like is Nihei, and his work really needs punchy blacks to shine, which e-ink is still unable to deliver on.

      • aspect
      • 2 years ago

      Textbooks and ones with lots of pictures can easily be 200MB each.

    • DataMeister
    • 2 years ago

    I still wish someone would make one using current tech that worked with Google Play book store.

    • dragontamer5788
    • 2 years ago

    I really like the idea of e-readers, but I primarily read technical books and technical PDFs. (Take for example: the OpenCL Specification which I’ve been skimming recently). As such, I really need 8.5 x 11 sized e-readers.

    Unfortunately, all the “big” 8.5×11 size e-Readers seem to be in the $500+ range.

    ———

    The small “Kindle” and “Nook” e-readers are great for their intended purpose: reading novels and other books designed for the smaller 6-inch format. And as far as I can tell, these e-readers are the best experience you can get at under $200, and I can recommend them greatly.

    But my personal use really calls for the use of the $500+ big-screen ones, and I just can’t justify the cost.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Not only that, but reference books where you jump around from different sections to apendices to index and back again are really not suited to e-readers.

      As you say, these things are only really for linear reads where you start at the beginning and read continuously to the end.

        • dragontamer5788
        • 2 years ago

        The alternative also sucks, but its the best I got at the moment.

        I’ve got a Binding Machine and a good Laser Printer. So I can just print these specifications out as long as they’re primarily text. Comb Binding works fine up to ~400 pages or so, so I basically can make my own books from these online PDFs.

        Ongoing costs are much cheaper than people realize. A decent printer and $55 worth of toner gets you [url=https://www.amazon.com/Brother-TN450-Yield-Black-Toner/dp/B003YFHCKY/<]2500 pages[/url<] or so, while a 3000-sheet ream of paper is only [url=https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U036ZY2/<]$20 on Amazon[/url<]. So we're looking at ongoing costs of ~3 cents per sheet ($9 per 300 sheet / 600 page technical document). [url=https://www.amazon.com/Fellowes-Plastic-Binding-Diameter-52326/dp/B000J07C1G/<]Combs are straight up negligible in cost[/url<], although manual labor does take a few minutes. You can only punch out ~15 sheets at a time, and you still have to manually line up all those holes into the comb. The main problem is that these collections of paper take up a lot of space and require lots and lots of dead trees. But its the methodology that I prefer at the moment.

        • mcarson09
        • 2 years ago

        Those are one of the few things that really require a physical copy. Sure a tablet could do the same thing, but it’s not the same and might be slower even with a tablet because with physical markers you can flip to the exact spot faster that turning on a screen.

      • llisandro
      • 2 years ago

      I have the 12.9″ iPad pro, and reading PDFs and Word docs is one of my primary uses, and it’s awesome. I seriously considered paying through the nose for a big e-reader, but have zero interest after getting the iPad. Using the pen to make notes is the real value-add. I read a lot of PDFs for my job, and I hate reading on my desktop, the iPad has genuinely improved my workflow, and it weighs less than the folder of color PDFs I used to carry around.

      Companies are finally making much larger e-paper screens for digital signage, but 8.5 x 11 sized e-readers are never going to be cheaper than what they are now, because the panels are too expensive when produced on a scale approximating demand for such a product, unfortunately (you, me, 7 other people).

      Surface 3 refurbs are still around- i wouldn’t recommend them for anything other than e-book use, but that’s the cheapest thing that gets you close to paper-sized that I know of.

      • aspect
      • 2 years ago

      I’ve been eyeing the Kobo Aura One. $200 for an 8″.

      • mcarson09
      • 2 years ago

      The big e-readers or just not worth it.

      The screen viewable size of the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 is exactly 8.5×11″ and you could find one used for cheap. Most 10″ tablets total size is 8.5×11″. Tablets provide the option of reading in color or black and white. For my media consumption I find the 8″ tablet to be best. I can go from watching tv or a movie to browsing the web or reading a book. e-readers are one dimensional and lack proper night time reading mode of white text on black background.

      P.S. read my other comments about the crappy nook with a glow light before you bring that up.

    • Ikepuska
    • 2 years ago

    I really really like the Oasis and it’s physical buttons when I tried one out recently.
    Physical buttons are a really big deal for me since my old Kindle Keyboard died.
    Unfortunately my WAF is really low on buying another e-Reader since I already have a Kindle Touch and a Voyage. My better half has mostly migrated to reading on physical books or her iPad since we built the library in the house because she doesn’t travel as much as I do.

    Oh well, it’s a shame because from a feel and comfort perspective it’s a really nice product. It’s got it’s flaws, but I haven’t found anything else with buttons that’s quite as good in the hand so far.

      • UberGerbil
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, I like the physical buttons too. Except they keep leaving one off: the “menu” or “system” button, up top. I’ve been wanting to get a Kindle for my mother, because it would be easier for her arthritic hands to hold than a large book when she’s reading in bed (and I could start to get rid of the physical clutter of books around her apartment). And I think she would be able to find her way around the next- and previous- page buttons. But without a physical menu button, I know I would be getting a phone call or “HELP!!!” email every. single. time. she wanted to switch books. (I’d probably have to walk her through recharging it every time also, but if it’s only once every six weeks that’s not too bad)

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    In terms of an ebook reader I still havn’t had to move on from my trusty Nook Simple Touch from 2011, still really like the design too. A frontlight would be nice and the PPI could be higher, that’s about all.

      • UberGerbil
      • 2 years ago

      I was amazed at how much better a reading experience I had with Paperwhite vs the 2nd gen original Kindle I had before that. I think it’s more the added contrast from the light and improved e-ink than the boosted PPI.

        • dragontamer5788
        • 2 years ago

        I purchased a Nook GlowLight when I retired my 1st Generation Nook.

        As far as I can tell, the “GlowLight” is basically the Paperwhite, except made by Barnes and Noble (epub instead of mobi, etc. etc.). I can definitely say that the newer generation processors improved the speed of rendering, and that the new screens offer improved contrast.

        The built in light is also amazing for reading experiences at night. These are really good screens for reading text. Perfect contrast in bright sun, backlight for the night, literally weeks worth of reading on a single charge… Absolutely amazing.

          • mcarson09
          • 2 years ago

          The backlight bleed from the glowlight is annoying. You could just use a large phone or tablet and run FBReader in night mode and have a much more enjoyable experience. The glow light back light also lacks a brightness adjustment setting which can be blinding when you start to experience bleed-through.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        It would probably be worth an upgrade for that, but the hardware hasn’t failed me so far. Six years of use and it still goes a few months on a battery, so long as wifi is off. Just the side buttons stick and sometimes fast forward a number of pages, which happened since it was new so I just got used to tapping the screen.

    • Neutronbeam
    • 2 years ago

    Seems like an odd request Wayne, but okay: “ISHMAEL!”

    You’re still getting off easier than Morphine, ’cause I call him a scruffy-lookin’ cat herder.

      • drfish
      • 2 years ago

      I thought it was pretty clever to use [i<]Moby-Dick[/i<] in the image for a waterproof Kindle.

        • Neutronbeam
        • 2 years ago

        Pity that Melville plagiarized that last bit in the book from Khan Noonien Singh:

        “From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”

          • willmore
          • 2 years ago

          Bah, everybody knows Shakespere is better in it’s original Klingon!

          • UberGerbil
          • 2 years ago

          [url<]https://i.imgur.com/amS1bP6.jpg[/url<]

    • meerkt
    • 2 years ago

    So Kobo’s Aura One still seems better? Unless the screen here is improved, or there’s an unexpected SD slot. (Right…)

    Metal back? Yuck.

      • willmore
      • 2 years ago

      I only use a Nook Glowlight because it’s Android under the hood and because I’ve rooted it so I can run FBReader as it’s the only program I care to read books with. If I can’t do that with a reader, then forget it. I’m not going to adapt to some companies idea of how I should read and organize books.

      Kobo would be my next choice if my Nook died. They’re the only company around that seems to care about their users.

        • mcarson09
        • 2 years ago

        FBreader rocks especially after they added .mobi support.

        Can you use night mode in FBReader with the glow light and have it still be readable? I just use FBreader in night mode on my tablets and phones and the screen uses less power and makes it easier to fall asleep. I also use “night mode” style on all my web browsers and have pretty much eliminated eye strain issues. This whole obsession with “paper white” for e-readers it a bit stupid when white text on a black background uses less power and saves your eyes if it has a brightness adjustment to adjust to light conditions.

        For those that want paper white style of view there’s these things called books….

    • NTMBK
    • 2 years ago

    [quote<]If you're a book lover on a tight budget, we stand by our suggestion that you look at the Kindle Paperwhite[/quote<] If you're a book lover on a tight budget, go buy used paperbooks at the charity shop!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This