New Kindle Oasis Announced

Amazon has announced the 2nd Generation Kindle Oasis. There has a couple of very nice new features.

Larger Screen: Since the original Kindle in 2007, Kindle screens have been six inches (except for one large format device). The new Kindle Oasis has a 7 inch screen, which is supposed to have 30% more text than a 6 inch screen.

Waterproof: I have been waiting for a waterproof kindle for a while. In 2009 I picked up a waterproof case and loved it. It was floating and I took my kindle in the ocean to read. It was my dream vacation activity. Eventually the case broke and I upgraded to a new kindle. In 2015, I picked up a WaterFi Kindle, which was an after market Paperwhite that added $100 to the price of the Paperwhite and nearly 50% additional weight. This Oasis is now waterproof, a boon to bathtub and beach readers everywhere. (IPX2, which is 2 meters of water for 60 minutes.)

More Storage for Audiobooks: The Oasis has either 8GB or 32GB of storage for books. A 32GB Paperwhite has been available in Japan for a while because of their focus on Magna comics. So this isn’t a surprise. What I was surprised about was that the storage is also for Audiobooks from Audible. There is not a speaker on the Oasis, but there is a bluetooth connection for either a Bluetooth speaker or headphones. This I would use.

Also a surprise is that a software upgrade for the 1st generation Oasis to support Bluetooth speakers. The most recent Basic Kindle will also have a software upgrade to turn on the audiobook, but won’t have much storage for audiobooks.

Negatives: The two negatives are the higher weight and lack of charging case. Without a case, the previous Oasis was 131 grams. The new Oasis is 194 grams, which is still lighter than the Paperwhite (205 grams), but heavier than both the Basic Kindle (161 grams) and the Voyage (180 grams). That being said, there is both a larger battery and a larger screen. So it makes sense that the weight is greater. The original Oasis was extremely light and really felt surprisingly light.

The original Oasis came with a 2 week battery built in to the Oasis and an extra battery in the case. The case came with the Oasis and magnetically snapped into the Oasis and made sense of the offset back. The new Oasis has a magnetic case, which is no longer included, but it is no longer a battery case.

Other Good: The price, without the battery case has dropped to $249. Upgrading to 32 GB of storage is an extra $30. You can purchase a cellular connection (you have to get 32GB) $350. That top end also removes ads (which I am not particularly annoyed by), which is normally $20. That is a high price for an ereader today.

The body of the Oasis is not metal and the screen is a harder glass (flat), which I like. And I really love the buttons. I won’t soon go back to a touch only Kindle.

The battery is now 6 weeks and only on board the device. A full charge only takes 2 hours.

The light on the new Oasis now has 12 lights, instead of 10 like the previous Oasis. That should make for a more even front-lighted screen. But it may actually not make much of a change since the size of the screen is also larger.

Conclusion: It is hard to justify $250 to $350 for an ereader, when the Paperwhite is very good ereader for less than half the price ($120, but frequently on sale).

That being said, a 7 inch screen, waterproofing and audiobook support is tempting.

The release date is October 31st. The cheapest option is already backordered to November 6th. 32GB Wifi only or the Wifi/Cell 32GB are both still available on Oct 31 as of right now.

Preorder link: New Kindle Oasis

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