New Kindle Oasis

screenshot_50Amazon released a new high end kindle today. It is an oddly shaped kindle, thicker on one side than the other because it is meant to be used with a charging case. So the kindle itself has a battery, which will allow for about 2 weeks of use. But the case has another battery, which will charge the Kindle Oasis while it is in the case, which in total will allow for about 8-9 weeks of battery. A fully charged Kindle Oasis in a case can be on standby for 22 months.

The Kindle Oasis has buttons on one side for turning pages. Depending on if you want to hold the kindle on the right or left side, the screen will flip because there is an accelerometer built in.

This new Kindle Oasis is thinner and lighter than previous kindles. The thicker part of the kindle is about the thickness of an iPhone. And the thin part is less than half of that thickness. Without the case, the Oasis is 133 grams (4.6 oz) compared to the Paperwhite’s 205 grams (7.2 oz). So the Oasis’ weight is about the weight of an iPhone 5. But with the case, the Oasis is over 8 oz, so heavier than the Paperwhite.

The screen is the same screen as the Kindle Voyage and Paperwhite 3, but it has 10 LED lights, which will make the screen both brighter and more even. (The Voyage has 6 LEDs and the Paperwhite had 4 LEDs).

There were several rumors that turned out to be unfounded. The Oasis is not waterproof, the cases does not have solar charger and it does not have a Liquavista (color) screen.

There is little here that makes me want to upgrade. I would like buttons. Slightly smaller and slightly lighter are always nice, but the current kindle options are not large or heavy. A slightly brighter screen is also nice, but the current screens are not dark.

The battery for Kindles are already excellent so a greatly extended battery seems to be a worthless upgrade except for a few people that are not around power for long periods of time.

I keep suggesting that a waterproof kindle is a good new feature. The Paperwhite added a light. The Kindle Touch added touch screen and removed buttons. But fundamentally, the technology has made incremental improvements without adding many new features. In fact, there have been lots of features removed, sound, text to speech, SD cards, physical keyboards, etc.

It is difficult to see who will pay more than twice the price of a Paperwhite to get a slightly smaller, slightly lighter, slightly brighter, with slightly better battery life. My wife still primarily uses the Kindle 2, a seven year old device. I primarily use an after market waterproofed Paperwhite 2 (about a two year old release) and I will have a hard time buying another kindle that is not waterproofed.

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