Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
IT | By Amos Hawkins

All-New Amazon Kindle Oasis

All-New Amazon Kindle Oasis

Amazon has unveiled a waterproof version of its Kindle Oasis e-reader.

The new Kindle Oasis costs £230 ($250) and has 8 GB of storage while the previous version of Kindle Oasis cost £270 ($290) and had 4GB. Sure, it's flirted with larger screens, most notably with the massive Kindle DX, but six inches has always been the sweet spot for both Amazon and much of the competition. As such, battery life is slightly shorter, though improved fast-charging will allow it to fully recharge in under two hours. For years, we've been wondering why Amazon hasn't done more to support Audible for Kindle fans. "You can easily turn pages with dedicated page turn buttons and the display will automatically rotate the page orientation whether you hold it with your left or right hand".

The Kobo Aura H2O has numerous Oasis' features for less: It's waterproof, about 7 inches, has an adaptive backlight, long battery life, and costs $179. Alas, there's no 3.5mm headphone jack here, which is a shame because there's plenty of space for the connection, despite the slender chassis.

The design is very much as laid down by the original Oasis, with a slim body behind the display and a pronounced bulge at one side, housing all the brains and the battery. These now appear on the device's home screen alongside your ebooks and can be streamed via Bluetooth to wireless speakers and headphones. Theres a 32GB version too, if you expect storage to be a problem (e.g. if you consume many audiobooks and graphic novels). It is thin and light, weighing 194g, which is 10g thinner than the Kindle Paperwhite.

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However, the new Kindle will face competition from physical books, with figures from research group Nielsen earlier this year reporting a rise in physical sales coinciding with a fall of 4% in demand for e-books in 2016.

There are little tweaks to the software, as well, including more font size gradations and the ability to bold any font. Later this year, Amazon will put this Kindle's Bluetooth capabilities to use through Audible via a similar OTA update.

The new Kindle Oasis opens for preorders today and will start shipping on October 31. There's also a $279.99 32GB model and the $349.99 32GB model with free cellular connectivity (both without ads).

Here's another first for the Kindle line - support for audiobooks from Audible, thanks in part to the boosted internal memory that lets you store more on the device itself.

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