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October 11, 2017

Amazon’s all-new Kindle Oasis comes with Audible, can survive a drop in the pool

by John_A

Why it matters to you

If you’ve been holding out for a Kindle that doesn’t mind getting wet, the Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis might be just what the doctor ordered.

Tablets are great for checking email and binge-watching old seasons of Game of Thrones, but they don’t offer the best reading experience. Ebook readers — the slim, compact, and glare-free devices that don’t strain your eyes and last for days on a single charge — have them beat in that regard, but you don’t need to convince Amazon.

On Wednesday, the Seattle-based retailer took the wraps off the all-new Kindle Oasis, a 7-inch ebook reader with a sleek exterior, built-in support for Audible audiobooks, and top-to-bottom waterproofing.

The new Kindle Oasis has a larger (7 inches) and thinner (0.13 inches) high-resolution 300 ppi screen that fits 30 percent more text on a page than the 2016 Oasis and flips pages faster than any other Kindle. Its ergonomic finish is designed to rest in your palm “like the spine of a book,” and its custom-designed aluminum backplate weighs in at just 194 grams — 10 grams lighter than Amazon’s ultra-compact Kindle Paperwhite.

But that’s the tip of the iceberg. The display of the new Oasis is shielded by Amazon’s “strongest cover glass” and has built-in light sensors that adjust the screen’s brightness based on ambient lighting conditions. It’s also completely waterproof, a Kindle first. Amazon says it’s IPX8-rated to protect against immersion in up to two meters of water for 60 minutes. And it has a fast-charging battery that delivers a full charge in less than two hours.

The improvements are more than skin deep. The Oasis ships with Audible, Amazon’s library of more than 375,000 audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, and radio shows, which stream wirelessly via the ebook reader’s Bluetooth radio to headphones, speakers, and earbuds. And new accessibility options offer custom fonts, inverted black-and-white color schemes, enlargeable home screen shortcuts, and ragged right alignment.

That’s all in addition to longtime Kindle features Whispersync, which syncs pages, bookmarks, and annotations across all of your Amazon devices and apps, and Word Wise, which pulls up definitions of challenging words and phrases.

“Ten years ago, we introduced our first Kindle with the mission of delivering any book ever written in 60 seconds or less,” Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices and Services, said. “With a larger 7-inch, 300 ppi display, waterproof design, and Audible built right in, the all-new Kindle Oasis is our most advanced Kindle ever. It’s thin, light, and waterproof design allows readers to stay engaged in the author’s world in even more places than ever before.”

The new Kindle Oasis is available for pre-order globally starting at $250 for 8GB (twice the capacity of last year’s model) ahead of an October 31 ship date. It comes in a 32GB configuration with cellular connectivity for $350, and launches alongside new fabric covers ($45) in indigo, sandstone, and charcoal colors, and premium leather covers ($60) in midnight, saddle tan, and merlot.

Amazon says support for Audible content will roll out to Kindle devices (Gen 8) and the 2016 Kindle Oasis in the next few months, and that the new accessibility options will come as a free over-the-air update to Kindle Paperwhite (Gen 6) and newer Kindle devices immediately.

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