Amazon adds water resistance to Kindle Oasis

Thursday, 12 Oct, 2017

Hailing it as the "most advanced Kindle e-reader ever", the next-generation Kindle Oasis is the first waterproof Kindle, with a rating of IPX8.

"The device itself resembles last year's Oasis, but now has a larger 7" display (at 330ppi), and retains the asymmetry of the previous design. "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".

Now, don't get me wrong; £229 is still a lot of money to pay for an e-reader when the Kindle Paperwhite does much the same job for less than half as much.

There are little tweaks to the software, as well, including more font size gradations and the ability to bold any font.

It's front-lit, of course, with 12 LEDS (up from 10 in the original Oasis) creating a smooth, even glow across the whole display.

Alas, Amazon isn't yet making it easier, or cheaper to buy both types of publication in the Kindle store. With its flat front that won't trap sand, this a ideal beach device. It's launching with support for Audible audiobooks. If you're a subscriber, it will list your books alongside your Kindle titles - and if you want to listen, you can simply pair with either a bluetooth speaker or bluetooth headphones. "You never have to put your story down and can switch easily between reading and listening without changing devices", said Amazon.

Amazon says the Oasis has six weeks of battery life (based on 30 minutes of reading per day). The very bad battery boosting case has been ditched, yet the onboard battery has been enlarged such that the new device has more life than even the old one including its case.

Finally there are a range of cases available, including some water-safe fabric cases and the more premium leather cases.

Also, as ever, there's no expandable memory present, but on-board has been doubled to 8GB and the reader goes up to 32GB. You can also upgrade to a 32GB model, if you plan on carrying audiobooks, graphic novels and magazines around. And a model with unlimited 4G LTE for book purchases costs $349. But Amazon is all about the customer, so the company made a decision to give it a name that literally means something to customers - the Oasis. It also connects over both Wi-Fi and 4G LTE.

The Kindle's rivals, including Kobo, have had water resistant versions of their e-readers since 2014, but have failed to disrupt Amazon's dominance of the ebook market. Keep your eyes peeled for the full review, which I'll be posting in the coming weeks.