The review of the new Kindle Oasis, with a 7-inch display (E Ink Paper panel) and a water-resistant shell: the eBook reader par excellence.
l new Amazon Kindle Oasis raises the bar in terms of specifications and design, going to improve the first generation of the device introduced on the market in spring 2016. An eBook reader that maintains the asymmetric design of the predecessor, evolving based on feedback collected from the community of users in this year and a half.
Amazon Kindle Oasis: all the details
The steps forward in terms of design are remarkable. First of all, it should be emphasized that the IPX8 certification is obtained, which in fact makes the reader waterproof, water resistant up to two meters deep for up to one hour. No fear, therefore, for those who want to use it in the bath or in the pool, even if for obvious reasons it is advisable not to immerse it.
The form factor has also been optimized to respond to a precise need: to allocate a larger area to display the pages. For this reason the Kindle Oasis (2017) integrates a 7-inch Paperwhite display (E Ink Paper panel) with a system for uniform light diffusion. It is the largest ever (30% more words per page), with a density of 300 ppi so as to show the volumes with the typographic quality of a paper book and without any kind of reflection, not even during the sessions of reading outdoors or under direct sunlight.
The profile is designed to concentrate the center of gravity on the palm of the hand, just like a traditional book, regardless of the one used: the text automatically rotates depending on whether you hold the device with the right or the left. The passage from one page to another can then be made by touching the screen or by pressing the two physical buttons on the side of the display, from the customizable operation. The back is made of aluminum, re-proposing the ergonomic handle consisting of the internal battery that simplifies its use with one hand, while the front part is made of glass. In the thinnest section the thickness is reduced to only 3.4 mm, for a total weight that stands at 194 grams.
From 2018 is also available the version with “champagne gold” body, a feature that gives extreme elegance to the reader’s livery by applying it to represent something more than a simple technological tool at the service of reading: a more “fashionable” profile makes the use of more refined device, aligning the color to the range now widely used in high-end smartphones.
Card and functionality
Amazon claims to have improved the hardware specifications of Kindle Oasis, so as to ensure a better reading experience compared to what happened with the first generation of the device, especially in terms of time needed to load the pages. At the level of features, those dedicated to personalization are particularly interesting: new dimensions for the characters and different levels of intensity for the bold have been included, so as to increase the readability of the text and not strain your eyesight.
Staying on the subject, in addition to the OpenDyslexic font now you can activate what is in effect a night mode, reversing the white and black on the screen. A particularly useful feature for those who are sensitive to light. Furthermore, the brightness can be adjusted automatically and dynamically depending on the environment in which you are located or set manually.
Whispersync is added to store the last page read, bookmarks and annotations, cloud storage of books, Word Wise to learn the meaning of the most difficult terms of a foreign language, the indication of the time needed to finish a chapter or an entire volume (depending on your speed), a personalized vocabulary, the sharing of underlined passages or quotations, the quick consultation of the voices on Wikipedia and Kindle Freetime to stimulate children to read through the awarding of prizes to the achievement of certain objectives set by parents.
Considering the consumption reduced to the minimum of the device, the battery has a capacity sufficient to guarantee an autonomy of several weeks, with a charging process that takes less than two hours to go from 0% to 100%. So Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices and Services, defined the product.
The catalog of books
The second generation of Oasis, as well as other devices in the line, offers access to the entire catalog of books made available by the Kindle Store. The platform hosts over five million eBooks including the latest bestsellers, Kindle Single novels and much more.
Also worthy of note is the subscription formula Kindle Unlimited, proposed at a monthly price of 9.99 euros and which offers the possibility to choose from more than one million volumes.
Price and availability
The new Kindle Oasis is available for purchase in pre-order right from the time of the announcement, of course on Amazon, at a price of € 249.99 for the version with 8 GB of internal memory. On the other hand, the more capacious 32 GB is sold for 279.99 euros. Those who wish can then opt for the 32 GB model with free mobile connectivity, at a cost of 339.99 euros. The start of shipments for the first units purchased is scheduled for October 31, 2017.
Several enclosures available, with a design designed to be closed according to the profile of the device. They can also be transformed into a support for reading if necessary. There are those in waterproof fabric for sale at 44.99 euros (Blue, White, Black) and those in high quality leather can be purchased at 59.99 euros (Black Onyx, Bordeaux and Light Brown).
The new Amazon Kindle Oasis is the non plus ultra among eBook readers currently on the market, on this there is no doubt. We have been able to test it for a couple of weeks and the judgment that emerges can only be positive. A device that also improves on the basis of feedback gathered from the first generation launched last year, introducing unusual features such as water resistance or inverted color mode (white text on black background) and improving others: the diagonal of the screen increases ( more words displayed, fewer page changes) and the introduction of the brightness sensor (down seen on Voyage) regulates the behavior of the panel based on the amount of light present in the environment in which you are.
Let’s start from the E Ink Paper display, a real added value for the category, what differentiates an eBook reader from a traditional tablet, making reading comfortable and enjoyable without straining your eyes. Considering the price certainly not content, it is questionable whether it is worthwhile to face the expense for a device that does not offer multimedia features. The answer is yes to all those who fall into the category of users who devour volumes in quantity and who wish to bring along an entire library. The second generation Kindle Oasis is destined to last over time, offering high autonomy (we only uploaded it once in two weeks) and advanced features for customizing the reading experience. The upgrade is not recommended for those who already own the 2016 model.
The diagonal that rises to 7 inches (about 30% more) brings the useful dimensions of the eBook reader to those of a paper book. In addition, the backlighting system is now composed of 12 LEDs, to uniformly cover the entire surface and make the texts readable even in outdoor environments. All covered by a glass front and enclosed on the back by an aluminum body with rounded edges for perfect ergonomics, both holding the right hand and the left.
As for content, the entire catalog of books offered by Amazon is easily accessible, thanks to a system ready to recommend new releases and volumes in the archive based on the personal tastes of the user. Consider also the subscription formula Kindle Unlimited, which offers a limitless access to the catalog for a monthly fee of € 9.99 (the first month is free). In short, a sort of all you can read.
Moving forward also with regard to the battery, now entirely hosted by the reader and no longer divided with the housing: a full charge can be made in about two hours and there is enough for several weeks of operation. The rest of the features remains almost unchanged and is good, since the formula proposed by the first Kindle Oasis was already thick. Therefore a double system for the page change is proposed: by acting on the two physical buttons positioned on the side of the screen (configurable) or with a touch on the touch panel.
Another peculiarity of eBook readers, which could tempt even the most irreducible purists understandably related to paper, is made up of features such as the ability to highlight the most interesting steps, save them so you can easily retrieve them later, share them on social media followed by an example) and so on.
Then there is obviously a dictionary useful to remove any doubt about the meaning of the terms, the Kindle Freetime functionality to add to the library the volumes suitable for children and an experimental browser for Web browsing. To manage the software component a processor that ensures reactivity in the change of pages and while browsing the menus.
The list of features will be completed later with the possibility to listen to Audible offer audiobooks using the Bluetooth connection with external speakers, speakers or earphones. A feature currently unfortunately not available in Italian, but that Amazon should introduce in the future.
Ultimately, the 2017 edition of the Kindle Oasis is rightfully positioned in the eBook reader segment as a top of the range. Already the cheaper version (8 GB of internal memory and WiFi module) is more than enough to cover almost any need, but who does not want to compromise in terms of storage or connectivity can choose the one from 32 GB or the one with a 3G module . Those approaching the world of digital books may also consider the Voyage or Paperwhite models, cheaper, but equally valid as a support for reading.