Top 10 Facts About Amazon’s Kindle Oasis
On April 11, information about the newest Kindle device from Amazon leaked online. The Kindle Oasis, the eighth version of the mega company’s e-reader computer, is the most expensive and extensive e-reader offered from Amazon. The Oasis became available for pre-order on Wednesday, April 13, and Amazon claims that the pre-ordered units will be sent out around April 27.
The first Amazon Kindle device was released in November, 2007, and at that point, it was simply an e-reader, which allowed users to download and read books directly on that advice. The device sold out in less than six hours, and it remained out of stock until April of 1998. Looking back now, this is laughable to us, simply because we have access to so many e-readers and tablet devices, but almost a decade ago, this device was revolutionary, and with the new Kindle Oasis, Amazon is attempting to, once again, revolutionize the e-reader and tablet markets.
The first thing that people have noticed about the new Kindle Oasis is the price tag, and the question is this: is the Oasis worth the $290? There are a number of new features on the Oasis that certainly makes it stand out in the crowded e-reader/tablet market, but are these features enough to justify the price? What is the rush, as a consumer, to be the first to get your hands on this device?
Before you make your pre-order, however, there are a few things that you should know about this device. Here are the top 10 facts about Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis:
10. The Amazon Kindle Oasis is Thinner and Lighter Than Any Other Kindle
One of the newest features of the Kindle Oasis is the fact that it is the thinnest and lightest Kindle to ever hit the market. It is so thin, in fact, that it is 30 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than any other Kindle. Though the screen on the Oasis is 6 inches, the same as other versions of the Kindle, when looking at this device from the side, it is easy to note that it is visually thinner. When holding it in your hands, the device is also noticeably lighter, at 4.6 ounces, when compared to the Kindle Voyage, which was the version that was released previous to the Oasis.
It’s true that the Oasis is thinner than other models of the Kindle, but one feature also sticks out when examining the thinness of this device: it has a ridge on the back that is raised, which allows users to grip the device easily when the cover is not on. This feature makes holding the Oasis similar to holding a magazine or newspaper. The thinness of this device ranges from 0.13 to 0.33 inches due to this ridge, but even at its thickest point, it is still thinner than both the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite, and equal to the Kindle Voyage.
Since this device is so thin and light, it is easy to carry around, and perfect for those who are always on the go. It is also the perfect device to take on your next beach vacation, as this Kindle has a special screen that blocks out the sun, meaning you can read in bright conditions.
9. The Amazon Kindle Oasis Battery Lasts for Months
One of the things that make the Kindle Oasis so revolutionary is the battery. In fact, there are two batteries, an internal battery, which all Kindles have, and an external battery, which is part of the carrying case. You can also fully charge this battery in as little as three hours.
There are two ways that you can look at the battery life of the Kindle Oasis. First, you have to look at the battery life when using the device. With typical use of a half hour each day, such as reading before bed, the device’s battery and the cover battery will keep the Oasis going for about 8 weeks. However, there are conditions that you will have to include to get this much battery life. For example, you will have to keep Wi-Fi off, as if you keep it on constantly, it will drain the battery over time. Additionally, you will have to keep the brightness of the Oasis down, as the brighter the screen is, the more battery it will use. Amazon recommends keeping the Oasis’ screen at a brightness of 10, which gives users the best experience at the best battery life.
The Oasis can last even longer when the device is idle, which means you can put it away for a few weeks, turn it back on, and it will be ready to go when you are ready to download the next best seller.
8. The Amazon Kindle Oasis Has a Black and White Display
A black and white display might not seem too exciting at first glance, as all of the Kindle e-readers have a blank and white display. However, this display is special.
The Kindle Oasis has Paperwhite technology, which enhances the readability of the display. This technology allows you to read the display in any amount of light, from the darkest room to the brightest beach.
The Paperwhite technology works so well because it uses e-ink, which makes the screen almost identical to reading a book. The e-ink is made of microscopic particles, which are black and white, and they come together in certain configurations to display images and text on the screen. These particles are contained within small spheres, and there are electrodes found underneath. The black particles have a negative charge, and the white ones are positive. When the negative charge turns on under the sphere, it pushes the black particles up to the surface, and it makes the area look black on the screen. When the positive charge is applied, it repels the white particles that seemingly “erase” the e-ink, and the area looks blank.
Though the display is black and white, it is advanced enough to create grayscale, which helps to enhance the look of the display, as shadows and highlights are possible. The screen surface is also matte, which is how it can be read in the such, but this matte screen also makes the text smooth and readable. It also tricks the eyes into thinking they are reading from an actual book instead of a computer screen, and this helps to reduce eye strain.
7. The Amazon Kindle Oasis Comes With a Charging Cover
Though the charging cover was mentioned above, it worth more discussion, as this is a new feature in the world of the Amazon Kindle. The cover is removable and is made of leather. It is available in three colors, merlot, which is red, black and walnut, which is brown. This is only scratching the surface of this cover, however.
The cover opens up just like a book, and it fits closely around the Kindle’s bezel. This allows users to turn the kindle on and off simply by lifting and closing the cover. The cover contains 12 magnets, which helps the cover form an attachment around the device, and though these magnets hold the cover in place, it is still easy to detach when the user wants to remove it.
The Kindle Oasis cover also charges the device, which makes it a technological first for Amazon, though there are certainly other charging cases on the market. In this case, the cover is charged along with the device, and serves as a backup battery for when the device runs out of juice.
Because of the material and the technology involved in this case, it is likely one of the reasons this e-reader has such a steep price tag. However, it is also the reason why you can get months of battery life out of this device.
6. The Amazon Kindle Oasis Reads Like a Book
The Kindle Oasis, just like all of the Kindle devices from Amazon, definitely reads like a book. First, there is no sunshine glare, which has been mentioned, but this is important for Amazon because it’s competitors, such as the iPad from Apple, do not have this feature, and in the sun, it is difficult to read those screens. To further make this “virtual book” a reality, the screen of this device is micro-etched which makes it feel like a book, too.
The Kindle is designed for reading only, so you will not be distracted by alerts such as emails, texts, and social media. As with a real book, you can also add margin notes when using the Oasis, and these can be edited, deleted and exported from your Oasis to your computers. You can also highlight sections of your books, and share them on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads.com.
There is also a page flip feature on the Oasis, which allows you to skim through the rest of the book without losing your place. This helps you look ahead or look back without losing your place in the book.
Finally, thanks to the design of the Kindle Oasis, you can read comfortably with just one hand, which is exactly how many people like to read a book. Since it is lightweight, you can easily hold the Oasis in one hand, and since it has the ridge in the back, it makes it comfortable to hold, too.
5. The Amazon Kindle Oasis Allows You to Share, Borrow and Browse, for Free
When you choose the Kindle Oasis, you will have access to millions of books, including new releases. Many of these are free, many more are available for download for less than $3.00, and there are more than a million exclusive books for Kindle only. These books come from authors such as Ian Fleming, Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke and Oliver Potzsch.
It is also possible to borrow books for free from your local library, and you can download them instantly onto your device. Public domain books, such as Pride and Prejudice, A Tale of Two Cities and Les Miserables, are also free to download onto your device. Do you like to read a sample of books before you buy? The Kindle Oasis also allows users to do this. You can also lend Kindle books to friends or family for up to 14 days. They do not have to actually have a Kindle, either, as long as they have the Kindle app on their tablet, computer or smart phone, you can share.
Finally, the Kindle Oasis comes with a feature called Kindle MatchBook. This allows you to buy print-edition books, even those you have purchased in the past, and then later purchase the Kindle edition of the book for less than $3.00. These books are available for purchase directly from the Kindle Oasis, from the Kindle app, or even from Amazon.com, where it will be downloaded to your device.
4. The Amazon Kindle Oasis Helps Kids Learn to Love to Read
If you have kids, you will also find that the Oasis has features that allow children to get into reading, something that is extremely important for many parents. For instance, there is an Amazon FreeTime feature, which allows families to set up reading goals for children, and they can earn achievement badges when they reach certain milestones. As a parent, you can access progress reports that show how much time a child spent reading, what books they have ready, and which words they looked up during the course of their reading time.
Speaking of words, there is also a feature known as Vocabulary Builder, which automatically adds the words that kids look up during the course of their reading to a list, and then the Vocabulary Builder feature will create flash cards that help children to enhance their vocabulary. The Oasis also has a program called Word Wise, which is available for many English-language youth books. This program causes simple and short definitions to pop up over words that may be seen as difficult, so that children can keep reading without interruption.
The Kindle, including the Kindle Oasis, is the official e-reader of the National PTA, and there are programs for the Kindle available through local PTA organizations across the country. Parental controls are also available on the Oasis, and you can be sure, when your children use Kindle FreeTime, that your children will only have access to the books you approve. They will not have access to the Internet, the ability to purchase books or share information on social media.
3. The Amazon Kindle Oasis Has Two Wi-Fi Options to Choose From
When you purchase the Kindle Oasis, or any Kindle version, you will have two options for Wi-Fi to choose from. The first, the typical Wi-Fi option, is a good choice for anyone who has wireless internet set up at home. This allows you to connect to any Wi-Fi connection to download books, browse the Kindle store and take advantage of the other features the Kindle Oasis has to offer. This is the standard connectivity feature that comes with the Kindle Oasis.
For an additional $70, you can choose the Wi-Fi + 3G option. This is the easiest option, as you don’t need to set up a wireless connection to use the device, and you can start using it right out of the box. No wireless access? No problem. As long as you can use a cell phone in an area, you can use your Kindle Oasis, even if there is no Wi-Fi connection available. There are no fees to use this 3G connectivity, and once you pay the additional $70, you won’t have to pay for any other connection. This is a good option for those who travel internationally, too, as the 3G connection can be used in more than 100 countries throughout the world, even if a traditional Wi-Fi signal is not available.
You also can choose to pick a Kindle with or without offers. If you want to keep the device under $300, you would choose the Kindle with offers, which displays an advertisement instead of a screensaver when starting the device.
2. The Amazon Kindle Oasis Has a High Resolution Screen With an LED Backlight
One of the greatest new features of the Kindle Oasis is its high resolution screen. This display has a 300 ppi display that creates crisp text that looks much better than on other Kindle devices, such as the Kindle Voyage. These devices also have a built-in light feature that contains a total of 10 LED lights to backlight the device. Though these lights are also featured in the Kindle Voyage, there are only four of them, which gives the Oasis 60 percent more LEDs than other Kindles on the market. These lights help to make the screen brightness more consistent, and since the display is customizable, you can find the perfect amount of light for any condition.
This display also makes the Kindle Oasis superior to other e-reading devices, as it helps to guide the light to the surface of its display as the device has a built in front light, too. Other tablets are only illuminated with a back light, which only shines in the eyes. With the addition of the front light, you can read for many hours without having to worry about the eyes becoming strained.
1. The Amazon Kindle Oasis is a Luxury Option
Because of the $300 price tag, the Amazon Kindle is a luxury option when it comes to Kindles. You can buy a regular Kindle for $79.99 if you want to read books on a device, or buy the Kindle Paperwhite for $119.99 if you want to experience the Paperwhite technology firsthand. For the Oasis, if you choose to add the 3G and lose the special offers, you will spend $379.99. That is a huge difference, and something that many people are already balking at even though the device has not yet been released.
When it comes to features, it’s quite easy to see why the Oasis is far superior to the base Kindle model. However, when it comes to comparing the Oasis to the Paperwhite, things are not quite as clear.
For instance, the Oasis and the Paperwhite both have LED backlights, touchscreens and 300 ppi displays. Both have 6 inch screens, glare-free displays and have enough storage to hold thousands of books.
The question that people interested in the Oasis will have to ask themselves is if the extra features are worth the, up to, $260 difference. For that price, you will get six more LED lights, the leather charging case, page turn buttons and a lighter, sleeker design. For some, this price difference will be well worth it, but for others, this is the biggest negative to choosing the Oasis. Yes, the software is more advanced, and tech heads will certainly want to pick this up, but for the average user, an upgrade from the Paperwhite or even the Voyager might not be that noticeable.
Though consumer reviews for the Kindle Oasis are yet to be seen since it has not yet been released to the public, most professional reviews like Amazon’s newest addition to the Kindle family. However, almost every review that you can find makes mention of the high price, and many of these reviews question if the price is worth the purchase.
Yes, you will get more convenience, extra battery life and a cool, new display, but at the end of the day, the Oasis is an e-reader. It is an e-reader that will read the same books as any other Kindle product, and unless you want all of the bells and whistles, you might be better off choosing a more affordable option if you are on a budget.
Bottom line is this: The Kindle Oasis is definitely a cool new offering from Amazon, and it comes with a lot of features that haven’t been seen before. If you want to spend the money on, it you should. The technology is top-notch, it offers a lot of convenience, and it is the closest to actually reading a book that you will get from an e-reader. Check it out here.