Dedicated e-readers may have waned in popularity since the same relative functionality can be accomplished via smartphone and tablet apps. That said, there is still a niche market for customers who want a product optimized around book reading, and Amazon has effectively cornered this demographic. With that in mind, the online retail giant’s loyal bookworms should be excited with their latest release, the Kindle Oasis. For those simply interested in the evolution of devices, Amazon’s newest offering incorporates a feature not seen in other e-readers, along with some more general improvements.
The main boast of the Kindle Oasis, which the name humorously applies, is that it offers waterproofing protection. Readers can now safely enjoy their e-books poolside or with a cup off coffee without having to worry about errant splashes and spills. The level of protection is fairly robust too. When submerged in up to 6 and a half feet of water, the Oasis can survive an impressive hour. This is restricted to freshwater, so salty or chlorinated water can still damage the device, but Amazon confirmed that the Oasis still possesses some latent protection against these as well.
While there is a leather cover option, those purchasing the unit will want to opt for the cheaper woven fabric cover, since the leather offers no water protection. While it isn’t listed as waterproof, the fabric cover is “water safe,” meaning it will provide additional protection from drips or spills. That said, water drops on the screen will prevent it from functioning properly until they are wiped away. This issue is common with waterproof tablets and smartphones as well, so it isn’t a problem unique to the Oasis.
Aside from the water protection features, the other specs are merely incremental upgrades. It can be paired with Bluetooth earbuds to allow users to take full advantage of audio books, and those who own both a text and audio copy can switch seamlessly between each copy without losing their place. The Oasis boasts a seven inch screen, a full inch larger than older iterations. According to Amazon, the added inch enables the device to display 30 percent more text per page, though this will vary somewhat depending on layout and font choice.
The unit also includes more lights and reduced glare, making both daytime and nighttime reading much easier on the eyes. Coupled with the screen size, the Oasis should offer a better reading experience overall, so even if the water protection features aren’t appealing, it still provides enough new perks to firmly establish itself as an upgrade.