Amazon has been selling Kindles for 10 years now, but “waterproof” never appeared on its list of incremental technological advancements — until now.
10 Years in the Making
Amazon is celebrating the line’s upcoming 10th anniversary (November 19) a month or so early with an update to the high-end Kindle Oasis. The new Kindle is the first to get waterproofing, rating at IP8 for trips to the beach and bathtub reading (many a kindle has been lost to the tub). The new e-reader has been tested in two meters of water for up to 60 minutes. It’s also been tested in different water environments, like hot tubs, pools, and bubble baths. Amazon declined to say how it waterproofed the Kindle, but since it still has an open USB port for charging, it’s recommending that people stand the Kindle upright after it’s been submerged.
The new Kindle Oasis — the same name as last year’s premium Kindle — has jumped up in size, moving from a 6-inch screen to a 7-inch screen. It has an aluminium back, which gives it a more premium look and feel than the Kindles with soft-touch plastic. The Oasis also brings Audible playback directly to the device courtesy of Bluetooth audio.
Longer Battery Life and Bigger Screens
Unlike last year’s Kindle Oasis, which used a magnetic case you attached to the e-reader to extend its battery life, the new Oasis relies entirely on its built-in battery. It has a similar physical design, with one thicker side that tapers down on the other side, for one-handed reading. But Amazon has made a point of saying that it managed to fit in a bigger battery while keeping the tapered side of the device at 3.4 millimetres.
For the Avid Reader
As the most premium Kindle reader, the device is targeted at a relatively narrow band of consumers — those who want an essentially single-function device with a premium build.
The new Oasis is up for pre-order. Pricing starts at $249, with the LTE-enabled, 32GB version running an additional $100. You can pre-order the Oasis here.
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