Amazon Goes Big: Kindle Oasis

Amazon attempts to reimagine their venerable e-reader.

The upcoming Kindle Oasis begins shipping April 27th with a retail price of $289.99. If that sounds expensive for a 6″ tablet that only displays e-books… well, you’re right. Amazon hopes you’ll find the new Oasis to be the perfect companion for their Kindle Unlimited plan.

But the nerds at Lab126, the skunkworks at Amazon, built in some unique features into this new flagship Kindle. One of the most touted specs is battery life. Usually measured in hours for wireless devices, the Oasis lasts days or weeks on a charge. And attach the included carrying case/battery and that extends to months!

But most of the design effort for the Oasis was focused on “look & feel” aspects. It’s not waterproof (despite early rumors). The actual hardware is barely different from the previous Kindle models, and the limited suite of apps are just as limited. But the physical UX is greatly improved. The Oasis is balanced and feels nice. It features a lump on the back that mimics a book spine. It weighs a scant 4.6 ounces. Connect the magnetic cover and you become a hipster carrying a moleskin.

And how you carry it might be the biggest improvement the Oasis offers. With this evolution of the Kindle it’s apparent Amazon is hoping to appeal to their customer’s sense of style. Making the e-reader more like a real book has always been a major goal. Now it strives for that analogy even without opening it.