Amazon launches All-New Kindle Oasis for $249.99


I didn't have much time to demo the new Oasis, but it's certainly intriguing.

The upgraded Kindle also boasts a seven-inch screen, one inch larger than its predecessor, and has the capacity to play audiobooks from Audible, the Amazon-owned retailer.

Readers have been requesting a waterproof Kindle for years. There are ambient light sensors to adjust the brightness automatically. That means it can fit 30 percent more words than before and Amazon says page turns are even faster.

The Nook GlowLight Plus packs a sleek aluminum design, six weeks of battery life and a 6-inch screen for just $129.99. Gone are the physical keyboard and headphone jack (see below), and here are Bluetooth, deep Audible integration, and adaptive lighting. While it appears lopsided, it actually feels balanced when you hold the Oasis one-handed.

While many other gadget categories have been stamped out by smartphones, ebook readers endure because they speak of focus, rest, and freedom from the world of alerts, multitasking, and intrusion. Simply tap the top portion of the screen while reading to launch the menu, look for the headphone icon in the bottom right-hand corner and, assuming you've previously paired the Oasis with your speakers, headphones or vehicle audio system, playback will begin at the top of the page you're now reading.

The screen is also the brightest Amazon's offered up.

Amazon just announced the all-new Kindle Oasis.

Last year, we got the high-end Kindle Oasis, and now Amazon is doubling down with the appealing (if poorly named) New Kindle Oasis. It also has a marked advantage when attempting to read image-heavy works, like comics, on the thing (though comics on an e-reader is still a big no-go, as far as I'm concerned).

Alas, Amazon isn't yet making it easier, or cheaper to buy both types of publication in the Kindle store. The new Kindle Oasis also comes with fast-charging capability, allowing the device to be fully-charged in less than two hours.

Kindle Oasis is available for pre-order from Amazon starting today, with shipping due to start on October 31. Storage starts at 8 GB and goes all the way up to 32 GB, if you need that much.

Amazon in April 2016 added a new member to its established Kindle family. This includes more font sizes, five levels of boldness, the ability to invert black and white, and an option for ragged text alignment. Barnes & Noble's Nook business is dead, and Kobo has never been able to get real traction in the United States (although it's popular in Canada) outside of free-software fans and hardcore Amazon haters.