Amazon’s new 2017 Kindle Oasis e-reader is now water resistant, but is it still a lucrative buy?
Launched in 2016, Amazon’s first Kindle, Oasis e-reader, was slim, lightweight and sported a top-of-the-line E-Ink display. The e-reader also came with removable leather cover that had a built-in battery. And while the original Kindle Oasis was a big step in design aesthetics, the 2017 Oasis is more of a souped-up version with aluminium back and waterproof ability.
Similar to its predecessor, the new Kindle Oasis features an asymmetric design with one side thicker than the other. The thicker side is home to page-turn buttons, a power button and the micro-USB charging port. The thinner side now comes with 7-inch E-ink screen.
The new Oasis now has a bigger built-in battery capable of offering six weeks of reading as compared to the 2016 Oasis that had a small battery in the reader and a larger battery in the case, which charged the internal battery.
While the selection of built-in battery is a more refined solution, the larger battery of the new Oasis means that at 195 grams, it now weighs 63 grams more.
With an aluminium back, the new Kindle Oasis looks elegant and feels nice in hands. It’s not light but not heavy either. The solid aluminium body makes it a sturdy construction. The button placement is excellent and offers great tactile feedback.
The two new standout features in the 2017 Oasis are Audible audiobook integration and water resistance, a first for a Kindle device. The 2017 Oasis is claimed to survive up to an hour in two metres of fresh water, meaning small splashes of water at a pool or a beach would do it no harm, but don’t think of taking it diving.
Audible audiobook playback is just a button-press away and automatically syncs to the position in the e-book, if you own both, that is. This means that you can seamlessly switch between the e-book and the audiobook by using a pair of Bluetooth headphones or a speaker connected to the Oasis – there is no headphone socket.
As I left for work and walked towards the nearby metro station, I began listening to an audiobook on the new Oasis. Once I was on the train, I switched to reading the e-book version of the same book. The interesting thing that I realised is that if while listening you’re on a completed page, the sync automatically happens. But, if you’re somewhere in between a page, you’d have to find the last word that was uttered for the sync to happen. Overall, I found the experience smooth. But using this feature means that you’d have to essentially buy the book twice, for Amazon doesn’t allow you to download audiobooks from other sources, making the entire process a bit expensive.
Even for extended reading periods, the e-reader is comfortable to hold. I appreciated the bigger display, which is now capable of fitting more text on one page, which means that fewer page turns are required per chapter. You can either turn pages using the physical page turn buttons or tap the screen. According to Amazon, the display's cover glass is the strongest till now and the new dual-core 1GHz processor (with 512MB of RAM) offers slightly faster page turns than the previous version. The touch screen is quite responsive and comes to life even with a slightest touch.
For book lovers, the new Kindle Oasis 2017 still offers the same crisp and beautiful reading experience but now comes with a front light adjustment, which of course is an added benefit.
At Rs 21,999, the 2017 Amazon Kindle Oasis provides the best e-book reading experience money can buy. Although the bigger screen makes reading better, it also makes the device less portable. Overall, the durable aluminium chassis, water resistance and an auto-adjusting front light makes it one of top contender amongst e-readers.