Amazon on Wednesday unveiled a new Kindle Oasis to mark the 10-year anniversary of the company’s original Kindle e-reader launch.
The new Oasis comes with a larger screen, a waterproof design and a direct integration with Audible. Amazon says it has designed the new Oasis to be more functional and comfortable to use, with a 7-inch, 300 ppi display with higher resolution and faster page turns.
The device is also the first waterproof Kindle and Amazon claims that can be submerged in up to two meters of fresh water for up to an hour. Amazon says the battery charges faster and holds charges for up to 6 weeks.
The Audible integration is interesting but does require an extra step to make it workable. There’s no headphone jack on the new Oasis, so users have to connect the device to a Bluetooth-enabled device, like speakers or headphones, in order to listen to audio.
“Ten years ago, we introduced our first Kindle with the mission of delivering any book ever written in 60 seconds or less,” said Dave Limp, SVP of Amazon Devices and Services. “The all-new Kindle Oasis is our most advanced Kindle ever. Its thin, light, and waterproof design allows readers to stay engaged in the author’s world in even more places than ever before.”
The new Oasis retails for $249.99 for the 8GB model and $280 for a 32GB option, and will start shipping October 31. The Kindle Oasis line first launched a year ago.
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The new entry-level Kindle should deliver a perfectly acceptable e-reading experience, but it has a lower-resolution screen than more expensive models, and lacks a backlight.
Like Apple, Amazon has achieved near-monopolistic market control, apex agility in terms of supply chain, and sustained consumer zealotry for its devices.