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Finally, Amazon has released the waterproof Kindle, three years after the first-generation Kobo Aura, and two years after Nook GlowLight Plus.
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Kindle Oasis 2 has the long-expected feature that will let you read without fear in the bathtub.
The e-reader meets IPX8 water resistance rating. It means you can put it in fresh water, two meters deep, and keep it there for up to one hour without causing any damage.
The second-generation Kindle Oasis is the first waterproof Kindle. However, water resistance is not something that makes Kindle Oasis stand out from the competition.
Amazon’s newest e-reader is the first one that has a built-in Audible support. It means you can play audiobooks on it. The trick is that it doesn’t have internal speakers or even a headphone jack. But it has Bluetooth. You can connect to it your Bluetooth-enabled headphones or speakers and the Oasis can play the audiobook companion with a few taps.
The newest top-shelf Kindle has two storage options – 8 and 32 GB – and it’s because of audiobooks. An audiobook file is much larger than an ebook.
Compared to its predecessor, released in spring 2016, Kindle Oasis 2 has a larger screen. The 7-inch display has an increased resolution of 1680 × 1264 pixels, keeping the same pixel density as in the 6-inch Kindle Paperwhite – 300 ppi.
There is one more thing that makes the Oasis a unique e-reader – the asymmetric design. The idea was not to make the device that looks original. The idea was to shift the center of gravity to one side, the one intended to be held in hand. Kindle Oasis is a perfect solution for anyone who wants to read ebooks conveniently for long hours with just one hand.
Later in the overview, you will see launch details, international availability, price variants, full tech specs, and comparison to other waterproof e-readers.
Kindle Oasis 2017 – major benefits
Amazon’s Kindle Oasis 2 is promoted as a waterproof e-reader that has built-in Audible. The water resistance is highlighted because it is a long-expected feature. Audiobook support is highlighted because it’s the biggest innovation.
Find below the features of the second-generation Kindle Oasis that are most important.
The last Kindle e-reader that was able to play audio files was Kindle Touch launched in 2011.
Kindle Oasis returns to playing audio, but the whole idea is redefined. You won’t be able to play your sideloaded music files on the new Oasis, using the headphones that you plug into the device via 3.5 mm jack.
The 2017 top-shelf Kindle doesn’t have the headphone jack. It also doesn’t have internal speakers. What it has is a Bluetooth module. To be able to listen to audiobooks, you’ll have to connect your external Bluetooth-enabled speaker or headphones.
Why such a solution? Amazon thinks that people who are willing to spend $250 for a single-purpose device already have Bluetooth audio accessories. Removing internal audio components saves some money, some space, and some weight.
So, Kindle Oasis 2 released in 2017 can play audiobooks using an external audio accessory. What’s most exciting is this is the e-reader which offers a feature you very well know from a Kindle app on a Fire tablet (or an Android-powered device).
How does it work? Amazon offers thousands of audiobook versions of Kindle ebooks. Once you decide to buy an Audible audiobook companion for the book you currently read (or decide to subscribe to Audible), you can download the audiobook to your Kindle Oasis.
And now the magic starts. You are reading an exciting book, but have to prepare dinner. Well, you don’t have to stop following the story. With a few taps, you can switch to an audiobook companion and hear the voice exactly at the place you stopped reading!
And after finishing dinner, you can switch to reading when you are ready.
Many users hunt for devices with microSD card slot or bigger storage options. Big storage makes sense in smartphones or tablets. Users want to pack them with tons of apps, games, and videos.
But e-readers? An ebook file takes a little fraction of the video. 4 GB can handle thousands of ebooks. Are you going to download thousands of ebooks to your e-reader? Are you going to finish them all until you decide to replace the device with the newer one?
Kindle Oasis is available with either 8 or 32 GB of internal memory. The bigger storage is not to pack dozens of thousands of ebooks. It’s there to download dozens of audiobooks. An audio file is much larger than a text file.
Kindle Oasis 2 User Guide gives more information on the storage. The 8 GB version can fit around 35 audiobook files. The 32 GB gives room for over 160 Audible audiobooks.
The first-generation Kindle Oasis surprised users with an asymmetric design. The design is not there to shock, however. It is intended to help owners use the e-reader with one hand. It was a good idea to use the ergonomic design in the 2017 model as well.
The shape is not only about placing page-turn buttons on the side which you keep in your hand. The whole thing is that the gravity point was moved to that side as well, by placing an internal battery and most other components in the grip area.
Thanks to that, your hand won’t hurt even if you keep the device in the same position for long hours.
Kindle Oasis weighs less than the latest-generation Paperwhite. Any new device should be lighter, right? Yes, but the Oasis 2 has the larger screen.
The newest 2017 Oasis has the 7-inch front-lighted display. Compared to the 6-inch Paperwhite, the screen can show 30% more text. As a result, you’ll need to turn pages less often. Plus, you can increase the text much more, without causing serious formatting issues.
What’s most important, the larger screen keeps the same pixel density as in the Kindle Paperwhite – 300 ppi (pixels per inch). It means that the text is clear and crisp, and the comfort of reading is higher. Why? The same sharp text as on the Paperwhite, but on the bigger area.
The larger screen, the same pixel density – it means the resolution had to increase. Yes, Kindle Oasis 2 has the resolution of 1680 × 1264 px, compared to 1440 × 1080 in Paperwhite, or 1430 × 1080 in Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 or Nook GlowLight Plus.
Water resistance IPX8 rating
IPX8 rating means Kindle Oasis can withstand immersion in 2 meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes.
How many times will you have to leave your e-reader for one hour under water? If it accidentally slides out of your hand and drops to the bathtub, you will take it out immediately.
When you try to imagine how many times the waterproof design will save your e-reader from getting damages, you may realize it may happen very rarely.
I think IP67 is enough for an e-reader, especially that it’s the kind of device you rather won’t use in extreme conditions.
Kindle Oasis 2017 – launch details
Kindle Oasis 2 was announced in a press release on October 11, 2017. As usual, at the same time, the device appeared on Amazon website, and users were able to pre-order it.
There are five versions of the Kindle Oasis 2017 to choose from. You can decide on the storage, special ads, and cellular connectivity. To configure the device, you will need to add it to cart first.
Here are the prices for US customers:
- 8 GB, Wi-Fi only, with special offers – $249.99,
- 8 GB, Wi-Fi only, without special offers – $269.99,
- 32 GB, Wi-Fi only, with special offers – $279.99,
- 32 GB, Wi-Fi only, without special offers – $299.99,
- 32 GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular, without special offers – $349.99.
As you see, the version that can connect via cellular network is only available without special offers.
The newest Kindle is available for pre-order not only in the Amazon online store. You can also order it on Best Buy.
Three versions are available on Best Buy: the 8 GB and 32 GB with special offers, and the top variant with 32 GB and Wi-Fi/Cellular connectivity. Don’t expect any price cut or discount, though. The only extra benefit from Best Buy is $20 to spend on Shutterfly digital download service.
As usual, together with the new device, Amazon is launching original case covers. This time, not one but two designs are offered. The difference is in the material.
- Kindle Oasis Premium Leather Cover – the case is crafted from premium natural leather. Available in three colors: Merlot, Saddle Tan, and Midnight,
- Kindle Oasis Fabric Standing Cover – the textured fabric, the same you can find on cases for other Kindle models, is water-safe. Available in three colors: Charcoal, Indigo, and Sandstone.
What does “water-safe” mean? The case is not water resistant. When you drop it in water, the case will get wet, but nothing wrong should happen. After the case dries, it should look the same as before: no shape deformation, no change of color. However, you should not try to test it with coffee or wine.
In both case models, the construction of the stand is the same – the front cover folds to create the support similar to the picture frame.
Kindle Oasis 2017 – international availability
The 2nd-generation Kindle Oasis is shipping on October 31, and users from all over the world are eligible to order it.
In the main Amazon store, customers shopping from the outside the US can buy the international version of Kindle Oasis 2017. However, there is only one version you can order. It’s the variant with 32 GB of internal memory, Wi-Fi only, and no special offers. It costs $299.99.
Kindle Oasis can be also ordered though localized Amazon stores. Here are the prices for the entry-level variant:
- Amazon UK – GBP 229.99,
- Amazon France – EUR 249.99,
- Amazon Germany – EUR 229.99,
- Amazon Italy – EUR 249.99,
- Amazon Spain – EUR 249.99,
- Amazon Canada – CAD 389.99,
- Amazon Japan – JPY 33,980,
- Amazon India – INR 21,999,
- Amazon Brazil – BRL 1,149
- Amazon Mexico – MXN 5,649
The new Kindle Oasis will be released in most countries the same day as in the US – October 31. It will launch later in Brazil (November 7), and India (November 15).
Kindle Oasis 2017 – comparisons
An obvious thing to do – and something most users would like to see – is comparing side by side the newest Kindle Oasis with waterproof e-readers from the competitors. It’s what you will see in the table below.
So, let’s have a look at tech specs of Kindle Oasis 2 versus Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 versus Nook GlowLight Plus.
As you see, the 2017 Oasis is the most expensive model. Narrowing down the comparison to one single feature – water resistance – would not justify the price that is twice as high as Nook’s and $70 higher than Kobo’s.
Kindle Oasis 2 compared to other waterproof e-readers
|Feature||Kindle Oasis 2||Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2||Nook GlowLight Plus|
|Screen size||7 inches||6.8 inches||6 inches|
|Pixel density||300 ppi||265 ppi||300 ppi|
|Screen resolution||1680 × 1264 px||1430 × 1080 px||1430 × 1080 px|
|Water resistance||Withstands immersion in 2 meters of fresh water for 60 minutes||Withstands immersion in 2 meters of fresh water for 60 minutes||Withstands immersion in 1 meter of fresh water for 30 minutes|
|Blue light control||No||Yes||No|
|Dimensions||6.3 × 5.6 × 0.33 in
159 × 141 × 8.3 mm
|5.08 × 6.77 × 0.35 in
129 × 172 × 8.8 mm
|4.7 × 6.4 × 0.34 in
120 × 163 × 8.6 mm
|8 GB||4 GB|
|micro SD card||No||No||No|
|Release date||October 31, 2017||May 2, 2017||October 21, 2015|
All e-readers can be immersed in the fresh water, so they resist not only water spills. Both Kindle Oasis and Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 meet IPX8 rating, so they are tested to withstand putting in 2 meters of water for up to 60 minutes.
The question is who would intentionally leave the e-reader in water for such a long time. When it comes to electronics, water resistance is all about getting undamaged from water spills or dropping the device in water by accident. All three e-readers can do that, so why pay more for the Kindle Oasis?
Water resistance was a long-expected feature in Kindle, but, in my opinion, it’s not the most important benefit of the new Oasis. It’s the ability to play audiobooks. Anyone who tried it with the Kindle app on the Fire tablet or an Android-powered device knows how stunningly easy it is to switch between reading a book and playing its audiobook companion.
A bigger internal memory? Yes, it’s a benefit, but 4 GB is enough for thousands of ebooks, and all e-readers can meet expectations of the vast majority of users. The bigger memory is needed to download audiobooks.
An audiobook file takes much more space. A version of the 2017 Kindle Oasis with 8 GB leaves 6 GB for the user – and it means that on average some 30 audiobooks can fit until the memory gets full. The 32 GB version is capable of holding around 160 Audible audiobooks, according to Kindle Oasis technical specifications.
Kindle Oasis 2017 – pictures
Take a closer look at the newest Amazon Kindle. Here are the most interesting pictures.
Kindle Oasis 2017 – review round-up
Let’s start with one of the first video reviews of the second-generation Kindle Oasis. David Carnoy, executive editor at CNET, says:
After years of staring at 6-inch e-ink screens, the Oasis’s 7-inch display feels like a breath of fresh air. It still offers a crisp 300-pixel-per-inch (ppi) resolution, but it can hold 30 percent more text than before.
While it wasn’t difficult to hold the Oasis for lengthy reading sessions, I found myself missing the impossibly light weight of its predecessor.
–Devindra Hardawar, Engadget
The ergonomic design packs the device’s innards into a thick portion on one side of the device, with the screen tapering out into an absurdly thin 3.4 millimeters on the other
I’ve spent countless weekend mornings in coffee shops trying to force my way through one novel or another on my iPad, only to find myself distracted by a tweet, a text, or a game. The Oasis feels downright meditative by comparison. Everything it can’t do makes it better suited to doing the one thing it can.
–Casey Newton, The Verge
The big caveat is that the new Kindle Oasis doesn’t come with a case, it’s an optional accessory, starting at $45.
The device being well balanced, I found it comfortable to hold, and the touchscreen is quite responsive. The text on the screen was sharp and had excellent contrast.
–David Carnoy, CNET
The screen has to remain dry while you’re reading, because water can trigger the touch response in unexpected ways.
Waterproof, with a bigger screen than previous Kindles, it keeps up with competitor Kobo’s technical innovations while giving you access to the most popular US library of ebooks. Is it a little more than most people need? Sure. But for serious bookworms, it’s a delight, and our Editors’ Choice for high-end e-readers.
–Sascha Segan, PC Magazine
Kindle Oasis 2017 – full tech specs
We’ve collected all tech specs in one place so that you can analyze the 2017 Kindle Oasis e-reader in detail.
|Screen||7-inch E-Ink Carta touchscreen|
|Levels of gray||16|
|Screen resolution||1680 × 1264 pixels|
|Pixel density||300 ppi|
|Waterproof rating||IPX8 – tested to withstand immersion in 2 meters of fresh water for 60 minutes|
|Storage capacity||• 8 GB (approximately 6 GB available to the user) – thousands of books or over 35 Audible audiobooks
• 32 GB (approximately 27 GB available to the user) – thousands of books or over 160 Audible audiobooks
|Body color||Front: black, back: aluminum|
|Battery life||A single charge lasts up to six weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless and Bluetooth off and the light setting at 10|
|Charge time||• Under 3 hours from a computer USB
• Under 2 hours using the Amazon 5W charger (sold separately)
|Weight||• Wi-Fi version: 6.8 oz / 194 g
• Wi-Fi + Cellular: 6.8 oz / 194 g
|Dimensions||6.3 × 5.6 × 0.13-0.33 in / 159 × 141 × 3.4-8.3 mm|
|Wi-Fi||Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, or 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)|
|Cellular||4G LTE connectivity in US where available, 3G/EDGE/GPRS in other locations; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide wireless coverage via AT&T’s 4G LTE high-speed data network in the U.S and AT&T partner networks outside of the U.S|
|Bluetooth||Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from Kindle Oasis to your Bluetooth speakers or headphones. Bluetooth speakers requiring PIN codes are not supported|
|Audible-ready||Yes; capable of playing Audible audiobook companions for Kindle ebooks. Pair with Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones|
|Bluetooth||Yes; with support for A2DP compatible stereo headphones, speakers, microphone|
|Accessibility features||The VoiceView screen reader, available over Bluetooth audio, enables access to the vast majority of Kindle Oasis features. Kindle Oasis also includes the ability to Invert Black and White, adjust font size, font face, line spacing and margins|
|Supported formats||• Text: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprocted MOBI, PRC natively; HTML DOC, DOCX through conversion
• Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion
• Audio: Audible audio format (AAX)
|Original case covers||Yes; sold separately. Two variants to choose from: a protective premium leather or water-safe fabric cover||Warranty||1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year or 3-year Extended Warranty available for US customers sold separately|
|Included the box||• Amazon Kindle Oasis (2nd generation, 2017 release)
• USB 2.0 charging cable
• Quick Start Guide
|Launch dates||• Announcement: October 11, 2017
• Pre-orders: October 11, 2017
• Release: October 31, 2017
|Prices||• 8 GB, Wi-Fi, with special offers – $249.99
• 8 GB, Wi-Fi, without special offers – $269.99
• 32 GB, Wi-Fi, with special offers – $279.99
• 32 GB, Wi-Fi, without special offers – $299.99
• 32 GB, Wi-Fi + Cellular, without special offers – $349.99
Want to learn more? Check out User’s Guide for Kindle Oasis (2nd generation, 2017 release).
Kindle Oasis 2017 – product info
And, as usual, the last part of the overview is devoted to what the producer of the device is proud of. Here are the highlights from the product page of the 2nd-generation Kindle Oasis on Amazon.
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) – waterproof, Audible ready
The first waterproof Kindle
No more soggy pages with the all-new Kindle Oasis – it’s IPX8 rated to protect against immersion in up to two meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes. And it’s built to withstand getting splashed at the beach or dropped in the bathtub, hot tub, or pool.
Now with Audible
Now you can listen to the world’s largest library of audiobooks on your Kindle—anytime, anywhere, while traveling, cooking, or when you just want to rest your eyes. Pair with Bluetooth headphones or speakers to move seamlessly from reading to listening. Available via a free over-the-air update.
Our largest, highest resolution display
Featuring our largest 7-inch 300 ppi display, Kindle Oasis fits over 30% more words per page for fewer page turns. Crisp, laser quality text reads like real paper without glare, even in bright sunlight.
Ideal for one-handed reading
The ergonomic design shifts the center of gravity to your palm, to rest in your hand like the spine of a book. Easily turn the page with either the touch display or dedicated page turn buttons. Whether you choose to read with your left or right hand, the page orientation automatically rotates to match.
Larger storage capacity
Kindle Oasis is now available in 8 GB or 32 GB. Carry even more titles with you.
Got you covered
Complete your Kindle Oasis experience with a protective premium leather or water-safe fabric cover. The slim, form-fitting cover opens like a book and is designed to closely wrap the bezel like a glove. Snapping securely in place magnetically, automatically wake your Kindle or put it to sleep by simply opening or closing.
• • •
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