Amazon Releases an All-New Waterproof, Audible-enabled, 7-inch Kindle Oasis for $250



Amazon today has released an all-new Kindle Oasis eReader, available for pre-order globally with shipment starting October 31.

At the end of this post I will include a copy of the press release that I received yesterday with an embargo until today at 9 a.m. ET.

I attended a demo of the new Kindle Oasis last week, on October 5th in New York City. You can hear my report on that event and a followup in-depth interview with Hany Ghali, senior product manager for Kindle at Amazon’s Lab126, in a special episode of The Kindle Chronicles, which I just uploaded.

The big news about the new Oasis is that it’s bigger.

The second-generation Oasis is the first Kindle to have a 7-inch screen, noticeably larger than the 6-inch E Ink screens that have been standard on every Kindle except the jumbo Kindle DX, which was introduced in 2009 with a 9.7-inch screen. The DX was quietly discontinued in 2014.

I didn’t have time to do any reading on the new Oasis, but my first impression is that the larger screen will be a pleasant improvement in Kindle reading. It holds 30 percent more text on a page, so you won’t have to press the next-page button as often. Or you could press the button, which is smaller than that of the original Oasis, with the same frequency and show the text in a larger font.

If you have ever protected your Kindle in a Ziploc bag for reading in the bathtub, a process perfected over the years by my wife Darlene, you will appreciate that the new Oasis is the first Kindle to be waterproof.

The new Oasis also includes built-in Audible capability via Bluetooth. You can connect the device to a speaker or headphones by Bluetooth and listen to any book in your Audible library. I’m disappointed that the new Oasis does not offer immersion reading, a feature that on a Fire tablet highlights the words as they are read by the professional narrator. If you switch to Audible on the new Oasis, the pages will not turn automatically, but because Whispersync is enabled, you will end up in the right place when you switch back to reading text.

Oasis 2.0 comes in two storage configurations–8 GB for $250 with WiFi only and special offers and 32 GB for $280. The less expensive Oasis has twice the storage of the original. There is also a 32 GB model with free cellular connectivity available for $350.

[Correction] When you bought an original Oasis with WiFi and special offers, it cost $360 and included a case with a supplemental battery. The original Kindle Oasis is $289 for WIFI + special offers, and $359 for WAN + special offers. That innovative two-part design has been abandoned in the new Oasis, so your purchase of the $250 device might be all you need. A cover that snaps onto the new Oasis is available for $50 in a fabric material and $60 for leather. These covers can also serve as stands for reading hands free, a feature that I missed in the original Oasis cover.

In my interview in New York with Arthur van Rest, general manager for Kindle and accessories at Amazon, I asked how robust the Kindle platform is 10 years after its introduction, given that more people are reading Kindle books on smartphones and tablets than ever before. His answer, as follows, gratified me, given that I continue to be a huge fan of the E Ink Kindle:

It’s been 10 years since we first introduced a Kindle device, and our sales performance is testament to the commitment to the category. We continue to invest, and we continue to innovate in the category. Every generation or Kindle has added new features, new functionality both in terms of hardware but also in terms of features to make the reading experience special. Features like X-Ray, WordWise and time remaining all make the reading experience better.

Kindle sales themselves have never been better. The Prime Day sales in July were the best-ever sales that we’ve ever had on Kindle devices both in the U.S. and worldwide. We love it that people read more either on a smartphone or a Fire tablet, but in the end I think a single-purpose device is the best way to read digitally. People keep coming back to a single-purpose device for what represents a real sanctuary for reading. People enjoy the Kindle Oasis, because it is a place where they can go and disappear into the world or the author without being distracted by social media or by emails or by other Internet use. And that’s what makes Kindle so special.

Music to my ears. Long live the Kindle, and an appreciative welcome to the newest member of the family!

 

Meet the All-New Kindle Oasis: Featuring a 7-inch, 300 ppi Display, Waterproof Design,

and Audible

 

Our largest, highest-resolution Paperwhite display with crisp, laser-quality text that reads like paper with no glare—even in bright sunlight

Thin and light design with an aluminum back and a unique ergonomic shape, so you can read comfortably for hours

The first waterproof Kindle so you can take your favorite stories even more places

With Audible built in, access the world’s largest library of audiobooks and easily switch between reading and listening to your book on your Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones

Read books your way—more options than ever before to personalize your ideal reading settings with font sizes, additional boldness levels, and new accessibility features

SEATTLE—October 11, 2017—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Today, Amazon announced its most advanced Kindle e-reader ever—the all-new Kindle Oasis, featuring our largest, highest-resolution Paperwhite display yet and a thin and light ergonomic design so you can read more comfortably for hours. The all-new Kindle Oasis is the first waterproof (IPX8) Kindle allowing you to read in even more places, from the bath to the swimming pool. The all-new Kindle Oasis has a battery life measured in weeks, not hours—and it includes a fast-charging capability that allows it to go from no battery to fully charged in less than two hours. With Audible built in, you can listen to the world’s largest library of audiobooks and easily switch between reading and listening to a professionally narrated performance on Bluetooth headphones or speakers. The all-new Kindle Oasis is available for pre-order today at www.amazon.com/kindleoasis for only $249.99 and will start shipping October 31.

“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, Senior Vice President, Amazon Devices and Services. “With a larger 7-inch, 300 ppi display, waterproof design, and Audible built right in, 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.”

Designed for comfort and personalization
With a larger 7-inch, 300 ppi display, the all-new Kindle Oasis fits over 30 percent more words per page, resulting in fewer page turns. Plus, it has the fastest page turns of any Kindle e-reader. The crisp, laser-quality text reads like paper with uniform display lighting and no glare, even in bright sunlight. The ergonomic design shifts the center of gravity to your palm so the device rests in your hand like the spine of a book, no matter which hand you chose to read with. You can easily turn pages with dedicated page turn buttons and the display will automatically rotate the page orientation, even when you switch hands.

The device’s unique shape tapers to an ultrathin 3.4 mm display featuring our strongest cover glass and a new aluminum back. The all-new Kindle Oasis is thin, light and durable—in fact, even with a larger display, the all-new Kindle Oasis weighs only 194 grams, 10 grams less than the best-selling Kindle Paperwhite.

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. Plus, it’s designed to withstand getting splashed at the beach or dropped in the bath tub, hot tub, or pool.

Take the story with you with Audible

You can now listen to the world’s largest library of audiobooks on your all-new Kindle Oasis with Audible—choose from over 375,000 professionally performed audio programs, including audiobooks, original audio productions, and exclusive content. With Audible built in, you never have to put your story down and can switch easily between reading and listening without changing devices. Connect the all-new Kindle Oasis with a Bluetooth-enabled device, like speakers and headphones, and it’s ready. You can also access the Audible store directly from the all-new Kindle Oasis to find your next great listen, including Grammy award-winning performances and A-list celebrities narrating popular titles.

Audible will be available on the all-new Kindle Oasis via a free over-the-air update when the device ships—and it will be available via a free over-the-air update to Kindle (Gen 8) and the first Kindle Oasis in the coming months. If you’re new to Audible, sign up for a free trial and get two free audiobooks.

Larger storage capacity for more great content

The all-new Kindle Oasis comes with two storage options—8 GB, which has twice the storage as the first Kindle Oasis, and can hold thousands of titles; and 32 GB, allowing you to store even more rich content with large file sizes, like Audible audiobooks, comics, newspapers, magazines, and more.

Personalized comfortread your book your way

There are more ways to personalize your reading settings on Kindle Oasis than ever before so you can enjoy your book the way you prefer:

  • New Font Size and Bold Settings: Now choose from more font sizes than ever before—and five levels of boldness—for whichever font you choose to read with. Combined with the new, 7-inch Paperwhite display, you can personalize your books so it’s perfectly comfortable for your eyes.
  • New Accessibility Options: In addition to the OpenDyslexic font, we’ve added a feature to invert black and white on the display if you have light sensitivity. The new enlarged display option also lets you increase the size of items like the text on the home screen and library as well as the book icons to make the all-new Kindle Oasis easier to read.
  • Light Settings: Built-in ambient light sensors automatically adjust the display to your surroundings whether you’re in a dimly-lit room or outside in the sun—and can be fine-tuned even further based on personal preferences.
  • Ragged Right Alignment: You can now read using left-aligned (ragged right) text.

Starting today, the new size and bold settings as well as ragged right alignment will be delivered as a free, over-the-air update to Kindle Paperwhite (Gen 6 released in 2013), plus all newer Kindle devices.

Thousands of books to choose from for Prime members

Prime Reading is available to all Prime members at no additional cost and offers unlimited access to a rotating selection of more than a thousand books, Audible narrations, magazines, comics, Kindle Singles, and more. With fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, short works, and magazines right off of the newsstand, you’ll always find something interesting to dive into, including Lonely Planet Travel Guides, Interpreter of Maladies, Animal Farm, and 1984, which are available right now as part of your Prime membership.

All the features readers love about Kindle

By design, Kindle e-readers are purpose-built for reading so you can lose yourself in a book. Unlike tablets and phones, a Kindle has no glare–even in bright sunlight—and won’t distract you with social media, emails, text messages, notifications, and more. The all-new Kindle Oasis includes all of the features that have made the Kindle family the best devices for reading, enhancing the experience beyond a print book:

  • Whispersync and Whispersync for Voice—Saves and synchronizes your last page read, bookmarks, and annotations from your Kindle eBook and Audible audiobook across all of your Kindle devices and apps, so you can always pick up where you left off on any device, whether you’re reading or listening. You can even switch between reading and listening on the same device and Whispersync will keep you in the right place in the story.
  • Worry-free archive—Automatically backs up your Kindle books in the cloud so you never need to worry about losing your books—re-download your books wirelessly anytime for free.
  • Goodreads—Kindle is integrated with the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations, with over 50 million members, 1.3 billion books added, and 47 million book reviews.
  • X-Ray—Explore the “Bones of the Book”—see all of the passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places, or topics of interest.
  • Word Wise—Available on many popular English language titles, Word Wise makes it easier to enjoy and quickly understand more challenging books. Short and simple definitions automatically appear above difficult words, so you can keep reading with fewer interruptions.
  • Family Library—With Kindle and Kindle reading apps, you can access not only your own books, but also books from the Amazon account of a spouse or partner.
  • Time to Read—Tells you how much time it will take to finish a chapter or a book based on your personalized reading speed.
  • Vocabulary Builder—Compiles words you look up in the dictionary into an easy-to-access list. Use these lists to quiz yourself with flashcards and instantly see words in context.
  • Share your favorite passages—Share book recommendations, highlighted sections, and meaningful quotes with friends via Facebook and Twitter.
  • Smart Lookup—Integrates a full dictionary definition with other reference information via X-Ray and Wikipedia.
  • Kindle FreeTime—Gives parents a simple, engaging way to encourage kids to spend more time reading. Hand-select books for your kids to read, and achievement badges are earned when they hit reading milestones.

World’s Best eBook Store

Kindle e-readers come with instant access to the Kindle Store, which includes:

  • World’s best selection—Millions of books, newspapers and magazines, including the latest best sellers, Kindle Singles, and programs like Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited, both which continue to grow.
  • Kindle Unlimited—Our premium reading subscription and a great choice for readers who want even more. Kindle Unlimited offers over one million books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, kids’ books and more—all for $9.99 after a 30-day free trial.
  • Kindle exclusives—Over 1,000,000 books are exclusive to the Kindle Store.
  • Kindle First—Access new Kindle books a month in advance of their official release date. Customers can choose one of the featured books each month for $1.99, and Prime members can make their selection for free—yet another benefit of Prime membership.

Pricing and Availability

The all-new Kindle Oasis is $249.99 for the 8 GB model and $279.99 for the 32 GB model—the 32 GB with free cellular connectivity is $349.99. All are available today for pre-order globally. Customers can also purchase a cover with a thin design that snaps perfectly onto the all-new Kindle Oasis and transforms into a stand for hands-free reading. The cover opens like a book, automatically waking the device when opened and putting it to sleep when closed. Choose from two materials in a variety of colors: water-safe fabric covers, all $44.99, come in Indigo, Sandstone, or Charcoal; and premium leather covers, all $59.99, come in Midnight, Saddle Tan, or Merlot. The covers fold into a stand to easily enable hands-free reading. Customers can learn more at www.amazon.com/kindleoasis.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more information, visit www.amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

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Comments 7

  1. Tom Semple wrote:

    I would like to see Immersion Reading as well, otherwise I don’t really see the point of Kindle as audiobook player. A smartphone or Echo will be a much better device for this.

    And while VoiceView is a godsend if you need it, I’d like to see Plain Old TTS for the rest of us (and support for other languages).

    Looking forward to the software updates. I am undecided about whether to get Oasis 2, but it is tempting.

    We should see cheaper third-party covers for this as well.

    Posted 11 Oct 2017 at 1:01 pm
  2. Len Edgerly wrote:

    I think it has TTS, Tom, although I didn’t see it in action.

    Posted 11 Oct 2017 at 1:09 pm
  3. Caroline in NH wrote:

    While I appreciate the waterproofing, I would not likely need it as I mostly use my Kindle before bed in the evening. I like the Audible integration, and I *love* the 7-inch screen, but I would be very unlikely to buy an Oasis. The asymmetrical form factor just does not work for me! If they bring my favorite, the Kindle Voyage, out with a 7-inch screen, I would definitely buy that!

    Posted 11 Oct 2017 at 1:49 pm
  4. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Makes sense, Caroline. Here’s hoping!

    Posted 11 Oct 2017 at 2:09 pm
  5. Tom Semple wrote:

    There is no TTS – look at the User’s Guide. It mentions only VoiceView.

    https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/customerdocumentation/EC9/Kindle+Users+Guide+EN-US.pdf

    Posted 20 Oct 2017 at 1:42 pm
  6. Tom Semple wrote:

    Note that the Audible feature is coming to first Kindle Oasis and also to Kindle 8th gen ‘in coming months’.

    I must assume VoiceView for Kindle Oasis as well, via Bluetooth (it ‘worked’ via audio dongle previously, proving audio support, but it is almost certainly true that Bluetooth support is latent – FCC filings, teardowns).

    Posted 20 Oct 2017 at 2:04 pm
  7. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Good catch, Tom. I thought they said at the demo that there would be TTS. I may have heard it incorrectly.

    Posted 20 Oct 2017 at 2:28 pm