Amazon’s announcement of the Kindle Oasis was stepped on by a few leaks earlier in the week, but today is the official rollout of the new Kindle. The company is removing its iterative releases for a wildly new product.

Kindle had to do something. Only so many times you buy the same product over and over. It’s not like the Kindles are made by Apple…

Kindle Oasis Design Changes

It’s the elephant in the room. The Kindle Oasis is a departure from the traditional design. It’s thinner, lighter and stronger. On average, you can expect a 20% lighter and a 30% thinner Kindle experience.

Tapering from the handgrip, the display works out to be .13’ thick. Back to the handgrip, it is the most noticeable design change. You’ll notice a hump on the side of the Oasis. Marketed as an ergonomic grip, it also houses the battery for the e-reader.

A nice feature is it accommodates righties and lefties. Turn it and the screen automatically orients itself to that reading position. Page turn buttons are ideally placed to flick the page with a thumb tap.

Kindle Oasis Price

So long affordable Kindle options. The Oasis starts at $289.99. Operative word being ‘starts.’ The price listed on Amazon is for the Oasis with special offers. Opt out and the price hits $309.99.

Enjoy traveling? The Wi-Fi + 3G model adds $70 for a final price of $379.99. It does close in on iPad pricing, but you can’t beat the reading experience of Amazon’s e-ink display. It can ‘Night Shift’ all it wants; a dedicated e-reader is a better experience, and your eyes will thank you.

The special offers do take off $20, so it’s the consumer’s call. For me? I find it ridiculous to have it in place to keep the base price under $300.

Release Date

One of Amazon’s benefits is when they announce a product; its release is around the corner. You can pre-order the Kindle Oasis today with a ship date set for April 27th.

Amazon is already gearing up for demand by tempering expectations. Already, the company is letting customers know some configurations will ship later than the 27th. Expect a few delays, but nothing the company won’t have ironed out within the release window.

Kindle Oasis Features

The design is the biggest feature, and Amazon is happily trumpeting its the thinnest Kindle ever to anyone who listens. It’s a matter of perspective on the facts. The tapered display is the thinnest, but the grip jumps the thickness.

Personally, the grip is a nice touch for those that like to read one handed, and gives you something to hold on to.

For the display, Amazon is likely using the same e-ink display found in the newer Kindle Voyage and Paperwhite models. That puts the display at 1440 x 1080 with a pixel density of 300ppi.

Where it departs other Kindle models is the front lighting system. A standard Kindle model lacks built-in lights – who remembers clipping on a light to the original Kindle? The Paperwhite contains four LEDs while the Voyage has six with a light sensor. A Kindle Oasis features 10 LEDs to solve the patchy lighting of past Kindles.

Battery life for the Kindle Oasis is squarely in the ‘it depends’ category. If you use the external battery case, Amazon is claiming ‘months’ over the ‘weeks’ previous Kindles enjoyed.

Kindle Oasis leather charging cover

Kindle Oasis Accessories

Battery case? Oh yes, and it’s probably why the price point is a bit extreme for a Kindle. The removable leather charging cover comes with each Oasis, and can be charged together.

The leather cover contains twelve magnets to secure the Oasis, and opening/closing the cover wakes or puts the Kindle to sleep. One glaring issue is the Amazon logo embossed on the cover. Why Amazon? That’s an unfortunate design decision on what is a great looking Kindle.

Color options include Black, Walnut and Merlot. I wonder how long until we get third-party support for additional colors, textures and the definite removal of the Amazon branding.

It’s a solid entry for the Kindle family. The price may be off putting, but the design and feature set help ease the sticker shock. Now, ditch the Amazon logo on the cover. Sound off below on if you’ll be upgrading to the Kindle Oasis.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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