The new Kindle Oasis is Amazon'south radical e-reader redesign

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 4:26 PM

The wedge-shaped Kindle Oasis is a petite and pocketable new e-reader from Amazon that sacrifices a bit of battery life to fit in the palm of your hand.

The new Kindle Oasis is Amazon'south radical e-reader redesign

The wedge-shaped Kindle Oasis is a petite and pocketable new e-reader from Amazon that sacrifices a bit of battery life to fit in the palm of your hand.

Announced Wednesday, the Oasis is both shorter and thinner than two thousand fourteen'south Kindle Voyage, which means there'south less space for a battery. It gets more than two weeks of battery life on its own, a sharp reduce from the Voyage, which claimed six weeks of life. To create up for decrease, the Oasis includes a neat new accessory: a leather cover that doubles as a power source, extending the battery life for more than nine weeks.

It also comes with a new, larger price tag of $290.

Related: Amazon: Read as much as you wish for $9.99

The Oasis is the most significant Kindle redesign in four generations. Even though the east Ink touchscreen is the exact same size and resolution as the previous version, the 4.6-ounce device looks and feels significantly smaller.

The new shape tapers off to an impressively thinly 3.4 mm on one side. The other edge is thicker for gripping, evoking a traditional book spine. The two buttons following to the screen let you flip pages one handed. An accelerometer lets the reader turn the device upside-down and automatically switches the button functions.

The contrast ratio is the same, and you can still flip pages by swiping the touchscreen. There is number warm night mode and the device isn't waterproof, but it still fits nicely in a Ziplock bag.

Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) didn't alter the Kindle lightly. The company is obsessed with studying how people read. It does field research, following readers around on their commute or to a cafe to look how they consume books in the wild (with permission, they're not just being creepy). At the company'south R&D office in Silicon Valley, it's a reading lab filled with various lighting and seating options. Readers are invited to settle in with a book while Amazon employees get notes about reading positions and how they keep devices.

Related: Jeff Bezos: Amazon Prime is so excellent 'you'd be irresponsible' not to join

With all that research, Amazon must've known the battery is the Kindle'south most beloved feature. Kindles measure battery life in weeks and Amazon is being literal, unlike smartphones that latest a "day" (that'south code for twelve hours). The reduce in battery life from six to two weeks might be a turn-off to readers who displeasure the stuffy see of the new covers. Available in black, merlot and walnut, the leather accessories attach with magnets and automatically recharge the Kindle.

The Kindle'south work has always been straightforward: to see as much love paper as possible, and let people read with minimal distractions. Amazon nailed that mission a while back. Subsequent devices have been so well made and loved, that there'south not generally a large rush to upgrade, as with smartphones.

That'south excellent news for anyone who can't afford an Oasis. Ranging from $290 for a Wi-Fi-only Kindle with ads to $380 for a 3G ad-free Kindle, the Oasis is the most expensive Kindle since the first edition released eight years ago. That cream, button-covered eyesore cost $399.

Amazon has long said it doesn't create money off the e-readers themselves. They're just a tool to obtain people to purchase the 4.4 million e-books on the site. Content is the company'south genuine money maker.

The Oasis is available for pre-order online starting Wednesday and will start shipping on April twenty-seven.

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