Chip-Monks  ⁄  Desktops  ⁄  Amazon Kindle Oasis (2016)
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This past month Amazon brought out another tablet called Oasis to add to its Kindle series of devices.

Amazon’s Kindle has many versions, the Paperwhite one being the most popular and pocket-friendly versions.

A tablet-like device aimed specifically at readers, all Kindles are plugged into a gargantuan database of ebooks you can buy. Thus, Amazon’s Kindle line has proven to be probably the best devices for voracious readers. The only other e-reader that has caught on in the market has been Nook, again by an American brand, Barnes and Noble.

This new Kindle, called Oasis, is priced at INR 23,999 for the Wi-Fi model and INR 27,999 for Wi-Fi+ 3G model. The tablet comes in a compact pack with a USB cable and a charging cover which has its own battery, much like a power bank. The power bank is needed because the internal power of the device is not really sufficient by itself. With the charging cover clipped on, you can go months without having to plug it in to recharge!

As for the display, the Oasis has the same 6-inch sized display as that used on the Paperwhite and the Voyage. The external dimensions of the device however make is look quite different.

The Oasis’ bezel is thin on three sides and just wide enough to house two neat page-turn buttons, on the fourth. It is smaller and lighter than all the other Kindle models out there.

The e-reader has been designed to be held single-handedly and makes sure that your hand does not feel the strain of holding it up for extended periods.

The side page turn buttons make it pie-easy to turn pages – instead of having to turn pages by touching the edges of the screen (which is also supported on the Oasis), you also have buttons.

The screen also flips if you turn it around, making it more comfortable for left-handed people. It is physically asymmetrical by design – to make it easier to be cupped with one hand and held softly without the need of another hand. The display remains monochrome in colour.

As for the interface – your home screen resembles a modern landing page with the book being read currently, prominently featured along with reading lists and suggestions from Amazon and Goodreads.

The touch screen is faster and more responsive than what you expect from an e-ink device. What’s new is a Quick Settings panel from which you can enable aeroplane mode, sync the Kindle, adjust the backlight, view battery levels for the Oasis or the cover as well as access the rest of the settings menu. There are seven typefaces and eight font sizes to choose from.

Other features on the device include X-Ray – which shows you extensive character and book information, a built-in dictionary and Wikipedia access both help readers understand what the author is trying to say with words they may not recognise, or translate them if they’re in another language. All you need to do is hold your finger over the word and you can have options pop up to look up a meaning, highlight it, share it or add a note to it.

Whole passages can be shared over Twitter, Facebook, email or Amazon’s Goodreads book-based social network. Goodreads can be accessed straight from the Kindle too!

All of these features are, however, the same as other Kindles, including even the most basic USD 79 version.

As for other physical improvements are concerned, one considerable improvement is that the in the corners and edges of the screen of Paperwhite, particles have enough space to get stuck. The ink on the screen as well bleeds at times on the Paperwhite. While the Voyage is better in terms of the ink bleed, you will notice a considerable difference with the Oasis in both respects.

To give a short review of the device – it has three major pros in its favour. It has a new innovative design, a great new back-lit screen, and a vast selection of ebooks to choose from.
On the other hand if one had to count for cons, then they would be three we’d list – a shorter battery life as compared to other kindles (which is why you need a charging cover), only leather case as options, and that it is the most expensive Kindle, or an e-reader for that matter, yet.

With the price tags of over INR 20,000, one does begin to question if the Kindle comes with enough features to be worth the investment, or if one could just go for a regular tablet instead since all full-function tablets have inbuilt e-book readers, and all App Stores are replete with even more options to download reader software!

We think Amazon may have misstepped in the case of pricing for this device. Hopefully they’ll remedy it soon!

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