Kindle Oasis (2017) Review

Kindle Oasis (2017) Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Kindle Oasis WiFi costs Rs. 21,999
  • The Kindle Oasis 3G costs Rs. 28,999
  • The ebook reader is now waterproof and has a larger screen

The Kindle Oasis was Amazon’s top-of-the-line ebook reader when it debuted in 2016. We really enjoyed reading books on the 2016 Kindle Oasis and in our review, we stated that price aside, it’s about as good a reading experience as you can get. Amazon has now refreshed the Kindle Oasis by adding a larger screen and making it waterproof. Does that make it a better device? We used it for two weeks to find out.

First up, the bad news — the Kindle Oasis no longer ships with a charging cover. This was one of our favourite features of the 2016 Kindle Oasis, but Amazon has decided to do away with it. The 2016 Oasis was really compact and the charging cover gave it lots of extra battery power. The new Oasis is bigger and bulkier, and that allows room for a longer lasting battery. You’ll now have to buy a cover separately.

Ergonomically, we prefer the 2016 Oasis over the new one. The large screen on the new Oasis is obviously a plus, but it comes at the cost of comfort — we didn’t find it as easy to read on for hours at a stretch. The new Kindle Oasis is now waterproof, but it has a slippery back and we nearly dropped it quite a few times because of that. There’s a ridge at the back so its thickness is uneven.

The 2016 Oasis masks this neatly with the charging case, but this year the lack of a case highlights it. Amazon wants you to use the ridge as a grip to hold the Kindle with, but because it is so slippery, it’s not an effective design choice. The new Kindle Oasis is also heavier and we found ourselves moving it from one hand to the other once every 20 minutes or so.

kindle oasis 2017 oasis paperwhite gadgets 360 Kindle OasisKindle Oasis (2016) on the left and Kindle Oasis (2017) on the right. A Kindle Paperwhite is hanging out towards the top.

 

The Kindle Oasis (2017) has a large 7-inch display, which is one of the best screens you’ll find on an ebook reader today. Text is crisp and you won’t have any complaints when reading in the daytime. There’s an adaptive frontlight which illuminates the display when you’re reading in the dark. It works fine and didn’t strain our eyes much even after three hours of nonstop reading late at night. However, the auto-brightness feature is a bit too aggressive and we found that the intensity of the frontlight was constantly increasing and decreasing. This began to distract us from our books and we just disabled the auto-brightness feature entirely, and stuck to manually changing it as and when needed.

The new Kindle Oasis retains the two page-turn buttons of its predecessor, and they work just as well. When you rotate the Kindle Oasis to hold it in a different hand, the book rotates automatically. This means that you can flip pages using the two buttons no matter which hand you’re holding the Kindle with. These buttons are housed near the edge of a generous bezel; a neat way to ensure that you’ll never accidentally hit the screen when you want to turn the page.

The 2017 Kindle Oasis’s screen truly highlights why this device is the top ebook reader in Amazon’s lineup. The screen is flush with the device’s front, unlike the Kindle Paperwhite, where the display is slightly lower than its thick bezels. On the Oasis, the bezel is thick on the side with the ridge that you’ll use to hold the unit, and slim everywhere else. During the initial years, one of the limitations of e-ink displays used to be that they were a bit slow when it comes to refreshing pages. The minor lag that you used to see when going from one page to the next is now almost completely gone across the Kindle lineup.

kindle oasis 2017 power button gadgets 360 Kindle Oasis

 

The Kindle Oasis’ screen responds almost instantly when you turn pages, and this makes a big difference to the reading experience. There are a few new fonts called Amazon Ember and Amazon Ember Bold, in case you weren’t happy with the Kindle’s limited font choice, but for us the clarity of the display and the improved page refresh makes a much bigger difference than font choices. During our testing, the 1,243-page epic Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson was one of the books we read. When you’re going through a book that long, the quick page turns make a massive difference and using the dedicated page turn buttons is a lot smoother than tapping the touchscreen. Another advantage of the larger screen is the ability to appreciate graphics, such as the maps that you sometimes need to refer to in fantasy novels.

When we started using the Kindle Oasis, its battery life was around the 75 percent mark. After two weeks of regular reading — often with the frontlight enabled – the battery was almost completely drained. We think this is pretty good battery life. The Kindle Oasis charges through the same Micro-USB port that all other Kindle devices sold so far have been using. One would imagine that a switch to USB Type-C is due at some point, but at the moment we don’t see this as a big deal.

One big new feature of the 2017 Kindle Oasis is that it’s waterproof. The Kindle Oasis is IPX8 rated, which means that it’s supposed to be waterproof when submerged up to 2m deep in water for up to one hour. You can head to this page to check what you need to do to dry the Kindle if it gets wet, and what conditions are unsafe to use it in (such as steam rooms).

kindle oasis 2017 page turn buttons gadgets 360 Kindle Oasis

 

We tested our Kindle Oasis under a shower and by immersing it in a bucket of water. Under the shower, water droplets kept triggering the touchscreen and somehow changing the font size. We didn’t actually try reading when the Kindle Oasis was in a bucket of water, but it survived the experience. If someone splashes water on the Oasis, or if you accidentally drop it in water, it shouldn’t die. We never really read while sitting by a pool or and we can’t imagine needing to use a Kindle when walking outside in the rain, but if you wish to do these things, you no longer need to worry. Waterproofing is a really useful feature to have overall, and we hope that it will eventually make it to more affordable Kindle devices too.

The Kindle Oasis supports audiobooks, and the more expensive 3G variant has 32GB of built-in storage, as opposed to 8GB on the Wi-Fi variant (the one we reviewed). Audible, Amazon’s audiobook service, isn’t officially available in India yet so we didn’t get a chance to test it. However, it’s important to note that you’ll need a pair of Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen to audiobooks since there’s no 3.5mm audio jack or built-in speaker.

Overall, we’re quite pleased with the new Kindle Oasis but, personally, we didn’t like it as much as the original. We feel that it could have been designed better in terms of the grip and the rear texture, and the lack of a case feels like a downgrade. If the large screen and a waterproofing appeal to you, the new Kindle Oasis is a good buy. It costs Rs. 21,999 for the 8GB Wi-Fi version and Rs. 28,999 for the 32GB 3G one. If you’re buying an ebook reader at this price, then clearly budget is no bar and you’re getting the best of what Amazon has to offer. For those on a more modest budget, we still think the Kindle Paperwhite is a fantastic ebook reader. It will be more than enough for most people, and now the differences between the Paperwhite and Oasis are even more pronounced.

Pros

  • Large, clear screen
  • Waterproof
  • Dedicated page-turn buttons
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Doesn’t ship with a case
  • Expensive
  • No wired audio option for audiobooks

Overall rating (out of 10): 8

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[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple Phones, Trade-In Programs, a Kindle Refresh and More

new apple phones

[iPhone 5C]

If you missed the news this week, there’s likely a lot you’ll need to catch up on. We’ve got you covered. Check out this quick run down of all the stories most critical to your small business. From the worlds of mobile and software technology, social media, marketing and finance, the Small Business Trends editorial team gives you the information behind the stories and more on how they affect you.

Smartphone News

The $99 iPhone shows new direction. The iPhone 5c is here. And, despite the new low price and plastic shell, many insist it’s just a recasting of Apple’s iPhone 5. But that new low price will definitely be a draw for many small business owners. Have a look.

The new flagship iPhone has a powerful new processor. And lest you thought Apple was only making budget phones now, the iPhone 5s may change your mind. Some call it a mere tweak at a high price, but with a better processor, better camera and other features, it could make working mobile much easier.

Apple launches in-store trade-in program. This is actually an expansion of an existing program already run by Apple through its website. That program offers trade-ins for a lot more than just smartphones. Still, it could be convenient to upgrade your iPhone with a simple trip to your nearest Apple Retail Store.

Walmart starts a trade-in program too. The mega retailer joins the party, launching a smartphone trade-in program less than two weeks after the well-publicized similar move by Apple. It seems those used smartphones in your office are of some value after all.

More Mobile Gadgets

Galaxy Gear is the latest smartwatch. Move over Dick Tracey! Samsung’s first stab at the smartwatch market has a camera on its wristband and will let you make a voice call…assuming it’s tethered to your smartphone. The question is whether it’s a gadget your small business really needs or could just as easily do without.

The new Kindle Paperwhite arrives. Amazon says the new device offers 25 percent faster processing speed. That means faster page turning and an experience closer to that of reading a traditional book. But what will be most helpful to the mobile entrepreneur may be the extra long battery life.

Software Rollouts

Windows 8.1 heads to developers. The new Windows upgrade has more than just the return of the iconic start button. There’s also greater integration with Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage. Read about what’s reported to be an easy and secure sign in to virtual private networks and better control over company data.

New Apple mobile operating system due Sept. 18. The new iOS 7 for the latest crop of Apple smartphones will be available before iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s hit retail shelves or online stores. But what may be more interesting than what is featured in this new mobile operating system is what was left out. See details and a video walk-through here.

Social Media News

Twitter will acquire mobile ad platform MoPub. Specifically, the microblogging platform says it will acquire the mobile ad exchange for $350 million. Twitter hopes the company’s expertise will help bolster its own ad platform. That could include integrating MoPub’s real-time bidding technology.

Google Plus enables embedded posts. The new Google Plus embeddable posts are certainly an attempt to follow in the footsteps of Twitter and Facebook. But that could be a good thing if building your Google Plus network is important to your business. Here are the basic features and what’s similar and different when compared to the Twitter and Facebook features.

Marketing

Grumpy Cat forecasts the weather. There seems no end to the marketing potential of the sad sack feline who goes by the nickname Grumpy Cat. Of course, this kitty, real name Tardar Sauce, isn’t just a face. She’s become a meme. And the mere mention of her famous Internet moniker can sell anything from coffee drinks to weather apps like this one.

Finance

Capital spending remains weak. Capital expenditures refer to spending on assets that will benefit a company for more than a year. And they’ve declined by 35 percent since the Great Recession started says Scott Shane, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Case Western Reserve University.

Image: Apple

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Kindle Oasis: 4 Things to Know About Amazon’s Newest Ebook Reader

Kindle Oasis: 4 Things to Know About Amazon's Newest Ebook Reader

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Unlike previous Kindles, the Oasis is designed for one-handed reading.
  • It comes with a case, which has a built-in battery.
  • Everything is great, but it’s hard to overlook the $290 price tag.
The Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s sleekest, lightest ebook reader yet – and at $290 (Rs. 23,999 in India), unnecessary unless you’re a die-hard reader.The Oasis, which started shipping this week, is meant to be a luxury ebook reader – a solid, top-of-the line device, when money is no object. It’s designed strictly for reading, without Facebook, streaming video and other distractions common on full-functioning tablets.

Though the Oasis has a lot going for it, I didn’t find any feature that sucked me in or won me over after a few days toting around three Kindles in New York. Amazon would have had a stronger case if its cheaper readers weren’t already good.

Here’s how the Oasis compares with the $100 Paperwhite (currently on sale from $120) and the $200 Voyage (Rs. 16,499 in India):1. Comfort for reading
Unlike previous Kindles, the Oasis is designed for one-handed reading. One side is thicker, for a better grip, and the text flips so you can use either hand. At just 4.6 ounces (131 grams), the Oasis feels as light as a paperback.

Amazon executives say their goal is to make the device disappear so you can focus on the pages you’re reading. I found it a breeze to hold and flip the pages with one touch, either by touching the screen or using the page-turn buttons on the side.

But I also enjoyed reading with the Voyage and Paperwhite. I get lost when reading novels, whether it’s one-handed or two.

2. Better screen
Text looks crisp and bright on the Oasis, with a screen resolution of 300 pixels per inch. But the Voyage and the latest Paperwhite have that, too (The original Paperwhite was duller.)

All three also have built-in lights, but the Oasis is packed with more LEDs for a display that’s brighter and more evenly lit. The display adjusts automatically to ambient lighting. Reading in bright sunlight, I didn’t find the screen any brighter than the Voyage, but in a dim coffee shop, it did stand out.kindle_oasis_2_press.jpgThe Oasis also offers more fonts to choose from, including a new one called Amazon Ember – meant for easier reading, as it removes the tiny strokes, or serifs, at the tips of letters. Frankly, I prefer the strokes, as printed pages typically have them. Ember is only on the Oasis for now, though older Kindles might get them later.

Because I spend my day at the computer, I don’t want to feel like I’m staring at a screen when reading. The Oasis is much easier on the eyes than a phone or tablet because there is no glare and the screen is lit from the front, rather than behind – as in directly into the eyes. But the Voyage and the Paperwhite have those characteristics, too.

3. A case packed with power
The Oasis comes with a leather case, in black, merlot or walnut, so you’re saving $15 (roughly Rs. 1,000) or so, presuming you’d be buying a case with a cheaper Kindle.

The case attaches to the Oasis with a magnetic snap and makes the device easier to hold. In fact, I prefer reading with the case, even though it covers up the thicker edge meant for better grip.kindle_oasis_3_press.jpgThere’s a spare battery in the case, so you get nine weeks of reading combined, based on 30 minutes of reading a day. Though that’s more than previous Kindles, it’s not a crucial feature. It simply means you need to recharge it every other month rather than monthly.

4. Get more, pay more
The Oasis is sleek and chic, and given that it’s out of stock until June 1, it looks popular with at least some readers.

But it’s hard to overlook that price tag.

The basic version is $290 and comes with ads on the screensaver. Add $20 to turn them off and another $70 for 3G cellular connectivity, which allows you to buy and download ebooks when you don’t have Wi-Fi. The data plan is included. With the extras, the device costs $380, or about the same as a tablet with far more functionality.

Amazon’s other Kindles already provide a pleasant ebook reading experience. You could buy both a $100 Paperwhite and a $180 Fire HD tablet for the price of an Oasis, with $10 to spare for your first ebook.

Tags: Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Kindle Oasis, Internet, Kindle Oasis, Kindle Oasis Specifications, Kindle Paperwhite,Tablets, e Books, e Readers, eBooks, eReaders
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Amazon Launches Kindle Digital Books in 5 Indian Languages

Amazon Launches Kindle Digital Books in 5 Indian Languages
HIGHLIGHTS
Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, and Malayalam languages supported
The company hopes to tap the niche but growing market in India
The books can be accessed on Kindle eReaders or the Kindle app
Amazon’s ebook reader, Kindle will now support content in five Indian languages, including Hindi,

Gujarati and Malayalam, a move that will help the US-based firm tap into the niche but growing ‘digital regional content’ market in India.

“We are adding thousands of digital books in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati and Malayalam, including the largest digital selection of best sellers, hundreds of exclusive titles and free classics to the Kindle Book Store,” Amazon Kindle Director (Content) Sanjeev Jha told PTI.

Readers can access these books on Kindle eReaders as well as the free Kindle apps for Android and iOS, he added.

“Subscribers of Kindle Unlimited will also have access to the Indian language content. The new language selection is in addition to over three million books that are already available on the Kindle Book Store,” he said.

Kindle already supports languages like Chinese, German, French, and Japanese among others, apart from English.

While Amazon does not share country specific growth numbers, Jha said India is among its fastest growing markets globally for Kindle.

Amazon will make available bestseller titles like Ishq Mein Shahar Hona by Ravish Kumar (Hindi), Rajaraja Chozhan by Sa Na Kannan (Tamil), Mrutyunjay by Shivaji Sawant (Marathi), Ek Bija Ne Gamta Rahiye by Kaajal Oza Vaidya (Gujarati) and Aarachar by K R Meera (Malayalam).

The exclusive titles include Banaras Talkies by Satya Vyas, Ki.Mu.Ki.Pi by Madhanand, Draupadi by Kaajal Oza Vaidya and titles like Mayapuri by Shivani will now be available in digital format for the first time.

“We are bringing features like font size adjustment, ability to add notes and highlights, and automatic save and sync of your furthest page read across all your devices,” he said.

According to industry reports, the print book market in India is estimated to be worth about $4 billion (roughly Rs. 27,340 crores). India ranks third in English language publishing, after the US and the UK.

India, which is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally, also has a significant number of people reading ebooks on their phones.

While there is ample amount of content in English available online, that in Indian language has been few. Companies like Google are taking a number of initiatives to increase penetration of regional content in the digital world.

Tags: Amazon India, Kindle, Amazon Kindle, Apps, Internet, Digital Books, eBooks

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