Ask the Stuff team which piece of tech we are completely unable to live without and the answer in almost every case is the Amazon Kindle. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the old stalwart with the physical buttons and WiFi only (we still have one of those), the newer Paperwhite models, the Voyage, or the high-end Oasis, they’re all well loved.
But we might be tempted away from our current readers by Amazon’s newest announcement — an updated Amazon Kindle Oasis that includes a raft (heh) of new features. One of which we’ve been waiting for for a very long time. That’s correct, Amazon has finally added waterproofing to the roster, meaning that now you can read in the bath. Underwater, for up to an hour, thanks to the IPX8 rating. In the dark, if you like, as the Oasis comes fitted with a er… sidelight.
The Oasis, in addition its duck-like properties, has undergone a screen upgrade as well. Dominating the front is a 7in side-lit display, the second-largest screen on a Kindle to date, which comes with an improved resolution and frame rate, so pages look clear and turn faster to boot.
The device is also getting Audible support, a feature already found in the company’s mobile app. WhisperSync will let readers switch between reading and listening seamlessly, though you’re going to need Bluetooth headphones to get that working — the new Oasis doesn’t have a headphone jack.
Other updates are on a software level: new fonts and bold options, alignment changes and the option to invert the screen’s colour are the highlights there.
The updated Oasis will set buyers in the States back $250 (R3,400) for the 8GB WiFi model but we’re expecting it to launch here at a higher price point. The old version will still set you back R7,500 in SA at the moment, albeit along with a bundled leather cover to protect your library.
The new Kindle Oasis is currently up for international pre-order and is scheduled for a 31 October release. South Africa shouldn’t be far behind. Historically, we haven’t had to wait long for Amazon’s book replacement hardware to turn out on our shores. The moment we have local pricing, you’ll be the first to know.