For those of you who like to keep an eye out for the latest Kindle e-reader releases, Amazon.com has just put the new “Kindle Oasis” product page up. My first thought when I saw the leaked images last week were, “Wow, that’s ugly!” and “Kinda reminds me of the very first Kindle.”
The price for the wi-fi-only version with special offers is $290, but that does include the leather case. Inclusion of the Amazon case is important because it has a dual-battery system – the battery in the Kindle, plus an additional battery in the cover to extend the battery life. They’re saying the battery can last months now instead of weeks. I never had any problem with the battery life of the previous versions, though, so it’s not a big selling point for me. It also has a few more LEDs to improve the consistency of the lighting but, again, I’ve had no issues with the current lighting in my Voyage.
The thing I do like is the ergonomics of it. It’s a tiny bit lighter than the previous Kindle, and it has an odd design that actually does look like it would be more comfortable to hold. I think it would be especially nice for reading one-handed, especially since I usually prefer to read without the case when I’m reading in a chair, but I find the current models slightly awkward because of how thin they are. The buttons are physical buttons as opposed to the fake buttons on the Voyage, so that's something else I like. There’s a gravity sensor so that it automatically rotates the screen if you rotate the device so you can switch back and forth between hands and not have to manually adjust the orientation – or read upside down. :)
The price is awfully high, though. Aside from the extended battery life and the improved (I assume) ergonomics, there really isn’t all that much different about it. I’m not sure it will appeal to many people besides the gadget-crazed (like me) and maybe people who haven’t upgraded in a while.
I’m curious to hear what other people think about it?