10 Kindle Oasis Features Amazon Hopes Will Make You Buy This e-Reader

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-04-18
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Kindle Oasis Features Amazon Hopes Will Make You Buy This e-Reader
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    10 Kindle Oasis Features Amazon Hopes Will Make You Buy This e-Reader

    With its Kindle Oasis e-reader, Amazon is hoping to attract more people to its other services, such as Kindle ebooks, Amazon Prime and e-commerce.
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    The Oasis Has a New Design Concept
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    The Oasis Has a New Design Concept

    Amazon has gone with a completely new design in the Kindle Oasis. Rather than centering the screen in the device, Amazon has opted for an off-center design that still allows for a big screen but makes for a large right-sided bezel. Amazon argues it delivers a better reading experience and made clear that it didn't sacrifice much width to deliver it: The device is 4.8 inches wide, compared with 4.5-inch width of the Kindle Voyage.
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    The Light Design Is a Selling Point
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    The Light Design Is a Selling Point

    There's little debating that the Kindle Oasis is light and highly mobile. In fact, the device weighs up to just 4.7 ounces and measures 0.13 inches at its thinnest point. Amazon says it built the Kindle Oasis to be a device people could carry with them wherever they go. Based on its size and weight, it appears to have achieved that goal.
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    Amazon Improved Screen Brightness
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    Amazon Improved Screen Brightness

    The Kindle Oasis comes with a 6-inch screen with 300 pixels per inch, nearly doubling the 167 pixels per inch in the standard Kindle model. In addition, the screen supports full multitouch and has 60 percent more LEDs than any other Kindle, improving screen brightness and the ability to read in heavily lit environments. It will also work well in low-light environments.
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    It's All About One-Handed Reading
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    It's All About One-Handed Reading

    So, why did Amazon go with an unconventional design in the Kindle Oasis? The company clearly believes e-reader owners want to read content with one hand. The right-sided bezel is wide to accommodate page up and down buttons, so users can hold the device with one hand and still flip pages. In addition, the Oasis' right side is thicker, making it easier to hold and less likely to slip out of a person's hand.
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    It's a Portal to Amazon's World
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    It's a Portal to Amazon's World

    As noted, Amazon's central goal with hardware is to capture more customers for its other services. Users will be able to access the company's Kindle ebook store from the device. In addition, Amazon offers access to a service called Kindle Unlimited, which allows users to read as many books as they want for a monthly fee of $9.99, rather than forcing them to buy individual books. Add that to the parental controls built into the $2.99-per-month Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, and Amazon is decidedly trying to get Oasis customers caught up in its sphere.
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    Connectivity Options Are Decent
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    Connectivity Options Are Decent

    The Kindle Oasis gives customers the option of solely connecting to the Internet via WiFi or adding in 3G connectivity. Amazon's WiFi-only model will connect to any wireless network or WiFi hotspot. Customers who buy a 3G model won't have to pay for a plan and can connect to wireless networks at no additional charge. But the 3G model is $70 more expensive than the WiFi-only version.
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    It Provides a Measure of Cross-Platform Support
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    It Provides a Measure of Cross-Platform Support

    Amazon isn't forcing customers to read ebooks from the Oasis. If customers end up buying an ebook on the Oasis, they can pick up where they left off in apps on iOS, Android and other platforms. Amazon's Kindle e-reader apps are quite popular, and they've become nice alternatives to traditional e-reader hardware. It's nice to see Amazon offering synchronized data access across its software and hardware.
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    It'll Hold Your Entire Book Collection
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    It'll Hold Your Entire Book Collection

    Amazon is somewhat coy about the storage capacity built into the Kindle Oasis, but that doesn't mean users should worry too much about storage. According to the company, the Kindle Oasis will be capable of holding "thousands of books," though Amazon doesn't say exactly how many. As long as the owner isn't an obsessive book collector, the Kindle Oasis should accommodate most collections.
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    Amazon Is Bundling the Cover
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    Amazon Is Bundling the Cover

    In what may prove to be upsetting to startups that build Kindle covers, Amazon says that its Oasis will come with a leather charging cover. The case will have two jobs: protect the Oasis and provide juice to read ebooks. The Oasis will use the juice in the case first and then rely on the battery built into the e-reader to allow users to keep reading. When plugged in, both the case and the Oasis batteries are charged. Together, the "dual-battery charging system" will offer "months of battery life," Amazon says.
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    This Is a Relatively Expensive Kindle
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    This Is a Relatively Expensive Kindle

    The Kindle Oasis comes with a confusing price tag. The device starts at $290, making it notably more expensive than earlier Kindles. And that price is for the WiFi-only version with Amazon's "special offers"—ads that the company displays on the device's lock screen. If users don't want those special offers, they'll need to pay an additional $20. Plus, customers looking for the WiFi-plus-3G model will be charged $70 more. So, it's possible certain customers could spend nearly $400 for the Kindle Oasis when all is said and done.
 

Amazon last week unveiled the Kindle Oasis, an e-reader that comes with a 6-inch screen, improved lighting for outdoor reading, WiFi and more. But given Amazon's troubles in the e-reader market and the increasing demand for e-reader apps instead of hardware, some market watchers are questioning why it would launch a new model. After all, demand for e-readers, like their pure tablet cousins, is light, and competitors such as Barnes & Noble have all but abandoned the space. Amazon has ulterior motives, though. The company won't sell millions of Kindle Oasis e-readers, but that's just fine. Oasis is simply a means to an end, a way to attract more people to what Amazon really cares about—Kindle ebooks, Amazon Prime, e-commerce and its other services. Like Apple, Google and Microsoft, Amazon is committed to using hardware to draw customers into its universe. And the Oasis is just the latest tool to achieve its goal. Read on to learn more about the Kindle Oasis—the e-reader Amazon hopes will keep customers engaged with its online services.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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