Amazon’s Kindle e-reader has been a must-pack accessory for travelers since its initial release in 2007, but the new Kindle Oasis is more packable and user friendly than ever.
The Kindle Oasis is incredibly small: It’s 30 percent thinner and 20 percent lighter than any other Kindle on the market, and was designed “to feel weightless,” according to the company. The compact e-reader weighs just 4.6 ounces — that’s less than a pound.
Another stellar feature of the Kindle Oasis is its innovative leather battery case that can simultaneously charge the device and cover while both are snapped together and plugged in. The cover, which is included, comes in three colors, wakes the Oasis when opened, and puts the device to sleep when closed. And the battery life, which can last up to months, is perfect for long flights, hours spent at the airport, or days at the beach.
The ergonomic design is another highlight for travelers: “Kindle Oasis shifts the center of gravity to your palm, to rest in your hand like the spine of a book so that the device feels balanced for one-handed reading,” the company states. The Oasis lets you turn the page with a touch on either side of the display, or its buttons, and a built-in accelerometer detects which hand you’re reading with, automatically rotating the page.
There is also a hibernation mode that minimizes power consumption when the Oasis is inactive, and Whispersync — which made Amazon's past Kindle models so popular — that saves and synchronizes the last page read, bookmarks, and annotations across all of your devices. And of course the device easily access Amazon’s massive selection of books, magazines, and newspapers.
Now the drawbacks. The first and most obvious issue with the Kindle Oasis is the price: At $290, it’s the most expensive Kindle to date. But the real issue here (especially for all the beach-bums out there) is that it’s not waterproof, while many other e-readers on the market — like the Koro Auro H20 and Nook GlowLight — are.
And while the Oasis features the new Paperwhite’s high-resolution display (it has a pixel density of 300), its redesigned built-in front light, which features 60 percent more LEDs, results in the brand’s brightest Kindle display ever. So, while you could go ahead and buy the Paperwhite for the same display technology at $170 less, you won’t get that crisp-as-an-apple density, and, you’ll still have to lug around those extra ounces. For frequent, packing-savvy travelers, every last inch — and ounce — counts.
$290; buy it here.