An Expensive Read
T here wasn’t much to complain about the Kindle Paperwhite. But then came the Kindle Voyage which was thinner, lighter, with adaptive built-in light and PagePress sensor. The latest from Amazon, Kindle Oasis, is a remarkable e-book reader, but not significantly better than the Voyage.
Kindle Oasis is small, compact and light as feather. It has a 6-inch e-ink display with 300 ppi, exactly the same as on Paperwhite and Voyage. However, it weighs only 131 grams – 55 grams lighter than its predecessor. It has a tapered hand grip on one side such that the thinnest part measures 3.4 mm, while the one with the hand grip goes up to 8.5 mm. Amazon claims that this new design shifts the centre of gravity to the palm, making it rest in the hand like a spine of the book. These aren’t false claims and it is indeed designed for single-hand reading.
Interestingly, there is no right way of holding the Oasis – it instantly changes the orientation irrespective of whether it is held in the left or right hand. Instead of capacitive page turn buttons, it has two sleek buttons on the side of the display. The top jumps to the next page and the bottom turns it back. The orientation of the buttons change when the Oasis is flipped. The page can also be turned by touching the screen – a gesture similar to flipping the pages of a book.
Design aside, the experience of reading books on Kindle is still very much the same. While it takes a few seconds to wake up the device, it turns the page quickly. The home screen has icons on the Home, Back, Settings, Goodreads, Store and Search icons at the top. On the home page, the top left is dedicated to ‘My Library’, whereas the right has ‘My Reading Lists’ and at the bottom are book suggestions. It has a built-in light that can be accessed from Settings.
Amazon has added a protective leather case, too, that bundles up as an extra battery pack. The case magnetically snaps to the rear of the Oasis, near the hump, adding to its weight. The protective case is capable of giving the Oasis a full charge. Thankfully, you don’t have to charge the case separately as both the Oasis and the case (when snapped) get charged simultaneously from the USB. This makes it a perfect travel companion. Even after a week of testing, the Oasis held full charge, while the case lost only 10 per cent charge.
My review unit was WiFi+ 3G-enabled, which implies an extra `4,000 for accessing 3G on the Oasis; valid, however, for the lifetime – there are no monthly or annual contract fees attached.