An Ex­pen­sive Read

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH -

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.

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