Wa­ter­proof Kin­dle Oa­sis lets you read while in pool or tub

USA TODAY International Edition - - MONEY - Ed Baig ebaig@us­ato­day.com USA TO­DAY

You can’t seem to put down that page turner, even at the risk of get­ting your book all soggy. That’s pre­cisely why you’re the kind of avid book­worm Ama­zon sees buy­ing the new Kin­dle Oa­sis e-reader, the first such Kin­dle that is wa­ter­proof.

The idea is you’ll be able to con­fi­dently read at the beach, in a swim­ming pool, even the bath­tub (but not un­der­wa­ter). Oa­sis is rated as be­ing able to with­stand im­mer­sion in up to 2 me­ters of fresh wa­ter for up to an hour.

An 8-gigabyte Oa­sis costs $249.99, a 32GB ver­sion $279.99 and a 32GB model with free cel­lu­lar con­nec­tiv­ity (used to down­load con­tent) is $349.99.

That’s quite a price tag com­pared to the $79.99 you’ll pay for an en­try level Kin­dle reader, the $119.99 the best-sell­ing Paper­white model fetches or $199.99 for an­other pre­mium model called the Voy­age.

Ama­zon be­gan tak­ing pre­orders for Oa­sis on Wed­nes­day; the reader ships at month’s end.

The lat­est Oa­sis has a 7-inch screen (300 ppi) with built-in am­bi­ent light sen­sors and an alu­minum back. It re­places the pricey Oa­sis in­tro­duced in April 2016, which had a 6-inch dis­play, the same screen size as the other Kin­dles that re­main in the lineup. The larger 7-inch dis­play trans­lates into about 30% more words on the screen, Ama­zon says.

I can vouch for the crisp text on the new Oa­sis but couldn’t ver­ify Ama­zon’s claims of faster page turns in the short time I had with the de­vice. The new model cer­tainly is light, and Ama­zon says the er­gonomics are de­signed in such a way as to shift the cen­ter of grav­ity to your palm so the de­vice rests in your hand like the spine of a book, whether read­ing with your right hand or left.

You can read Kin­dle eBooks nowa­days on Ama­zon’s Fire tablets, as well as ri­val smart­phones and tablets. But many peo­ple still pre­fer di­gest­ing books on ded­i­cated Kin­dle read­ers com­pared to those other de­vices be­cause of the bang-up job Kin­dles do of repli­cat­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of read­ing on pa­per. And Kin­dles long have boasted a ma­jor ad­van­tage over tablets and phones — bat­tery life is mea­sured in weeks and months, not hours and days.

AU­DI­BLE ON KIN­DLE

Oa­sis is the first to in­cor­po­rate Au­di­ble, the Ama­zon-owned com­pany that is the largest seller of au­dio­books. On the Kin­dle, you’ll be able to choose from a con­tent li­brary of 375,000 au­dio­books or other au­dio pro­grams and lis­ten by con­nect­ing head­phones, speak­ers or us­ing wire­less Blue­tooth speak­ers.

If you buy an Au­di­ble ti­tle and also own its Kin­dle coun­ter­part — you have to buy them sep­a­rately, though you get a re­duced price if pur­chas­ing both — you can keep your place in both, whether you’re read­ing the book or lis­ten­ing to it. And you’ll also be able to pur­chase ei­ther eBook or Au­di­ble con­tent right from the Oa­sis.

Ama­zon says that via an up­date com­ing in a few months, own­ers of the 8th gen­er­a­tion Kin­dle, or last year’s Oa­sis model, will be able to ac­cess Au­di­ble.

AMA­ZON

The new Kin­dle Oa­sis starts at $249.99 for the 8GB ver­sion.

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