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Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis

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David Cornish
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Amazon isn't trying to replace the book. Which is sensible. 

"Paper is still the golden standard for reading," vice president of industrial design at Amazon Devices Chris Green told ShortList.com at the unveiling of their new Kindle - the Oasis. "It always will be. Our aim is to get the Kindle as close to paper as possible."

At 3.4mm along its thinnest point, the Kindle Oasis isn't quite in the realms of good ol' paper yet - but it's easily Amazon's most accomplished e-reader to date.

Here's what we thought of the Oasis from our brief hands on.

  • Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's new Kindle Oasis

    It feels (and looks) amazing

    The Oasis takes everything that made previous models of the Kindle great (the Paperwhite's screen, the Voyage's buttons) and just polishes them. 

    New materials used in the seriously durable polymer frame keeps the Oasis' weight down to 131 grams - but there's still a reassuring strength to the uber-thin body.

    The main components and battery of the Oasis are squeezed into a 'fat' edge, which lines up with two customisable buttons.

    While Amazon would have loved to have made the whole device just 3.4mm thin all over, that slight bulge helps the Oasis sit snugly in one hand - so you can cling to a bus rail/cup of tea/half-eaten doughnut with the other without fear of dropping it.

  • Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's new Kindle Oasis 1

    There's a fancy battery cover

    The most significant addition of the Oasis is a new battery cover - a slim-line case that magnetically snaps to the rear of the Oasis, giving it more of a book-like feel.

    With this additional battery in place, the Oasis has enough juice to let the average reader forget about charging for well over a month. Sure, the Kindle's only use is for displaying book pages on an e-ink screen, but that's still a staggeringly impressive battery life. 

    For daily use, we expect Oasis users will always use the battery case whenever they leave the house - sacrificing that 3.4mm thickness for added protection and juice. 

  • Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's new Kindle Oasis 2

    They've improved the software too

    If you're the type of character who gets hot and bothered about fonts (there are two jokes in there), you'll be delighted to hear the new Kindle software has a new typeface: Ember. It's very clean, and... well, that's about it.

    If you're normal, you'll be more interested in hearing that the new layout of the Kindle software makes it easier than ever before to find books that you'll love, based on algorithms that search through your preferred reading lists. 

  • Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's new Kindle Oasis 3

    The screen is stunning

    Sure - paper is still a better material to read on a sunny day. But the high-resolution 300 ppi Paperwhite display on the Oasis is giving ink-on-dead-trees a run for its money.

    In addition to being thinner, the new screen is also brighter, with better clarity - thanks to some clever LEDs and an improved dispersion of light. You'll have to see it in the flesh to understand it, but it's a bloody gorgeous display. 

  • Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's new Kindle Oasis 4

    It'll cost you though

    All this svelte loveliness comes at a price - one likely to put off the average book reader.

    £269.99 - including battery case (with three versions shown here)

    Which nudges the Kindle Oasis dangerously close to the £319 territory of the app heavy world of the iPad Mini.

    But then, this isn't a product Amazon is expecting to sell to every book reader. The standard model will still be available for £69.99, while the excellent Paperwhite makes much more sense at £109.99. 

    The Oasis is the e-reader equivalent of a luxurious coffee table hardback - a gadget that points the way to what all e-readers (and tablets) will look like in two year's time. 

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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