New Luxury Kindle Carries Price to Match

John Lister's picture

Amazon has released a luxury version of the Kindle e-Reader, with a price tag to match. It's drawn comparisons to Apple's high-priced iPads, despite being a single-purpose device.

New Kindle editions over the past few years have mainly involved very small tweaks to an established design. The new Kindle Oasis has been redesigned to be easier to hold.

The most notable difference is that the device is no longer a perfectly flat device. One side of it is the thinnest a Kindle has ever been, at barely an eighth of an inch. However, the other side has a tapered bump that takes it up to a third of an inch thick. The frame uses a combination of plastic and metal to keep it light but resilient.

New Model Feels Like Book With Spine

The idea is that this design makes it easier to hold the device while reading, but still keeps the weight down, again to a record low of 4.6 ounces. The screen automatically flips over so that users can hold the device in either hand and still read. Amazon likens the effect to the feel of the spine when holding a printed book. (Source:

The design means users can turn the page either by tapping the screen or pressing dedicated buttons on the handgrip.

Another change is that the Kindle Oasis comes with a built-in (or rather built-around) cover that has its own, separate rechargeable battery. The Kindle itself will run for an average of two weeks, but once that battery runs down, it can switch to drawing power from the cover, which will give another six weeks of use. The design means its possible to recharge both batteries at the same time. (Source:

Devices Carries Major Price Premium

There's also an increase in the number of LEDs in the screen, which Amazon says will not only make lighting more consistent across the display, but will offer a wider range of lighting levels. The device includes a light sensor and will automatically adjust the lighting in line with the reader's surroundings.

The big catch is of course the price. The starting price is $289.99, more than three and a half times the entry level Kindle. It's another $20 to remove advertising from the lock screen and an extra $50 to get a built-in connection to a free 3G service that lets users download books anywhere.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you like the sound of the new design? Could you justify paying around three hundred dollars for a standalone e-Reader? Does it make more sense to get a tablet that supports electronic book apps, or is it worth paying extra for an electronic ink display?

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (5 votes)


Dennis Faas's picture

For that price point I'd much rather have a tablet capable of doing considerably more than just a dedicated e-reader - like an Android tablet. That said, the Oasis looks like it's very nice and has some nice features (especially the battery life). Even if I owned one I'd be worried about dropping it. To help protect from accidental drops, I would want a third party cover, which is just another add-on charge to the price. By that time the price point would be around the $350 mark.

rwells78's picture

Considering it is BW screen, seems Apple Expensive. If I have to trade color for some battery life I would make that trade. Sounds like my old Kindle Keyboard, a dedicated reader that is painful to use as a web browser.

philipreeves46's picture

Actually, I wouldn't touch an e-reader only gadget at any price. And as far as buying a tablet instead, the only tablet I'd consider is one with a detachable keyboard. On screen keyboards are hard to use.