Amazon just introduced a new $250 waterproof Kindle

Isaac Cain
October 12, 2017

The all-new Kindle Oasis comes 18 months after its same-named sibling was introduced to the world, and the latest incarnation boasts a number of notable upgrades, in addition to its newfound water-repelling powers. Instead, Amazon has managed to squeeze sufficient power into just the slender ereader itself.

The Kindle's rivals, including Kobo, have had water resistant versions of their e-readers since 2014, but have failed to disrupt Amazon's dominance of the ebook market. It's a 300 ppi panel, 30-percent larger than the old model, which Amazon says adds up to fewer page turns.

The 32 GB model costs £260 ($280). You can still have a cover to protect the screen and serve as a kickstand. The battery bulges along the back, creating a hand grip, and there are page turn buttons on the front.

The screen also benefits from extra LEDs for a more even light and adaptive brightness.

It's all wrapped up in a new, graphite aluminum chassis. There's no 3.5mm headphone jack. It has a rating of IPX8, which means it can withstand immersion in up to two meters of freshwater for up to 60 minutes. This means that you can now read books, magazines, and newspapers at more places - beach, hot tub, lake, or a swimming pool - without fearing that water would damage your Kindle.

The battery is now totally self-contained, rather than being split between Kindle and case.

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With Whispersync, Amazon saves and synchronises your last read page, allowing you to pick up instantly where you left off whether you're reading or listening. The charging port, however, is still microUSB, but the company claims fast charging will get it fully juiced up in just two hours. Another major change is the support for Audible audio books, though a user will still need to purchase ebooks and audio books separately.

You'll then be able to connect your Kindle to your vehicle, speaker or Bluetooth headphones, with syncing between the two, meaning you can flip straight from reading to listening and back again.

First and foremost, can we get a round of applause for the first waterproof Kindle family member? The Leather Cover will be available in Black and Merlot.

Arguably most impressive is the price.

However, the new Kindle will face competition from physical books, with figures from research group Nielsen earlier this year reporting a rise in physical sales coinciding with a fall of 4% in demand for e-books in 2016. There is also cellular connectivity 32GB model costing $350.

Priced at $249.99, the new Kindle Oasis is now available for preorder.

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