By: Nick Gambino

For the first time in the history of Kindles, we are finally getting one that is waterproof. The New Kindle Oasis, as it’s called, is similar to last year’s e-reader that also bore the “Oasis” name. It’s just that this time the moniker actually makes sense what with it being waterproof and all.

The device can handle being submerged in 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. With the open port it’s still recommended you stand it up afterwards to allow moisture to leak out. Amazon says it should hold up in both fresh and salt water.

The ability to withstand liquids isn’t the only upgrade in Amazon’s flagship e-reader. The New Kindle Oasis sports a 7-inch display, up from 6 inches in the previous version. This should allow you to see 30 percent more text. The LED backlights have also received an upgrade in numbers from 10 to 12, making it brighter.

And back by popular demand is the ambient light sensor, sinfully missing in the last model. This allows the Kindle to dim automatically according to the lighting environment around you. For example, if you move from indoors to outdoors it’ll adjust.

Storage in the base model is more impressive here, up from 4GB to 8GB. This change is most likely due to the fact that Audible is now supported. In other words you can now listen to audiobooks on the device. That is if you have Bluetooth headphones or speakers. The Kindle still has no audio jack so you’ll have to rely on sending it over Bluetooth to a compatible gadget.

The battery is bigger and only contained in the Kindle body itself. The last one annoyingly split between the cover and the Kindle. Now we simply have one on-board battery meant to last up to 6 weeks on one charge.

There are a number of other improvements across the board including the ability to display white letters on a black background and faster page turning.

Prices have gone down as well. The New Kindle Oasis ships out at the end of October starting at $250. Magnetic folding covers start at $45.


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.