Back in its debut in 2007, Amazon’s first Kindle was revolutionary. It gave bookworms the ease of having hundreds of books at their fingertips, and encouraged non-readers to finally get into the magical world of reading without having to actually shop for physical books. All at once, libraries were reduced to a 6-inch grayscale e-ink display, and the world was fascinated.
Fast forward to 2017, and it’s the Kindle’s 10th anniversary. We haven’t really seen much difference in the past versions besides the streamlining of the display and touchscreen integration, but for its tenth birthday, Amazon has pulled out all the stops for its beloved Kindle.
With the holiday season coming up, here are our five top reasons why you should purchase the new Kindle, either for yourself or for a loved one.
Yes, you read that correctly. The new Kindle Oasis boasts IPX8, which means it can handle pools, bathtubs, hot tubs, oceans, and just about any other water feature you can imagine. Now you can read your Kindle while relaxing in a bubble bath, or take it to the pool and not worry about the kids splashing nearby. We don’t recommend reading it in the shower though, not because it would do the Kindle Oasis any harm, but because you’ll get all pruney and go through hundreds of gallons of water while you’re lost in your book. Just saying.
It plays Audible audiobooks.
For some, listening to books being read to them is more enjoyable than reading. Or sometimes, because our attention is needed elsewhere, we don’t have the luxury of reading traditionally. Many Kindle fans have been requesting an audiobook feature so they could keep all their forms of books on one device. If you’ve ever used the Kindle app on your smartphone, you have a rough sense of how the Audible experience works. Unfortunately, there’s no headphone jack on the Oasis, so Bluetooth headphones or speakers are your only options. Which, let’s be honest, we all have these days anyway. If not, check out these incredibly affordable Bluetooth earbuds.
It has a 7-inch screen.
Amazon has boosted up the screen from a 6-inch display to a 7-inch display, and used that extra space to add some extra battery as well. There’s a faster processor and more storage, too. Now you can up the font size and not worry about running out of screen space, or you can shrink it down and get a lot more words on the page. It all depends on your reading comfort, of course. That extra inch allows for more freedom, and we’re happy about it.
The use of e-ink and e-paper.
These aren’t new features to hit the Kindle, they’ve actually been some of the best selling points from the start. E-ink is a paper-like display technology, characterized by high visibility and contrast. It has a wide viewing angle and low power requirements. Used with the Kindle’s e-paper display, e-ink reduces eye strain and can be read in direct sunlight without a glare. E-ink and e-paper used together mimic a real book that has real ink on real paper. Bookworm holdouts that can’t stand the idea of reading on an electronic device should try the Kindle Oasis. They will be pleasantly surprised.
The new Kindle Oasis costs $250 for 8 gigabites of storage, which should be plenty for all but the most hardcore audiobook and book lovers. If you plan to read constantly until the day you die, the 32 gigabite model runs $280. We recommend utilizing the cloud features so you don’t have to store all your books and audiobooks on the device itself, but if you plan to move to a remote mountain town with no internet ever again, load up that 32-gigabite model and be happy.
If these five reasons didn’t sway you, we fear nothing will. The Kindle has replicated the joys of reading a real book as closely as possible, with e-ink and e-paper, and allowed access to millions of titles at the touch of a finger. Many public libraries also have a lot of their titles available to borrow in Kindle format, so you’ll never be without a good book in the tub.