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The New Kindle Oasis Is Stupid Thin

It's the lightest e-reader around.

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Last week, I met Amazon's new e-reader: the Kindle Oasis. It's a pinch-ably thin device with insane battery life.

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed

As in, it's so slim, you could hold it by pinching your index finger and thumb together. It weighs 4.6 ounces and is 3.4 millimeters at its thinnest point.

LOOK HOW THIN IT IS.

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed

From the side, the Kindle Oasis takes on a wedge-like shape. There's a small "grip" – which is really just another name for the bump where the battery lives.

The Kindle Oasis comes with a charging cover (also absurdly slim) that has an extra battery built-in.

Amazon

With the cover attached, Amazon claims the Oasis gets "months" (although it won't tell us how many – guessing 2?) of battery life and, like the existing Kindle Paperwhite and Voyage, "weeks" without it. For reference, with wireless sync on, my Voyage lasts about a week and a half without being plugged in.

The Kindle Oasis has integrated magnets on the back that snap to the charging cover. From what I've felt and seen, the cover doesn't feel cheap or gimmick-y. The connection is strong and secure but the cover is still easily detachable, like a MacBook's mag safe charger.

My favorite update? Physical, tactile buttons for page turns and an accelerometer that detects whether you're reading it in your right or left hand.

Amazon

The Oasis's re-introduction of one of the oldest technologies around – BUTTONS – makes sure that page turning is an intentional act. I can not tell you how many times I've accidentally flipped a virtual page just by picking the Kindle up or turning over to another side.

Another welcome new feature is hand parity. Because of the e-reader's grip/battery bump, there is one clear, correct way to hold this Kindle (by grabbing onto that grip) – but it doesn't matter which hand it's in. Amazon's accelerometer will rotate the page for you, based on how you're reading the device.

So, should you get it?

Amazon

Reading books can be a long, tiresome endeavor. One that'll require you to hoist whatever word vessel you choose – be it a tablet, an e-reader, or *gasp* even a book – for hours on end. And if you're a before-bed reader, you're going to need to hold that thing above your head.

This is where an ultra light e-reader, like the new Kindle Oasis, could come in handy. It considers ergonomics (that battery bump is ugly but comfortable), portability (MONTHS' worth of battery life with wireless turned off, of course), and, above all, the option to go light or lighter.

With the cover off, the Oasis weighs about as much as, IDK, a skein of yarn (4.6 oz). As someone who, as a kid, read punishingly heavy books every night, an e-reader this light was unthinkable.

The problem is: all of Amazon's other Kindles are still the best e-readers you can buy – and much more affordable.

Amazon

The new Kindle Oasis is $290 for the Wi-Fi only version and $359 with Wi-Fi + 3G. It's Amazon's most expensive Kindle in a long, long time.

Amazon recently upgraded the display of its front-lit Kindle Paperwhite ($119) to the same resolution as the Voyage and Oasis: 300 ppi, which makes a huge difference when reading for long periods of time. The Kindle Voyage ($200) includes a sensor that changes the light brightness automatically and invisible buttons that let you press the page without lifting your finger.

Amazon also released a modern, fresh-looking software update available for almost all Kindles that will make your old e-reader feel new again.

Both of these e-readers are great. The Voyage is a good luxury pick, but I think the new Paperwhite is a decent e-reader that does its job very well.

I'd only consider the Oasis if you're a) a traveler who doesn't want to worry about having to charge yet another thing, b) a frequent (as in daily) reader who spends hours consuming books and magazines, or c) 💸 have cash to spare 💸.

You can pre-order the Kindle Oasis today at amazon.com/kindleoasis for $290. The e-reader will start shipping in the coming weeks.

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