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Kindle Oasis designer: ‘Paper is the gold standard for reading’

We’re 18 months on from the Kindle Voyage launch, and Amazon has finally announced a new top-end e-reader: the Kindle Oasis.

Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis is the thinnest, lightest Kindle yet, and makes the trimmed-down Voyage look positively bulky.

It weighs just 131 grams, and is exactly 3.4mm at its thinnest point. It has that ‘thin point’ because the new design shifts the weighting off-centre; there’s a spine-like area that makes the Kindle Oasis feel more like a book when you hold it.

This adjustment means that the centre of gravity in the Kindle Oasis is shifted to your palm, making it easier to read one-handed.

The pressure-pads on the Voyage have been swapped out for physical buttons on the Oasis, a decision that Amazon designers tell us was made to keep the device as trim as possible.

“What we really want to do is get to a magical sheet of paper,” Chris Green, Amazon’s VP of Industrial Design, tells TrustedReviews. “Paper is the gold standard for reading.”

Related: A history of the Amazon Kindle

kindle oasis

As rumoured, Amazon is also shipping a battery case that comes included with every Kindle Oasis purchase.

On its own, the Kindle Oasis manages two weeks of use before requiring a recharge. But the battery case – which attaches magnetically via a pin connector – brings this up to nine weeks total.

Interestingly, the Kindle Oasis looks, in this reporter’s opinion, much better with the case on. It certainly adds a little heft, but the real leather cases (black, merlot, walnut) are seriously attractive.

Both the Kindle Oasis and case can be charged simultaneously through a single microUSB port, and there’s a new hibernation mode that keeps power-use down while the Kindle is inactive.

The e-ink display is high-quality, spanning 6 inches, just like the Voyage and the 2015 Paperwhite. Similarly, the Oasis retains the 300ppi panel, but is now lit by 60% more LEDs for Amazon’s “brightest Kindle display ever”.

Related: Kindle Oasis vs Paperwhite

kindle oasis

But here’s the catch (and it’s a seriously big catch): the Kindle Oasis retails at a mind-boggling £269.99. That’s £50 more than the Apple iPad Mini 2.

“This is more like a hammer than a Swiss army knife. It’s really only built for reading,” Green explains. “We want the reader to fall down the rabbit hole in the author’s world.”

Green also confirmed to TrustedReviews that the Kindle Oasis launch wouldn’t affect the pricing of other Kindle models. The Paperwhite will still cost £59.99, and the Voyage stay at £169.99.

The Kindle Oasis is available to pre-order in the UK right now, and will retail in John Lewis, Dixons Travel, Argos, and Currys PC World. Amazon says it will “start shipping in the coming weeks”.

Video: Check out our hands-on impressions of the Kindle Oasis

What do you think of Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis? Let us know in the comments.

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