Amazon releases new kindle Oasis model

Given the recent number of sales on Amazon’s Kindle line and the upcoming 10th anniversary of the release of the original Kindle, many, including myself, expected the announcement of a new Kindle was in the works.

Today, Amazon announced an all-new kindle Oasis. The new device has a larger, 7″, 300 ppi display. The device is also  waterproof, a feature that many other high end e-readers already have and one that many customers have been asking for. The device is IPX8 rated, which protects against immersion in up to 2 meters of water for up to 60 minutes. According to Amazon, there are also battery improvements to the new device.

Probably one of the most frequently requested features for the Kindle is for the return of the text-to-speech features for the e-Ink devices. The TTS function was a feature in the earlier Kindle models and is currently available on e-ink Kindles only via the use of a special adapter. Built in, it is presently only an included feature on the Fire tablets. While Amazon has not restored text-to-speech in this new device, they have integrated Audible audiobooks with the Oasis.(See here to learn about Audible.) This device still doesn’t have a headphone jack or speakers and instead uses a Bluetooth connection to provide audio. You must provide your own Bluetooth headphones or speaker.

The Amazon description says,”With Audible built in, you never have to put your story down and can switch easily between reading and listening without changing devices.” It is unclear if that implies whether this model will be capable of enhanced Immersion Reading, which allows for both audio and reading highlighted text at the same time.

Because this device is designed to work with Audible files which are quite large, the device comes with more storage and more storage options. It is available in an 8GB configuration which is twice the amount of storage included with the original Oasis. The device also comes in a 32GB configuration, which will be helpful for storing the larger file sizes associated with  audio books, comic books, etc.

One of the most interesting changes to the new Oasis is the fact that it does away with the integrated battery cover of the previous model.  (You can read my views on that cover here.) The previous model’s covers were only available in leather, a fact that was upsetting to many who preferred a vegan option for a cover. This model’s covers come in a variety of colors in both fabric and leather options.

The new Oasis costs $249.99 for the 8GB WiFi-only model. The 32GB WiFi-only model is $279.99. The Oasis is also available in a 32 GB cellular configuration for $349.99. Fabric covers sell for $44.99 and leather covers cost $59.99

All models are available for pre-order now and will start shipping October 31, 2017.

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Amazon is hosting Kindle discussion with an Oasis giveaway

oasis_slideThe Amazon Kindle team posted a notice on the Kindle Customer Forums that they will be hosting a discussion there starting at 7 a.m. Pacific time on Monday, July 18, 2016. The purpose of the discussion is to share feedback with the Kindle Team on how they can interact more meaningfully with Kindle Customers.

During the discussion, the Kindle Team will be providing links to participants where they can enter giveaways for two Kindle Oasis e-readers.

Amazon staff will be online in the forum from  7 a.m. PDT to approximately 11 p.m. PDT on Monday night and then back for a short while on Tuesday morning.

I am interested to see how this discussion goes. Generally speaking, Amazon representatives rarely post on this particular forum. This is a customer forum and, while people post questions and seek help with device questions, it is typically customers helping other customers. As with any loosely moderated forum, there can sometimes be a fair amount of trolling and snark on the boards. Personally, I would love to see more official Amazon involvement on the forum.

Have something you want to let Amazon know? The Kindle Customer Forum is located at https://www.amazon.com/forum/kindle/.

Daily Links and Deals: The looming threat to our book industry is bad for authors, publishers … but mostly for you

daily_links_1Today, a look at proposed book industry changes in Australia. Also, the US House blocks Google and Yahoo services, consumers want Netflix to stop blocking VPNs and asking if the $300 for the Oasis is worth it. In deals, Amazon has a sale on the Fire HD tablet for Kids.

Daily Links for day, May 12, 2016:

The looming threat to our book industry is bad for authors, publishers … but mostly for you (The Guardian) Like Canada, Australia has mechanisms in place to put locals talent first. Is this really good for Australians? Here’s one point of view.

Report: U.S. House blocks access to Google services amid fears of ransomware attacks (9 to 5 Google) Congress is grounded off Google? And Yahoo too?

45,00 People Ask Netflix to stop VPN Crackdown (Torrent Freak) Group wants a meet with Netflix CEO to discuss privacy alternatives.

Should you spend nearly $300 on a new Kindle? (The Verge) Is your Kindle Paperwhite good enough or do you need the new Oasis?

1.8 Million Free Works of Art from World-Class Museums: A Meta List of Great Art Available Online (Open Culture) This is amazing and you can view it all without leaving home. 🙂

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes The Very Best of Kate Elliott by Kate Elliott for $1.99.

In Today’s Deals, you can save $50 on the Fire HD 6 Kids Edition Tablet.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is In the Fast Lane by Audra North for $1.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart for $2.99. The Extra Daily Deal is Love, Diamonds, and Spades
Cactus Creek (Book 2) by Violet Duke for $99 cents.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Last Clinic: A Darla Cavannah Mystery by Gary Gusick for $2.99.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Sunday Daily Deals: Fire tablet for $40

Fire_50Today’s deals include $2 book deals, and Mother’s Day savings on Kindles, the Kobo Glo HD e-reader and deals on Fire tablets, including the 7″ Fire for $40.

Deals of the Day for Sunday, May 1:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals is showing the same deals as yesterday, so here are 50 Kindle Book Deals for $2 Each to peruse.

Today’s Deals include a Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer, 14.5-Amp and a Mr. Coffee BVMC-DMX85 12-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker.

Mother’s Day is only a week away! Amazon has some great deals on both e-ink Kindles and Fire tablets:

First, in e-ink Kindles, you can get $20 off the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle for Kids bundle. 

There are several promotions on Fire tablets. Today, the 7″ Fire (normally $49.99) is only $39.99. Amazon is also offering savings on the Fire HD 6 (8GB and 16 GB versions) and the Fire HD 10 is $50 off for a limited time. There are also still deals on pre-owned Fire tablets.

And, yes, I am also still seeing the option for 5 payments of $58 for the Kindle Oasis pre-order. Current delivery date is June 1, 2016.

You can also take advantage of a trade-in offer from Amazon on your old Fire tablet. The clock is ticking on this offer. Trade-in must be completed by May 9, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Forgetting August by J.L. Berg for 99 cents.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Coldheart Canyon by Clive Barker for $1.99.

And for Mother’s Day, you can get $20 off the Kobo Glo HD.  Free shipping is included.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson for $1.99.

Google has a selection of Limited-Time Deals.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

3rd Party cover for Kindle Oasis coming in May – without a battery

fintie_oasisWell, that answers at least a part of the question about whether or not Amazon would allow third-party covers for the Kindle Oasis. A non-Amazon cover, the Fintie Kindle Oasis Case, is going to be available in May. Spotted on Amazon, the cover is made by Fintie, a company that makes quite a few covers for Amazon Kindles and Fire tablets. 

Going by the description and the pictures, it seems that the cover does not have the battery and charging capabilities of the OEM Amazon Kindle Oasis cover. While this cover certainly provides more color choices and variety as well as an alternative cover design, especially for vegans who don’t want leather, it will not extend the battery life of the device like the Amazon cover.

From the description:

Protect your New Kindle Oasis with this Fintie Smartshell Case at all times! The Fintie Smartshell Case sports a simple and classy design. The back shell is made from durable polycarbonate material so you do not need to worry about any damages. It offers an easy clip-on application. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand. Our innovative cover was designed to specifically fit your Kindle Oasis and secures your device without any hinges or straps. Thin, lightweight, and durable, this cover is perfect for taking Kindle Oasis wherever you go.

The cover comes in a variety of colors and designs and has a wake to sleep magnetic clasp built into the cover. The cover is sold and shipped directly from Fintie and will be available May 18, 2016. Cover prices start at $5.99 plus shipping (It’s not Prime Eligible).

What do you think? Are we going to see battery cases from other vendors?

 

Looking for that Merlot cover for the Kindle Oasis? You may be in luck…

merlot oasisI just accidentally stumbled across a listing for the Kindle Oasis with the highly sought after Merlot cover shipping as soon as May 4th. The configuration available  is the 3G plus WiFi model without special offers. Be warned,though –  the price tag for the e-reader and cover is a whopping $379.99! Amazon is also offering a payment plan of five monthly payments of $76 to ease the sting. But, hey, if it is the cover color of your dreams, the May 4th delivery date is much more appealing than some of the June, July and even September dates being discussed on the forums.

Vegans want an alternative to leather Kindle Oasis cover

brown-216001_1280With a $290 price tag, Amazon is definitely marketing the new Kindle Oasis as a luxury item. The cover Amazon has chosen is also what most would consider a luxury item: a finely-crafted leather cover. While it comes in a choice of three colors, leather is the only option.

That creates a dilemma for some, however. Many people who are vegan or vegetarian not only do not eat meat, but also refuse to use animal products for ethical reasons. Most vegans would refuse to have the cover in their homes. And in case you think that is just a few people looking for that option, take a look at the product Q & A forum. At the time of this writing, there are 592 comments on the thread post, most with remarks like these:

This was my first question as well. They have every right to offer leather, but they just eliminated millions of people who won’t buy it, what an idiotic decision when all they had to do was offer a fake leather option.

~

One more ethical vegan who will definitely not buy an e-reader only available with a leather cover.

~

I noticed this too and am very disappointed to see that that there isn’t an option to selected cruelty-free “vegan leather”. As an ethical vegan, I do not buy leather products and therefore will not consider this new Kindle. Amazon, please offer more compassionate choices in the future.

Many are saying that they will Keep using their Paperwhite and Voyage e-readers instead because there are leather alternatives available for those e-readers.

One customer suggested that concerned vegans write customer service to express their concerns and ask for this option.

Sara Farr feels so strongly about it, she took it one step farther and  started a petition on Change.org to try to get Amazon to sell a vegan alternative, or better yet, stop selling the leather altogether. She says:

The new kindle oasis is awesome for book worms, but not if they’re vegan (or a cow for that matter).  The only cover options are leather, which is not kind and limits options for people who don’t want an animal to die for a good story.  I want Amazon to offer a vegan cover option (or even better make all covers vegan!) so we can all enjoy this new technology.

If you also want  a vegan and animal cruelty free alternative, you can sign the petition on  change.org here. You can also contact Amazon customer service or write  kindle-feedback@amazon.com to express your opinion  on the topic.

Thanks to Karen for the tip!