5 Reasons Why I’m Not Buying a Kindle Oasis… Yet

oasisTomorrow is the official release Day for the Kindle Oasis. Although it may seem a surprising thing for a tech blogger to do, I have decided to wait before buying the latest hardware. And, also probably surprising, is the fact that price is not one of my reasons. ūüôā

So why am I waiting to see if I want to buy an Oasis¬†at all? ¬†Here’s my five reasons:

Battery Life:

According to Amazon, the current basic Kindle battery life is four weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off. The Paperwhite and the Voyage promise six weeks with wireless off and the light setting at 10. The Oasis specs indicate¬†“A single charge with cover [emphasis added] lasts up to eight weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 10.”

But how is the battery on the device itself? According to most write-ups I’ve seen, the Oasis battery itself only last for two weeks and the rest of the battery life comes from the cover. That’s two weeks at 1/2 hour a day with the wireless turned off or approximately 7 hours if you are reading without the cover. That is a much shorter battery life than¬†the devices we have now. I do not want to pay more for a device with less battery life than its predecessor, at least if you want to use it without the cover. ¬†And what happens if that cover fails? (Which brings me to my next point.)

The Integrated Cover:

If you have read this blog for very long, one thing should be fairly obvious:  I am admittedly a device cover junkie. For every device I own, I have bought at least one cover. I gift devices along with a cover. I will buy a new cover just to spruce up my Kindle. I have them in all sorts of materials, styles and colors and in all price ranges. But generally speaking, I do not like Amazon covers. Part of this is based on my previous Amazon-integrated cover experience with the cover for the Kindle Keyboard. It is also the reason that I have concerns about an Oasis cover failure.

KK_cover_hooksIn 2010,  when Amazon came out with the third generation Kindle, now called the Kindle Keyboard, they designed an integrated leather cover that had hooks to hold the Kindle in place. This cover came in two styles: one with a light ($60 at the time) and one  without the light ($35). (At the time, 3rd party lights like the Kandle and the Mighty Bright were popular. This was before the Paperwhite, of course.) And it was a huge disaster.

It turned out that the hooks that went into the Kindle caused a electrical short that interfered with the Kindles in the version without a light. It caused a malfunction and a lot Kindles were deemed defective before they figured out the problem. ¬†I, of course, bought the¬†one without the light and wound up sending my first Kindle Keyboard back. AT one point, I think Amazon started refunding people who ¬†had bought the cases, but I wasn’t among that group. (I still have it: I pulled it out the week they announced the Oasis to take a picture.And if anybody wants it, let me know!)

Needless to sat, after that experience, I have never bought another Amazon cover and I am not wild about the idea of a battery operated cover from Amazon until I see how it holds up. I waited to buy the $50 Fire until third-party covers were available.

I have already written here about the concern some vegans have about the leather cover. I would really like to see a variety of 3rd party covers available for purchase. I will be curious to see if Amazon allows other companies to make covers for the devices or decide to keep the cover business for themselves.

Wireless problems with the Paperwhite and other devices:

One of the issues that has come up consistently with the the Fire tablets, Fire TV sticks and the Kindle Paperwhite has been a constant stream of complaints about the wireless connectivity of some of these devices.¬†I’ve experienced firsthand a tendency to disconnect from the internet and an inability to find certain wireless signals. I have read thread after thread of complaints like this one on the Amazon forums. Most people say that Amazon doesn’t acknowledge the problem. I had to change all my router setters to different channels just to get my Paperwhite¬†to work on WiFi.

Before I buy a new, more expensive Kindle, I want to know that people are not having  problems with the wireless on the first generation of the new device. I still see posts on this problem continuing with the Paperwhites.

Persistent build problem rumors on the first generation Paperwhite and  Voyage:

When both the first generation Paperwhite and the Kindle Voyage first came out, there were a lot of comments about the uneven light and off  colors displaying on the screen by the LEDs on the device. I still hear rumors about this problem with the Voyage, along with reports of bad pixels as well as pixels that are stuck on the screen.

This is not just a minor update. This is a totally redesigned device. But since that’s the case, and¬†particularly since¬†the¬†Oasis has a substantially higher price point than the previous models, I want to make sure that this is a really solid build. I don’t have a problem waiting for the Oasis 2 if this one has problems that need to be addressed.

Lack of improvements:

One of the curses of modern technology development is the concept of incremental hardware upgrades. Yes the Oasis has a few shiny new abilities. Buttons? Sure. Asymmetrical design and hibernation mode sound interesting. The accelerometer? Not such a big deal for me as I find the ones on the Fire tablets too sensitive for the slight angle that I read at in bed. And thinner? Meh. I am still going to want a cover to protect the device, even if it doesn’t have a battery. And thinness as the expense of battery life is not a good trade off in my opinion.

But what else doesn’t it have?Amazon still doesn’t have a waterproof e-reader. Are they ever going to bring back an e-ink reader with text to speech ability? I still want bluetooth capability so I can connect an external keyboard for notes in non-fiction books. I want to turn¬†pages without using my hands! I want more incremental font choice than the eight Amazon gives us. And¬†with my vision problems, I want weighted fonts that have more contrast for my eyes.

So yes, the Oasis has some good new features, but not enough right now to justify an expensive upgrade.

To be clear, this does not mean that I won’t buy the latest Kindle model. Before I paid $400 for my first generation Kindle back in early 2008, I actually spent several months reading reviews and feedback about the device. Since I had worked with technology for years, I wanted to make sure that I could live with it if the device quickly became obsolete or the quality wasn’t worth the price. ¬†And for what it’s worth, I passed on the Kindle Voyage. So for now, I will be watching reviews and customer forums very carefully to see if this is a device I want to spend my money on.

So how about you? If you bought one, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. If you decided not to buy,let me know that, too. Were your reasons the same as mine?

Kindle keyboard cover pix © Glinda Harrison/Ebook Evangelist

Bezos announces new Kindle

Today, Jeff Bezos himself let the world know that there is a new Kindle coming:

The fun is already starting on the speculation on this one. The phrase “top of the line” hints at at a new Kindle Voyage model. There has been speculation for a while about a¬†Voyage 2 model.

On the other hand, the lasted iteration of the Paperwhite  is the one with the generation number, not the Voyage.

I find it somewhat interesting that the announcement by Jeff Bezos (unusual in itself) comes the same day as Amazon is offering big discounts on current Kindle models. Today, if you subscribe to Amazon Prime, then you get $30 off the basic Kindle, thePaperwhite and the Kindle Voyage.

I was considering buying a new Paperwhite (today’s savings are great!) but now I am not sure. I didn’t buy a Voyage because the improvements were not enough to make me pull the trigger on a new one.

People are already making wish lists for the new models. Do you want to see better fonts, the return of text-to-speech, a bigger or better screen. Are you interested in the newest shiny thing or are you happy with what you’ve got? What’s on your Kindle wishlist?

E-Ink Kindles on sale now

paperwhite_newAs part of their Black Friday Deals week, Amazon has lowered prices on the basic Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle for Kids bundle,

The basic touch Kindle,  normally $79.99, is only $49.99. This is $30 off the regular price.

The Kindle Paperwhite, normally, $119.99, is selling for $99.99. This is $20 off the regular price.

The Kindle for Kids Bundle, normally $99 is selling for $$69.99. The bundle includes the basic Kindle (without ads), a kid-friendly cover and a two year Square Trade warranty.

Special Black Friday pricing on the Kindles is good through November 30, 2015.

While not on sale, the more expensive  Voyage e-reader  is not on sale, but is available in as part of a special Kindle Voyage Essentials Bundle. That bundle includes a charger and leather cover for $249.97.

BTW, I am a huge advocate of using cases covers for Kindles to protect your investment. I have three cats and a dog. My Kindles have been dropped, knocked on the floor and pounced upon by my pets and they are all still safe and sound. You can find a cover¬†for the basic Kindle for as little as $8.99. ūüôā

 

New Kindle Paperwhite Announced

paperwhite_newToday, Amazon announced a new version of the Kindle Paperwhite. It has a 300 ppi high resolution display, equivalent to the Kindle Voyage.  (The current  model is 212 ppi.) Like the current Paperwhite, this new ereader will also soon receive the new font and feature update that includes a new more readable font and enhanced hyphenation and page layout features.  The starting price will remain the same as the current model: $119 with special offers. The device ships on June 30, 2015 and will be available worldwide. You can find out more info and order here.

Amazon is continuing to offer the current Paperwhite covers alongside the new Kindles, so presumably, there has been no change in the size of the device. That is a plus if you like to use a cover; it generally takes a while for 3rd party vendors to catch up if you are looking for a budget priced cover like the MoKo Cover Case  or MoKo clamshell.

Where I am confused is the area of naming conventions. As it usually does for the latest iteration of a device, Amazon is calling this version the “All-new” Paperwhite. If you are keeping score, this new version is actually the fourth for the Paperwhite. There was the 2012 version, the 2013 version (Paperwhite 2) which had 2GB of RAM. Then came the second iteration (2014) of the Paperwhite 2 which had 4GB of Ram. I haven’t yet heard the storage capacity of the new one yet…. It really would have helped if they had called this the Paperwhite HD ¬†or something catchy like that. ūüôā

Right now. I am going to pass on a new Paperwhite, unless one of my older Kindles bites the dust. I have two Paperwhite 2’s now, one ¬†2GB and one 4GB. A slightly higher resolution is not enough of an upgrade to make me pull the plug.

So, what about you? Are you tempted by the new, improved Paperwhite?

 

Kindle Paperwhite for $99

paperwhiteToday is the last day to get $20 off the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.¬†If you are looking for a front-lit, dedicated e-ink reading device, this one is a great choice. My husband and I both have Paperwhites and love them! In my husband’s case, this¬†replaced the first¬†Kindle Touch. He loves the front-lit screen on the Paperwhite.

Do you have one of these or replace an earlier model KIndle with one? Sound off in the comments and let me know what you think of the Paperwhite.

For Sale: Kindles, Kindles, Kindles

paperwhiteWith only a few more online shopping days left until Christmas, Amazon is letting everyone know with prominent product placement and low, low prices that they REALLY, REALLY want you to buy Kindle and Fire devices this holiday season.

Today’s Gold Box Deal offers a variety of Kindle Fire HDX devices for sale¬†at $125 off. And, most of the other tablets in the Fire line-up are on sale as well.

You can also check out the deals on other Kindle and Fire devices which are going for near Black Friday pricing. Amazon is offering up the basic Kindle for only $59 and the Paperwhite for only $99. The Fire TV is only $79 and the unlocked Fire Phone is also on sale.

If you are looking for a e-reader or a Fire tablet, TV or phone (either for yourself or a gift), it is hard to find¬†prices much¬†better than this…

 

 

Daily Links: Open Road launches series for controversial books

From Publishers Weekly: Open Road launches series for controversial books

From the eBookReader.com: Kobo Website formatting tip on how to identify ePub types

From Teleread: Opening Nook books in Adobe Digital Editions

From Vox (via the Digital Reader): 7 Things the most-highlighted passages from Kindles tell us

From the Digital Reader: Missing in Action: The Kindle Paperwhite 3

Today, Amazon has a Refurbished Kindle Fire HD 8.9 with 4G LTE  as the Bonus Deal of the Day. It is $199 for the 32GB version.This is the older version with the micro-HDMI port and the 4G coverage is set up for AT & T coverage.

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.