15th Apr 2016
To state that reading is a dying pastime in India would be to state the obvious.
What would you expect in a country that boasts of cricket for close to 300 days a year, more than 400 television channels to choose from on other days, a bevy of FM radio stations to break the monotony and over a 1000 movies to drool over?
Nevertheless, in recent years, books appear to have made a strong comeback. The trend is quite evident in the number of times one sees the latest as well as popular titles being bandied around during Facebook conversations on one’s timeline.
If that is not enough, take a look at how bullish Amazon is about China and India combining to soon surpass Kindle e-reader sales. Market size is one thing. What is more important is that reading habits are making a welcome return.
Given this background, the Techtree team got excited upon reading the news about Amazon’s latest e-reader – called the Kindle Oasis.
For starters, the name itself raised a few giggles. “Are they planning to sell it only across deserts of the world?” asked a colleague, to which another responded, “Maybe, Jeff Bezos expects this Oasis to yield him maximum returns,” from across his lines of business, ranging from online stores to crazy drones.
After the initial charlatanic responses, our geeks got down to business, attempting to demystify the features, advantages and benefits listed out by global analysts. (Check out the video) And, here is what we came up with:
- The Kindle Oasis is smaller, thinner and considerably brighter.
- It comes with amazing battery power – the best ever for any e-reader
- A new design that comprises an extended bezel and a bump below
- The 130.4 gram frame is covered by a 3.4 mm metal-plated slate
- This thin body Kindle contains a 6-inch 300 ppi screen – the same as the Kindle Voyage – but with 60 percent more LEDs for better brightness
- Contrary to rumors, the new Kindle is not waterproofed
- It ships with a leather battery cover that works as a single unit with the device
- In India, it would be priced at a stiff Rs.23,999.
The Wow Effect:
- The Kindle Oasis provides the user with the closest feel to reading an actual book.
- The aesthetic elements are high on priority. The new Kindle can be flipped from the right to the left hand with ease
- The e-ink display of 200 microns, which is thinner than a sheet of tin foil, making for excellent reading pleasure
- The battery life appears to be the best in class for all e-readers. This is definitely a boon for travelers.
- The multi-week battery life extends to months of standby time. (Rumors suggested 20 months, but Amazon has denied it outright)
- Both the Kindle Oasis and its cover charge simultaneously from a single plug.
- The device also uses a new hibernation mode whereby the cover will reduce consumption to a bare minimum amount post an hour’s inactivity.
The Ouch Effect:
- The biggest disappointment has been the lack of waterproofing for the Kindle Oasis. For God’s sake, even the latest Nook is waterproof!
- The hardware of the new device doesn’t offer much more than longer-lasting battery and a brighter screen
- The price of $ 290 seems to be a restricting factor as most analysts believe that the new version isn’t all that much better than the earlier one
- While Amazon appears to be plugging the Oasis at the top end of the Kindle line (above Voyage), in reality it appears to be a luxury version of the Paperwhite, crunched into a smaller form with a leather battery case.
- Analysts believe that at the price point, the Kindle Oasis should have integrated audio, which Amazon stopped prior to the Paperwhite era
- The target audience for the new device is unclear. Because, the features are pretty much the same as in the previous two releases.
- If Amazon is looking to sell a product at twice the price of an existing one to the same set of users, they could be in for a big shock.
In the ultimate analysis from our team, we believe that the Kindle Oasis is indeed an e-reader destined for a King. It is designed in a way that makes you drool. Of course, that does not automatically result in sales.
Because, when cheaper options are available in a price conscious market, would Amazon succeed in luring us up on the cost ladder, without actually adding features that make it worthwhile?
Till such time, we might as well go back to reading paperbacks as our colleague RMR says in this blog
Kindle Oasis: Brighter, Smaller, and Thinner… And Costs A Bomb
(While there is a consensus about the new e-Reader being the best in class, opinion is divided about its value proposition)
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