Amazon's New Kindle Oasis Syncs Audible With Kindle And Safely Works In The Bath

By James O Malley on at

Amazon has today revealed an updated Kindle Oasis - featuring a bigger screen, support for audiobooks and waterproofing to IPX8 standard - meaning that you can now read your book by the pool or in the bath, meaning that you can read while bathing in actual oasis, and everything will be fine.

The device itself resembles last year's Oasis, but now has a larger 7" display (at 300ppi), and retains the asymmetry of the previous design. Crucially though, Amazon says that the designers have managed to squeeze in a much larger battery into the device itself, meaning no need for a case that will charge up your Kindle when power gets low.

Having had a brief hands on with the device, I can confirm that it is pretty stunning. Like last year, the screen is flush with the bezel, and the display is crisp and bright e-ink, as before. The UI is much faster and responsive than any other Kindle I've used previously. The interface has also received a few upgrades, with new boldness options, font sizes and accessibility features. The screen will also auto-rotate to always be the right way up, however you orientate the device.

Perhaps the most exciting new feature though is that now the e-reader fully supports Audible audiobooks. If you're a subscriber, it will list your books alongside your Kindle titles - and if you want to listen, you can simply pair with either a bluetooth speaker or bluetooth headphones. (Yep, there's no headphone port).

Cleverly too, if you own the same title on both Kindle and Audible, the device will sync the two up - meaning that you can read some parts and listen to others. As it knows what page you're on, it will know where to start the audio and vice-versa. Sadly you still have to buy both Kindle and Audible versions of the same book separately, for byzantine contractual reasons with the publishing industry - but according to Amazon, if you own the Kindle version, you'll be able to top-up to the audio version for the bargain price of just £2.99.

Configuration-wise, the new Kindle Oasis starts at £229.99 for the 8GB version. The 32GB wifi-only model is £259.99 and the 32GB version with free cellular connectivity (for downloading books while anywhere) is £319.99. All three will be available from the 31st October, and will also be available at Argos, Currys PC World, John Lewis, Shop Direct and Tesco, if for some reason you don't want to buy an Amazon device from Amazon.