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Amazon Finally Makes a Waterproof Kindle (theverge.com) 67

After 10 years of Kindles, Amazon has finally made a kindle e-reader with an IPX8 waterproof rating. The new Kindle Oasis features a 7-inch display and aluminum back. The Verge reports: Unlike last year's Kindle Oasis, which used a magnetic case you attached to the e-reader to extend its battery life, the new Oasis relies entirely on its built-in battery. It has a similar physical design, with one thicker side that tapers down on the other side, for one-handed reading. But Amazon has made a point of saying that it managed to fit in a bigger battery, while keeping the tapered side of the device at 3.4 millimeters. The resolution of the e-paper display is the same at 300 ppi, but it has a couple extra LED lights now for a brighter, more even-looking display. And it also has ambient light sensors that adjust the brightness as you move from room to room, or from outdoors to indoors. There are physical page-turn buttons, plus the touchscreen page-turn option; Amazon says it's worked on both the hardware and software side of things to make page-turning feel faster. The new e-reader has been tested in two meters of water for up to 60 minutes. It's also been tested in different water environments, like hot tubs, pools, and bubble baths.
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Amazon Finally Makes a Waterproof Kindle

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Now that walk on water thing will not impact my Prime membership.
  • ...finally? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Chris Katko ( 2923353 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2017 @03:27PM (#55352017)

    Finally? Like it's some huge problem? My wife has had 3 kindles and none of them died from water damage.

    Meanwhile, how many Apple phones get dropped into the sink or toilet every year? How about we apply the "Finally" qualifier to them, eh?

    • by torkus ( 1133985 )

      No no no no...they were holding them wrong. Their fault.

      Also, Kindles aren't the pervasive always-on-you device that phones are (much to Amazon's dismay) so it's somewhat less critical.

      Handy, but I've never really worried about my iPad not being waterproof and I DO have it with me a large portion of the time. It just doesn't fit the use case of needing it much for me. Plus it's harder to drop an iPad in the toilet.

    • None of mine have died from waterdamage, and I even take mine in the bath regularly. That said, a waterproof one would make that experience even more relaxing.
    • Your wife is more fastidious than mine. She murdered quite a few electronics before I caught on and started insisting she put them in protective cases. At least two netbooks and three phones. She got a 4S, it went into an Otterbox on day one, and lo, these many years later, it's still sitting in my travel bag, perfectly unharmed, as a backup phone in case her main one dies on a trip.

      She had a bunch of Kindles die on her, but they were the gen 2 version with awful QC. We had a couple that were DOA as warran
    • When I get the chance to read it's usually while traveling, while sitting in the bath or while vacationing, usually on a dive trip or a tropical beach. A Kindle like this would double the amount of reading I can get done during the later two.

      It's mostly a matter of the opportunities which open up when you no longer have to think about a kindle like you think about a paper book or a piece of humidity sensitive electronics. The ability to use it in environments where one today wouldn't even consider using it

    • Like it's some huge problem?

      Yes, yes it has been a huge fucking problem. When I used to read physical books my favorite place to read was in the bath, couldn't do that with a kindle (at least not for long). And no, I have never dropped a book into the water, and would probably not drop the kindle into it either, but the moisture would fuck it up in time. Going to the beach or lounge around the pool and you have to stick the kindle in a sandwich bag which is annoying, so for me it was a huge problem. P

  • I might actually look into buying one now. This would be something that I could actually live with. Reading at the beach, pool, or in the tub is impossible even with my phone, since I have to worry about it even getting splashed.

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      Or you could buy a $99 Kindle Paperwhite and a $30 IP68 case.

      • Or you could buy a $99 Kindle Paperwhite and a $30 IP68 case.

        Except the Paperwhite is swipe-only for navigation, which may matter to some people - like me.

        I preferred the actual physical navigation buttons from my old 3G Kindle... but the haptic "buttons" on the Voyage (what I have) work pretty well. However I think the Oasis has actual, physical buttons.

        • A baggie will still let you swipe, no problem, and doesn't cost $30.

          I use 'em on my kindle, phone and tablet when I want to use them and soak in the tub or float in the pool.

      • Or a Paperwhite and a $.02 ziplock baggie...

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        Or you could buy a $99 Kindle Paperwhite and a $30 IP68 case.

        Or you could buy a $49 refurbished Nook Glowlight Plus from Wal-Mart [walmart.com]. You'll only get IP67, but you'll avoid getting dragged into the Amazon ecosystem. I've had every model of e-ink Nook and I've never found a compelling reason to switch to Kindle yet.

      • I've been carrying a $99 Kindle Paperwhite for ages without a case and it seems to be holding up fine.

        This device seems very overpriced.

        The Verge article says it's

        https://www.theverge.com/2017/... [theverge.com]

        The new Oasis ships at the end of October and is replacing last yearâ(TM)s Oasis, leaving four Kindles total in Amazonâ(TM)s lineup: the original Kindle ($80), the Kindle Paperwhite ($120), Kindle Voyage ($200), and the Oasis, which starts at $250 for an 8GB model. Thatâ(TM)s double the base storage

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2017 @03:27PM (#55352021)

    I can't say I've ever said to myself "I wish this Kindle were waterproof!" However I have wished for a Kindle with larger page size*, and this new one has a 7" screen.

    But, still, it'll likely be several years before I replace my Kindle Voyage. The main reason I replaced my old 3G was the dog got hold of it.

    * Yes, I remember the DX

    • by torkus ( 1133985 )

      Hmm...now that you mention it, I had a Kindle DX and can't for the life of me remember what I did with it. Probably buried somewhere in storage.

    • If it had a 9" screen I'd preorder. I have a couple of the 6" units and they're great but I've literally never wished they were waterproof. Bigger, all the time.
  • Can I also tell it:"Alexa, download the latest Dan Brown and switch off the lights"?

  • by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Wednesday October 11, 2017 @03:40PM (#55352117) Journal

    Waterproof is great but I want something between the black e-ink and the comparably horrible battery life of a Fire. Could I have a 256, 64, or 16 - even 4 ! - color e-ink display that's not from some no-name Chinese company? Please? Something that's decent for charts and web comics doesn't need to have full color and instant screen updates.

    • by oic0 ( 1864384 )
      Agreed. Would be great for browsing the web too. Web doesn't need full color.
    • by wjcofkc ( 964165 )
      "comparably horrible battery life of a Fire"

      One of the greatest joys of my 6th generation Kindle Fire is that the battery just goes and goes and goes unlike any device I've ever owned, and a lot of that is playing music. What version of the fire do you have with horrible battery life? This is a real question, I am not trying to call you out. I was planning on getting the new 10.1 screen version when it comes out in a few days.
      • by pthisis ( 27352 )

        The Fire has a fine battery life for a tablet, but it's still horrible compared to e-ink readers, which usually last a month or two between charges if you average an hour of reading a day. E-ink displays only draw current for screen updates, so the majority of the time when you're reading (as opposed to flipping the page) the device draws very little power.

      • As https://slashdot.org/~pthisis [slashdot.org] already said, the battery life of the fire is pretty good for a full tablet. Compared to a regular Kindle or other dedicated e-Ink or e-Paper displays it's awful. If I want a dedicated reader from a reputable company I can find if anything goes wrong, my choices right now are between a few scales of grey and a full-color screen with a big, multi-core processor sitting behind it.

        If I could get something with just a few colors (like a desktop computer from 25 to 35 years ago)

  • one thicker side that tapers down on the other side, for one-handed reading.

    Hmm. And if it's waterproof I guess it's washable too. I could see this not spending much time in the lounge.

  • Too Exensive, Didn't Read.

    It "starts" at $390 in Canada. That's almost halfway to an iPad Pro.

    • Different device, different use case. I read on my iPad most of the time, but when I want a Kindle, I want a Kindle. E-ink, cellular connectivity. If you don't read at least one book a week, this probably isn't for you. That's why I still have an old Kindle with keyboard - I only use it at the beach. But if you read a lot, your situation might be different.
  • Given that a lot of people who are interested in the waterproof aspect will visit beaches etc...

    Aluminium rear probably won't last,

    and for all the "different types of water" they tested there is no mention about how the waterproofing holds up in salt water

  • Kobo has been selling water proof readers for years. In Japan the readers nice for baths . Amazon doing well in Japan for e-Commerce so will be a good market to help get more Amazon devices in Japanese hands. Alexa Echo etc... announced to be available later this year. Summer is over for North Hemisphere so a little late for beach goers but the hot spring season just getting started. e-Ink nice for readers but still a niche market since many folks would like color , browsing and other tablet capabilities.
  • how does is handle rubber ducky collisions in the bathtub?
  • "It's also been tested in different water environments, like hot tubs, pools, and bubble baths."

    I used a similar phrase on my 3rd year college project many years ago: "It was tested on 4 machines". I never actually said it _worked_ on all 4 machines (nor was I asked for clarification, which was lucky 'cos it only worked on 3)...

  • All I want is a large-format (letter size or close to it) Kindle. My 3rd-gen Kindle is still going strong, and none of the new Kindle models have convinced me to upgrade. But large-format? I'd buy that the day it came out.

    A few other brands have started to come out with large-format e-readers, but as of yet all of the reviews show that they still have a lot of annoying shortcomings. I trust Amazon would do it right, and would do it for a reasonable price.

The aim of science is to seek the simplest explanations of complex facts. Seek simplicity and distrust it. -- Whitehead.

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