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posted by cmn32480 on Thursday October 12, @04:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the now-I-can-read-in-the-pool dept.

Amazon has made its premium Kindle Oasis e-reader an inch larger and given the device an IPX8 waterproof rating (in this case, immersion in up to 2 meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes):

Amazon has been selling Kindles for 10 years now, but "waterproof" hasn't appear on its list of incremental technological advancements until now. The company just announced a new version of its popular e-reader that builds on last year's Kindle design and now has an IPX8 waterproof rating.

The new Kindle Oasis — the same name as last year's premium Kindle — has jumped up in size, moving from a 6-inch screen to a 7-inch screen. It has an aluminum back, which gives it a more premium look and feel than the Kindles with soft-touch plastic.

It supports AZW, TXT, PDF, MOBI, and PRC, but lacks EPUB support. Storage starts at 8 GB ($249) but there is a 32 GB option. Amazon has brought back physical buttons for page turning as an alternative to the touchscreen, and comes with an accelerometer to automatically change page orientation.

Still no color e-ink.

What's that book to the right of The Hobbit? Does it support that book?

Also at CNET and TechCrunch.


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  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday October 12, @05:54PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Thursday October 12, @05:54PM (#581245)

    I guess geeks will save hours not having to try to repair kindles which accidentally slip into the bathtub when someone was distracted.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @05:55PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @05:55PM (#581247)

    > an accelerometer to automatically change page orientation.

    This drives me nuts, I want to be able to lay on my side and have the display look upright relative to my eyes...not upright relative to the center of the earth (accelerometer).

    Other reasons too (no epub for one).

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Thursday October 12, @06:20PM (1 child)

      by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @06:20PM (#581259)

      Yeah, I really hate that too on my phone. I hate that it's not configurable too. It is possible to disable accelerometer-based rotation altogether and just lock everything in portrait mode, but I don't want that either. I want my phone to *only* switch to landscape mode when I'm looking at a photo that's in landscape mode, or if I'm using the camera in landscape orientation. That's it. There is no other time where it makes any sense to use landscape mode on a phone (except maybe some games that I don't play). I don't want it when I'm texting, or using GPS navigation, or talking on a phone call, or playing one of my simple games, or anything else. Why can't I disable this damned landscape crap except for the camera/photo use-cases where it actually makes a lot of sense? Am I the only person who thinks this way?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, @07:56PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, @07:56PM (#581980)

        Your phone? That's the catch, you just carry it and paid a buying price for it. But it's still their phone as you can see.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday October 12, @06:47PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday October 12, @06:47PM (#581277) Journal

      Like Grishnakh said, phones have options to disable automatic orientation, but I have not seen an option that locks it into the current orientation instead of just portrait mode. Maybe we haven't looked hard enough?

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Thursday October 12, @09:43PM

        by t-3 (4907) on Thursday October 12, @09:43PM (#581365) Journal

        My phone has a rotation lock setting that will lock the phone into whatever the current orientation is (except for some apps that demand a certain orientation, those are always whatever they are).

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @06:16PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @06:16PM (#581257)

    It supports AZW, TXT, PDF, MOBI, and PRC, but lacks EPUB support.

    That is a symptom of the proprietary nature of this device.

    Were Amazon to allow users to modify the software, this device would immediately learn how to process EPUB.

    How can you support a product that is so arbitrarily limited? Fuck this thing; put your money into something else.

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday October 12, @06:25PM (4 children)

      by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @06:25PM (#581263)

      I agree that it's entirely annoying that they don't support the main e-book standard that's an open standard, however in practice aren't there converters out there that convert EPUB into MOBI? Do you really miss out on anything? A quick read of the Wikipedia page comparing e-book standards only shows sound support lacking in the MOBI standard. Of course, having to do the conversion is annoying by itself, even if no useful data is lost (like it is when converting between lossy sound compression formats, such as .ogg->.mp3).

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Thursday October 12, @06:49PM (2 children)

        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday October 12, @06:49PM (#581279) Journal

        Using a program like Calibre [wikipedia.org] makes the conversion and management of ebooks fairly painless.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday October 12, @07:33PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday October 12, @07:33PM (#581307)

          Sounds good, and if I ever get an e-reader I'll surely use that, but I do feel I have to point out that not everyone manages their collections that well.

          So for instance, for music, I keep all my music organized well as ripped Oggs, and then sync those to devices as necessary. But most listeners with mobile devices don't do that; they buy something on Amazon or wherever, in MP3 format, and stick it on their device and that's it. I'm guessing e-reader users expect to do this too, rather than to have to curate their collection with an application on their PC. However, most of those people probably just buy from the e-book store that their reader is set up to buy from (Kindle store for Kindle readers, B&N's Nook store for Nook readers), so maybe this isn't really an issue.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, @04:09PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, @04:09PM (#581830)

          Agreed, but you still shouldn't have to.

      • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Thursday October 12, @09:49PM

        by t-3 (4907) on Thursday October 12, @09:49PM (#581370) Journal

        My paperwhite is running either netbsd or Linux, I can't remember which. Anyway, it's trivial to "unlock" (ssh over serial USB connection, change a few settings) and then install whatever reading programs you'd like. I don't know if this is also true for the Oasis, but it probably is.

  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday October 12, @06:30PM (2 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Thursday October 12, @06:30PM (#581267) Journal

    The main (only?) electronic book format for books in Barnes and Noble's ecosystem is ePub. The main (only?) electronic book format for books in Amazon's ecosystem is azw. I highly doubt either competitor is going to be natively supporting the competitor's format on their device designed to sell books from their own ecosystem.

    --
    "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday October 12, @06:50PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday October 12, @06:50PM (#581284) Journal

      Getting EPUB/DRM-free books onto Amazon Kindle is not hard. You just use Calibre [wikipedia.org].

      I have done it with a Kindle and Amazon made no fuss about the free/pirated ebooks within the device.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday October 12, @07:01PM

        by Freeman (732) on Thursday October 12, @07:01PM (#581289) Journal

        I have used Calibre before, for reading e-books on my computer. While it's nice that it has the ability to get the epubs on a Kindle. It's not so nice, that Amazon, blocks use of such a widely used format for the average consumer. Amazon created their own proprietary format to essentially create for themselves a similar ecosystem to Apple.

        --
        "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday October 12, @06:49PM (3 children)

    by Freeman (732) on Thursday October 12, @06:49PM (#581282) Journal

    I've had the pleasure to use the original Nook (Horrible, Horrible, Design, Who thought it was a good idea to include a skinny lcd bar?) and the Nook Simple Touch (Lovely, Lovely, Design). I've owned a Simple Touch for quite some time and have re-read a series or two on the device, easily added Project Gutenberg books (and read them), some other random free books, and have purchased quite a few books that I wouldn't have otherwise (Quite a bit of Sci-Fi stuff). Being more open (than Amazon) to easily side loading your content onto the device is a Huge bonus. Just plug it into your computer, drop your free Gutenberg books in the right folder and you're off. Reading on the device is easy on the eyes and simple. At least some of the books I've purchased on my Nook have a No-DRM (So, please don't pirate our stuff) notice in the front of them as well. From my experience, E-Ink readers are extremely awesome. You just have to weigh your pros and cons when you're looking at the devices. At $130 for a Nook Touch with Glowlight, I'd be hard pressed to recommend a Kindle, if only due to the philosophy behind behind not allowing simple side loading of books on the Kindle. Oh, and the Nook includes all those free books in one list, right along with your purchases.

    --
    "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Thursday October 12, @07:05PM

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday October 12, @07:05PM (#581292) Journal

      Side loading onto a Kindle is easy. You just use Calibre [wikipedia.org].

      Finding free content [ebook3000.com] to put on it is not hard. Bestsellers are a bit easier to find since there are montly NYT bestseller packs.

      I have used up to Kindle Paperwhite [amazon.com] (gen 1?), see the chart near the bottom. Which is priced at $120 apparently. That sounds like an equivalent for the Nook Touch with Glowlight, but it has double the storage.

      I don't think I would buy a Kindle again unless I can get a killer feature like color e-ink. The storage capacity has been slow to reach 8-32 GB. High storage is needed for illustrated book PDFs, which can easily be 100-300 MB a pop. E-readers don't handle these as well as a tablet can, but better refresh times and processors could make it a thing, and color e-ink could make it worthwhile. The lack of an SD/microSD slot is disappointing and if they are going waterproof it seems like they will never add one.

      Amazon does a good job of improving Kindle and they deserve some credit for keeping the e-reader alive in the face of tablets (which have been declining last time i checked). But if someone releases an e-reader with color e-ink, the same dynamic lighting system, decent and expandable storage, with support for all formats including EPUB and CBZ, I would give that e-reader a serious look.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by richtopia on Thursday October 12, @07:32PM (1 child)

      by richtopia (3160) on Thursday October 12, @07:32PM (#581306) Homepage Journal

      I had the Nook Glow, which I liked but found the battery life poor in suspend mode (battery was always dead when I would get on an airplane). I've since moved to a Kobo when the Nook finally died, and I do prefer it. Kobo runs Linux and does not drain batteries when off, unlike the Nook. Also, if you are looking for a waterproof version they have had one for years already.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, @05:16AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, @05:16AM (#581579)

        I've had a Nook Simple Touch for four years now which goes with me almost everywhere, rooted, the battery life on average is three weeks with daily use for several hours, that, coupled with the micro SD slot and the fact that the thing is apparently near indestructible (it's survived many a fall and at least two soakings, reckon it's travelled about 12,000 miles ) makes me dread the day it gives up the ghost.
        I looked at the Glow but the things that put me off it were; no sd card slot and reports of screen problems, The Kobo range I might revisit, though I'm looking at one of the Onyx books as a primary future replacement for the Nook.

          Kindles? no bloody way...

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DmT on Thursday October 12, @07:27PM

    by DmT (6439) on Thursday October 12, @07:27PM (#581302)

    Just get a Pocketbook, some version with a name starting "Touch Lux" ... etc
    MicroSD card support, up to 32 GB. Based on Linux, reads lost of formats. Connect copy files via USB, has Wi-Fi, has backlight for night usage, has physical buttons. Oh yeah, released already some years ago. Also there was waterproof version released already some time ago.
    I find it quite usable, although most of the time I use the microSD card to put articles printed to pdf from the web there, for later reading, and also any interesting books I find online.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by hendrikboom on Thursday October 12, @09:38PM

    by hendrikboom (1125) on Thursday October 12, @09:38PM (#581360) Homepage

    A waterproof Kobo has been around for a while now. And they just announced a second model that's also waterproof, up to the specs of Amazon's new wonder.

    I seem too remember seeing online pricing under $200, and that was likely cheap Canadian dollars.

    Kobo will do .epub, DRM'd or not.

    All the kobos I've had do side-loading, and I presume these will too. In Linux, you just connect it to the USB port, mount the file system and copy.

    -- hendrik

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Celestial on Friday October 13, @01:09AM

    by Celestial (4891) Subscriber Badge on Friday October 13, @01:09AM (#581473) Homepage Journal

    Kobo makes the best eReaders. Unfortunately, Amazon has the biggest eBook store by far. So, I purchase books on Amazon that I can't find on Kobo, download them to my PC, use Calibre to liberate them and convert the AZW3 file to ePUB, and then load it onto the Kobo. Works well.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, @08:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, @08:01PM (#581982)

    I demand bulletproof...

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