Amazon's Kindle Oasis Reader Ups the Price for Thinness and Battery Life

Amazon announced a new member of the Kindle ebook reader family, Kindle Oasis. The company claims the device has been physically designed to get close to the goal of having it disappear while you're reading, and it features "months" of battery life, but it comes with something we aren't used to seeing from Amazon, a higher price.

Amazon Kindle Oasis

Amazon Kindle Oasis and Charging Cover (see below)

Kindle Oasis is part of the Paperwhite display family, meaning this isn't a Kindle Fire Android tablet. It's a Kindle ebook reader.

But Amazon has done a couple of interesting things with this device by moving most of the guts and battery to one side. That not only allows most of the device to be very thin, it also shifts the center of gravity. Amazon says it will rest in your palm and feel like the spine of a book. I haven't tested that yet, but this is the first Kindle reader I've been interested in since Apple launched the iPad and iBooks.

Amazon has also off-loaded some of the battery power to an included case the company calls a "charging cover." The battery power included in this cover combined with the built-in battery combine for "months" of use. At the least, that would allow a user to take a weeks-long trip or vacation without worrying about taking a power supply.

But off-loading that additional battery capacity to a cover that's not used when reading further allows the device to be lightweight (4.6 ounces) and thin (3.4mm thick at its thinnest point, though much thicker on the side meant to be held).

Amazon also thought differently about the materials, using a polymer coated in metal via electroplating to keep it both light and strong.

All of this different thinking comes at a price, however; Kindle Oasis is available for pre order at $289.99, making it the most expensive Kindle reader by far. A version with 3G connectivity is $379.99. The next most expensive device is the Kindle Voyage, starting at $199.99.

The charging cover is available in Black, Merlot, and Walnut. It ships "in the coming weeks."