Technology, Inc. (AMZN) Kindle Oasis; Is It Really Worth Its Price?

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Amazon’s latest addition to its Kindle line of e-readers has actively divided the users Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) this week unveiled its latest tablet in the Kindle line this week called the Oasis. Kindle Oasis packs in the features that were indicated in the leaked photo reported just a few days prior to the official launch, and the device costs a whopping $290! That is quite easily that one aspect of the device which has divided opinion as far as the device is concerned.

Hence the question: what does it really contain to cost the money that it costs, and do you really need what it has to offer with the premium that it charges? Let’s dive straight into it, shall we?

Kindle Oasis introduced a design, as indicated in the leaked photos, which features a thinner bezel at one side, and a thick underside bump to go with it. The body is the thinnest for any Kindle yet, weighing in at approximately 131 grams, with the same 6-inch 300 pixels-per-inch display that came with Kindle Voyage. The only difference is that Oasis comes with 60% more LEDs to give it various lighting options for different environments, while another addition is the mandatory leather battery cover, which potentially raises the device’s battery to months of standby time.

The change in display LEDs, a thinner body and the leather battery cover is actually all that Kindle Oasis offers relative to Kindle Voyage. Although the price tells a different story, with the Oasis costing $90 more than Voyage. So do you really need to play the premium for a shiny new cover and a thinner device which is also brighter?

Kindle is an e-reader primarily aiming to provide the users a reading experience closest to that of handling their favorite paperback, jacketed books. While a better battery life certainly sweetens the deal, and the leather cover also lends the device and its user a certain persona and a sophisticated touch, there remains the slight issue of a user doubting that he is coughing up more than what an e-reader should actually cost. Kindle’s competitive pricing is a major reason why it commands a majority of the e-reader market share, and its competitors like Kobo and Nook are barely hanging on.

While the leather cover makes the device look better than it would otherwise would, aesthetics of a Kindle device has never really been the reason why it has dominated the market. Selling a mandatory leather battery cover to increase the price and deal the device a differentiating factor seems like something a competitor should do, to give better competition to the market leader that releases a formidable e-reader after another.

Without any noticeable upgrade when compared to the Kindle Voyage, Oasis could yet face some recoil when it comes to the response from users. If Amazon thinks that by increasing the price and adding a sophisticated leather cover could convert paperback readers, or compel users to upgrade, then it might not be entirely right with this one.

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