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Kindle Oasis Leaks in China, Has an Asymmetrical Design

Jeff Bezos promised us wkindle oasis 1e would hear more about the next "top of the line" Kindle this week, and once again we didn’t have to wait for official sources.

A new leak out of China confirms that the new Kindle Oasis has the battery-case, page turn buttons, and accelerometers mentioned in previous leaks, only they’re not quite in the places you would expect.

Update: Amazon leaked additional details on its Canadian website which confirm this report.

If these images are real (and I’m still waiting for a denial/confirmation from Amazon) then Google Translate tells us that the Kindle Oasis will measure 3.4mm thick at its thinnest point, weigh 131 grams, and have a 300 dpi E-ink screen. (In comparison, the Kindle Voyage weighs 180 grams, and measures 7.8 mm thin.)

And best of all, the Oasis appears to feature an asymmetrical design with page turn buttons on one side of the screen. Far from being a one-handed design, the Oasis will use the accelerometers to automatically invert the text when you flip the device around and hold it with your other hand:

kindle oasis

The leak also suggests that the Oasis will have a frontlight which has 60% more light sources, and another image confirms the powered connection between the case and the Oasis:

kindle oasis 1

click to embiggen

I’m still putting the images through Google Translate so I can parse additional detail, but that’s all I have for now.

I have not, for example, found a mention that the new Kindle is waterproof. So it looks like that guess was wrong.

If you would like to help translate the text in the images, I have embedded them below.

P.S. This is not the first ereader with a lopsided design, though it will certainly be the most famous. The never-released txtr Reader had a left-handed design when it was announced in 2009, and Ukrainian ereader maker Pocketbook has released a couple 8″ models, including the Pocketbook Inkpad. I fucking loved mine, so don’t listen to naysayers who call the new Oasis ugly. Try it first.

Edit: Pocketbook also released the 360, a one-handed ereader with a 5″ screen. That was a great device, which could even play Doom.


Thanks, Steve, for the tip!

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Will Entrekin April 11, 2016 um 11:27 am

Didn’t the first Kindle have an asymmetrical design, too? I thought it was wedge shaped.

This looks awesome.

Nate Hoffelder April 11, 2016 um 11:33 am

Yes, but that miscegenation between a Blackberry and a PDA also had page turn buttons on both sides.

Rasputin April 11, 2016 um 12:27 pm

Wow. Miscegenation and fucking on one page.

Frank April 11, 2016 um 12:08 pm

Yes, the first Kindle was slightly asymmetrical, you can see a picture on the Amazon Kindle Wikipedia page.

People have been asking for real page turn buttons, not PagePress, and now they are finally back.

javi April 11, 2016 um 11:37 am

Disappointed. I expect more improvents.
No bigger screen.
No liquavista.
No waterproof.
No new Ink technology.
No IMX 7 (anyone knows?)
Is the a software update?
Imx 7?
More Battery yes… in the case. It was no necessary. If it was a Kindle solar without case…

I expected more, much more.

But better… I saving my money. Happy with my KP2.

poiboy April 11, 2016 um 12:08 pm

agreed.. my voyage still looks better too. its looks like old tech tbh.

flo April 11, 2016 um 2:47 pm

true, but no surprise here

Chris Meadows April 11, 2016 um 4:51 pm

It may be that e-ink reader sales have declined to the point where it’s just not worth making radical improvements—they simply wouldn’t sell enough units to make back their investment, no matter how good it was. Everyone’s using tablets and smartphones now.

Jp April 11, 2016 um 10:08 pm

They will ALWAYS return on Ereader investment based on their book sales alone! They could sell these for five dollars each and still end up making a profit… So they’re really free to innovate and do whatever they like, and when given free reign, they come up with… this…
Far too ugly for me, not interested. Looks like old tech.

Kurt April 11, 2016 um 11:45 am

another iteration of a 6 inch reader

Nix April 11, 2016 um 1:23 pm

The 6-inchness is highly unlikely to change. That size is not arbitrarily chosen: it’s the size of a mass-market paperback book, which has been standard for many decades, so things like coat pockets are sized for it.

New Kindle Leaks: Oasis | Mike Cane's Atomic Supermen April 11, 2016 um 12:02 pm

[…] Nate has the details: Kindle Oasis Leaks in China, Has an Asymmetrical Design […]

Robert April 11, 2016 um 12:08 pm

I hope that’s not it. That is one fugly gadget. And still sporting that glaring white light that I so despise.

Suzatm April 11, 2016 um 12:11 pm

I said I wouldn’t buy another 6 inch but this looks like it would solve the problem my dad has holding the PW with his big hands. This looks like he would have a good holding margin and it would prevent the unwanted page advances. Can’t wait to see this. I gave my Voyage to a family member and bought the PW 300 PPI and I love it. I did not like the Voyage at all. I wonder which one this will be close to.

Suzatm April 11, 2016 um 12:13 pm

But I am still disappointed that there will be no larger screen.

Rasputin April 11, 2016 um 12:29 pm

A triumph of style over content.

Name (Required) April 11, 2016 um 12:45 pm

Somebody on Mobileread posted link to Reddit translation of the text

Get ready for the new Kindle | TechCrunch April 11, 2016 um 12:54 pm

[…] removed the device, but Kindle Fere spotted the mistake and The Digital Reader’s Nate Hoffelder picked it up. Meet the Kindle Oasis, Amazon’s new flagship ereader for the most hardcore digital […]

jim heskett April 11, 2016 um 1:07 pm

+1 for embiggen reference

45sdfbi345@dsfogvi3,4E4trgdf-dfgh8945.Agfr98hzh# April 11, 2016 um 1:45 pm

When did Pocketbook release a "couple 8″ models"? I thought, the Inkpad was their only 8-incher.

Nate Hoffelder April 11, 2016 um 1:58 pm

The Inkpad was a grayscale version of Pocketbook’s 8″ color E-ink ereader. Aside from the screen, they had the same hardware.

fjtorres April 11, 2016 um 1:47 pm

Rocketbook 2016!
Back to the future we go.

(Don’t forget the Pocketbook 360.)

Nate Hoffelder April 11, 2016 um 2:06 pm

Good point. I had forgotten it.

fjtorres April 11, 2016 um 1:51 pm

Basically they’ve moved all the electronics (and weight) to the spine and left the rest only as thin as needed to suport the display.

They finally go around to revisiting the last part of the Rocketbook legacy…
Hmm, I wonder if a patent just expired.
If so, we may be in for a flood of spinal designs for readers and tablets. And, of course, somebody will call theirs…

…Spinal Tap.

Nix April 11, 2016 um 1:53 pm


(But you’re wrong: that wouldn’t be an e-reader at all, rather a smart Internet-of-Things water delivery system, with the electronics safely stashed in the spine, out of the way of the water and groupies.)

Nate Hoffelder April 11, 2016 um 1:58 pm

Boo. Hiss.

Steve H April 11, 2016 um 1:56 pm

A lot of dashed hopes out there. I will wait for an official announcement with all of the specs before judgement. If nothing else lighting, battery and page turns may have taken a step forward.
It may be a really good device…It will raise the bar if nothing else. Note Kindles are no longer on sale for Prime members.

Suzatm April 11, 2016 um 2:17 pm

Fictionwise EBook reader was built sort of like this with the thicker curved spine. It was very comfortable to use.

Nate Hoffelder April 11, 2016 um 2:27 pm

Yes, the eBookwise was built this way. It was a descendant of the RocketBook mentioned above.

fjtorres April 11, 2016 um 4:39 pm

The design originated at Rocketbook before they were sold to Gemstar, who marketed it as the RCA RB-1100 and when Gemstar ditched it, Fictionwise picked up the left over hardware.
It was an excellent design for the times.

Nate Hoffelder April 11, 2016 um 4:55 pm

Yes and no. The eBookwise model is the GEB-1150 hardware, not the REB-1100.

I have an eBookwise, a GEB-1150, and an REB-1100. The 1100 is not the same device as the other two.

fjtorres April 11, 2016 um 11:48 pm

Same shell.
I had all *three* "rocketbooks".
(Ebookwise sold leftover GEB-1100s before switching to the 1150.)
The insides changed but the physical design (what we’re talking about) remained the same.

As in:


The darn things still work, too.

Steve H April 11, 2016 um 2:20 pm

Unless they downgrade the storage…I am sure to buy.

Amazon: Kindle Oasis im Anmarsch – STEREOPOLY April 11, 2016 um 2:21 pm

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Primeras imágenes del eReader Kindle Oasis: diseño asimétrico | eReader.UNO April 11, 2016 um 2:22 pm

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Paul Durrant April 11, 2016 um 2:24 pm

I want to know whether the display substrate is still glass. Can they really make it that thin and keep it rigid enough to stop it breaking?

My hope is that it’s a flexible substrate, even if not a flexible case (which, despite the Wexler One, seems a bad idea)

Nate Hoffelder April 11, 2016 um 2:32 pm

It’s going to have to be plastic. It’s too thin for a glass backing.

fjtorres April 11, 2016 um 4:42 pm

Could be magnesium backed, like the Voyage.
Light and stiff.

Will O’Neil April 11, 2016 um 3:06 pm

Definitely looks like a winner so far as I’m concerned. The page advance buttons above all, but thinner and lighter is always welcome.

Color doesn’t make a great deal of difference for what I read, but obviously is important to the comics/manga market. But I would think that it would take a bigger screen to really appeal to that market. I’ve no doubt that it will come, but when? In the meantime, I’m considering how to include images in my books that will look good in either color or grayscale.

Syn April 11, 2016 um 3:12 pm

Reading all of this the only thing I think of is its still gray scale. Even audio is debatable with how thin it is unless Bluetooth can push sound to headphones.

Karl April 11, 2016 um 3:42 pm

Looks very nice, IMO.

By putting most of the weight in the "spine," I’ll bet this feels a whole lot lighter when you hold it with one hand than the 49-gram difference from a Voyage would lead you to expect. The center of gravity will be much closer to in line with your supporting arm, rather than cantilevered out in space.

fjtorres April 11, 2016 um 4:46 pm

You’d win that bet if you found takers.
This is precisely why Rocketbook did it. They were working with NiMH batteries which were very heavy so the spinal design made it very comfortable to hold for extended periods.
I just hope they keep the price for the reader under $200.

Steve H April 11, 2016 um 5:41 pm

"hope they keep the price for the reader under $200"
This may be the One time I doubt anything you say or hint at…Including cover i doubt it. Although 199 is a magic number.
AMAZON prove me wrong…one worded translation mention included cover- If so I guess you pick your color. Is there even a USB on the device alone??

fjtorres April 11, 2016 um 11:53 pm

I didn’t say it would *be* under $200, you know.
Just that I *hoped* it stayed under that price. 😉
My main hope is that it can be bought unbundled. Otherwise, no-go. Months of battery life isn’t some I personally will pay extra for.

Steve H. April 12, 2016 um 12:10 am

I understand your intent…I just doubt your hope’s outcome ?. They are both included from all the info so far. I hope it’s low also.

Yawn? Rumored Kindle Oasis lacks water-proofing. No text-to-speech or Bluetooth, either? – TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond April 11, 2016 um 4:20 pm

[…] rumors have appeared about the new Kindle Oasis, via The Digital Reader and The Verge, and a Reddit thread that translates the Chinese material from the original leak […]

Glinda Harrison April 11, 2016 um 4:43 pm

Personally, I am seriously hoping Amazon is punking us if this is what they are offering. 🙁

Robert April 11, 2016 um 5:28 pm

Personally, I find that I switch hands fairly regularly while using my Voyage and like have the page buttons on both sides. For folks who switch hands, having to constantly rotate the thing seems like a massive step backwards in convenience.

Chris Meadows April 11, 2016 um 8:16 pm

If you used a Rocket or eBookwise, you had to press a button rather than just flipping it around. I suspect in actual practice it wouldn’t be that much of a pain if it flipped the screen quickly.

Robert April 12, 2016 um 9:18 am

It’s certainly less convenient than my Voyage which has buttons on both sides. All this design says to me is "cost savings". It’s not an improvement to the user experience whatsoever.

DavidW April 11, 2016 um 5:41 pm

@Nix MMPBs are larger than six inches. It was not chosen to imitate the size of an MMPB.

Nix April 12, 2016 um 6:28 am

I just got one off my shelf and compared them. They are the same, modulo about two millimetres of border on the PW1 I was comparing.

You sure you weren’t looking at a trade paperback? *They* can be any size, but are generally made from the same print runs as hardbacks, so are usually much larger.

DavidW April 12, 2016 um 12:44 pm

??? The mass market paperback is 6 3/4″ x 4 1/4″ for the standard size and 7 1/2″ x 4 1/8″ for the taller ones. I’m not talking about trade paperbacks.

The Kindle screen is 4 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ which is much smaller than either mass market paperback. You have to compare ONLY the screen to the book not the entire device.

Nix April 12, 2016 um 12:49 pm

No no no, the whole point is the size of the device. That’s the constraint here. They’re trying to ensure that the device fits in pockets, etc, sized for mass-market paperbacks. Making a screen the same size wouldn’t help there at all!

DavidW April 11, 2016 um 5:45 pm

I was hoping for more but I’m also glad that they’re not just copying Kobo anymore.

This kindle makes right the problems that I had with the Voyage. Namely it was difficult to hold due to the small and thin bezel and the haptic feedback sensors are no replacement for buttons.

I thought I was in a minority but obviously not. I will buy this kindle.

BUT… I have to say that the thinness of the font is an issue. It makes it hard to read and doesn’t look good. That is why I read on the basic kindle way more than I read on the Voyage or PW. And Kobo really wins for me.

carmen webster buxton April 11, 2016 um 8:06 pm

I, too, like having the page turn buttons on both sides. I generally hold the Voyage in my right hand, but occasionally, the cat drapes himself over my chest and right arm and I have to switch to reading with my left hand. I like the Voyage and have no plans to upgrade unless something happens to my husband’s Paperwhite, and then I would give him the Voyage and try out the new model! This is a pattern that has worked for me since 2007. Yes, I owned a Kindle 1.

Suzatm April 11, 2016 um 8:41 pm

Canada Amazon site has Oasis listed in the compare Kindle section. $999.00 Canadian dollars whic hopefully is just a placeholder for the true cost.

Nate Hoffelder April 11, 2016 um 8:48 pm

Working on a post, yes.

Exciting, isn’t it?

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Assuming no epub or agility for calibre to send preorganized bookshelves. AKA the two features aside from buttons that would actually give me a reason to buy it.

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