Amazon’s Kindle has gone through roughly two different design phases. The first began with the original Kindle in 2007 and ended, roughly, with the Kindle DX and Kindle Keyboard in 2010 and 2011. The second phase began with the fourth-generation Kindle and the Kindle Touch in 2011, which got rid of the keyboard and remodeled the devices in the vein of smartphones and tablets.
Amazon has built a bunch of features on top of the foundation laid by the Kindle Touch, but everything up to and including last year’s $200 Kindle Voyage has been a riff on the same basic idea. The Kindle Paperwhite added a backlight, and the Voyage was the first with a super-sharp 300 PPI screen (which the latest Paperwhite later inherited). So what comes next?
The Kindle Oasis is a major departure. It’s an asymmetrical design that’s dramatically thinner and lighter than the Touch design, but with one wider, thicker edge that contains the battery and doubles as a handle. The device itself sacrifices battery life, but it comes with a leather battery case that effectively doubles your reading time.