Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Amazon Introduces a New E-Reader

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, let all his Twitter followers know on April 4 that a new Kindle was in the works. Just over a week later, Amazon started showing off its completely redesigned Kindle Oasis e-reader.

The new device is close to square with a side grip and a 6-in. screen that contains the e-reader’s central processing unit, storage, and battery. By changing the glass covering, Amazon was able to strengthen the glass and cut down the device’s size, according to a report from Mashable.

Amazon claims the battery life of the Oasis will be two weeks, but the leather case that will be shipped with it includes a backup battery that will extend the life by seven additional weeks. However, the device does not include the Alexa app that provides voice services to a number of Amazon products such as the Echo wireless speaker and voice-command device.

The Oasis is available for preorder and will begin shipping on April 27. It will cost $289.99 for the Wi-Fi-only edition that shows advertisements when the reader is turned on. The unit without advertisements costs $309.99, while a 3G device will cost $359.99 with offers and $379 without.

“The device’s funky new aesthetic is a surprise move for the relatively no-frills Kindle category, and yet it packs the longest battery of any e-reader ever made,” Nick Statt wrote in a review of the Oasis for The Verge. “These changes raise interesting questions for book lovers: What do we really need in an e-reader, and how much should those elements cost us?”

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