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Electronic books have already delivered a future where we can bring all of our books with us, but the next development will be one of super thin tablets that feel like nothing, a future where Amazon is already beginning to dabble.
Features and thickness
We’ve always thought that the future would have super-thin displays that we’d take around from place to place, almost as if “Star Trek” had come to life, and believe it or not, we’re getting there.
Tablets are getting slimmer, phones are cutting out ports and getting thinner, and it won’t be long before we have devices we can read from that are as thin as paper.
In fact, there are even prototype displays that are super thin and bend like paper, but they are still just prototypes, and near the middle of 2016, you can’t yet buy one.
Maybe next year, but probably closer to 2018 or 2019, just not yet.
Right now, the closest you can find to that dream is in Amazon’s Kindle Oasis, a curiously thin ebook reader measuring 3.4mm at its thinnest point and 8.5mm at its thickest. This includes a touchscreen panel, if you can believe it, and the smarts to let you browse books with a front-lit screen.
Under the hood, little about the screen has changed from when we last checked out the Amazon Kindle Voyage last year, with the same E-Ink Carta display with front-lighting technology and a 300 pixel per inch screen, providing a clarity much like that of a printed book.
That means it’ll be clear, but Amazon has also made it thin, and that’s because of where this Kindle has put the technology.
While things are a little more spread out in the other Kindle readers, Amazon has pulled back on the battery size for the Oasis, providing a smaller battery and most of the electronics in the spine, which is where the eReader juts out to 8.5mm thick.
That super slim 3.4mm size is along the section for the screen, and that’s basically all it is: a screen with a touch panel integrated and a few more LEDs, for what is basically a better lit screen.
The rest of the technology needed for the Kindle — the processing, the 4GB storage, the wireless controllers, the smaller battery, the microUSB port — are in the spine, and this is to help you hold the Kindle like a book.
Holding the Oasis like a book literally comes naturally because of this thick versus thin design, and because Amazon has been kind enough to throw in an accelerometer, able to orient the screen in portrait where the spine is either on the left or the right, meaning you can hold it in whatever hand you prefer.
Want to read it with the spine in your right hand? Do that. Prefer the spine in your left hand? Go do that instead.