But I didn't get the one hardware product I really wanted Amazon to update — the Kindle Oasis.
If you remember last year’s Amazon fall event, the Kindle Scribe was the headline act. But the Oasis (which flies high on our list of best Kindles) is still only in its third generation and hasn’t been updated since 2019. I’ve had one since the halcyon days of 2016 and, it’s fair to say, someone needs to be up on stage today taking the wrapper off a fourth-gen Kindle Oasis.
Excluding the Scribe, the Oasis has the largest and best screen on a Kindle, it’s got the physical buttons (which I prefer) for turning pages and latter versions boast IPX8 water resistance. The curved back and wedge-style design make this thing feather-light and the battery life can be boosted with the ergonomic magnetic cover.
Admittedly, the Kindle Oasis costs nearly twice as much as the Kindle Paperwhite — which is probably why Amazon won’t update it today. The company would rather focus on wallet-friendly Echoes and Ring cameras that’ll likely make for good Christmas presents and even Black Friday deals.
But the Oasis is in dire need of a refresh. It’s still dependent on a microUSB port for charging — the only Kindle that hasn’t made the shift to USB-C. That’s a big deal for me because my aging device has been charged so many times that the battery can’t hold more than a couple days of charge. Maybe the European Union can step in and force a change, just like it did with the iPhone 15.
In truth, the Oasis always took a bit of a rap for its battery life, but that’s to be expected given how thin and light the design is. But Amazon doesn’t need to change the design much at all. The metal chassis is comfortable to hold and oozes luxury over the plastic Paperwhite. Is the Oasis the best Kindle for most people? Of course not, but it’s one of the only devices I always keep on my nightstand.
What did Amazon announce at its event?
New streaming devices: There's a new Fire TV Soundbar for $119, which pairs with Amazon Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks to offer Bluetooth audio. In addition, the $49 Fire Stick 4K features a 1.7GHz processor, and supports Wi-Fi 6 and 4K Ultra HD streams; you can get a FireStick 4K Max version for $59 that offers Wi-Fi 6e, 2GHz quad-core processor, Dolby Vision and HDR 10+ and Dolby Atmos Audio.
Fire TV update: Fire TV is getting a new search mode aimed at helping with discovery. Also, there will be a new Continue Watching row added to the interface. Buy a new Fire TV device, and you get six months of the MGM Plus streaming service for free.
eero routers: The eero Max 7 is a $599 Wi-Fi 7 mesh router delivering speeds of up to 4.3 Gbps and wired speeds of up to 9.4 Gbps. It will come in packs of two and three to offer Wi-Fi 7 connectivity throughout your home.
Blink products: The Blink Outdoor 4 Floodlight Camera pairs with a Blink Outdoor 4 camera with a floodlight in a $159 package. There's also a new Blink Sync Module Pro that's aimed at letting you place your Outdoor 4 cameras further away for better coverage in large homes. That's coming next year as a $49 add-on.
New Echo Hub smart controller: The Echo Hub smart home controller provides an 8-inch screen for controlling smart home devices and viewing your security cameras in one place. It costs $179. You can read more about it in our Echo Hub hands-on preview.
Echo Frames: The latest generation of Amazon's smart glasses boost battery life to 6 hours and feature a redesigned audio architecture to direct more sound to your ears. The speech processing technology is also getting improved wake-word performance. The new Echo Frames will feature seven different styles, starting at $269, though no release date was given. Read our Echo Frames hands-on review for more!