It’s time for the luxurious $290 Kindle Oasis to shuffle out of the spotlight. Amazon’s tweaked the design of the base Kindle e-reader ($80 on Amazon) for the first time in years to give the book-reading masses slightly better specs.
The highlight isn’t a more vibrant screen or face-melting page speed—it’s the color. The entry-level Kindle is now available in white, as is the $120 Kindle Paperwhite. Black’s still available, but the lighter hue looks seriously slick.
Beyond that, the Kindle’s refresh screams incremental update. The new version’s a little bit lighter, a little bit thinner, and a little bit rounder than its predecessor, though it doubles the onboard memory to 512MB. It’ll still last weeks on a single charge. There’s one major addition worth noting, though: The $80 Kindle is the first Amazon ebook reader with built-in Bluetooth audio support, so visually impaired users can read ebooks without the use of a separate adapter.
The impact on you at home: Nothing in the new $80 Kindle will encourage existing Kindle owners to rush out and pick one up. But it’s wonderful to see Amazon making its entry-level Kindle more accessible to disabled users—and a wee bit nicer for people looking to pick up an e-reader on the cheap.