WHAT IS THE KINDLE OASIS
The Kindle Oasis is the most luxurious, high-end e-reader ever made by Amazon. It’s ridiculously thin, weighs very little and is a pleasure to use. The Kindle Oasis is beautiful piece of technology. Although it looks impressive in pictures, you really need to hold it in your hands to understand just how good it feels.
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. 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.
Features of Kindle Oasis
The Oasis’ display is powered by an e-ink display that’s very likely the same models inside of Amazon’s Paperwhite and Voyage Kindle models. That means you’ll get a 1440 x 1080 display, with an average pixel density of 300ppi; the Oasis should look nearly as sharp as any modern, high-end smartphone. The front-lighting system has been rejigged and now features 60% more LEDs for a brighter, more even spread of glow. On my first look at the Oasis, I didn’t really feel that the screen was a huge improvement over the Voyage.
This new e-reader features a touchscreen for navigation, like Kindles have had for years, but it also brings back another old idea page turn buttons. Each Kindle up to this point has shared traits, be that a full keyboard, physical buttons or just a touchscreen. With it being so thin and light, though, the Oasis certainly isn’t the most durable of products.
Battery life is hard to nail down for the Oasis, thanks to Amazon’s inclusion of a proprietary, external battery. The case slots satisfyingly on to the back of the device, connecting to a set of pogo pins. The case doesn’t add much in the way of extra weight to the Oasis, but it provides a hit of much-needed durability without sacrificing the overall look. When used in conjunction with both batteries, the new Kindle purports to deliver a battery life of “months”, which is a noticeable upgrade over prior Kindles’ “weeks” of battery.
Other Things to Consider
Take the software, for instance. It’s exactly the same as you’d find on any other lower-priced device in the Kindle lineup. Like other Kindles, the Oasis remains super-simple to use, with generous use of book art and search boxes that are easy to press. You also have access to the most sizeable, and best, ebook store on the web, with its fantastic array of both big releases and smaller Kindle Singles. There’s also Kindle Unlimited – the £7.99 Netflix-style, all-you-can-eat book service. The lack of an onboard speaker, or headphone port, is annoying. This seems like an obvious addition, especially with Amazon’s fantastic Audible audiobook service.
Kindle Oasis vs Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Voyage
With the introduction of the new Kindle Oasis, Amazon now has Kindles available at a range of price points. You can pick up the base model, which still gets you weeks of battery life, for just $100, the Kindle Paperwhite costs $140, the Kindle Voyage costs $220, and the Oasis is $310.
Kindle Oasis The bad
Shorter battery life when separated from its case.
No ambient light sensor, which is strange since this is a feature on the cheaper Kindle Voyage.
Kindle Oasis The ugly
The asking price is steep, and the Paperwhite is going to make the most sense for most buyers.
As it stands, those of you who are looking for the best reading experience at any price should buy the Oasis. If you’re looking for a good e-reader at a sensible price, you should buy the Paperwhite without hesitation. The base model Kindle is still decent if you just want the cheapest dedicated Kindle you can get. The vestigial Voyage should be avoided entirely.