Kindle Oasis24th July, 2019
PriceFrom £229.99/$269.99 to £319.99/$349.99
Let's be honest, when it comes to e-readers you have one brand to rule them all. Amazon, with the Kindle, have over half of the market share through offering what is a fantastic range of products, designed to meet a range of needs. From the basic Kindle, cheap and easy, with few thrills, but letting people jump into e-reading at a very affordable cost. The Kindle Paperwhite, which I reviewed earlier this year, is fantastic, offering almost everything but just lacking what could be classed as a quality build. At the top of the range comes the Kindle Oasis, which has recently seen the release of its 3rd generation.
Amazon's Kindle Oasis - Turning the Page
With the Kindle Oasis being the premium range of Kindle devices, it's going to be interesting to see what exactly it has to offer to set it aside from the outstanding Kindle Paperwhite. Particularly when you look at the price difference between the two. Before looking at the price, let's have a look at what sets this apart from the rest of the Kindle family and other e-readers.
What happens to be the most visible features of the Oasis are both the larger, 7-inch e-ink display, as well as the wedged design at the side of the e-reader. It's this design that, for me, sets the Oasis apart from any other e-reader. It's designed with the ability to hold in one hand - seemingly the right hand due to the position of the power button - and thanks to the two buttons, page-turning and reading the easiest it's ever been.
Thanks to this design, with your fingers naturally resting in the groove at the rear of the machine, leaving your thumb free to turn the pages and then add that extra level of stability. The extra support for this comes from the fact that the materials are just superior. With a light and sturdy aluminium back and frame, this feels like a piece of quality hardware.
There is one little caveat when it comes to the design of the Kindle Oasis. I can't understand, for the life of me, the lack of USB-C support with the device. Still using a MicroUSB isn't exactly a massive issue, but it has the same downside that I had with the Paperwhite - you essentially need to carry around that extra cable for when your device runs out of power.
The battery does seem to be superior to that of the Paperwhite. It's said to last 'six weeks' but let's be frank, that's in the most optimal of conditions, with the most bare-bones of features and use of the device. Depending on your use of the device, you'll find yourself charging up once or twice per week. Considering it doesn't take long to charge though - a few hours - this isn't a huge issue.
Features and Use - Smooth Reading
So, with the screen on the new Kindle Oasis, you're going to find that it's easier on the eyes in general. Not only because of the fact that this now has 25 LED's lighting the front, creating a perfectly even light that makes reading a pleasure. What truly makes reading pleasurable is the new warm light feature, which turns the screen a lovely light brown colour - not too dissimilar to the worn pages of my older books.
It's the settings here with warm light, which are also ideal. You're able to adjust the warmth schedule manually, setting a start and end time, while setting a particular warmth setting which goes from 1 to 25. 25 may be a little too brown, but I've found there's a nice sweet spot anywhere between 15 and 20. The ideal option is just to let the device automatically change based on sunset and sunrise. Another thing, while reading at night, is having the night light option turned on, which slowly decreases the screen brightness, allowing your eyes to adjust to the darkness.
Other features with the device are much what has been carried over from previous iterations. You can hook up a Bluetooth headset, or your car, and listen to an audiobook if you like. I know this is certainly something that some people enjoy, but I've listened to two audiobooks now and it simply isn't for me. I prefer to read the text in front of me. I wouldn't mind trying out immersion reading though.
While not exactly the immersion reading I'm talking about above, you can feel free to immerse the Kindle Oasis in a bit of water. I wouldn't go deep-sea diving with it, you have strange fish to look at when doing that, but don't be afraid to take it into the bath with you. You never know, the rubber duck you have may really want to read the new Lee Child novel.
Pricing and Accessories
Much like the Paperwhite, the Oasis has three different ranges. Worth noting is that the Oasis has no 'special offers' (paid/sponsored screensavers) which reduce the price, if only by a small amount, here in the UK. Within the US, you still do have the option of these offers, which can reduce the device by $20 - this is with the exception of the 4G/Cellular connectivity model.
So how much does the Kindle Oasis cost? The cheapest version, a Wi-Fi version with 8GB of storage, comes in at £229.99/$269.99, a Wi-Fi version with 32GB of storage comes in at £259.99/$299.99 and a 4G/Cellular connectivity model, with 32GB of storage, costing £319.99/$349.99.
It's certainly not a cheap piece of hardware, but I can't exactly complain due to its quality. I do have a few reservations with the lack of a few features in what is essentially the premium, high-tier Kindle device. For the cost, I honestly would have expected the inclusion of immersion reading. While that isn't a deal-breaker for me, mostly because I don't even like audiobooks, It should be a feature brought over from the Kindle Fire devices.
As for accessories, much like with other devices Amazon has a range of premium leather cases. Having looked at the store, there don't seem to be any cheaper, fabric, cases at the moment. The cases come in three colours as of now, with a Black or Merlot case coming in at £49.99, or a natural brown leather cover for £64.99.
Many other accessories, such as the stand, state that they don't actually fit the new generation of Kindle Oasis. You can, of course, purchase Amazon-branded chargers and cables designed for their devices. If you don't have a MicroUSB cable, you will need to buy one, as one doesn't come with the device.
The Kindle Oasis - One E-Reader to Rule Them All?
I was tempted to repeat my acknowledgements from my review of the Kindle Paperwhite, thanking my glass of Scotch and wherever else I've been using the Kindle Oasis. I've decided against this for the simple reason that I can use it later. People may have forgotten about the last time I said it by then.
Frankly, this is by far the best e-reader on the market. That comes with the large caveat of the price of the device. The aluminium back and frame adds a feel of quality to the device, with the 7-inch e-ink display, particularly thanks to the warm-light options, offering an unparalleled experience in the market. There's so much to praise about the Kindle Oasis.
If you want what is still a surprisingly portable device (it fits in the inside pocket of my leather jacket), one that is very well built, waterproof and has a fast and high-quality display, the Kindle Oasis is the one for you. If you're a little more price-conscious, willing to compromise a little on the screen, the materials and feel of the device, you can't go wrong than the Kindle Paperwhite.
Kindle Oasis provided by Amazon for review purposes.
The Kindle Oasis is a fantastic piece of hardware, by far the best e-reader on the market with an excellent 7-inch e-ink display and sturdy aluminium back & frame that just feels like quality. There are still one or two downsides, with the lack of immersion reading, lack of USB-C and the price of the device. If the price isn't a concern, this is a great device for those who want the pinnacle of e-reading devices.
- An outstanding 7-inch e-ink display
- 25 LED's that create a perfect light on the screen & are easy on the eyes
- The warmth display & options available are fantastic
- It feels like a quality, sturdy, device thanks to the aluminium back & frame
- The price is high, though representative of the build quality
- Lack of immersion reading
- Lack of USB-C support, uses MicroUSB
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