If you have been looking for an e-reader, you have almost certainly looked at Amazon’s Kindle Oasis.
The Kindle range is Amazon’s top of the range e-readers, with the base Amazon Kindle sitting as the most affordable device, with its basic screen, limited storage space, and few features while the Kindle Paperwhite with an increased screen resolution and storage space and also adding a few tricks like waterproofing.
With its impressive features in this latest model, the Kindle Oasis E-Reader range is for people who want the most luxurious reading experience, at a price point to match but is that price tag justified for a device that has minor improvements above the Kindle Paperwhite?
|Hardware Specifications of Kindle Oasis E-Reader|
|Screen Size||7″ Glare-Free|
|Front Light||25 LEDs|
|Battery Life||About a weeks|
Design and features
The new Oasis’ physical appearance is identical to the previous model, which means that it is pretty from the rear and not so attractive from the front. The anodized aluminum finish feels lovely and smooth under the finger and there is a little cutout about two-thirds of the way across, giving you a grip to hold onto.
I am not a fan of the rather ugly black border surrounding the screen at the front and the fact that the border is asymmetric and much wider on one side than the other which looks lopsided and awkward.
Although this design does offer a practical effect too, which is, that the side with the wider border houses the reader’s two physical page-turn buttons, a feature that no other current Kindle has, and provides you with a little more area to hold onto.
The weird design has more functions as well like you can hold the Oasis with the wide border to the left or the right of the screen, and the display will flip the orientation so it is the right way however you hold it. Once again, this feature isn’t available in the Paperwhite nor the regular Kindle and it’s one more reason that you might want to consider shelling out a little bit more for the Oasis’ experience.
The Kindle Oasis is very light in weight, weighing merely 188g, and is extremely comfortable to hold for longer periods, and is also waterproof to IPX8 which means it can be submerged in water to a depth of two meters for up to 60 minutes.
It retains most of the previous Oasis’ key features too, including Bluetooth which lets you connect a pair of wireless headphones for listening to your Audible audiobooks, and if you own both e-book and Audible book editions, the Oasis can synchronize your reading position between the two.
But on the downside, given the audible functions you still can’t add extra storage via microSD, which is just baffling, and neither can you connect the old-school analog headphones as there is no 3.5 mm audio jack. Also, the Oasis seems to no longer have the magnets that were embedded on the rear in the previous generations, so it won’t work with the magnetic slimline cases that the older Oasis worked with.
The Kindle Oasis offers a 7-inch e-ink touch compatible display with a pixel density of 300 PPI (Pixels per inch) which delivers an awesome reading experience. E-ink displays are softer and easier on the eye than the typical LCD or OLED screens on phones and tablets and as a result, are more comfortable to read for longer periods.
The screen is monochrome, but colors aren’t needed for reading books and at that task, the Oasis display is at the top. The characters on the screen look sharp and crisp, and the contrast between text and page background is excellent but it is not as precise as reading a proper book because the screen background is a little greyer and the text not quite as dark, but it’s still perfectly readable.
And, of course, the advantage of an e-reader is that the line spacing, character size and font, margins, and justification can be tweaked to your liking.
The Oasis boasts a touchscreen, like the previous version, and works well. It is mainly used for general navigation around the Oasis’ UI which is the same as in all Kindles, accessing settings and buying e-books in the Kindle store. It can also be customized to turn pages by tapping or swiping just like in smartphones, though I found myself using the physical page-turn buttons to keep the screen clear of fingerprints.
When reading at night or in dim lighting conditions, the Oasis has a series of built-in white and amber LEDs arranged around the edges of the display. In the daylight mode, these lights cast a perfectly flat even glow across the scream and can be manually adjusted or automatically based on the lighting conditions.
The adjustable warm light works very well with a secondary array of 13 amber LEDs which illuminate the screen in varying degrees of orangey light. This is to reduce the reader’s exposure to blue light just before going to sleep and improve their quality of sleep and as with the white LED lighting, the warmth of the display can be adjusted by a simple, on-screen slider control.
The effect can also be adjusted manually or you can set a predefined schedule to switch it on and off automatically and is also possible to have it fade in and out in synchronization with the sunset and sunrise.
If you own the previous-gen Oasis, the new one is not what you could call an essential upgrade.
Aside from the new warm front light and the disappointing withdrawal of the cover magnets from the rear, it’s the same Kindle as the previous model at the same price. If you already own an Oasis, don’t waste your money.
Anyone looking to move up to Amazon’s luxury e-book reader who might have previously been considering any other e-reader can now comfortably turn their gaze back to the Kindle Oasis and with features like Audible audiobook support, IPX8 waterproofing, super-sleek design, and Amazon’s peerless ebook catalog included, the Kindle Oasis remains at the top of the e-reader chain.