- Attractive new design
- Enhanced front light
- Page buttons
- Metal frame around glass screen
- Comes with a charging cover
- Not waterproof
- High price
Easy On Eyes
The Amazon Kindle is the most popular series of consumer e-readers created by Amazon.com. With the help of any Amazon Kindle device, users can browse, purchase, download and read e-books, magazines, newspapers and other forms of digital media. The first Amazon Kindle device was introduced on the market about eight years ago on November 19, 2007. After the initial success, Amazon had decided to invest a lot more in their e-readers and every now and then they reveal new models of e-readers. So far, there have been eight generations of Kindle e-readers and the latest one is the Kindle Oasis.
Amazon has kept the work on this model under a veil of mystery even though the loyal customers of Amazon have been expecting a new, updated model for a while. Amazon revealed that they had designed a new e-reader called the Kindle Oasis on April 13 this year and the device was officially available on the market on April 27, around the world.
Just like in the case of all other Kindle devices, the main purpose of Kindle Oasis is to allow users to read digital media, but it seems that Amazon has finally decided to put more effort and improve the reading experience to the maximum. According to the designers, their basic objective was to let readers focus only on the text they are reading. But, were they able to achieve this? While it’s still too early to say whether this Kindle Oasis is a success, by learning more about the features and characteristics of this device, readers can build an objective opinion about the latest product that comes from Amazon.
One of the reasons this Kindle Oasis review starts with the design is the fact that this is the first thing that you will notice about it. Those who have some experience with Kindle devices will definitely notice the radical change in the size and appearance of this device. Before this model, every e-reader from Amazon had at least a few parts that were shared with some of the previous models.
However, Kindle Oasis has a completely different design. For instance, the way you hold the device is different because you will have to hold the device from the side where the page flip buttons are placed. So, if you are used to holding your e-reader with both hands, you should forget about that. At the same time, this model is very lightweight, which makes holding it with one hand super easy. You won’t feel any pressure here even if you are reading your favorite e-book for hours. There is support for left-handed people too – simply turn the device and use it with your left hand. Of course, you should not forget that in this hand the USB charging port and the power button will be facing down.
As previously mentioned, Kindle Oasis is smaller than the other devices from this series and definitely the thinnest one. According to Amazon representatives, this device is more than 30% lighter and 20% thinner compared to the rest of the Kindle devices. The weight is around 130 grams which makes many smartphones heavier. When it comes to the design of this device it is worth mentioning that it keeps the same construction, being made of metal, that is present in the Voyage model.
Obviously, the weight and size can be viewed as advantages, but this also means that the device is likely more fragile. However, there are still no official reactions from users who might have damaged or broken their Kindle Oasis. This risk is partially lowered with the unique case which is part of the package.
There is no doubt that the creators of Kindle Oasis have used the Kindle Voyage as an inspiration, at least when it comes to the display and some of the other hardware parts. What is interesting here is that the designers have managed to “shrink” the parts from the previous model and integrate them into this new, smaller device. So, if you had the Kindle Voyage you will notice that Kindle Oasis uses the same 300ppi display even though this time it is a 6-inch display (E Ink display).
Many Kindle fans are pleasantly surprised that Amazon has invested some time and money on the front lighting. Namely, this part of the device now comes with more than 60% more LED lights than what was found in previous models. The result of this change is obvious – the display is much brighter and the glow spreads equally across the entire display making reading easier. In addition, with the interface set up you can adjust the contrast faster and in a way that suits you best. This is a huge improvement compared to the Kindle Voyage because there were instances where users noticed brighter spots on different parts of the screen.
We can freely say that the display is the best part of Kindle Oasis. The text is clear and with the fact that this is an E Ink display and not a regular LCD, you can use it outside even when the sun is shining. The Kindle oasis has an excellent refresh rate and turning pages is smooth and hassle-free.
There are many people who say that you can use a tablet to read digital media instead of buying a specialized device like an e-reader. While this recommendation might have been correct in the past, using a device like Kindle Oasis will prove them wrong. According to some experts, reading on this device requires the same effort (when we talk about eye vision) as reading a traditional book.
While we are talking about the display, it seems that Amazon made a small mistake with this model by leaving out the adaptive light feature. We are sure that the reason for this is the small size of the device and that they couldn’t include the sensors. This feature was present in some of the previous Kindle models and it was actually quite handy. Namely, whenever you changed your position and moved to an area that is a little bit darker, the brightness of the display would automatically adjust. This is not the case for the Kindle Oasis, unfortunately.
This little flaw is made up for with the huge range of brightness adjustments available. Users can choose between 24 levels of brightness and they can turn the back light off. Although the size of the device is smaller, the size of the screen remains the same as the one found in Voyage and other Kindle devices. Amazon still claims that this is the optimal screen size and we believe that they are right.
Don’t forget that users can turn off the back light if they don’t need it and stop the draining of the battery. Of course, the battery life is quite solid, but we will discuss this below.
After the initial release of every Kindle model, Amazon has introduced suitable cases. However, what is new when it comes to Kindle Oasis is the fact that this e-reader comes with a unique case, already included for the price. On top of that, people can choose between three colors – red, black and brown. The designers decided to use high-quality leather for the case, so besides being durable and useful, the case is also attractive.
Another thing that is interesting is that the case is now more like part of the device itself. This time you can’t fold it to make a stand for the reader, but there is another useful option – charging. There are special ports on the case where you can put the charger. But, that’s not all. This case comes with a built-in battery that you can use whenever your device’s battery life is coming to an end. With the help of this additional battery you can use the device for seven more weeks.
It is good to know that the Kindle Oasis’s original battery lasts for about two weeks. Tablet users will probably find this information impressive, but those who have used Voyager and some other Kindle devices know that the battery in these models could last for more than six weeks. It is obvious that the smaller dimensions made it impossible to create a device which itself lasts for a long time. But, when you add the special case, you will get an e-reader device that will probably make you forget when the last time you charged it was.
The charging method is standard and is completed with the help of micro-USB. When you charge the device with the case on it, the separate battery will charge too. In other words, you won’t have to use two chargers for this purpose. The only downside of the case is that it makes the device look bigger and different and as we have already mentioned, the appearance of the device is one of the main features that makes Amazon so proud of it.
Functionality and performance
It is quite easy to measure the performance of desktop computers and tablets, but the situation is more complicated when you have an e-reader in front of you. Even though we can’t provide exact data about the performance of Kindle Oasis, the initial reports are saying that this is by far the fastest of the Kindle products. The type of processor and its power were not publicly shared by Amazon, but there is no doubt that it is more powerful than the one found in the Kindle Voyage.
Obviously, the easiest way to determine the speed is to check the time needed to turn a page and in this case, this is finished right away. The same goes when it comes to downloading digital content from the device’s store. Wi-Fi and 3G downloading are the same and don’t change the performance of the device over the other models.
While we are talking about Internet connections, there are two options – you can get a device that allows access only with the help of WiFi, or a device with both 3G and WiFi. Although the Oasis with 3G is slightly more expensive, you should know that with this device you will get free Internet when downloading content from the Kindle store. This service is available in dozens of countries, but make sure to check your availability.
On the other hand, the storage space is solid and contributes to the good performance of this device. The Kindle Oasis has 4 GB of internal storage. Those who don’t have experience with e-readers may think that this is small, but don’t forget that we are talking about e-books and similar digital media, so even the most passionate readers will probably never exceed this limit. In addition, even if you reach the device’s storage limit you can always delete some files and then just re-download them whenever you need them, right from the virtual library.
This is one of the aspects of Kindle e-readers that is developed and upgraded all the time. It’s worth mentioning that the interface is not completely different for just this device, but that it does have some changes that make it even more user-friendly than the other Kindles. As we all know, different devices with touchscreens have different sensitivity and it takes time get used to each device. You don’t have to worry about this when it comes to Kindle Oasis because the touchscreen options are as user friendly as possible. Using every icon and button is smooth and straightforward.
Once you turn on the device, everything you have stored in your Kindle library will be available in a second or two. So, all you have to do from this moment on is to download content and start reading. It can’t get simpler than this.
Everything works by simply tapping and finger swiping. The device has a home page where you can find suggestions for reading based on your preferences. In case you are brand new to Kindle, you will get suggestions about books that are trendy right now.
There are separate settings, Goodreads, back and store buttons and more options and a search button. The search option works smoothly and without any hassles you can find almost any book you could want. Although some people may notice that the keyboard is quite simple and not fancy, the truth is that you won’t need it much, so there is no need to look for something more in terms of design. In case you didn’t know, Goodreads represents a social network for people who love to read books and you can easily sync your current Kindle account with a Goodreads account. Also, as we have mentioned before, this device has different brightness modes (24 modes) and the button to adjust the brightness is positioned quite well and blended into the interface.
The price is the main reason why many e-reading fans will think twice before they buy this Kindle device. Namely, the lower price is for the Wi-Fi only version with the device with 3G being slightly costlier. Some people may find the price reasonable, but there are many experienced people who believe that this device is overpriced. If we compare Kindle Oasis with Kindle Voyage we will notice that the Oasis model costs a little more. This is not a small difference. The situation is even more drastic when we compare it with the Paperwhite or even the basic model. So, the real question you have to ask yourself – is this e-reader worth the money?
A few other things that you should know about Kindle Oasis
Now that you know more about the features of this device, we felt that we should share our thoughts about this device in general. To be honest, although the device is different, there are many things that are similar to previous models. The software is almost the same as what is found in the Kindle e-readers that were introduced 3 years ago. Of course, the Goodreads integration is something new and there is a brand new font known as Ember, but that’s it.
The ease of use is definitely something that we must point out, but once again most of the Kindle devices were like this. Everything you need is just a couple of clicks away. The designers could have included auto brightness adjustment, headphone port and/or built-in speaker. As we have mentioned earlier, this device is not waterproof although there is no explanation why they didn’t include this feature given that modern technology allows them to do so.
Overall, the real benefits of this e-reader are it’s lightweight, even lighting and long battery life when used with the included case. It has a unique and easy to hold form and comes with physical buttons for turning the page. While not drastically different from previous offerings, this short list of features can make a large difference, and may or may not shape your preference. There is no clear winner here, given the price, but instead a choice to make based on what is most important to you.
We can confidently say that from our perspective the Kindle Oasis is by far the best e-reader on the market. This device brings e-reading to whole other level. This is one of the rare devices that look attractive in photos and even more attractive when you use it. Generally speaking, the Kindle Oasis’s performance is not vastly superior compared to Voyage or even Paperwhite, but there are some small changes that many users will find helpful enough to justify ordering this great e-reader. We must point out the outstanding design and optimal performance as the great advantages of this device. So, if you are ready to spend the money, go for the Kindle Oasis!