Kindle Oasis Review: Sleek, stylish but expensive
The Kindle Oasis is an excellent e-book reader that does just one thing and does it superbly -- at a stiff price.
Amazon has been making Kindles for so long now that in 2016 it’s almost surprising that it would announce a new one. After all, you can get Kindle Apps for every major smartphone and tablet OS, and Kindle devices themselves are relatively sturdy, just like the books they replace. The Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s pitch at the "ultimate" Kindle, with a price point to match.
|Thickness||3.4mm - 8.5mm|
Upsides: Why you’d want the Kindle Oasis
- Premium feel: Entry-level Kindles feel like they’re entry level, with cheap creaky plastic and simple screens. The Kindle Oasis is rather uniquely weighted for single hand use when you don’t have the screen cover on. It’s astonishingly light in this configuration, but it doesn’t feel cheap.
- Flip cover isn’t just a cover: The provided cover with the Kindle Oasis isn’t just there to protect the screen. It also fills in the bump on the rear of the Oasis, and that bump includes additional battery capacity to keep the Oasis going that little bit longer.
- It’s a great single-purpose device: You can get the Kindle app for just about everything short of an abacus (and we suspect Amazon’s working on that), but the sheer joy of reading on a device that won’t interrupt you for phone calls, social media updates or emails can’t be overstated. There’s something comforting about simply curling up with a book, and the Kindle Oasis handles this very well indeed.
Downsides: Why you might not want the Kindle Oasis
- It’s very expensive: The most obvious and biggest stumbling block for the Kindle Oasis is that asking price. $449 outright is a lot for a device that only performs one function, especially given the lower price of other Kindle or Kobo e-reader devices.
- Standalone battery life is ordinary: Amazon bundles the rather neat battery case with the Kindle Oasis for a reason, and it’s because the light weight of the Oasis is achieved by skimping on the included batteries.
- PDFs are a pain point: This isn’t unique to the Kindle Oasis, as it’s a problem for most e-ink e-readers. Throw a sufficiently complex PDF at the Kindle Oasis and it’s likely to struggle with both page resolution and even page turning depending on the file.
Who is it best suited for? What are my other options?
If you read an awful lot and the money is really no object, then the Kindle Oasis represents the current pinnacle in "luxury" e-readers, and could be worth your while.
For the rest of us, though, it’s a tough device to fully recommend, simply because if you want a dedicated e-reader, there are so many ways that don’t hit your wallet quite so hard. Within the regular Amazon Kindle ecosystem you’ve got choices such as the USD$219.99 Voyage, USD$139.99Paperwhite or even the USD$99 regular Kindle. Outside it, there are e-reader options from Kobo such as the $229.95 Kobo Aura H2O or $179.95 Kobo Glo HD.
If e-ink isn’t your thing, Amazon provides Kindle apps for tablets, mobile phones and desktop operating systems of just about every variety.
Where can I get it?
Amazon sells the Kindle Oasis directly through its website in US dollars, so the actual paid price can vary just a little. You can also buy it through Officeworks at a fixed and slightly higher price.