Let’s take a look at Amazon’s flagship reading device, the Kindle Oasis. The device was released April 2016 so it’s the latest in a long generation of successful Kindle devices.
A nice feature worth calling out is the case which has the ability to charge the device on the go! This is addition to increase your reading time when you’re not near any power sources, like the beach! This is the only device so far that I’ve seen that supports this feature.
Like the Kindle Paperwhite, the device comes in 2 forms; 3G and Wifi. This does open up the opportunity to download Kindle books in over 100 countries for free. Though I would recommend checking with Amazon for a definitive list of countries their 3G provider operates in.
Another nice touch is the time to finish reading functionality which is based on your reading speed. This constantly updates as you progress through your books. A personal favourite of mine as I always like to know how much more of a chapter I have to complete before I put a book down.
Like the Kindle Paperwhite, the Kindle Oasis provides features that make it fun for kids to read and enjoy books. The device has a set of achievement awards that kids can earn as well as the ability to lock down what books children can read.
More details on the awards can be found here
Something new which I have seen on other Kindle devices is GoodReads integration. GoodReads is a free service that aims to create a bit of a community around reading, similar to the traditional book club. You can select which books you’ve read and offer reviews on these books to the rest of the community. You also have the ability to browse other people’s libraries and see what’s hot and what’s not in their opinion. You can find more information on the service here
The device has been specifically designed to be used one handed and this is reflected in the dimensions. Coming in at 5.5” X 4.80” X 0.13” (143 mm x 122 mm x 3.4-8.5 mm), it is a stark contrast to something like the Kobo Aura H2o which has gone for the bigger is better approach (7.04” X 5.07” X 0.38” (179 x 129 x 9.7 mm)). With that said, there dosen’t appear to be many complaints from Amazon customers that device is too small to use. The big dimension to highlight here is the thinness of the device. At just 3.4mm, its pretty mind boggling how they have managed to fit so much tech into such a thin device. Typical EReader devices normally come in at around 9mm, so kudos to Amazon on that.
The Kindle Oasis is a staggering 131 grams (without case) which does put it miles ahead of the competition (Kobo Aura H2O is 233g and Kindle Paperwhite is 205g). This is the main selling point of the device. The combined weight of the device and charging case is 238g which does put in in line with similar models, though it’s not essential to have the case in order to use it.
The display is exact same spec as the Kindle Paperwhite, coming in at 300 PPI, which is to be expected as they were released within few months of each other. For those of you not in the know, PPI stands for Pixels Per Inch which means the more pixels you have, the better! This outperforms the Kobo Aura H2O which has 265 PPI, though the cost of that device is significantly cheaper. The brightness levels are also pretty powerful as they allow a user to read in the dark.
The device itself comes in black but you have a choice of 3 colours for the charging case (Magenta, Black and Brown).
Amazon has done a fantastic job and providing a diverse range of cases, skins and sleeves for the Kindle Oasis so you can make the device your own. You can find the best of the best on my Kindle Oasis Accessories page
The Kindle Oasis UI is very similar to the Kindle Paperwhite and which is easy to use and provides seamless integration with the Amazon Kindle Store. The Amazon UI still has my preference over the Kobo UI for ease of use.
Formats it can read
The Kindle Oasis supports Amazon Kindle books (AZW format) and also gives you the ability to open MS Word docs and PDF’s which you can email to the device itself. As expected, it doesn’t support book formats which are not purchased from the Amazon store.
Now this is a bit of a sticking point. The price does reflect the device being the lightest on the market and also having a cover which can also charge the device. It currently is the most expensive device on the Market.
What i like
The device’s weight is certainly impressive to me and I feel that it’s going to be a long while before we see anything that light on the market. I also like the concept of the GoodReads integration which brings to concept of a community to reading with the ability to read reviewers on other books and share your own feedback. It’s always good to get a second opinion on a book before purchasing it. The concept of buttons for page navigation is something buyers have been crying out for producers to bring back and it seems Amazon have heard them loud and clear on this.
What i don’t like
Whilst I appreciate the lightness of the device, the cost of this feature is a little too high for my liking. It would be understandable if you get an additional set of features on top of a similar device such as the Kindle Paperwhite, but you don’t. There is also the issue that you have to charge the device and the case at the same time, which to me doesn’t make sense. I want the option to be able to take the device with me and leave the case on charge.
What Amazon Customers Are Saying?
No surprise that most of the customers are raving about the lightness of the device as well as it’s build quality. They’re also a fan of buttons for page navigation as opposed to selecting specific areas on the screen for page navigation. There have been some issues with the backlight being uniform across the screen which it seems Amazon has replaced those devices. The battery life of the device is also a contentious issue with some customers reporting days and weeks of battery life, whereas others are saying the battery life is inferior to the Kindle Paperwhite
The Kindle Oasis is certainly a premium model and as such you’re getting the lightest device on the market. If that’s the number one thing for you, then it’s worth purchasing. However, if you’re looking for something where you get all the benefits of it being a Amazon device (except the weight), but for a fraction of the price, then you should consider the Kindle Paperwhite. You can read my review of it here
Own a Kindle Oasis? I’d love you hear your feedback