Today I’m taking a look at the brand new Kindle Oasis which was released in October 2017. It’s been a while since Amazon has released another Kindle and It looks like they’ve gone all out! So let’s see how it stacks up against the original as well as some of the top competitors out there.
Amazon have taken a leap forward with the Kindle Oasis by including Audible Integration to the device. For those who don’t know what Audible is, it’s a service provided by the company which allows you to download audio-books from Amazon on a subscription or per item basis. This is great for
those times when you need to be on the move but still want to get lost in your favourite murder mystery or for when you need to give those eyes a break. As to date, I’m not aware of any other EReaders that are providing this kind of integration with audio in such a seamless fashion. The device allows you to even buy audio-books from the integrated store. In the past I’ve been able to sign up for a 30 day trial with Audible where you can get a book for free. Definitely worth checking if you’re going to use audio-books as much as your EBooks.
The standard storage size on the device is 8Gig. This means that you can hold around 35 audio-books. They offer a larger size model (32Gig) at an extra cost which would allow you to hold a whopping 140 audio-books!
Well this all sounds great so what’s the catch? Well unfortunately there is one. The device doesn’t actually have an audio jack which means you need to use bluetooth headphones or a bluetooth speaker to actually hear your beloved audiobook. They’ve also locked it to these type of devices which means you cannot use your phone as a bluetooth speaker. Amazon’s argument is to keep the device thin, but personally I feel this is a cop out as there are plenty of locations you could put the jack and still maintain the thinness of the device. So hope you’ve got some bluetooth headphones or speakers at the ready!
Another first for Amazon is that they’ve taken a look at the competition and realized that waterproof devices are becoming the norm so have jumped onboard with this concept. The Kindle Oasis comes with an IPX8 rating. In non techy speak, Amazon have dumbed it to the following definition:
“IPX8 and can withstand immersion in up to 2 metres of fresh water for up to 60 minutes”
I’m really glad Amazon have made this move as it was a feature that was lacking in their Kindle range. I’m assuming Amazon have tested this device heavily to check it’s waterproof 99% of the time but will be keeping my eye out for reports if it falls short.
Amazon has done some nice work on the customisation front of the new device. Let’s start with the screen. You can set this up in two different modes. These are the classic and the Integrated view.
The Integrated view as the name suggests contains your EBooks, recommendations for your next read and your reading lists. Some of those might prefer the older style of the Kindle home screen where it just shows your Ebooks. This is available via the classic mode and can be changed via the settings screen. Personally I’m a fan of the classic view as the integrated view just looks too busy.
For those of your who have a number of EBooks or audible collections, the Kindle Oasis now offers the Grid view (items arranged in a grid, similar to Netflix) or the listview to change in order to suit your needs.
Amazon have also taken a look at their competitors in regards to font style and size customization. Readers can now enjoy 8 fonts at 14 different sizes and whilst it still doesn’t offer as much flexibility as Kobo models, it is a marked improvement.
Amazon devices still unfortunately include special offers and ads as part of the screensaver which isn’t great for those people who just want to read their EBooks and not be distracted by ads. This functionality you can’t disable. This is a key distinction when comparing to other devices made by Kobo, as they don’t contain ads.
The final point to touch on here is customisation of the progress bar whilst reading your EBooks. This can be changed to page numbers, percentage or my personal preference is to remove it altogether. This really helps you lose yourself in your book rather than how much progress you’re making.
Features For The Kids
Amazon have also upgraded their Kindle of Kids offering. This includes complete control over what your young ones can/can’t view on your device as well as allowing you to create up to 4 Kindle kids profiles to distinguish between your little rugrats. Amazon have kept the achievements badges so you really can make learning a fun competition between your kids. Glad to see Amazon still expanding on their kids offering as kids really don’t read enough these days!
Services Tied Directly To The Amazon Site
Amazon offers customers unlimited reading downloads with those members who have an Amazon Prime account. So let’s do some calculations to see if it’s right for you:
- The service costs £7.99 a month
- Books average between £5-10 per book
If you’re likely to read more than one book per month then it’s certainly worth considering. If you’re a 1 -2 books every 6 months of so and don’t plan on using their Amazon streaming service then it’s probably not worth getting. With that said, they do offer a 30 day free trial so gives you the opportunity to try before you buy.
Amazon have also started the service where you can lend books to fellow Kindle users for up to 2 weeks for no cost. This might be a suitable alternative to those who are on the fence as to whether or not to purchase a EBook based on the reviews alone. You do again need to be an Amazon prime member though.
Sigh…The ‘Experimental Browser’
Come on Amazon, Seriously! This browser has been experimental since the first generation Kindle which was release almost a decade ago. Either commit to it or let it go.
Let’s take a look at the design of the new Kindle Oasis versus it’s predecessor. Firstly the device has a 7 inch display as opposed to the 6 inch one of the original whilst maintaining 300 PPI which is great. For those of you not in the know PPI stands for Pixels Per Inch and basically the more you have the better. 300 PPI is the standard for most devices created in the last couple of years
Amazon’s also gone for an Aluminum body which is something I’ve not seen before in Ereaders. It generally gives the device are more finished and solid look and feel compared to the standard plastic approach of EReaders these days. Unfortunately they’ve slapped a massive Amazon logo on the back of it which I personally feel is a bit over the top in terms of marketing. They’ve also gone for including dedicated page turning buttons and adaptive light technology which is similar to the page press technology that was included in the Kindle Voyage. Another set of features which also give the device a professional, finished feel.
The Kindle Oasis comes in the same variants as original; Wifi and 3G. The only difference here is that as previously mentioned you can buy an 8GB version or a 32GB version at extra cost. Unless you’re planning to store a crazy amount of audiobooks, you’ll be fine with the 8GB version.
The final thing to touch on here is that Amazon have ditched the charging case that came with the original and replaced it with a bigger battery. Although it does make the device a bit more chunky, it’s a smart move as users of the older model were reporting it was basically unusable without the case as the battery drained too quickly.
So let’s talk about price. As I’ve hinted in the post so far, this device does come with a lot of features, some of which are not available of any other EReader on the market. This means it’s not cheap.
This does put it ahead of most of the other EReaders out there in terms of cost so it’s definitely worth weighing up are you prepared to pay extra for those features.
Some Specs To Compare Against
I’ve included a summary of some of the specs that I feel are personally important to consider when looking at getting a new EReader.
|New Kindle Oasis||Original Kindle Oasis||Kindle Paperwhite||Kobo Aura One|
|Size||7 Inches||5 Inches||6 Inches||7.69 Inches|
|Display||300 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI|
Comparing Against The Original Kindle Oasis
I thought this was worth including for those of you who already have the original Kindle Oasis and are thinking of upgrading. Some of the key things to point out are:
- The new device is bigger than the original but weighs more
- The new device is waterproof
- The new device has Audible functionality
- The new device is generally more customizable than the original
Some Accessories That Are Available
So for those of you who have the original Kindle Oasis, you’ve probably worked out that your old Kindle case is not going to work anymore with the new one. So let’s take a look at some of the designs out there.
Thankfully a number of the previous manufacturers of Kindle Oasis cases have produced the same quality designs but updated for the 2017 model.
What I Like
I like the fact that Amazon have been bold in putting the time and effort to make their EReader waterproof like most other devices you can find on the marketplace. I also like the fact that they’ve bundled in Audio integration which gives them a leading edge over their competitors. Finally the aluminium design gives the product a real professional look which has given me the habit of viewing other EReaders as a bit cheap and nasty.
What I Don’t Like
There are a couple of downsides that do bug me with this new EReader. The first is the fact they’ve not included an audio jack on the device and you have to use Bluetooth speakers or headphones to use this feature. It’s a bit of an oversight when there is plenty of space to put an audio-jack. Secondly, the ‘experimental’ browser. Just give it up Amazon, people don’t need it as every other device a person owns provides a better experience of browsing the web.
What Amazon customers are saying
Overall, people are pretty happy with the new Kindle Oasis. This includes new customers as well as those upgrading from their existing one or their Kindle Paperwhite. A few people are mentioning that the device is a little heavier than they were expecting but I’d guess this is something that you could get used to. There’s also a decent amount of reviews to go on despite it only being out for a few months.
So there you have it! A comprehensive review of the new Kindle Oasis so now it’s decision time. If you’ve fallen in love with the extra features they’ve put into this model such as being waterproof, Audible integration and are prepared to pay to higher price tag then go for it! If you’re still on the fence about some of these, then it might be worth looking an some of the more inexpensive EReaders such as the Kindle Paperwhite or the Nook Glowlight Plus.
I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed my review and if you have any further questions, please leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.
Until next time