Kindle Oasis Review Round-Up

php0zkrjo Amazon’s latest and most expensive ereader officially started arriving yesterday in consumer’s hands yesterday while at the same time the reviews have started showing up online.

Unless Google has suddenly started failing me there are far fewer reviews than expected, but they generally say the same thing.

Edit: Two new reviews (Mashable, Gizmodo) were published after this post was released. I have added the excerpts to the end of this post.

Most reviewers agreed that it is a wonderful ebook reader while also questioning whether most consumers will think it is worth the cost. Wired, for example, thinks it’s great but questions the cost.

I am still waiting to get my hands on one, so I can’t say (although I do know that I wouldn’t buy one). What do you think?

The Kindle Oasis is a wonderful ereader and is a pleasure to use. Its asymmetrical design is the biggest jump forward for any Kindle yet.

But that doesn’t make it worth £270. The Kindle Paperwhite costs less than half that and is still an excellent ereader with a great screen. Ebooks are slightly cheaper than ‘real’ books, but they’re not so cheap that buying a £270 Oasis will save you much money in the long run.

The Oasis is wholly desirable, but not wholly justifiable. It’s something you’ll pick up in the shop, love the feel of, but will inevitably pass over for a much more sensibly-priced device. The Kindle Oasis is a fantastic luxury item, but it’s not quite the paper-replacement Amazon was hoping for.

  • Teleread

If you can afford to splurge on an e-reader, I am confident that you won’t be disappointed in this sexy new Kindle. It’s a bold delight, a satisfying revival of everything you’ve learned to love about reading digitally.

The Kindle Oasis is great but you don’t need it, unless you absolutely want the best, irrespective of the cost. For most people, the Kindle Paperwhite does the job fine even if it costs half of what the Oasis does. The starting price for the Oasis is Rs 23,999!

Although, if you are eying the Voyager, the Oasis becomes a better deal because it comes with a leather cover, which in the case of Voyager would cost you another several thousand rupees.

At this price, it is just too expensive. With that said, if you are after the best Kindle experience and would gladly pay to the high price for it, the Oasis is what you need. You won’t be disappointed with it.

The Kindle Oasis is an impressively engineered device that’s pleasant to use. But at nearly $300, it’s too expensive for most people. That’s especially true because it doesn’t really change the reading experience. The Oasis’ new design and brighter screen make it more portable and easier to read in certain circumstances, but you’re really paying for the premium design and included charging case.

(Should you buy a Kindle Oasis?) The answer is yes, if you do not have a recent eReader, if money is not particularly an object in your life, if you read a lot of books and if you commute with frequency.

It would be a mistake to purchase this otherwise. The reason why is fairly straightforward: It would just be a waste. eReaders are a weird, singular category of consumer technology that exist almost entirely as luxury. They are not inherently better than the printed books they replace, and they are quickly becoming eclipsed in function by the smartphones most of us carry around.

The Amazon Kindle Oasis is the best e-reader available at the moment. Others may be waterproof, or have more advanced features, but the Oasis is just a nicer reading experience, from the way the software works to the way the device feels in your hand.

But more than that the Kindle Oasis is a very nice thing. It’s a luxurious-feeling item that makes you want to hold it, to read it. Like a fine pen makes writing a more enjoyable act, the Oasis accentuates the reading experience.

Is it a £100 better than the already expensive £170 Voyage or £160 better than thePaperwhite? No, it is basically the same experience minus the buttons and body. But is it worth the extra £100 as a luxury item, absolutely. Should you buy it? Probably not.

And therein lies the biggest problem with the Kindle Oasis: it doesn’t do anything different. The Paperwhite is £109.99, a full £160 cheaper than the Oasis. Sure, the lighting isn’t quite as even, and it’s bulkier and heavier, but the feature set is the same. If you asked us which Kindle to buy, we’d point to the Paperwhite and tell you that that’s the hero, because the Kindle Paperwhite is just too damn good to ignore.

The Kindle Oasis is beautiful piece of technology. Although it looks impressive in pictures, you really need to hold it in your hands to understand just how good it feels. Most of the TrustedReviews team weren’t convinced at first, but holding it in their hands instantly turned them into believers.

Yes, it’s simply an e-reader that doesn’t do a whole lot differently to the Voyage or Paperwhite, but the sheer amount of engineering and design work that must have gone into this is quite incredible.

For most people, the £269.99 price will instantly make it a no-go – and that’s completely understandable. I remain none the wiser over the Kindle Oasis’ is aimed at – but I want one nevertheless.

The Amazon Oasis is practically perfect in every way. It doesn’t forge relationships between bratty kids and their errant fathers or wax bannisters with its ass, but as e-readers go, it leaves you satisfied. It’s light, easy to read, has wonderful ergonomics and incredible battery life.

And the fucker is almost three hundred dollars.

I have never been so enamored with a piece of hardware not made by Lelo, and yet so hounded by its price. The Amazon Oasis costs $290. That’s $90 more than the already outrageously priced Voyage and $190 more than the truly exceptional Paperwhite. The only way you can really even begin to justify the large (relative) sum of money you’re spending on the Oasis is by looking to its cover—and even then you’re bending over backwards.

There’s no doubt the Kindle Oasis is an excellent e-reader. It’s a pleasure to use and hold. You get the case and extra battery with it, a potential $60 value. However, it’s still hard to justify the $289.99 price tag, and if you add 3G and remove the ads that appear on the sleep screen, you could pay $379.99. That’s an insane amount for an e-reader. Of course, with the ubiquity of Wi-Fi, you really don’t need 3G (Whispersync will work without it) and the ads do not get in the way of your reading experience.

image via Pocket-Lint

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. DavidW28 April, 2016

    I like the Huffington Post quote the best because the pricing of the Oasis has also made me start to wonder about the value of ereaders in a world where phones and tablets have improved dramatically over the past few years and print is experiencing an upsurge in popularity.

    Eink has not evolved substantially since I bought the Kindle 3. And it really should have improved in contrast and also offered color. If not that, then the prices should have dramatically fallen. As it is, it makes little sense to buy an expensive ereader when you can find a tablet with the same resolution or just stick to print.

    I ultimately put the blame on having a single company monopolize the ereader tech market. And I’m not talking about Amazon, I’m talking about Eink. If instead of supplying all of the tech to all ereaders, they were in competition with even one other company we would have much better screens today than we currently have.

    As it is, the ereader has become such a niche device that Amazon can get away with charging $300 for a device whose only utility is reading books, which it does poorly. It offers little memory, it reads few formats, has almost non-existent typography features, supports few fonts, and has an interface designed to advertise more books for you to buy. That doesn’t seem to me to be a premium device well worth the money.

    It’s made me really question why I use any ereader.

    1. Rasputin28 April, 2016

      There is an E-ink competitor.

      You were right the first time. Amazon is dominating the e-reader market. That’s why we got this over-priced feature-starved uninnovative device.

      1. Nate Hoffelder28 April, 2016

        That competitor doesn’t have good tech.

      2. DavidW28 April, 2016

        I didn’t know about that a rival, what is the company?

        1. Nate Hoffelder28 April, 2016

          It’s a Chinese company called Guangzhou OED. E-ink has sued over the tech, and lost.

  2. Frank28 April, 2016

    You didn’t include The Guardian’s reviewer ending statement that I thought was pretty good,
    “…the Paperwhite will likely be all the e-reader most will need, but Oasis is the one you’ll want. The Oasis is the Bentley to the Paperwhite’s Golf – both will get the job done, just one is a cut above the other.”

  3. Steve H28 April, 2016

    It is well made. Smaller than you would think it is-photos do not convey it’s size well. It is about 3/4″ shorter than the Paperwhite and about 1/4′ wider. The lighting is more even than the Paperwhite or Voyage…although I can see where the lights are located more easily than on the Voyage. It is not brighter than the Voyage-to me anyway. The lighting is a little yellower(warmer) in hue…a little more paperlike.

  4. Corrin28 April, 2016

    I only have about an hour of reading time in, but I really love the size and design. It’s comfortable to use, easy to read, and the battery case is well designed (though a bit flimsy). I admit to being more than a bit of a Kindle fan girl, so while I was excited to upgrade from my perfectly lovely Voyage, I think I’m the exception.

  5. Steve H28 April, 2016

    Superlight and easy to hold. The buttons are really well made and reverse just like the screen does to keep the forward and back buttons in the same position. Default is top button for forward -bottom button for backward. This setting can be reversedreversed…well thought out.
    You have nine fonts including Amazon Ember once you update the system.

  6. Popup28 April, 2016

    I’ve only played with it for about 15 minutes or so, but my first impression is that it feels too wide. It looks almost square!

    This matters most when not actively reading, tough. Where the Paperwhite fits easily in an inside coat pocket, this is a bit more of a tight squeeze. – And it falls down to the bottom, and is harder to retrieve.

    The screen also has a much yellower cast than my old PW1 – it really looks more like paper.

  7. Name (Required)28 April, 2016

    In the meanwhile the first mobileread members have received their new Oases. [Ooops … how do you make plural from Oasis? 😉 ]
    Quite a few of them complain about color gradient and LED shadows on the right side.
    Looks like review units went through much thorough quality control.

    The new Kindle still has no hyphenation, no narrow margins, configurable justification, smooth font scaling, hierarchical directory support, …

    You can’t even switch of the G-sensor to prevent the display from turning upside-down when you read in the bed lying on your side or with Oasis flat on the table, some people complain. There *is* a portrait / landscape switch in the Aa menu, so when you tilt your premium Kindle to the side very carefully you might be able to read in the bed lying on side after all 😉

    1. Nate Hoffelder28 April, 2016

      Yes, I was going to do a user review round up next.

    2. Frank28 April, 2016

      Oases is the plural of Oasis but I imagine more people would just say multiple Oasis.

    3. Popup29 April, 2016

      As I frequently read lying on my side in bed I was also worried that it would suddenly flip everything upside down. The accelerometer/flip mechanism is a little bit cleverer than just a threshold angle, though. If you rotate the kindle slowly, you can tilt it quite a bit above the horizontal before it changes orientation, whereas if you flip it fast, it also flips the text instantaneously. So far I have not come up against any situation where it didn’t just ‘do the right thing’.

  8. DaveMich28 April, 2016

    Right. And iPhones are expensive too. There are plenty of phones that are just about as good and get everything you need done. Why spend all that extra money for an iPhone? Just not worth it. Sure.

    1. Nate Hoffelder28 April, 2016

      Certainly not worth it for most people, yes. That’s why cheaper Android smartphones are doing so well.

  9. Rasputin28 April, 2016

    No one seems to talking about the fact the case only covers part of the back. It will suck when your new and very expensive e-reader gets a scratch on the back because the case didn’t protect it. This is the obvious big design flaw.

    1. Nate Hoffelder28 April, 2016

      I did mention it in the post today on 3rd-party cases, yes.

      I was also going to mention it again in the user review posts.

      1. Rasputin28 April, 2016

        One of the very early sets of pictures showed it with a big scratch on the back.

    2. Frank28 April, 2016

      The Guardian review mentions the downside of the unprotected back. That is an advantage to the Paperwhite, since that official cover protects the back.

      1. Nate Hoffelder28 April, 2016

        I don’t think a scuffed back matters so much with the Paperwhite because it isn’t half protected by a case. The half-case will draw attention to the scuffed rear of the Oasis.

  10. Nate Hoffelder28 April, 2016

    I added two new reviews to the post.

  11. Will O'Neil28 April, 2016

    I think iPhones are too expensive to be worth it; millions disagree. The Oasis (which I will use a lot more than a phone) is worth it to me, however many “experts” disagree.

    1. DavidW28 April, 2016

      There are many android phones as expensive as iphones. Also iphones come in multiple tiers. My previous phone was a 5c, which was only $100 with the two year contract.

      The Oasis is much more expensive than all other ereaders, and there is no eink reader from any competitor in it’s price range.

      So not only are you comparing apples to oranges, but your comparison is fundamentally flawed.

      Finally the reviews quoted above all make similar YMMV claims. They are not addressed to YOU personally. Give me a break.

  12. Lila Phillips29 April, 2016

    Am looking forward to more info regarding whether the faster page turns make the web browser more efficient, plus details on how useful the landscape mode could be.

    Still waiting to buy an e-ink model which could feasibly be used as a rudimentary web browser, for print-based internet sites.


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