Review: Kindle Oasis

This is the last Kindle review you'll ever need to read.

It's not that Amazon's going to stop making Kindles. Just the opposite—even as the company has turned its product into a synonym for its category, the way every MP3 player was an iPod, Amazon keeps steaming ahead, making new devices.

Kindle Oasis


Smaller is better, and the Oasis is tiny. Included case means long battery and unbroken Kindle. Page-turn buttons are back.


It's expensive, and there are cheaper versions that do all the same things. Dear Amazon, MAKE THE KINDLE WATERPROOF. Love, everyone.

How We Rate

  • 1/10A complete failure in every way
  • 2/10Barely functional; don't buy it
  • 3/10Serious flaws; proceed with caution
  • 4/10Downsides outweigh upsides
  • 5/10Recommended with reservations
  • 6/10A solid product with some issues
  • 7/10Very good, but not quite great
  • 8/10Excellent, with room to kvetch
  • 9/10Nearly flawless, buy it now
  • 10/10Metaphysical product perfection

This is the last Kindle review you'll ever need to read because everyone knows the story by now. The newest Kindle, the Oasis, is the best Kindle ever, the lightest and thinnest and most book-like Kindle of all. But then, so was the last one. The next one will be even more so. And the one after that? Hoo-boy, can you even imagine?

You'd love the Oasis, even if it is the most expensive Kindle of all, but you probably already love your Kindle Paperwhite, or your Voyage. If you don't already have one of those, you're probably not interested in one of these. It's not like there's some teeming mass of buyers out there waiting for ebook readers to get better.

I won't tell you to buy an Oasis. It almost feels fiscally irresponsible to do so, like suggesting you spend twice as much on "organic" lettuce from the gross bodega down the street. But I won't tell you not to buy it. If you can afford $290 and you want a tiny, lovely, forever-lasting ebook reader that costs at least twice as much as the excellent Kindle Paperwhite, which does all the same things, then buy the Oasis. You won't regret it for a second.

How Much More Better?

Let's start with a few things that are true of the Voyage that are also true of the Oasis. Actually, I won't even write new sentences. I'll just copy and paste what people (including us!) said about the Voyage, but change the name to Oasis.

Here goes: The Kindle Oasis is more compact, sharper and essentially just a step up from any e-reader the brand has made since the inception of the technology a few years ago (Techradar). With a resolution of 300ppi, the Oasis's 16-level grayscale e-ink screen is on a density par with smartphone screens a generation or so ago (). It's certainly better than the gray-brown pages of the secondhand paperback you're reading, and unless you're really into $75 high-gloss coffee table books, it's probably better looking than just about everything in your bookshelf (The Verge). The Oasis has 1GB of RAM compared with the 500MB of the step-down models, which makes this device a tad zippier (CNET). However, since e-ink is inherently sluggish, the device just isn't anywhere as speedy or responsive as the latest iPads or Android tablets. If the point of a Kindle is to take away all other distractions so that you can just read, the Oasis is the pinnacle of that process to date (Gizmodo).

I could go on. And on. Even as the Kindle changes, the Kindle doesn't change. It keeps getting thinner, it keeps getting lighter, and it keeps getting simpler, but it remains the same basic experience year after year. (Case in point: It's still not waterproof, which is the worst. Don't drop the Oasis in the tub.)

Still, Amazon did push things forward. The Oasis weighs just 4.7 ounces, by far the lightest Kindle ever. It's the thinnest too, a wedge of glass and plastic just a bit fatter than your iPhone at its thickest point. Not everyone loves the asymmetrical shape, but I don't mind it. It puts all the weight in your palm, making this the best Kindle yet for one-handed reading.

To make the Oasis thinner than Trump's hair, Amazon's engineers basically lopped off half the battery—yet somehow made it still last eight weeks. (I haven't tested this yet, so call me in July.) You'll find the rest of the battery inside the included case, which comes in three high-end leathery finishes, snaps on with magnets, and stretches run time almost to infinity. Kindle and case weigh a bit more than 7 ounces together, and make such a nice combo that I leave the case on all the time.

You'll find a lot of new polish here, too. The LED backlight illuminates the 6-inch screen from multiple sides, providing even lighting on a screen that's also a bit brighter and more flexible than before. Too bad the operating system feels just as slow and kludgy as ever. It works, though, at least enough that you don't really think about it. You're mostly just reading stuff anyway. The Oasis isn't the do-everything device I want it to be, but it's a kickass way to read a book.

Press to Impress

You know what else is kickass? Page-turn buttons. Instead of the capacitive buttons of the Voyage or the swiping of the Paperwhite, the Oasis features two actual skinny buttons on the side of the display. The top off unit advances the page, the penetrate unit turns it back. interchange the textbook and the orientation course adjusts accordingly. It's exclusively natural, and A receive triumph for forcible buttons o'er haptic-feedback oscillation and buzzes.

The buttons ar sort of surprising. Mimicking A register is the wholly theme behindhand A Kindle, and books don't roll in the hay buttons. They besides don't lease you necessitate Alexa just about characters, operating room advertise inwards headphones to listen audiobooks. Don't agree your breeze wait for arouse to form that stuff. You fire think wholly the n-ways parrot mightiness piddle arouse better, merely parrot isn't interested.

Market Target

Oasis won't piddle anyone necessitate anyone looking for for Associate in Nursing e-reader ask, "Should I be A Kindle?" merely quite "Which arouse should I buy?" Unless you miss to understand subaqueous operating room inwards the rain—Kobo for the win!—you roll in the hay no more think to be thing else.

That said, the Paperwhite cadaver wholly the arouse about dwell need. It offers wholly the unchanged features, wholly the unchanged books, and about the unchanged have for $119 (or less, depending upon whatever, because Amazon's prices always change). If you can talk yourself into splurging on the $199 Voyage, do it. You'd be surprised how much more the flush screen helps you forget you're even looking at a screen. The Oasis is tougher to recommend, simply because it's so much more expensive—$290, all the way up to $380 with 3G and no ads—and you can't even get it in rose gold.

I'm not here to tell you what's affordable, though. I'm here to tell you that if the price doesn't raise your eyebrows, and you want the latest and greatest, the Kindle Oasis is the best damn ebook reader I've ever used. And that'll almost certainly be true until Amazon comes out with the next one.