Amazon Kindle Oasis in-depth review - The ultimate e-reader

So, there are e-readers and then there are e-readers. This one falls firmly in the latter category and with a difference. With a £269 price tag for the base model, it stands aloof in its place. Because being the most expensive also makes it the best. No really... It is really that good.

 Amazon Kindle Oasis Review - The ultimate e-reader
4.5

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,8/8/2016 3:41:21 PM

9

out of 10

Performance

9

out of 5

Look and feel

10

out of 5

Ease of use

10

out of 5

Features

10

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Petite size | Stunning display | Bundled-in case | superb battery life

Cons:

3G version almost as expensive as an iPad

-Sunetra Chakravarti

 E-readers have been around for some time... There was the Nook, a few by Sony, a few Kobos and of course Kindle by Amazon.

There have been several along the years and currently there are four different versions... from the cheap Kindle Kindle priced at a wallet-friendly £59.99 to the relatively expensive Kindle Voyage that sets you back by £169 from last year. 

 

Along the way, the Kindle has evolved... I remember my first Kindle... It had a full keyboard and in the interest of economy I could only download books on it after I had purchased them on a computer. It was also not possible to 'gift' Kindle books so I had to just send a friend an Amazon voucher and ask them to download the books I had wanted to buy... It was a bit weird.

Fast forward to 2016 and not only has Kindle changed dramatically in its physical form but the ecosystem is better than ever... You are able to buy Kindle editions for other users, you don't need a computer to purchase books and on my 3G model of the Kindle Oasis, I am able to download books wherever, whenever.

One of the biggest advantages I find of owning a Kindle device is, if you like reading, Kindle versions of books are usually the cheapest. And this is when comparing prices across the board: from hard covers to paper backs to audio versions.

Anyway, I digress. I have been using the Oasis for about a month now and love every bit of freedom it affords me.

It is squarer and sqatter than any of the other versions and a lot lighter 

It is also thicker on one end with two physical buttons, with the power and charging ports on the other. This slightly wacky design quirk threw me initially- although I grew to appreciate it, because if you are lying down,  reading a particularly good book, holding the Kindle for an extended period of time- it just fits into the hand and you don't worry about it slipping out.

Also, I stopped reading physical books a long time back- they are usually too bulky to carry around, I don't have enough room to store them once I finish reading and they are usually impulse buys which I regret about 20-pages in. The thing with Kindles or any e-book reader is that you just need to have one aditional slim tablet-esque device in your bag and not worry about thick paper backs taking up space in your backpack or suitcase... And, crucially, you dont get judged for what you are reading: irrespective of whether it is 1984/ Go Set A Watchman or 50 Shades of Grey.

Hand-in-glove with the cover... the battery just goes on and on and on...

Slim, even at its thickest point, and very light, you can rotate the Oasis to use it in either hand and all these little details make it a very ergonomic device. 

The re-imagined Kindle looks like a joint effort between the marketing team and design experts- the idea was to make it somehow different from the other versions and also get rid of the cheap Kindle cover companies that currently exist on Amazon. 

The Kindle Oasis e-reader comes with a really luxurious cover in either leather (black and merlot colours available) and a brown suede called walnut. And the covers aren't just about making the Oasis look posh- they hide a party trick- in the form of a top-up battery that increases battery life not by days but by weeks. Charging them together is super easy- make sure they are joined magnetically and use a microUSB charger for the Kindle, the cover will get charged too!

  

Magnetically attached to the Kindle Oasis, my suede cover for the review sample feels very comfortable and grippy and the various scratches and bruises on it further enhance the rugged looks of the e-reader. So far so good!

What is the reading experience on the most expensive Kindle till date, like?

Really really good! The 6-inch screen with a 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution is bright and doesn't irritate your eyes like tablets would if you read on them. Amazon have put in 60 percent more LEDs in here that focus on the screen rather than shine onto your eyes and the difference is obvious.

Amazon have their own fonts, if you know fonts, it is a little like a Garamond and very easy on the eye for long reads. 

And there are a few new frills: Page Flip lets you skim through the chapters and have a look at the ending without losing your place and you are able to add notes, highlight bits and even share quotes on Facebook/Twitter, there is a collaboration with Googreads so you also get to see reviews by other Goodreads users before you buy the book.  

And the usual dictionary, thesaurus are present and correct alongside the ability to change the size of the text and a slider which tells you exactly what percentage of the book you have finished reading. 

Is it easy to look for and download books?

This depends entirely on which version of the Kindle Oasis you have. My review sample is the wi-fi +3G one, so I was able to use it anywhere and even though it costs almost the same as a small iPad, you are never too far from a book download- if you are in a country with 3G, you can download a book. It is as simple. 

If you have a wi-fi only version, you can download only when your tablet is connected to the internet over wi-fi; but that isn't difficult to achieve because you can just use a wi-fi hotspot on your phone to tether the Kindle to the internet and start downloading.

Given that there isnt any REAL difference between the wi-fi version and the 3G+ wi-fi version, I would suggest you save a few ££ and get the £50 cheaper version, then tether your phone to the tablet to download content whenever you want to.

Looking for books is easy too, just search for books and Amazon with its sales nous makes it a priority to sell you something, suggesting books that are similar in theme, that other users have bought, and even presenting lists depending on what you had previously bought... It is all eerily accurate.

Should I buy the Kindle Oasis?

Because of the shape and size of the actual reader, as well as the weight, it is a very easy and comfortable hold. If you are a caviar over fish and chips kind of person, then this Kindle is for you.

I really like its square shape and the fact that it can easily fit into the tiniest of handbags and has a battery life of weeks. 

For the price, waterproofing would have been good and that's why I have docked half a star off, but otherwise, it is the perfect e-reader.

 

Amazon Kindle Oasis specifications

www.amazon.co.uk

£269 (wi-fi only) £329 (wi-fi + 3G)

Display: Amazon’s 6" Paperwhite display technology with E Ink Carta™ and built-in light,

Resolution: 300 ppi, optimised font technology, 16-level grey scale

Size: 143 mm x 122 mm x 3.4-8.5 mm

Weight: Wi-Fi: 131/238 g; Wi-Fi + 3G: 133/240 g 

System Requirements: None; fully wireless and doesn't require a computer to download content

On-Device Storage: 4GB; plus free cloud storage for all Amazon content

Battery Life: A single charge lasts up to eight weeks, based on half an hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 10. Battery life will vary based on light and wireless usage

Charge Time: Fully charges in less than 3 hours from a computer via USB cable

Wi-Fi Connectivity Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)