The best way to test any device is to use it for the worst things and find out if you still like it or not. That is what we did with the latest Kindle Oasis e-reader from Amazon. Here we tried some books that would be boring and hell to go through. And it wasn’t surprising at all that we liked reading on this new Kindle despite any complications.
First, Kindle made its debut in 2007; we have seen many iterations of the e-reader over the years. Of course, each generation has added new features, while for most long-time users the new Kindle hasn’t enticed long-time users to switch. It is only when consumers will want to switch when they feel impressed with the latest generation model.
The Kindle Oasis tries to deliver on the Amazon’s promise of creating a device that feels like a digital paper. That’s one of the reasons it is an impressive e-reader. But do make a note that it is the lightest Kindle in existence as well as the costliest offering in the Kindle line-up – Regular, PaperWhite, Voyage – at starting price of Rs 23,999. The price point may only be the thing that would stop long-time Kindle owners from switching.
Below is our review of the Kindle Oasis. Find out what is good, bad and ugly about it.
Starting with the specifications of the Kindle Oasis, the device comes with a 6-inch 1448 x 1072 pixel resolution display that amounts for 300 PPI (Pixel Per Inch). Its glare-free e-ink Carta touchscreen enabled display have 10 LEDs, six more than Paperwhite and four more than Voyage. The e-reader runs on the Kindle OS 5.7.4 and has onboard storage of 4GB, which can store up to thousands of e-books. There is a micro USB port for charging the device and battery enabled back cover. The company hasn’t shared the exact battery capacity of the device or either the cover. But they claim that it can give two weeks of life when used for 30 minutes a day provided that Wi-Fi is disabled, and brightness is set to 10. While it should last up to eight weeks when attached with charging a cover. It supports 802.11b/g/n wifi support comes with an optional 3G support worldwide.
Felt like a major departure in design, the Kindle Oasis sports an asymmetrical design which is dramatically lighter and much thinner than the Touch design. But do make a note that it has wider and thicker edge, which contains the battery as well as doubles as a handle. The e-reader might sacrify the battery life looking at the thickness. Fortunately, it comes bundled with a leather case that sports a battery pack, effectively increasing your reading time.
Kindle Oasis is designed in such a way that it’s much easier to hold in one hand than previous Kindle devices. Once you hold the Oasis, the Paperwhite and Voyage feels clunky. The design is so intuitive that it’s asymmetrical bezel keeps a room to put your thumb. It is almost magical that by default the thumb rests on the page turning physical buttons. The top button forwards and the bottom button turns backward, regardless whether you’re holding it on your left or right hand. You can swap the functions of the buttons from Settings.
You’ll find that you can make your way through a book without needing to lift off your thumb, it is true regardless of the back cover or not.
Cover & Battery Life
The battery enabled leather case comes in red, black and brown color, which makes the Oasis look more like a small leather bound notebook than a digital reader. The connection between Oasis and leather cover is held by the pogo pins and magnets rather than any latch. Detaching and reconnecting is made quite easy with that. The smart decision here is that the Oasis’ internal battery is charged by the cases’ battery rather than powering the reader itself. This setup especially needed because the Kindle Oasis promises only two weeks battery life instead of the standard four weeks. But fortunately as long as you have attached the battery cover with the reader, then you don’t need to worry about the battery life as it will keep charging the Kindle. Note that there is no separate way to charge the leather battery case without attaching it to the reader.
Configuring the new Kindle Oasis doesn’t take up your much time or effort. Even if you aren’t familiar with the setup and a first time user, it can be quite easy to set up. There are few things you need to do while setting it up for the first time. Such as selecting the language, connecting to the wires network, and eventually registering the Amazon account. It shouldn’t take up more than 5 minutes to go through all the steps. You will be asked to connect your Goodreads account as well as you can further connect facebook and twitter accounts allowing the Kindle to post on your timeline. Additionally, you can customize a lot of things such as swapping functions of the buttons. All in all, you can easily configure the Kindle Oasis.
There is a backlight mode on the Oasis, and it looks useful. The brightness ranges from almost invisible to eye-burning light, and that’s why we recommend using it wisely. Moreover, for whatever reason, the Amazon didn’t include the Ambient sensor on their costliest Kindle ever, while its present on the Voyage, which is less costly Kindle model. Like all Kindles, the e-ink display is made to reflect light rather than emit light. So, no ambient sensor means you would have to adjust the brightness levels manually. There’s a complaint that the blue hue is present in the large part of the backlight, which is not good for your sensitive eyes and causes sleep deprivation.
It stands for those of you looking to get best reading experience at any cost should definitely buy the Kindle Oasis. But if you’re a first time user, then it would be too much to ask considering you’re not at all familiar with what should be considered as value for money or not. Though, don’t judge me for saying that Oasis isn’t a VFM product, it’s just that it’s priced too high even for a regular Kindle user. Most wouldn’t agree, while most would easily stand by this statement. So, if pricing isn’t an issue for you, then get this Kindle, or not if it’s the issue because there are cheaper models available to get started.