A couple of months ago, Amazon released an all-new Kindle Oasis, and I’ve been using it since mid-November. The E-Reader market is a niche inside of a niche, but there’s little doubt that Amazon has been at the forefront of E-Readers since the Kindle first launched. If you’re someone who loves reading, you’ve hopefully had a chance to try reading on an electronic ink display, but if not, maybe this is the time to jump in.

Amazon offers the Kindle lineup for pretty much one reason. Owners of Kindles are almost guaranteed to purchase books from Amazon, and as such, Amazon has done a pretty reasonable job keeping the entry cost into the Kindle lineup fairly low. Right now you can get the lowest cost Kindle for just $79.99, assuming you are ok with Amazon’s “Special Offers” which is advertising from Amazon on your lockscreen. If you don’t want that, the Kindle is $99.99. However, the new Kindle Oasis for 2017 starts at $249.99 with Special Offers, or $269.99 without, so for that much of an increase, Amazon needs to pack in the features. Luckily they did.

The Kindle Oasis doesn’t just need to compete with the base Kindle though. Amazon also offers the Kindle Paperwhite, which is their entry level model with lighting, and the Kindle Voyage, which at one point was at the top of the stack, but now sits below the Oasis in terms of features and pricing. And that’s just the competition with other Kindles.

The 2017 Oasis adds some nice features over it’s cheaper brethren though. The once change that is hard to miss is the larger E Ink display, now at 7-inches diagonal, compared to 6-inches for the other devices. It’s still the same 300 PPI display as offered in both the Paperwhite and the Voyage, but with additional LEDs for a more even lighting. The Oasis is also made out of aluminum, rather than plastic, and is thinner and feels lighter than the other models despite the larger display. It supports Bluetooth for headphones or speakers, which lets you use the device for Audible audiobooks, and for those that like to use their Kindle around water, it’s also IPX8 rated meaning it’s able to be dropped in water and still function.

Amazon Kindle Lineup
  Kindle Paperwhite Voyage Oasis
Display Size 6-inch 7-inch
Resolution 167 PPI 300 PPI
Built-in Light No 4 LEDs 6 LEDs + auto-brightness 12 LEDs + auto-brightness
SoC NXP i.MX6SL Cortex A9 @ 1 GHz NXP i.MX7D dual-core Cortex A7 @ 1 GHz
Page Turns Touchscreen Touchscreen + Buttons
Colors Black, White Black Graphite, Aluminum back
Connectivty Wi-Fi Wi-Fi plus optional Cellular
Weight 161 g / 5.7 oz Wi-Fi model:
205 g / 6.6 oz
Cellular model:
217 g / 7.6 oz
Wi-Fi model:
180 g / 6.3 oz
Cellular model:
188 g / 6.6 oz
Wi-Fi or Cellular:
194 g / 6.8 oz
Dimensions 160 x 115 x 9.1 mm
6.3" x 4.5" x 0.36"
169 x 117 x 9.1 mm
6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36"
162 x 115 x 7.6 mm
6.4" x 4.5" x 0.30"
159 x 141 x 3.4-8.3 mm
6.3" x 5.6" x 0.13-0.33"
Waterproof No IPX8 - 2 meters, 60 minutes
Audiobook Support No Yes with Bluetooth headphones
Starting Price $79.99 $119.99 $199.99 $249.99

With the addition of audiobook support, Amazon offers double the storage by default, or you can opt for the 32 GB model for another $30. For those that like the always-connected nature of cellular, Amazon continues to offer cellular enabled devices as well, for a premium. Luckily you don’t have to deal with a data plan if you do get a cellular equipped device, since Amazon covers that for the life of the device.

I’ve been a heavy Kindle user since the 3rd generation Kindle launched back in 2010. The one big issue with the older kindles was the lack of a built-in light, so when the Paperwhite launched in Canada I jumped on it. That model lasted for about four years until the power switch started to fail, so I upgraded to the latest generation of Paperwhite. This review will focus on the Oasis, but with comparisons to the Paperwhite where applicable.

So with a new body, bigger display, and IPX8 rating, does the Kindle Oasis tick all the boxes, and make it the device to get? Let’s dig in and find out.

Design and Accessories
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  • Threska - Sunday, January 28, 2018 - link

    They'd have to give it a different SKU then. Part of the reason people get bitten, and remember Wal-mart isn't the only one who does this, is they don't pay attention. Reply
  • romrunning - Friday, January 26, 2018 - link

    @Carmen00:
    In regards to not including Kobo, the article title clearly states the review is about the Kindle Oasis (2017). If you want a review of the Kobo models, look for one of those.

    Don't try to fault the reviewer for doing exactly what he said the article was about. Now if this review was entitled "A Review of Ebook Readers", then you could fault him.
    Reply
  • mode_13h - Saturday, January 27, 2018 - link

    Perhaps you haven't read many reviews on this site, but they often feature comparisons with comparable products. This is true of most product reviews, since they're intended to answer the question: "do I buy this?", with the possible answers being: "yes", "no - something else", and "no - save your money". It's not like Oasis is a completely one-of-a-kind product, with zero alternatives on the market. Reply
  • mode_13h - Saturday, January 27, 2018 - link

    I'll add that failing including meaningful comparisons puts it at greater risk of simply turning into a sales pitch. Reply
  • Carmen00 - Sunday, January 28, 2018 - link

    Got to stick strictly to the title, right? Following that line of thinking, articles about Ryzen should clearly not be mentioning Intel chips, articles about Huawei's latest and greatest shouldn't be mentioning Samsung's products, and so on! It's standard practice to make some comparisons with the relevant competition, and Kobo is both quite relevant and very competitive in this niche. That is why I took exception to the particular statement that I quoted: it makes it appear as though there isn't such competition. I take Brett's point that this is just his own experience, but that said, perhaps he could take the opportunity to broaden that experience so that this kind of review is better and more useful to Anandtech readers. Reply
  • drothgery - Friday, February 02, 2018 - link

    It's almost impossible to overstate how dominant Amazon's market position is in eBook sales. If a device doesn't have a Kindle app, it's basically useless as an ebook reader except for the tiny portion of the market that jailbreaks books or uses alternative stores. Reply
  • mode_13h - Friday, February 02, 2018 - link

    You can buy ebooks directly from publishers. O'Reilly and InformIT provide PDFs, MOBI, and EPUB - all of which are supported by Kobo Aura ONE. For my needs, this is enough.

    Kobo is fairly popular outside the USA.

    All of this is to say that people should *look* and see if they can find the titles they want, for other e-readers they might be interested in using. Don't simply assume that Amazon is the only way.
    Reply
  • reckless76 - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - link

    I bought the original Oasis, and I loved it. Felt great, looked great.. The problem was it was just too fragile. It slipped out of my hands while I was sitting down, reading on the porch. When it hit the ground, the case went flying off and the screen cracked. I'd only had it about 6 months. So I went back to the paperwhite. I can be as rough as I want with it and it's fine. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Friday, January 26, 2018 - link

    My dad has the second-gen Oasis and it's pretty darn nice. A lot nicer than the first-gen Oasis. Also doesn't have the split battery design of the first gen either (which in hindsight had issues like the case flying off). Though I would still recommend the case for protection and grip.

    I will say the build quality of his first-gen Voyage was also meh. So maybe just avoid the first-gen models. :P
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - link

    I want one of these!

    My only concern is...with lighting (people freak out if I call it backlighting even though iPads aren't actually backlit either)-I wonder if it's any better for your eyes/sleep than an iPad. Like a non-lit Kindle is, but I don't know what adding lighting to them does. I don't think anyone's actually done the research on that, and given the niche within a niche status...

    Otherwise it's a cool product! 7" is nicer than 6, high resolution, etc. eInk is SO pleasant to read on compared with other screen tech.
    Reply

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