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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  • 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.
  • Wolfpup - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - link

    I still wish I could have a color eInk reader that did Marvel Unlimited and whatnot! Comics on eInk that worked as well as eInk does for prose stuff would be awesome...
  • Threska - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - link


    I believe Amazon bought the technology.
  • grant3 - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - link

    "Ebook Readers with these types of displays are expected to hit the mainstream market in Fall of 2010." <-- apparently not.
  • Threska - Friday, January 26, 2018 - link

    Funny thing is the Qualcomm display only showed up in Korea. There seems to be a big story not being told in a sort of "whatever happened to...". Maybe the "good enough" of LCD stole their thunder? E-ink themselves came out with color E-ink.
  • Threska - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - link


    Liquavista is another.
  • grant3 - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - link

    My non-scientific, anecdotal experience says the lighting is EXTREMELY sleep friendly. Quite often I will spend about 15-30 minutes reading my paperwhite before turning it off and falling asleep immediately.
  • Alexvrb - Friday, January 26, 2018 - link

    iPads aren't frontlit like the lighted Kindles. Even though OLEDs are better (generally) than LCD displays, eInk is better than both for reading overall. It's also much more compatible with late night reading habits and doesn't hinder sleep as much. Night Light settings (or whatever they're called on non-Windows platforms) might help for extended late-night reading, but it still isn't as good.

    Just do a search on the web. eInk is better for sleep.
  • jaydee - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - link

    I really like everything the Oasis offers - I have the 2nd gen Kindle Paperwhite (wifi, no adverts) - but dang, $300 (after tax) for no adverts wifi Oasis... I just can't justify it unless/until my Paperwhite breaks.
  • dennphill - Thursday, January 25, 2018 - link

    Thank you for the review. With the asymmetrical form factor, you DID say that us left-handers can flip it over and use it backwards, didn't you? :-) Anyway, two years or more ago I took up Amazon on an offer to upgrade (very old) original Kindles to latest version with Paperwhite, which I loved. Was fine for my wife, but I found out that the latest generation (7th?) would no longer support 'active content' (whatever that means ???) and so Amazon was very helpful in taking my newest Kindle back and arranging a source for an overhauled (reconditioned?) 5th Gen Kindle which was the last to support 'active content.' The 'active content' allows use of a simple game that I have found both entertaining and instructive - Every Word. (Problem is the 5th Gen reconditioned Kindles come with a 90 day warranty but seem to last only about 5-6 months, so I keep buying them to keep playing Every Word...oh, and read other Amazon titles as well.) Stoopid question, maybe, but is this Oasis coming with support for 'active content?' (I really DO wish I knew what that term meant of implied....and why the Amazon game Every Word needs it. I really am clueless on the subject, but do like having the game.) If not, Amazon has one user 'stuck in the past' not able to progress beyond their 5th Generation Paperwhites.

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