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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  • torp - Monday, January 29, 2018 - link

    Can you actually turn *off* the light on the Oasis? It doesn't let me on my Paperwhite, it only let me turn it way down, and it would save battery when you're at the beach for a week and have more sunlight than you know what to do with. Reply
  • grant3 - Monday, January 29, 2018 - link

    Big warning for DIY'ers:
    No one has located any serial pins on the Oasis, which means it cannot be jailbroken.
    Paperwhite/Voyage models can be jailbroken by opening the case and using a serial connection to open up permissions on the device.
    Reply
  • Threska - Monday, January 29, 2018 - link

    Check to see if they're any JTAG pads on the unit? Reply
  • grant3 - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - link

    I imagine that's exactly what enthusiastic Kindle hackers have been doing ever since the Oasis was released :) Reply
  • judecee - Monday, January 29, 2018 - link

    Love reading on a Kindle. Just received the OASIS. Everything is great, except when I go to My Library, it shows my books in 'book cover ' format as opposed to title . And I'm not able to see whether or not I have already read the book. Is there a setting I.m supposed to put in? Please Help! Reply
  • judecee - Monday, January 29, 2018 - link

    I have posted previously, but it seems to have been deleted. My comment involves the Library List on the Oasis. I am only able to see my books in a 'front cover' format, as opposed to title format. Is there a setting I should be using? Thank you, any help would be appreciated. Reply
  • MyrddinE - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - link

    My wife and I own about 3000 books (mostly paperbacks), and another 750 eBooks on Kindle. In other words, we read a lot.

    And the Kindle Oasis is amazing. Reading one-handed is the norm, not the exception, and the Oasis is the first device to emphasize that. It's far more comfortable to hold in one hand than previous Kindles (or any competing devices), and the physical page-turn buttons are very welcome.

    Together, my wife and I read about 250 books a year (me around 80, she about double that) so we're way out on the edge of the bell curve when it comes to book consumption. The cost of the Oasis pales in comparison to our yearly book purchases.

    We have two other Kindle readers, both still working fine. But the Oasis is my first choice to read on if my wife hasn't grabbed it first. :-)
    Reply
  • sonicmerlin - Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - link

    Why don’t they out a small solar panel on these things so they never have to be charged? Reply
  • stun - Friday, February 02, 2018 - link

    > over it’s cheaper brethren

    over **its** cheaper brethren
    Reply
  • twtech - Friday, February 02, 2018 - link

    It seems like the biggest feature this model has over the Voyage (and the other Kindles) is the audiobook support, though I wonder what using it does to the battery life. The fact that it's waterproof could be nice too for those who might like to relax near the pool with their book. Reply

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