The Amazon Kindle Oasis might be the very best e-reader available, but it comes at a steep price point.
Driven by the same software and main features of the Amazon Paperwhite and Voyage, the main difference in the Oasis is in the radical redesign of the premium e-reader and a battery life that stretches up to two months.
The Kindle Oasis has the same 6-inch screen like other Kindle devices, including the Paperwhite and Voyage, but is noticeably brighter due to the 10 LEDs in the display, compared to Voyage's six and the Paperwhite's four LEDs.
These additional LEDs supposedly give Oasis a more uniform display, though many reviewers noted that it was difficult to detect the difference in comparing the Oasis to the Voyage.
Damon Beres, senior tech editor of Huffington Post said that he had no complaints about the light on previous versions, but the Oasis sure is nicer. Meanwhile, a reviewer from TechCrunch said that the Oasis' visuals were on par with the Voyage with identical 300 ppi resolution.
The redesign of the Oasis includes a stark and sleek tapered body that simulates holding a book with one hand, with the included cover folded over to simulate the spine. At its thinnest point, the Kindle Oasis measures only 0.13 inches and it is lighter as well, weighing only 4.6 ounces compared to the 7.2-ounce Paperwhite.
The Oasis' elegant design features three physical buttons: power, previous page and next page. The page navigation buttons are on the face of the wide part of the body, which makes one-handed use a breeze. By default, the top button is for the previous page, while the bottom button is for the next page, though this can be switched in the setting menu of the device. Additionally, the Oasis includes an accelerometer that allows readers to flip the Oasis and use in either hand automatically.
The included premium leather cover has a soft inner lining to protect the device when closed and comes in three colors: black, merlot, or walnut. The cover not only perfectly fits the Oasis, it also serves as an external battery pack for the device.
With Wi-Fi enabled and the screen set to half brightness, Lisa Eadicicco for Time found that the included batteries were half depleted after 2.5 days of use without the cover. By turning off some features, many reviewers have recorded at least a full week of battery life without the cover. The leather cover is said to provide an additional 7 weeks of battery life, bringing the total to two months.
Do the features and refined styling of Oasis justify the high price point of $290 for the base model? (The price can reach up to $380 if users opt to get the 3G model and have advertisements removed on their lock screen).
For some avid e-reader fans, the premium price is worth it for owning the device. However, many reviewers note that even if the device is perfect, Kindle Oasis does not differentiate itself enough from other Kindle offerings to justify the cost. The Kindle Oasis costs $180 more than the Paperwhite, and $90 more than the Voyage.