I recently got myself a Kindle Oasis to replace the Kindle Paperwhite I got back in 2012. While the Kindle Paperwhite still works, the reason I got myself a Kindle Oasis was not that the old one was defective or broken.
I wanted a new Kindle for one reason: I wanted to read more.
When compared to my previous Kindle the hardware improvements are obvious:
- The screen is larger and higher resolution
- The backlight is brighter and much more evenly distributed
- The device is thinner and lighter, even with the cover on
- The cover is made of real leather
- Physical buttons are back
- The metal construction gives a more premium feel
- It is finally waterproof
While I didn’t have a 2016 version of the Kindle Oasis, I did think it was a little odd that it wasn’t waterproof. Amazon has rectified the situation with the 2017 model. At last, people can use the Kindle Oasis in the bath* or by the pool.
The cover for me is a big part of what I like about the Kindle Oasis. I enjoy the way it feels. However this appears to be one of the most controversial parts of the device from a hardware point of view; I’ve seen people dislike it because of the magnets that connect it to the back, as well as complaints about the leather being easy to mark.
Personally, neither of these two issues have been a problem for me at all, the way I use the device has never resulted in the cover coming off by mistake, and I love how the leather looks and feels. Your mileage may vary.
On the software side I’m pleased with the new features compared to my previous Kindle:
- More typefaces
- Text alignment
- Better skipping and navigation
- Improved PDF support
- Landscape mode and automatic rotation
- Inverted mode
- Automatic brightness
Like the hardware, there’s also a controversial aspect to the software too. I have seen comments on the Audible integration not being as good as it is on the iOS/Android mobile apps. Personally, I haven’t used this feature yet, and I probably won’t use it at all. I do use Audible regularly, but I tend to use it on my phone or computer.
Overall I’m pleased with the Kindle Oasis as an eBook reader, and if you were wondering, yes, it has made me read more. It turns out the change in the physical device was indeed the catalyst I needed to change my reading habits.
* I’ve used my Paperwhite in the bath many times over the years, but not so much recently. So I’m not sure if/when I’ll have the opportunity to try it out, but making the device waterproof was the top requested feature for the Kindle, and I’d expect to see it come to the other models over time.