There are plenty of options available if you're interested in reading e-books. You can pick up an Android tablet for under $100, load up the Kindle app, and get started right away. A tablet is a great option for most users as it offers more versatility — you can browse the web, watch YouTube videos, or just play games in addition to reading books.
Or you can pick up a dedicated e-reader. E-readers come with significantly better battery life, and the display is much more conducive to reading text for an extended duration of time. Amazon has been selling Kindles for well over a decade now, and the retailer dominates this space.
You can pick up a Kindle for as low as $79, but if you want a premium option that offers much more functionality, you'll want to take a look at the Kindle Oasis. Amazon launched the first-gen Kindle Oasis back in 2016, and late last year the retailer rolled out a new version with an updated design.
More importantly, the new Kindle Oasis is the first waterproof Kindle, with the IPX8 certification allowing it to be submerged for up to an hour. Simply put, it is the best e-reader you can buy today.
Bottom line: The Kindle Oasis is the most feature-rich e-reader available today. The screen is larger, it has automatically-adjusting backlighting, and you can take it to the pool. If you're not daunted by the asking price, the Kindle Oasis is the e-reader to get in 2018.
- Large 7-inch display
- Ambient light sensor
- Physical page turn buttons
- Audible integration
- Water resistance
- Outstanding battery life
- No headphone jack
Everything but the kitchen sink
Amazon Kindle Oasis Full review
The Kindle Oasis doesn't look like any other Kindle on the market today — the first thing you notice is the asymmetrical design. There are thin bezels on three sides, and a larger bezel on the right that features the physical page turn buttons. Its squarish form factor is designed to mimic that of a book, and there's a bulge at the back where the battery and hardware components are located.
By moving all the components to one side of the body, Amazon was able to trim the overall thickness, with the screen tapering to just 3.4mm. The design also ensures that the center of gravity is always on one side, making it easier to hold and use the Kindle Oasis one-handed for an extended duration of time.
There's also a built-in accelerometer that changes the screen orientation, allowing you to use the Oasis right- or left-handed.
The Oasis features a larger 7-inch display, but the overall width is the same as the 6-inch Paperwhite. That's down to the thinner bezels, and the Oasis is also 10g lighter in spite of sporting an aluminum chassis. The 7-inch E Ink Carta display has the same 300PPI pixel density as the Paperwhite and the Voyage, but it has 12LEDs for a more evenly-distributed backlight.
There's also an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts brightness, like most modern phones. As you'd imagine, text on the Oasis looks crisp, and I particularly like the fact that the display is flush with the body. You'll also be able to invert the colors — turn the background black and the text white, making it easier on your eyes at night.
You can use the physical page turn buttons or the sides of the display to flip through pages, and as the Oasis is also using a dual-core chipset for the first time, page turns are noticeably smoother and faster.
The Kindle Oasis also comes with Audible integration, but as the device lacks a headphone jack, you'll have to pair a Bluetooth speaker or headphones to the device to listen to your favorite audiobooks. Another new addition with the Oasis is water resistance, which means you'll be able to use the e-reader near a pool without any issues.
There's plenty to like here if you're coming from a Paperwhite.
Amazon advertises a six-week battery life for the Oasis — with a 30-minute daily usage — but battery longevity is entirely down to how much you use the e-reader. In the two months I used the Oasis, I averaged roughly two weeks between charges. That's with at least two hours' of reading time daily. Listening to audiobooks over Bluetooth will also result in the battery life taking a hit, but you should be able to get two to three weeks' worth of usage with ease.
Coming from a Paperwhite, I love the Oasis' design — the asymmetric body, larger display, and the physical page turn buttons. The Oasis' design takes a while to get acclimated, but after a week or two you'll start getting used to the asymmetric body. I preferred holding the Paperwhite with both hands, but the Oasis is much more comfortable to use one-handed.
A lot of that has to do with the weight: 10g may not seem like a lot, but it makes a difference when you're holding the e-reader for several hours at a time.
The best right now
Amazon Kindle Oasis Bottom line
Amazon sells Kindles across a variety of price points, with the base model retailing for just $79. The entry-level Kindle lacks a backlight and comes with a 167PPI display, but the Kindle Paperwhite offers a backlight and a higher-res 300PPI screen for $120.
Then there's the $199 Kindle Voyage, which offers pressure-sensitive haptics and a similar ambient light sensor as the Oasis.
With the Kindle Oasis, you're getting the best that Amazon has to offer: the display is outstanding, the design is ideal for one-handed usage, Audible integration is a nifty addition, and the IPX8 certification makes it resistant to the elements.
The Kindle Oasis is available in two storage options: the model with 8GB of storage will set you back $269, and the variant with 32GB of internal memory retails for $299. Amazon says that the 8GB model will hold over 35 Audible audiobooks, with the 32GB version able to store over 160 audiobooks.
There's also a model with cellular connectivity that is available for $350, and Amazon will cover the costs of the data plan for the life of the device.
The Kindle Oasis offers features that you won't find on any other Kindle, and is the best e-reader available in the market today. The $269 retail price is a lot for a Kindle, but it's well worth it if you're serious about e-books.
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