I read a lot of books — when I'm not at my desk, I'm usually reading. I try to do an even split between fiction and non-fiction, but in the last two years, I've skewed heavily toward the former.
I got on the e-reader bandwagon early on because of the inherent convenience. I used to buy a lot of hardcovers, but it soon became evident that it wasn't practical — particularly given the fact that I traveled a lot.
So came the shift to a Kindle. I got my first Kindle nearly a decade ago, and while they weren't anywhere as refined as the current models, the E Ink screen was a revelation. It was significantly easier to read as there wasn't any LED glare, and the tech did a good job emulating the feel of a book. I bought every new generation as it released, and in the last four years, I predominantly used the Kindle Oasis and Oasis 2019.
There's a good reason for this. While all Kindles have a good pixel density and the same caliber of E Ink screen, the Oasis stands out for a few key reasons: the asymmetrical design with the internal hardware tucked away to one side makes it easy to hold and use.
The screen has 24 LEDs embedded around the sides, and the Oasis 2019 has a warm light feature that is amazing. The warm light mimics the feel of a book incredibly well, and it makes it that much easier to read all day. On that front, dark mode is an exciting new addition, and I've used it exclusively over the last 12 months.
There's also a built-in accelerometer that changes orientation automatically based on whatever hand you're holding the Oasis in, and in a similar fashion, the ambient light sensor adjusts brightness automatically. These are little features that go a long way in day-to-day use.
But the biggest differentiator for me is the page turn buttons. There's a joy in physically pressing a button to turn the page that you don't get with the entry-level Kindles, and this alone makes the Oasis worth its high asking price.
You get a level of tactility with the buttons that makes reading an e-book a little more immersive. And while all Kindles go a great job at being an e-reader, the extras you get with the Oasis make it worthwhile — particularly considering it's available for $174.
The Kindle Oasis is far and above the best e-reader you can get today. The build quality, weeks-long battery life, warm light and dark mode, and the page turn buttons make it a worthwhile upgrade.
An e-reader is designed to do one thing well, and the Oasis takes this to a whole new level. I used the Oasis 2019 for nearly three years, and it continues to be rock-solid in daily use. There are no issues with the build quality, and I still get a week-long battery life between charges.
If you're mulling an e-reader or are considering an upgrade, the Oasis is the way to go. It costs a lot, but the joy you get from using it is well worth the asking price. This is genuinely one of the most-used products in my house, and I have more tech lying around than most gadget stores.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.