I’ve been spending the last few days devoting quality time to my new Kindle Oasis.
Are you wondering if you should shell out $290 of your hard earned dollars to upgrade to the new Kindle Oasis?
If you believe most of the reviews, then the answer is no.
If you believe me, then the answer is yes.
First, some excerpts from some of the Oasis reviews:
HuffPost Tech: "Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is a device nobody needs."
Popular Science: “... if all you care about is reading words on a digital page, the premium Kindle Oasis experience may be more than you need".
Mashable: "If you want the ultimate ebook e-reader experience, the Kindle Oasis is it, but you can also get an excellent one with the $119.99 Kindle Paperwhite."
WSJ: "In day-to-day usage, it’s very similar to the $200 Kindle Voyage and the $120 Kindle Paperwhite, currently marked down to $100."
CNN Money: "Older Kindle generations, which are still sold by Amazon, may lack the lightness and two-month battery power of the Oasis, but for the vast majority of readers they're still great options that cost much less."
Why am I happy with my $290 Oasis purchase?
Reason 1 - My Old Kindle Paperwhite Was Getting Wonky:
The last Kindle I purchased was a 1st generation Kindle Paperwhite. I bought this Paperwhite on 9/6/12 - the day it was announced. This means that there were 1330 days between when I ordered my Paperwhite and when I ordered my Oasis on 4/27/16.
3 years, 7 months, and 22 days is a long time in the gadget world, and my original Paperwhite was showing it’s age. The navigation between books was slow and clunky. Page turning speed seemed variable. The battery wasn’t holding its charge very long.
In short, my Paperwhite was usable, but the reading experience alternated between just fine and frustrating. Restarting, rebooting, and reinitiating the Kindle OS didn’t seem to help. I’m not sure why my old Paperwhite performance degraded, or if I could have done more to get the thing working perfectly, but I was never able to figure it out. That is why I have been waiting for a while now for an upgraded Kindle.
When the Voyage came out my Paperwhite was working better. By the time that my Paperwhite seemed to get wonky, it felt as if it made sense to wait for the most up-do-date Kindle. So I’ve been wanting to upgrade for about a year now - and with the amount of time I spend reading it seemed a reasonable investment to pay for the Oasis.
Reason 2 - Reading on the Oasis Is Really Great:
A slowly dying 1st generation Paperwhite is not a good reason to pay all the money for an Oasis. A new Paperwhite is only $100. And the Voyage is $200. Is the Oasis worth the money?
I don’t have a new Paperwhite or Voyage, so I can’t do a side-by-side comparison.
What I can say after a few days with the Oasis is that reading books with this e-reader is really great. There are a few things that I’m loving about the Oasis:
Form Factor: Reading with the Oasis is a pleasure. The size, weight, and borders to place your hands and fingers all feel natural and right. The physical buttons for page turning feel natural, unobtrusive, and easy to use. I can read and turn pages with a minimum of thinking about the device that I’m reading on.
Cover: You already know that the cover is really an external big battery, one that charges the Oasis when attached and enables the e-reader to stay charged for many days. I actually like reading with the Oasis with the case attached, as the case makes the Oasis feel like like a perfectly sized physical book. The feel of the cover, and the little added weight and thickness that it provides, actually make the Oasis feel (for me) easier to hold.
Screen: The Oasis has an upgraded lighting system. The screen is bright and clear. Again, I don’t know how the screen compares to the new Paperwhite or Voyage - but it is is gorgeous on the Oasis. Reading on the Oasis feels like reading on nice paper with a good reading light. The words are crisp. My eyes don’t get tired after even hours of reading on the Oasis.
Speed: I’m not a big fan of the Kindle software. The navigation through different books feel cluttered. The Kindle OS does not provide any analytics for my reading. But what matters most, I guess, is that the software works well once you are reading a book. Page turns are fast, and I’m not seeing any refreshing or weirdness from page to page.
Battery: I read lots of books and I travel a good deal. The fact that I will be able to bring my Oasis and not worry about running out of juice is pretty great. Reading on the Oasis does not feel like I’m reading on an electronic device. It feels like I’m reading a book. Being able to read in bad light is a big advantage of the Oasis over a paper book.
Reason 3 - I Buy Lots of Kindle Books - And Spend Lots Of Time With My E-Reader:
The 3rd reason that paying $290 for the Oasis is worth it to me is that I buy lots of Kindle books. The amount of money that I spend on the e-reader will be proportionally small to the amount of money that I will spend on Kindle books during the lifetime of the device.
Given how much money I invest in buying digital books, it seems to make sense to read these books on the best possible e-reader.
Books are how I understand the world. I have never really learned anything that I didn’t learn in a book.
And I’m a slow learner. I need to read at least 3 books on any given topic to even start to wrap my head around the subject.
My goal is to read more books and watch less video. The better the reading device, the more time I will spend reading.
Paying all this money for the Oasis will also trick my brain (predictably irrational) into reading more books. Since I spent so much to buy the Oasis, I will want to justify the expense by reading more.
I spend more time with my e-reader than any other technology save my laptop. (A MacBook Air). Looking at the price of the Oasis in relation to the number of hours each week that I spend using the device makes the price seem a bit more reasonable.
Is the Oasis perfect? No way.
I wish that the Oasis integrated the e-booka and audible reading experience. It would be nice if I could easily go back and forth between Kindle and Audible books on a single device.
It is also crazy that there are not any reading analytics.
And I still have not figured out what happens to all my digital books when I die.
Should you buy an Oasis?
That depends on what you e-reader you have now, how important the quality of the reading experience is for you, and how many Kindle books that you buy.
For me, the Oasis seems to makes sense.
How do you read digital books (if at all)?
Will you be getting an Oasis?
Read more by
You may also be interested in...
Opinions on Inside Higher Ed
Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U
What Others Are Reading