Amazon Kindle Oasis 2017 review roundup: The Cadillac of e-readers


Kindle OasisAmazon

  • Reviewers of the new Kindle Oasis say its durability,
    waterproofing, bluetooth functionality, and increased
    screen size make it a top contender on the e-reader
    market.
  • At $250, it’s one of the pricier e-readers you’ll find,
    and reviewers are split on whether or not the e-reader
    justifies its steep post.

Reviews are out for the 2017 Oasis Kindle, Amazon’s
latest e-reader that boasts waterproof casing, a larger
screen, and bluetooth functionality.

The verdict? A premium product saddled with a premium pricetag.
With its sleek physicality (a tapered grip at the back of
the device and page-turning buttons), increased screen size, and
durable design, the device is an improvement on Amazon’s original
Oasis model and, for those who can afford it, worth the
hefty price of $250. 

Reviewers praised its 8GB of storage (it’ll run you about
$30 more for 16GB more storage), automatic-brightness
setting, and extended battery life (used in moderation and with
wireless and Bluetooth off, you’ll only need to recharge every
six weeks). But reviewers were divided over the
new Oasis’s design: the page-turning
buttons 

are a throwback to the
device’s original model, lending it
a satisfying physicality — a distinct click with each
turn of the page — that’s been conspicuously absent from
Amazon’s latest iterations. Those accustomed to seamlessly
turning a page

 with a flick of their finger on
the Kindle Paperwhite might find themselves at odds with this new
feature. 

But mostly, reviews were positive. If you’re game
to plunk down nearly $300 on an e-reader, this is the
e-reader you’ll want to buy. Here’s what reviewers had to
say:

David
Carnoy  of CNET
 highlighted the new Kindle Oasis’s
improved durability but felt the $250 price tag ultimately wasn’t
worth it:

“The larger screen, more durable aluminum chbadis and full
waterproofing are important upgrades that put the new Kindle
Oasis at the top of the e-reader clbad. Sure, it’s a little crazy
to spend this much for an e-reader, but then again, people
have been known to overspend on smartphones, noise-cancelling
wireless headphones and a lot of other products. Why not a fancy
Kindle?”

“While the new Kindle Oasis on paper is less expensive than
the original Oasis, $250 is still a lot to spend on an e-reader.
Is it that much better than the Kindle Paperwhite? No, it
isn’t.”

 


Henry T. Casey of Tom’s Guide
 gave the new Oasis an
eight out of ten rating. The product, he says, has great
design, especially if you have plans to read underwater.
However, Casey suggests that the page-turning buttons might rub
some readers the wrong way:

“Unlike the similarly water-resistant Kobo
Aura One
 (which survived 60 minutes in 6-inch waters),
the Oasis stayed functional throughout its swim, and its screen
and buttons responded to taps and clicks throughout the test as
if nothing unusual were taking place. I hadn’t originally planned
to use the tablet inside the tank during the test, but when I saw
that its screen stayed on the same page it was on before I dunked
it I had to see if the Oasis was still working, and I was
seriously impressed by how well it held up.”

“That wider design, and its physical buttons, may not sit
right with existing e-reader users.When I showed the Oasis to my
mother, the most avid Kindle user I know, she found the buttons
unnecessary. That’s because she prefers swipe-based page
navigation — which is still available in the Oasis — because it
reminds her of flipping actual pages.”

 


Brian Heater of TechCrunch
 describes the Kindle Oasis as
the best Kindle out there, but with a pricepoint that will make
it marketable to only a niche group of readers:

“It handily grabs the title of the best Kindle ever, and is
a pretty solid contender for best devoted e-reader ever. The new
Oasis walks that eternal e-reader tightrope between forced
simplicity and new features — and mostly succeeds. It’s a bold
acknowledgement on the 10th anniversary of the original Kindle
that the category is still going reasonably strong.”

“At $270, it’s targeted at a niche of a niche, but in 2017, it’s
easily the ultimate high-end e-reader experience for people who
want to tune out the notifications and read the day away.”

 

Engadget’s
Devindra Hardawar 
recommends the Kindle Oasis for its
crisp resolution and increased screen size but took issue
with the e-reader’s metal case:

“After years of staring at 6-inch e-ink screens, the Oasis’s
7-inch display feels like a breath of fresh air. It still offers
a crisp 300-pixel-per-inch (ppi) resolution, but it can hold 30
percent more text than before. Twelve LEDs also make its
backlighting more uniform than on cheaper Kindles.”

“The metal case also has some surprisingly sharp edges
around the edges. It’s not the sort of thing that could cut you,
but it makes some noticeable impressions on your skin when you
hold it for a while. Simply put, the new Oasis just isn’t as
comfortable as the last model. Even the cheaper Paperwhite rests
more easily in your hands.”


Casey Newton at The Verge
praised the Kindle Oasis for its
purposefully limited functionality, but wondered if your money
wouldn’t be better spent on a cheaper product:

“Despite what it calls an “experimental” browser, it is not
designed for extensive web surfing. The promise of the Kindle is
that you can leave the rest of the world behind for a while, so
as to better surrender yourself to the story you have chosen. It
is a single-purpose tool, but that purpose is powerful, and
explains the enduring appeal of the Kindle in a world that has
largely pbaded it by.”

 “And yet at $250 for a Wi-Fi-only, 8GB Oasis, it
still feels like more than all but the most dedicated of readers
will be willing to spend. A Wi-Fi-only Amazon Fire tablet with
8GB of storage can be had for $50 — and will give you the entire
internet in return. A $120 Kindle Paperwhite offers a very
similar reading experience, minus the water resistance or Audible
features, for less than half the cost. A new iPad is considerably
more expensive, but offers a much wider range of functions in
return.”


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