The Kindle Oasis is almost great?

August 16, 2019

I should offer a disclaimer upfront that I like Kindles. I know many prefer the feel of a real book. I do too in certain instances. But the convenience and portability appeal to my pragmatic nature.

My previous Kindle was a 6th Gen Paperwhite from 2013. It was still in decent shape and working well – actually not bad for a 6 year old piece of consumer tech.

But the Kindle trade-in program1 combined with handling an Oasis in an Amazon store put me over the edge and got the upgrade wheels in motion.

I’ve had it for about a week now, here is my quick review.

Pros

  1. Screen is much crisper. 300ppi vs. 220ppi on my previous device. Text is noticeably sharper and more pleasant to read. I didn’t have an issue with the previous screen until after using this screen. You really cannot go back once you adjust.
  2. Physical buttons for turning the pages. 🙌 Though I wish there was an option to disable the touchscreen page turns as a software setting. Craig Mod’s essay on this explains it better than I will so I’m not going to bother.
  3. The software and interactions are snappier and less laggy.
  4. Waterproof. Unclear often this will come in handy but a nice insurance policy.

Cons

  1. The width is a little awkward. I loved being able to quickly stash my Paperwhite in a back pocket when I was out and needed my hands. i.e. Commuting on a subway. The Oasis doesn’t fit in a pocket, which is a shame. I’ll probably have a backpack with me more often than not when using this outside the house but it is a slight bummer all the same.
  2. The little notch / ledge to help you hold it isn’t as ergonomic as it could be. At least for my hands2. The material is a little slippery. The ledge isn’t quite pronounced enough to really get a good hold on it. It is nice and I like having it. It just feels like a missed opportunity. I expected the holding ledge to be the best part of the device. It is meh. I think putting a case on it might help. For now, I’m leaning on gaffer tape…

I guess to summarize – I like it but I expected to love it.

  1. Sadly, this ended up being disappointing and frustrating. I was under the impression that all trade-ins included a 25% off coupon for your next Kindle purchase. Somehow I ended up without this benefit and instead received a measly $5 credit. I ended up getting a refurbished 1st Gen Oasis for slightly less than I would have paid for a 2nd Gen new model with 25% off applied so… 🤷‍ 

  2. I have pretty average male sized hands?