Kindle Oasis 7-inch evaluation: harder, smarter, and never for everybody

Don’t do this with earlier version Kindles. Joe Brown

The primary e-book I learn on an e-reader was Cryptonomicon, the Neal Stephenson epic. I saved falling asleep whereas studying the 931-page paper model, and it might hit me within the face. I learn myself to sleep and that’s what occurs, however this huge tome would generally crack me within the face so laborious that it might go away a mark.

So I picked up an e-reader, one of many early Sony fashions. From that second, I used to be in love with the tech. Your opinion is your personal, and I respect it. Now that I’ve stated that, I’ll abuse this web site and broadcast mine: e-readers are higher than books. They make it simple to deliver a number of volumes with you wherever, and a backlit e-ink display screen is sort of a printed web page that glows—versus your telephone or pill display screen, which is like studying on a TV. Many are even waterproof. Huzzah, I’ll be within the tub. Don’t hassle me for a minimum of two hours.

Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Oasis is the everything-giant’s first waterproof reader, which is a giant deal for individuals go to the seashore/pool/wet place and don’t need their $249 moveable library to get trashed by the most typical substance on Earth. It’s not, nonetheless, the primary waterproof reader. Kobo has had a fear-no-h20 unit for some time now, and you’ll even get a specifically handled Kindle Paperwhite (three fashions outdated now) from an organization referred to as Waterfi.

So, OK, Amazon’s received a water-resistant reader tied to essentially the most expansive e-book library on the planet. Recreation over, everybody pack up their e-reader companies and go house, proper? Perhaps? In all probability not? For all its nice options, the most recent Kindle Oasis shouldn’t be an ideal machine.

Kindle Oasis review
The Premium Leather-based Standing Cowl is available in three colours and prices $59.99. Joe Brown

The Good

The brand new Oasis now sports activities Bluetooth, which is superior for these of us who change between audiobooks and ebooks. Software program-wise, Amazon began making that tremendous simple by syncing between Kindle and Audible earlier this 12 months; choose up an audiobook, and Amazon will throw within the e-book model, robotically leaping you to the spot the place you stopped listening. So throw in your wi-fi headphones, toss your Kindle in your bag, and faux you’re truly working at your desk. It will drain your battery sooner, however a minimum of you’re not killing your telephone simply because you possibly can’t wait to seek out out if John Adams will get elected president. (He does, however solely as soon as.)

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By way of different radios, the Oasis, like its forebears, ships with two connectivity choices: Wi-Fi solely (from $249, with adverts, which you’ll by no means discover), and Wi-Fi and mobile ($349), which makes use of LTE the place out there. You get the LTE one in the event you don’t care about cash or can’t ever discover Wi-Fi. Actually, it is a luxurious add-on, however rattling is it good.

Kindle Oasis review pot
No, it’s significantly waterproof. Joe Brown

On the processor facet, e-readers aren’t highly effective machines and the brand new Oasis doesn’t do a lot to vary that. Like its predecessor, it makes use of a 1Ghz processor, though the 7-inch Oasis’s is an up to date chip: an NXP i.MX7D vs a the unique’s FSL 6 SL Cortex-A9. The brand new chip lets the 7-inch Oasis run sooner; side-by-side with the 2016 mannequin, the brand new child flips pages faster. (Menus, keypresses, and many others, appear to fireplace with the identical velocity.) Its mild sensor, which adjusts the display screen’s brightness based mostly on the ambient illumination, although, is so quick it’s nearly annoying. In case you, for instance, roll over in mattress to seize a glass of water and topic the Oasis to a brighter cone of lamplight, the 7-inch Oasis will lighten its display screen nearly instantaneously. If dials it down if you roll again over, although.

The display screen generally is excellent. Who misses paper? Whereas older generations of e-ink screens may look pixelated, letters and phrases on the brand new Oasis are as clear as any wood-pulp sheaf. It’s not visibly higher than the previous-gen Oasis or the two-generations-ago Voyage, and sports activities the identical 300 pixel-per-inch density. It’s, nonetheless, bigger than each of its predecessors, which is nice for a pair causes: first, it’s glorious for readers with poor imaginative and prescient. The Oasis (in addition to older fashions) help eight fonts at 15 sizes apiece, which ought to make it simple to learn even in the event you’ve graduated past the pharmacy carousel of corrective spectacles. The bigger display screen must also translate into fewer page-turns, serving to lengthen battery life—a claimed six weeks at half-hour of studying a day. (We didn’t have six weeks to evaluation the 7-inch Oasis, however in 4 days of heavy use the battery meter barely budged.)

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Kindle Oasis Review
This left-to-right measurement comparability exhibits the brand new Kindle Oasis, the outdated Kindle Oasis, and the Kindle Voyage. Joe Brown

The not-as-good

That giant display screen, although, means a big form-factor total, and that is an space the place the Oasis disappoints a bit. Up till this technology, Amazon had an ideal observe report of releasing smaller, lighter Kindles each time. The brand new Oasis is neither smaller nor lighter than the 2016 mannequin.

The burden shouldn’t be a lot to complain about—at 6.8 ounces, it’s only a couple ounces above final 12 months’s (4.6 ounces)—however the measurement is annoying. At 6.3 x 5.6 inches, it’s almost sq., and one which’s laborious to wrap your fingers round. Amazon says its system was designed to relaxation in your palm, and it does. However not everybody needs to learn sitting or standing up on a regular basis.

Sadly, the Oasis shouldn’t be significantly comfy to carry whereas mendacity down. The perfect technique I’ve discovered is to pinch it between your thumb and forefinger beneath the page-turn buttons, and both slide your thumb up or use one other hand’s digits to advance. Right here you truly begin to really feel that steel physique’s further ounces; the previous-gen Oasis is a better option in the event you prefer to learn whereas mendacity down. It’s smaller, so you possibly can simply get your arms round it.

Kindle Oasis Review
Navigating the web page turning buttons could be difficult to navigate in the event you learn in mattress. Joe Brown

Really, in the event you learn in mattress so much, simply go for the Voyage. It’s simpler to grip than both Oasis and solely 6.6 ounces, or 0.2 ounces lighter than the 7-inch Oasis. It’s higher for individuals like us. It’s not naturally waterproof, however if you wish to learn mendacity down on the seashore, a Ziplock bag works nice. I simply saved you 100 bucks. I’m on Venmo.

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It looks like everybody who evaluations the brand new Kindles says the identical factor yearly: In case you want a Kindle, get this new one, however there’s no purpose to improve in the event you’ve received final 12 months’s. The addition of Bluetooth and that IPX-8 water-resistance (as much as 6 ft for 60 minutes—greater than an iPhone, whose Kindle app is rubbish) are clearly efforts on Amazon’s half to vary that pattern with the 7-inch Oasis. For some individuals, that is the Kindle they’ve been ready for; it’s definitely a wonderful reader and boasts a set of particular options that may enchantment to particular individuals. For others, it won’t be sufficient of an improve to justify the expenditure. Sounds complicated, I do know. Don’t fear: We made a cheat sheet for you:


  • You want a water-resistant reader.
  • You have got poor imaginative and prescient, and would profit from the additional display screen decision.
  • The cash shouldn’t be a priority and also you prefer to have the Latest Factor.
  • Your big arms have been ready because the Kindle XL for one thing worthy of their measurement.


  • You want your present Kindle/Kobo/Nook (RIP).
  • You learn paper books, would slightly spend your cash on beat poetry and pins in your jean jacket.
  • You don’t have a ton of cash and are tremendous utilizing a Ziplock bag and an outdated mannequin just like the Voyage.
  • You don’t take heed to Audiobooks. (BTW, you might be lacking out.)
  • You want placing your e-reader in your denims’ again pocket. (The 7-inch Voyage doesn’t match.)
  • You learn in mattress, mendacity in your again.

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