With this being the lightest and thinnest Kindle yet, it’s surprising to see the dude in Amazon’s marketing shot holding it so precariously over a high balcony.
It looks like it could slip out of his fingers any second, and it would be a shame for him to lose something special after presumably only having it for a short time.
That’s because this is the best Kindle yet, and therefore by default the best e-reader anywhere out there.
Having the Oasis in my hand (holding it more safely than the other dude, I might add) has been the most enjoyable and comfortable reading experience I’ve had – and this comes from someone who only got his first Kindle a few months ago having previously been anti-digital and pro-print when it came to books.
In many respects the Oasis is like other devices which I’m sure most of you are familiar with. It’s a library in your hands allowing you to download and store thousands of books, then read them with your choice of font and type size. The functionality is very similar to other models such as the Paperwhite.
There are, however, some things that set the Oasis apart and justify its position at the top of the Kindle range.
One of the main factors is its feather-like weight.
Naked, the Oasis weighs in at 130g which is about 30g or 20 per cent lighter than any of the other three current Kindles.
Even dressed with its cover on, it still weighs only 240g which is about equivalent to an apple or small tin of veg.
It’s easy to nestle the device into your palm and use it one-handed, although I’d still recommend using your other hand to support it on the other edge.
The way the weight is distributed means you hardly notice you’re holding it during extended reading sessions. There is no awkwardness with how it’s held, no strain on the wrist, it’s all just very comfortable.
The comfort is helped by how slender this Kindle is – just 3.4mm at its tapered end and less than a centimetre at its thickest, a world away from trying to grip a behemoth of a printed novel in your hand.
To turn pages of your book with the Oasis you can choose between tapping the screen or using the buttons, with both options within easy reach of your thumb. A nice touch is how it is equally compatible in the left or right hand.
The plush leather cover, which magnetically connects to the back of the Oasis and then wraps itself around the device, has two other purposes beyond just the standard layer of protection.
The first of these is how it adds to the comfort when the Kindle is being used, with the cover’s soft velvety rear side feeling lovely on the fingers.
The second benefit, and main thing of note about the cover, is how it charges the Kindle. One lead connected to a mains or USB socket will do a dual charge of the cover and device. Then when you’re out and about the cover will continue to keep the Kindle juiced up. The upshot of this is the Kindle is meant to charged for longer. It can supposedly go months without needing to be plugged in.
I’ve only had mine on loan for a couple of weeks so can’t verify this claim. It’s only had one full charge so far and, while the cover has lost its juice quite a bit quicker than I had expected, the Kindle itself is still going.
The 300 ppi resolution on the six-inch screen is the same as all but the most basic Kindle, but where the Oasis stands out is in how well the screen is lit.
I’m afraid my simple brain doesn’t fully understand Amazon’s jargon about the Oasis having a “redesigned built-in light (that) features 60 per cent more LEDs than any other Kindle” or how it “guides light towards the surface of the display with its built-in front light” – but I can tell you the display is very impressive.
Firstly, I’ve found the text to be crystal clear and glare-free whether I’ve been reading in the dark at bedtime, in bright sunlight on the train or in various other conditions. Secondly, it hasn’t caused any strain on my eyes at all. Usually, I can only read in short bursts before my eyes get tired but with the Oasis it’s only been sleepiness at night or my journey’s end during the day that have curtailed my book consumption.
The Oasis is undoubtedly a fine machine but its price of just under £270 could be a sticking point.
It’s £100 more than the next most expensive Kindle and a huge £160 more than the Paperwhite which I’ve been so pleased with over the past few months.
It seems to be a better lit screen, a couple of extra buttons, the charging cover and a slimmed down size that are the main differences justifying the extra outlay.
I don’t think they are enough for anyone other than the most committed readers to make the jump from one of the lesser but still absolutely fine Kindles to the Oasis.
But if you’re someone who’s always glued to a book or if you’re making your first foray into e-readers and you want the best, the Oasis is the one for you if you can afford it.