Thoughts on The New Kindle Oasis

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I bought my first Kindle in 2011. It was the model with side mounted buttons to flip pages, a non-lit screen, and I loved it1. Not because it was a good device, but because it allowed me to carry so many of my books with me, read them fairly comfortably, and I wasn’t worried about destroying it — it was cheap enough that should anything happen to it, I would just go get a new one. Five years later, the latter has changed quite a bit.

From Kindle 4 to Paperwhite to Voyage

My first Kindle cost me $80 or so. Not bad for a small and light device, which I read in the evenings in my bed, threw into my backpack when I went to the beach during my vacations, etc. It had a problem though — my wife started to use it. So I gave it to her2 and got myself a Paperwhite. Of course, a few weeks after I got it, Amazon came out with the newer version. Nothing unexpected — this always happens to me. Anyway… Last year, after we came back from our trip to Morocco, our Kindles didn’t3. This meant that we needed two new ones. My wife suggested we go with the Voyage, since it should last longer — it’s much more expensive, hence we would probably take more care not to lose them, destroy them, or have them stolen. She made a good call — soon thereafter the Paperwhite 3 came out. We’ve had them for a year or so now, and I can’t be more pleased with our choice — the Voyage has a good display which (most importantly) has a light sensor, which means that I no longer have to change the brightness manually.

Seriously, that light sensor coupled with the fact that the screen is now flat instead of indented, are the two best features of the Voyage. A lot can be said about its weaknesses of course — the lack of good typography after all these years is still quite shocking. You’d think that a device which has a single purpose — to make reading great — would do better in that regard.

Despite all that, I still like my Kindle. It’s the best there is, and even though I hope it will improve at a faster rate than it does, I still have faith.

The Kindle Oasis

There is one feature which I would like the Voyage to have — I want it to be waterproof so that I can read at the side of the pool without having to worry about getting splashed by that guy, who decides to bomb everyone in and around it.

Unfortunately, the Kindle Oasis does not have this feature.

It also lacks the best part of the Voyage — the light sensor — which is responsible for me actually being able to focus on what the device is meant for: reading.

So, the Oasis is missing one great feature, one potentially good one didn’t make its way into production, and it costs close to $100 more than the already very expensive Voyage. I’m sure its a great device — it’s tiny, while retaining the 6″ screen; it’s also lighter and more easily pocketable; and it has superior battery life, if you use the cover/battery pack.

But I won’t be getting one.

Oh. It also costs more than an iPad Mini 2, which might not be as good for reading, but it’s definitely good enough, while offering so much more at the same time.

  1. It’s either a Kindle 4 or Kindle Classic, depending on who you ask, and I got it just before the Paperwhite came out. Figures.
  2. Actually, she just started using it, and never stopped.
  3. I hope whoever has them now steps on a Lego with his bare foot.

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