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When Amazon released the Kindle Oasis in April 2016, nearly everyone balked at the price tag. $300 for an e-reader? I don’t think so. The cost was an immediate turn-off for most Kindle fans, and many never gave the device a second glance.

After all, the basic Kindle can be had for close to $60, and that is, without a doubt, a much easier pill to swallow at a fraction of the cost.

Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Our thinnest and lightest Kindle ever--read even more comfortably for hours Buy Now At Amazon $289.99

But once you get over the initial shock of the Oasis’s unusually high price, I think you’ll find that it actually offers a lot — enough to justify the price at least, but depending on your needs, you might even consider it great value.

Here’s why you should seriously consider buying the Kindle Oasis, assuming you have the money to afford it How to Be Frugal While Still Enjoying Tech & Gadgets How to Be Frugal While Still Enjoying Tech & Gadgets Just because you're being frugal doesn't mean you can't enjoy tech! Here are some tips on how to not break the bank with tech purchases. Read More .

1. It’s More Comfortable to Hold

The biggest difference between the Oasis and all other Kindle models is its new ergonomic design. Instead of looking like every other flat tablet device out there, it’s thick on one side and thin everywhere else.

This makes the Oasis far more comfortable to hold. It’s the same reason why compact cameras are uncomfortable for long sessions and why higher-end DSLRs are chunkier on the hand-held side — it makes it easier to grip.

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kindle-oasis-image-1

For some reason, people have been downplaying just how useful this new design can be. Until now, the main benefit of e-readers over tablets What Is E-Ink? How It Works & Why Every Ebook Fan Needs It What Is E-Ink? How It Works & Why Every Ebook Fan Needs It If you read ebooks and haven't switched to E-Ink yet, then you're seriously missing out. Here's everything you need to know about why E-Ink rocks for ebook lovers. Read More has been the screen technology. This new grip is another point in favor of e-readers.

It also goes hand-in-hand with Amazon’s decision to move the screen off-center. The thicker side of the Oasis now has more of a margin as well, giving you more space for your thumb without having to worry about touching the screen.

This also means that the device’s center of gravity is more towards the hand-held side, which means the weight is centered in your palm, not on your fingers. This shift in balance is subtle, but you’ll notice it during longer reading sessions (say, 15 minutes or more).

kindle-oasis-image-2

And just because the device is weighted to one side doesn’t mean you have to use one hand or the other. The screen flips depending on which hand you use. It’s a small touch that can make all the difference in the world.

I probably sound like a salesman at this point, so allow me to acknowledge that these features aren’t massively innovative. At the end of the day, it’s still just a Kindle — but the small details do add up.

On top of all this, it’s the smallest, thinnest, and lightest model yet. Compared to the Paperwhite, it’s 38 percent lighter, 64 percent thinner (not including the grip), and 13 percent smaller by area. Not insignificant by any stretch.

2. It Has Incredible Battery Life

Kindles have always had outstanding battery life, which is one of many reasons why e-readers are preferable to tablets What's The Difference Between An E-Reader and A Tablet? What's The Difference Between An E-Reader and A Tablet? Read More for lengthy reading sessions. Yet somehow Amazon managed to take it to the next level.

The Oasis comes with a “charging cover,” which is as simple as it sounds: a normal protective cover with a built-in battery pack that you can dock your Oasis onto. When docked, the pack charges the device. Easy.

If you consider both batteries — the one in the body and the one in the cover — then you can expect it to last about eight weeks on a single charge (assuming 30 minutes per day, light setting at 10, wireless off). Without the cover you can expect it to last for about three weeks.

The Oasis also has a new hibernation mode that detects when you’ve stopped reading and responds by putting the device to sleep, which helps extend battery life for those who aren’t diligent enough about turning it off when they stop reading.

And for those who are curious, the Oasis charges from zero to full in about three hours via USB cable. Charging the Oasis while docked will also charge the cover.

3. It Oozes Luxury and Status

I know it sounds weird that anyone would ever flaunt their status with an e-reader, but I dare you to look at the Kindle Oasis in all of its glory and not feel a little bit jealous of the people who own one.

Whether you want an Oasis or not, you can’t deny that it looks great and definitely has more class than any of the other Kindle models, all of which lean more towards the “bland but practical” end of the spectrum.

The charging cover isn’t just a normal cover. It’s made of leather and comes in three beautiful varieties: Walnut, Black, and Merlot (as shown below).

kindle-oasis-cover-comparison

That might not be good news if you’re boycotting leather for personal reasons, but for everyone else, it must be said that the leather does feel good in the hands. And what says “opulence” more than leather? Not much.

That’s really what the Oasis comes down to. Opulence. Luxury. Buying something that offers more than you actually need just because you can afford it. In that sense, it’s similar to the Apple Watch How The Apple Watch Won Me Over How The Apple Watch Won Me Over When Apple announced their latest gadget, I wasn't entirely impressed. I ignored the hype, disregarded the reviews, and didn't pre-order one for myself. Obviously, I caved. Read More and a lot of smart home gadgets 5 Easy-to-Setup Smart Home Gadgets for First Timers 5 Easy-to-Setup Smart Home Gadgets for First Timers Smart home automation sounds awesome in theory, but a lot of folks are hesitant to try it out because the learning curve seems hard. If that describes you: it's easier than you think! Read More .

Want to feel rich while reading your eBooks? Or maybe show off your status without being overly tactless? The Oasis neatly hits that sweet spot.

Is the Kindle Oasis Right for You?

To recap, here’s a summary of what you get by paying $200 extra for the Kindle Oasis over the Kindle Paperwhite:

  • Ergonomic grip and design.
  • Smaller, lighter, thinner.
  • More than twice the battery life.
  • More LEDs for consistent page lighting.
  • Leather charging cover.
  • Page turning buttons.

The Kindle Oasis is clearly made for enthusiasts and power readers. If you think you’re going to get a lot of mileage out of it, then it’s absolutely worth the bump in price. Your hands will thank you.

Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Our thinnest and lightest Kindle ever--read even more comfortably for hours Buy Now At Amazon $289.99

For everyone else, the other Kindle models How to Choose the Right Kindle for You in 2016 How to Choose the Right Kindle for You in 2016 There are currently four different Kindle e-Readers available to buy, from the budget Basic model to the pricey Oasis. But which one is right for you? Let us help you decide... Read More provide more than enough value for what they offer. You’ll miss out on the luxury aspects of the Oasis, of course, but you’ll be more than happy with the Paperwhite if you’re a casual reader.

What do you think of the Kindle Oasis? Is it worth buying for the convenience, status, and ergonomics? Or is it utterly unjustifiable no matter what? Please let us know in the comments below!

  1. David
    June 17, 2016 at 7:20 am

    I've been using the Kindle since the first version came out. When the voyager came out, I passed. When the Oasis came out and Icsaw the price, I really passed. But then, a few days ago, I broke down, I traded in my Paperwhite, and I bought the Oasis. It arrived today and it is gorgeous! It is expensive compared to the other Kindles, but I'm already in love with the thing. It was worth the price.

    • Joel Lee
      June 19, 2016 at 4:13 am

      Awesome! When everyone is being super skeptical of the Oasis, it's nice to hear from someone else who got one and didn't regret it. Thanks a lot for sharing, David! Much appreciated. :)

  2. Frank
    June 17, 2016 at 2:16 am

    Unjustifiable. An e-reader should not be $300 with an e-ink display and adds, considering it lacks the light sensor of the voyage. $200 for the voyage I thought was a bit of a stretch. Also, I am one of those that would have like an alternative to leather and may have been inclined to possibly splurge bit now am stuck without an option.

    • Joel Lee
      June 19, 2016 at 4:03 am

      Yeah, the Oasis certainly isn't right for everybody. Looks like Amazon bumped the prices for the Basic and Paperwhite models, so the price gap is a bit smaller now... but still significant.

      I just wish Amazon would make a Paperwhite with the same ergonomic design of the Oasis. That would be awesome.

  3. fcd76218
    June 17, 2016 at 12:35 am

    I still prefer dead tree books.
    1. I can borrow them from a library for FREE.
    2. They do not need batteries or cords to power them.
    3. I don't give a hoot for "luxury and status". Especially the latter.
    4. If i lose a hardcopy book or if it gets ruined, it costs me no more than $25-$30. If I lose an Oasis or I dunk it in the water, major OUCH!!!

    Before somebody points out that a Kindle can hold thousands of books, so does a public library. Besides, I read one book at a time, and I rarely re-read a book. If I want to re-read a book, I'll just borrow it from the library again. I've heard people brag that they have something like 4500 books on their e-readers. What's the point?! Reading one book a day, every day, it would take over 12 years to read that many books. After reading all those books, will they ever go back and re-read ANY of them? I guess those people want tohe bragging rights awfully bad.

    • said brahim
      June 18, 2016 at 5:49 am

      a nice response sir you convinced me

    • Joel Lee
      June 19, 2016 at 3:59 am

      All very valid points. I'd say it really comes down to personal preference. Both are absolutely practical, but it's the little details that can sway you one way or the other. I must admit that there's definitely something special about browsing through the selection at a public library. And yes, physical books do feel good in the hands -- they even have a unique smell!

    • Pravin
      June 19, 2016 at 9:55 am

      LOL. Some really things pointed out. Great reply.

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