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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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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).

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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).

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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!

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  1. George
    January 7, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    What a completely pointless purchase, Luxury and Status WTF its a ebook reader. I have the paper white and that is all you need...But hey go waste your money on this useless piece of junk

  2. 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. :)

  3. 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.

    • GManton
      March 9, 2017 at 4:56 am

      Unjustifiable to you - fine. If I had the cash - I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Heck - I'd sell my left nut for it without blinking. I hate how Kindle bezels deny me my first amendment rights to "one-hand" my ebook - just because the bezels aren't wide enough for my thumb to pinch grip. The oasis is built to be held and loved like a book. And yes - it's "just" a book. But does it hurt that it's one darn sexy lookin e-book? Author's right. It oozes sex appeal - and there's always a price for that.

  4. Anonymous
    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.

    • njm
      January 20, 2017 at 7:42 am

      1. Little known fact - you can get Kindle books free from your public library too. https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000718231
      2. The Oasis lasts months on a single charge, which takes 3 hours to full. Is plugging in a device once every few weeks that big a deal? Do you refuse to own a cell phone too?
      3. Luxury is nice when you can afford it. The additional comfort of the Oasis is great. If you can't afford it, fine, but I don't see whats not to like about it.
      4. True story, I had hundreds of books in my library once that all got destroyed. Think those were cheap to replace? If my Kindle dies, I get another (most likely replaced for free by Amazon), and then I instantly have all my books back.

      And I do frequently re-read many of the hundreds of books I have saved in my Kindle. Just because *you* never re-read your favorite books doesn't mean others don't.

      But please, continue trying to convince people that technology doesn't make our lives better. Most of us will continue to ignore you.

    • Mike
      May 25, 2017 at 10:51 pm

      So far I've stayed with real books for many of the reasons you pointed out. I like the new book smell, I didn't want to have another device to charge, and if I lose/damage a book, I'm only out $9-10 since I mainly read paperbacks. I even like seeing the cover art on the front and back of each new book - in color. HOWEVER, last night I re-thought it, and I'm about to get with the times and buy a Kindle Oasis. Maybe you should too. Here are my reasons:

      • Recently I was looking for new books to buy on Amazon, and about 80% of new titles I wanted to buy simply weren't available in mass market paperback format, only in the larger, flatter paperback style that I don't like - if they were even available in paperback at all.

      • I like displaying my books on a shelf. However, after all of these years I'm out of space even just buying paperbacks. Most of my collection is sitting in a storage unit in boxes. Why add to that any more?

      • After almost 40 years of avid reading, I'm finally sick and tired of waiting an extra 12-18 months after a new book comes out before it gets released in m.m. paperback. Kindle editions come out at release date. If you read hardbacks, that's not an issue for you. But a hardback costs 2-3 times what a Kindle book costs. So unless you truly never order a new book and always borrow from a library (how inconvenient!), the money you'd save per new release over time would pay for the new Kindle AND maybe even a replacement if you lost/damaged the original.

      • I've always been super careful; I almost never lose or damage my electronics, and I already carry a smartphone around daily, along with a tablet, headphones and/or a Bluetooth speaker when I travel. So really, what's one more device to charge? It would actually save me weight/space when I travel. If going out of town for more than 1-2 days, I often carry 3-4 paperbacks with me in case I go through them all before I go home. The "thousands of books" on one device solves that issue. PLUS, if I did lose/damage my Kindle right in the middle of a story, I can D/L that same title onto my phone or tablet for free and continue right where I left off a couple of minutes earlier. With a physical book, you'd have to order/buy another one at full price, or make another library trip (and pay for the lost book there) before resuming your read.

      • It's very rare for me, but if I run across a word I don't know the exact meaning of, I'm looking forward to the ability to highlight it and see its definition instantly on the Kindle.

      • Especially if I happen to pause for a few days (or longer) when in the middle of a book, sometimes when I pick it back up and encounter a character name, or place name, or a reference to something, but I can't remember its context - but I want to before I continue on. With a physical book, I have to flip back through it sometimes page by page looking for where I saw the word before. With the Kindle I'll be able to highlight the word(s) and the Kindle will show me just those passages I want to look back at. Doing that with a single book is bad enough. But what if the term I want to re-familiarize myself with is in a prior book in the series, that's on a shelf somewhere in another room, or worse what if it's in a book packed in a box in my storage unit? Once I've had a Kindle for awhile, even if I read an earlier title 3 years ago, I'd be able to quickly pull it up from my Amazon library, find the info I'm looking for, and then switch right back to the current book. This is a clear win for the Kindle.

      • I already have an Amazon Prime account, just for the free 2-day shipping on the numerous products I buy from them on a regular basis. How much remains to be seen, but there are books available for free with Prime, and I know there is a lending library too. then, I know there's a PC app you can use to convert other eBook formats to ones the Kindle can use, so that will give me access to a bunch more possible sources of titles to read. (I'm an IT person, so that whole process is right up my alley anyway.)

      So, those were my reasons for making the jump, which I intend to do as soon as I finish the last two new paperbacks I have that I haven't read yet. I'm actually excited.