The New Kindle Oasis Review (10th Gen)

The New Kindle Oasis Review (10th Gen)

I'm talking about the third gen Kindle Oasis – the one from this year, 2019. I bring that up because there are so many Kindles, and a lot of people mix the first gen, with the 2nd gen, and then not know about the third gen. One way to tell the newest gen is the quote at the top of the box by Betty Smith, "The world was her's for the reading."

The third gen is the newest one with the warm light function, and also happens to be the flagship kindle e-reader device, and the best ever produced by Amazon's Kindle division. It also costs a hefty penny, starting out at $249.99 for the lowest end model with 8GB and Special Offers. It is currently sold out, but Amazon makes so many of these it won't be long before they come back in stock.

What comes in the super slim packaging is a super slim Kindle Oasis, a decent Amazon Basics micro-USB cord, and a little quick start paper. For $249.99, you'd think you'd get at least a power adapter.

I got my Kindle Oasis about a day before the official release date, so I recorded a video unboxing and my first impressions. :

My full on Unboxing and First Impressions

I had never actually owned the first Kindle Oasis so the video was really my first impressions of the whole series so far (the first gen was released in 2017 and is now at a comparatively better price than this generation even for the top of the line 32GB model.) So like many reviewers, we might have neglected to focus on the warm light feature that is the one major difference between this one and the previous gen.

But back to the un-boxing and some questions some of you might have after watching the video.

Yes, there was a dent. Brand new Kindle, came in undamaged box. It wasn't the carrier's fault as far as I can tell, so it must have happened much earlier in the manufacturing process.

No, it was not major at all, but i could feel it none-the-less under really close scrutiny. You can kind of see it in the video. Well maybe if you watch it in 4k. And no, I didn't think it was a big enough of an issue to return the unit but it still left a mildly bad taste in my mouth and experience. I hope that wasn't the case with yours, and some viewers have reported back that their's was not affected.

I did finally return the unit, but only because I also discovered a stuck pixel too. One that leaves the LED on bright.

The customer service person asked me to take a photo/video of the dent. They didn't mention at the time, but it seems they wanted to pass along my newly discovered defects to their engineering team to figure it out. In fact, they gave me some Amazon promotional credit to drop it off at UPS for next day service if I would do it quickly – which I did.

Now that I'm on the topic of the display, I should note that its 300dpi, which is about as good as a laser printer page of text. Its perfectly find for reading. The real star of the show is of course the new LED array and the warm light function which I go into detail in my video.

Check out my more critical comparison video about the warm light below.

Follow Up Video on the New Front Lights

If after watching the video and deciding that you don't need warm lights, or that you use your own 'warm' lights on your nightstand, then there really isn't a need to get this newest gen model. Just get the previous model with all the bells and whistles with free cellular data to boot.

But if you're the type that has trouble sleeping at night, and have already vowed to put away the smartphone at least an hour before bedtime, and like to read something light before you go to sleep – that warm light might make the difference for the speed at which you get to sleep leading to a more well rested night. That's worth it isn't it?

I would say, yes its worth it if you have the cash to burn, and need all the motivation to cross off that goal of reading a good book a week. Otherwise, I'd say to consider getting an older Kindle or the new Kindle Paperwhite which now comes in two colors, and is also waterproof for half the price!

Still not convinced to skip this one?

OK, lets talk about what else makes this the flagship device.

Amazon's Ultimate Reading Device Breakdown

  1. 25 LEDs, adjust from cool to warm. Full screen uniform coverage.
  2. Larger display. Largest screen at 7" (of current Kindle devices)
  3. Super slim and lightweight. 180 grams.
  4. Premium build quality feel. Metal back.
  5. Physical page turn buttons as well as touchscreen.
  6. Water resistance, up to 2 Meters of water for an hour.
  7. Bluetooth, for Audio Books
  8. As close to reading a lit piece of paper book as it gets in 2019.
  9. Adaptive light control.

One thing of note that changed from the 2017 model was the way the magnets work on the screen. The positioning and polarity are set such that if you had a third party Kindle Oasis case for a 2017 model, the auto-wake and auto-sleep functionality might not work as anticipated. This is one of the reasons why if you search for a case for the new Oasis, many of the sellers will mention that it is not compatible with the new 2019 model for this reason alone. But if you just want it for protection, size and dimensions wise it shouldn't be a problem.

One of the three buttons is a power button.

While I haven't done a major battery test, Amazon claims the batteries should last 6 weeks. I think thats if you aren't reading! I read for a few hours on the bus and the battery life seemed to drain quite a bit faster than ever. This may have to do with the 25 LEDs and auto light settings I had on. So if you want 6 weeks, turn off everything, the front lighting, the bluetooth, the Wifi, and cellular if you had it. Then… only then might you hope to achieve such a long time without charging.

One problem I had with the design is that its so slim (and slippery) in certain circumstances. But I suspect this is part of their strategy to sell you a custom case for the Oasis that balances out the slim part of the Kindle with the wedge that no double holds the battery. This might not make sense until I have a case to demonstrate. Chances are you will want a protective case though. As well built as the Kindle is, I doubt it would survive the same type of fall the older plastic kindles went through.

Fun fact! I traded in my 1st Gen Kindle for this 10th gen.

While the buttons on the side are welcome, I feel like the touch screen and interface are well honed to one handed reading already. Rarely did I use them in a three hour reading session I had earlier this month.

The only port – micro USB

There is exactly one port, and that's sadly a micro USB port. Why in 2019 hasn't everybody switched to USB-C already I will never understand. Even Apple has given in to this. And while I appreciate a micro-USB cable being included, somehow I felt a premium device of this price should have also included an AC Adapter to USB also in the packaging, and that it should also be super thin.

One user commented about how slow the screen refresh appeared to be. How sluggish the interface was. I think its OK for an eBook reader with e-Ink technology where readability, battery life, and light weight are more important. But I can see where a speed reader might find reading a real printed book supporting faster page flipping might be a better choice. I'm no super speed reader, and I suspect you aren't either so for us, the speed should be sufficient.

While I kind of wish there was a headphone jack for my Audio books, I'm not going to hold it against the Oasis. Apple did away with the headphone jack years ago, and even Samsung has rid themselves of the jack in their latest smartphones, the Note 10 and 10+.

As far as bluetooth, it would be neat to have some functionality to type up notes with a bluetooth keyboard. But sadly, its for audio output. Who doesn't have a smartphone already that can stream Kindle via bluetooth already?

Should you get the 32 GB version?

I didn't. The price difference is just $40. I figured if I were reading manga, comics, or illustrations – I'd prefer reading those on my iPad. One other use case is if you listen to a lot of Audio Books, and don't want your smartphone to do double duty on top of everything else you have it do as a small pocket computer.

Ask yourself. Do you really need to carry around a virtual library with you? If you do, 32 GB. I've survived on 4 GB for years – but then again I remove books I've read all the time.

Should you get cellular connectivity?

I also didn't get this. I've owned about 7 different kindles (apparently). I got cellular connectivity on a few of them and found out that I'm always by wifi. I don't need it. If you aren't usually by wifi, then maybe you should. There is no monthly fee.

Note that the cellular connectivity is primarily for wikipedia, very light web browsing (think dial-up slow), and for purchasing books and downloading subscriptions while on the go. At this time I see there is an AT&T version for international use, and I think one more but I don't see it available right now.

Also, if you plan on using the translate feature a lot while not around Wifi – this also might be worth it. The cellular option is an extra $100 USD though.

Speaking of international connectivity. There was precisely one use case I had for this, and that was when I was traveling through Asia, it served as a way for me to get my email and send basic messages out. But that was well over 10 years ago, and I have T-Mobile international coverage now so I see no point in adding cellular on this.

Special Offers or No Special Offers?

I went with special offers purely for the $30 in savings. You can always upgrade to remove these ads later by paying the difference. So why not save the money now and see if the ads bother your reading experience? They don't to me, but maybe because I'm so used to seeing ads everywhere anyway.

Verdict

This is the most advanced Kindle I have ever used. I'm not even going to use all the advanced functions and features it has to offer. Its the flagship model, and it is absolutely brilliant. Literally and figuratively.

Also, if you haven't tried Kindle Unlimited. You should. Trial offer here.

I'd also steer you towards Audible. But its probably better on other devices, like your smartphone.

Yes, the Kindle Oasis 2019 model is an easy recommend. But the Kindle Paperwhite is great already.

If you don't read as much, or are a poor college student, you're better off getting the Kindle Paperwhite. If only that model existed, and not the current gen Oasis, everyone would be quite happy with it already. But side by side with this model its like comparing a Toyota with a Tesla. Both get the job done, but the Tesla is where the future is going.

This review will most likely be updated at some point after I get more use under my belt on this new Oasis. This is not a sponsored review. I paid for all the Kindle's myself. Links may be affiliate links which support my site and work here. Thank you for using any.

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