Amazon's Kindle line-up often receives small refreshes, and this week, it's the turn of the Kindle Oasis, the company's premium ebook reader.
The changes aren't drastic, just small quality of life adjustments. But, the price won't change much either. That's good news for anyone who has been eyeing up an Oasis recently, but it's also a blocker for most people looking for a more budget-friendly Kindle.
Is the time right to grab the Oasis, or is the Paperwhite still king when it comes to value?
What's New with the Kindle Oasis?
Honestly, not much. The new standout feature that Amazon is promoting is ‘adjustable warm light'. This allows you to change the display color from classic white, to a warmer amber, with degrees of brightness in between. This is designed to make it easier to read the Oasis in different lighting conditions, and the warm amber color is also easier on the eyes. This should be good new for night owls who like to read in bed.
So called ‘night mode' lighting is nothing new if you own a smartphone or tablet. Both Google and Apple have rolled out similar features in the past to give our poor eyes a break from harsh white light as we scroll through memes at 3AM (we've all been there, nobody is judging you). New sensors in the Oasis means that it can adjust the lighting automatically, detecting when dusk falls and adjusting as your room darkens.
It's a new addition to the Kindle line-up, and does give the Oasis a unique feature to boast about. That's important considering that it's Amazon's most expensive model (at $249), and seems a little light on ‘must-have' functions.
Is the Oasis the Best Kindle to Buy?
Really, was the Oasis ever essential? Probably not – good as it is, it's hard to find a good reason to choose the Oasis over the other Kindle models. The problem comes from the fact that the mid-range Kindle, the Paperwhite, got kitted out as waterproof in its last update. Until then, this was the Oasis' killer feature.
Yes, there are a few smaller differences. The Oasis is larger, has page-turn buttons and can rotate the page orientation automatically. But none of these are likely to compel the average person to spend the extra $120 it would cost to upgrade from the Paperwhite, which starts at $129.
The amber light addition to the Oasis is a nice touch, but doesn't quite push it over the edge when it comes to our recommendations for the best Kindle. We still believe that the Paperwhite represents excellent value for money. If you have sensitive eyes or are an avid nighttime reader, you may well be swayed by the Oasis – but you'll have to extend your budget big-time.
Want to learn more? Check out our guide to buying the best Kindle
When is the Kindle Oasis Available?
Amazon will start shipping the new Kindle Oasis models as of next month, with the official release date scheduled as July 24. You can pre-order the new model right now to ensure that you have it delivered on the day of release.
The Oasis starts at $249, the same model as the previous incarnation, for the 8GB version, although the 32GB one will cost you $279.
Here's how the new Amazon Oasis Kindle stacks up against its siblings:
Scroll horizontally to see the entire table on a mobile device
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