It’s been several months since Amazon introduced its Kindle Oasis (10th generation), and going by the usual Kindle launch cycles, this should remain the flagship Kindle to buy through 2020.
Compared to the last Oasis, which ushered in many significant changes, not much has changed this cycle with the third Oasis iteration. In fact, the very existence of the new model is justified by one major change – the warm lighting.
So, how big a deal is the warm lighting on the Kindle Oasis 2019? We have been testing the new Kindle for many weeks now and will answer all relevant questions in our review that follows.
Kindle Oasis (10th Gen) Price and Specifications
|Model||Kindle Oasis 10th generation (2019)|
|Display||7-inch display, 300 PPI, 25 LEDs
Adjustable warm light
|Dimensions and weight||159 x 141 x 3.4-8.3 mm; 194 grams|
|Audible integration||Not in India|
|Storage||8GB, 32GB; Free cloud storage for Amazon content|
|Battery||Up to 6 weeks|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, limited 4G, Bluetooth, micro USB port|
|Water resistance||IPX8 (can last in 2m deep freshwater for 60 minutes)|
|Price in India||
Display: How well does the warm light work?
Let’s first address the major change. Kindle Oasis now has additional yellow LEDs (shooting the total up from 12 to 25) that can help adjust the color temperature to warmer tones.
How big a difference this makes should depend on how sensitive you are too harsh Bluelight and on how you use your ebook reader.
The warm lighting doesn’t exactly work like the Blue light filter on our phones.
The USP of ebook readers is that they are significantly lighter on eyes compared to regular phones, laptops or tablets. This is because they employ less responsive but glare-free e-ink displays. The LEDs that light up the screen are on the edges and not behind the display, and even on minimum brightness, the screen is perfectly readable provided the ambient lighting is proper.
The warm lighting works in conjunction with the System Brightness. The yellow tint is more conspicuous at high-brightness or when using the Kindle Oasis in the dark. Since we prefer keeping our Kindle screen on low to medium brightness, what we lived with was a more nuanced and natural paper yellow.
For a device whose very existence depends on reducing eye-strain, this is a change that significantly matters. Once you have tasted these warm whites, it’s remarkably hard to go back to the regular Kindle models.
Kindle Oasis still doesn’t get the warm adjustment right automatically. You’d have to fiddle back and forth with the brightness and warm light combinations to narrow down on what perfectly works for you.
In comparison, the auto-brightness has been improved and isn’t half as distracting as it used to be. We still prefer manual adjustment.
Design and Ergonomics
As mentioned above, the design remains similar to the last generation Kindle Oasis. If you are coming from Kindle Paperwhite or the smaller (first) Oasis, the bigger size might feel daunting at first, but this is something we got used to rather quickly.
The metal casing imparts a sophisticated elegance but can get a bit uncomfortable to touch in cold weather – a simple case should work as an appropriate fix.
The kindle Oasis sits perfectly in our hands and is not bothersome at all during extended reading sessions. The page turn buttons are perfectly positioned.
Just as the last generation Oasis and the current generation Paperwhite, the new Oasis is water and dust resistant. A year spent with last-gen Kindle Oasis is testimony enough for the solid build. The glass on the screen is extremely solid and extremely resistant to scratches.
The only downside is the regular micro USB port. For the premium asking price, Amazon could have certainly afforded to license the Type-C port. This is particularly bothersome because users hold on to their Kindles for several years and the regular micro USB port is already obsolete.
Performance and Battery
The new Kindle Oasis is slightly faster than the last one. The difference is noticeable if not consequential. We have the LTE variant with us that comes with 32GB storage and allows you to access Amazon services and Wikipedia highlights on the go.
Audible integration doesn’t work in India, but if you are into audiobooks you may ask customer support to change the region settings of your Amazon account to global and then access audible on your Kindle Oasis. The workaround is arduous and probably not worth it for most of us.
Which is also why you’d be better off with the base Oasis model. The limited 4G and extra storage don’t make much of a difference – particularly in the light of missing audible support.
Speaking of connectivity, another spot of bother is the missing 5GHz Wi-Fi support. However, since we only need data intermittently, this is one flaw that’s easier to ignore.
The Kindle software is unified across all models. The exhaustive content library is what lends Amazon a formidable advantage. You can borrow quite a few titles for free if you have Prime or Kindle Unlimited subscription. Being a long term kindle user, we are yet to run into a book not listed in Amazon’s library. And most of the books cost lesser than paperbacks.
You can sideload books and documents as well. Kindle supports MOBI and AWZ. EPUBs are not yet supported.
With the 10th generation upgrade, we were kind of hoping that the browser that has been experimental since forever would see some refinements. Guess that’ll have to wait.
We have also noticed improvements in battery life. The new Oasis last longer and depending on our usage, the mileage ranged between 1-3 weeks. Moreover, the battery charges really fast. We could squeeze a week’s worth of reading time with just 15 to 20 minutes of charging. Of course, the battery depletes a lot faster if you have the brightness cranked up.
Kindle Oasis (10th gen) Review: Should you buy it in 2020?
The Kindle Oasis is still the best ebook reader out there and Kindle enthusiasts are still loyal to a fault. Perhaps these are factors keeping Amazon from going the whole hog with the new update.
The lack of any design refinements with the new Oasis is mildly disappointing, but understandable considering the long upgrade cycles Kindle enthusiasts stick to. Amazon’s persistence with the micro USB port is a bit jarring though. Other than that, the new Kindle enhances several other aspects of the last Oasis in meaningful ways without any increase in price.
The Kindle Oasis (10th gen) costs a pretty penny, and we understand why the popular opinion deems it overpriced. Sure you can get most of the specs and features on the Kindle Paperwhite 10th gen, but if you are into reading ebooks, or into reading books, shelling the extra 7K for the Oasis experience is surely worth it.
If you are in India, the Wi-Fi-only model with 8GB storage that costs 21,999 is the one we’d recommend.
- Warm lighting is helpful
- Elegant design
- Tough Water-resistant body
- Excellent content library
- Excellent battery backup
- Still no USB Type-C port
- No 5GHz Wi-Fi support