If you’re a voracious reader and you like to travel, then an e-book reader is the ideal device for you. Many of the best e-book readers are made by Amazon, but working out which model to go for is easier said than done. Much depends on what features you crave. Should you push the boat out and go for the top-of-the-line Kindle Oasis? Or, should you save yourself some cash to buy more books and opt for the more affordable Kindle Paperwhite?
Amazon has continued to refresh its range over the years, but the choice between its two top models is still a tough one to make. Here’s how the choice between the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite breaks down and which one you should buy.
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|Kindle Oasis (2019)||Kindle Paperwhite (2018)
|Size||159 × 141 × 3.4-8.4mm (6.3 × 5.6 × 0.13-0.33 inches)||167 × 116 × 8.18mm (6.6 × 4.6 × 0.3 inches)|
|Weight||188 grams (6.6 ounces)||182 grams (6.41 ounces)|
|Screen resolution||1,680 × ,1264 pixels (300 pixels per inch)||1,448 × 1,072 pixels (300 pixels per inch)|
|Storage space||8GB, 32GB|
|MicroSD card slot||No||No|
|Ports||Micro USB||Micro USB|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi and cellular||Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi and cellular|
|Battery||6 weeks based on 30 minutes of reading a day||6 weeks based on 30 minutes of reading a day|
|Colors||Champagne gold, graphite||Black, sage, plum, twilight blue|
|Review score||4.5 out of 5 stars||4 out of 5 stars|
Design, durability, and display
There’s a big difference between the Oasis and Paperwhite in the looks department. While the Oasis boasts a svelte aluminum body, with a thicker section at one side that houses physical turn page buttons, the Paperwhite is matte plastic, with chunkier bezels around the smaller screen and no physical turn page buttons. The Oasis comes in a choice of graphite or champagne gold, but the Paperwhite turns the tables with a selection of black, sage, plum, or twilight blue.
Both e-book readers have an IPX8 rating, which means splashes and rain are nothing to worry about; in fact, they’re protected against immersion in up to 6.5 feet of fresh water for up to an hour.
But the new Oasis has really shown its quality where the display is concerned. While the Oasis and Paperwhite both have sharp screens rated at 300 pixels per inch, there are some important differences. For a start, the Oasis has a bigger 7-inch screen, while the Paperwhite has a 6-inch display. But, most importantly in our book, only the Oasis allows you to filter out blue light at night if you want to, making nighttime reading a more pleasurable experience.
While both devices use LEDs to light up the screen, the Oasis also boasts more LEDs than the Paperwhite, so it offers more lighting levels and better uniformity around the screen. Both devices support automatic brightness, but we found that it worked a lot better with the Oasis, whereas we often had to manually adjust the Paperwhite.
Winner: Kindle Oasis
Performance, battery life, and charging
Amazon doesn’t specify processors and RAM in its e-book readers, but the Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite were both responsive and slick to navigate. Side-by-side, the Kindle Oasis is a touch faster to turn pages and respond to touches a little faster, so it seems likely that it has a little extra processing power under the hood.
There’s no stated battery capacity, as Amazon prefers to describe battery life for both Kindles as up to six weeks from a single charge based on half an hour of reading a day. However, it stands to reason the Oasis must have a bigger battery, since it has a bigger display to power. Both, unfortunately, rely upon a Micro USB port for charging — and this particularly stings on the $270 Oasis. However, the Oasis wins back some goodwill with it taking just two hours to fully charge from a 5W charger and around three hours from a computer USB port. The Paperwhite, on the other hand, took three hours and four hours, respectively, to do the same.
With weeks of battery life, you’ll not need to worry about longevity with any Kindle. However, with a touch more smoothness, the Oasis wins here.
Winner: Kindle Oasis
Software and updates
The software on the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite is largely identical; there are just a few extra options with the Oasis. That means both have features like Whispersync, which lets you keep your place across devices, and both come with optional ads on the lock screen, which lowers the price. They both come with either 8GB or 32GB of storage and, while there’s no room for expansion via MicroSD card, you do get free cloud storage for all your Amazon content. We would expect software updates to be on the same schedule for both devices.
Neither device has speakers or headphone ports, but both have Bluetooth capabilities that allow you to stream Audible audiobooks to a Bluetooth speaker or headphones. If you’re willing to pay extra, you can upgrade both devices to get cellular and Wi-Fi services. The only other special features worth noting are the Oasis’s page turn buttons, which are an excellent touch for those reluctant to start using an e-reader, and a blue-light filter, which decreases the sleep-robbing effects of the screen.
Winner: Kindle Oasis
Price and availability
As of this writing, the Kindle Oasis is available starting at $270, and the Kindle Paperwhite is available starting at $150. That said, it’s worth keeping an eye out for bargains that tend to pop up during Cyber Week 2020. The good news is that you’ll often find Amazon Kindle devices on sale. As one of the Internet titan’s biggest sellers, you’ll find both varieties of Kindle anywhere you can find Amazon, and the versions with LTE will work anywhere with a reliable 4G signal. Wi-Fi features are similarly accessible, so you can download books wherever you can find a connection.
Overall winner: Kindle Oasis
When it comes to which of Amazon’s e-book readers is the best, there’s no question that the Kindle Oasis wins. It features a larger screen, a blue light filter, and a unique design. With significant differences in only two main design features, you don’t have to feel bad about opting for the cheaper yet comparable Kindle Paperwhite if it’s all your budget currently allows. You’ll get a crisp display and a waterproof design, plus an extra $120 to spend on e-books.
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