Review: The New (2019) Kindle Oasis

When the Kindle Oasis was first announced, I thought it was a bit odd, and I didn’t think it was great. I did, however, like the 2017 model, which was waterproof. The display was excellent, and I loved the extra width of the display, since I read with fairly large fonts.

Amazon has just started shipping a new model, which differs from the 2017 model by having a few more LEDs to light the display, and it now offers a warmth setting, allowing you to change the tone of the device. I like this idea, something that is common on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac, because as the day gets later and the light changes, you can have the screen change from a bluish tint to an orangish hue. I find that, in the evening, reading my Kindle Oasis without this setting feels a bit uncomfortable on my eyes. (, Amazon UK)

The body of the device is identical, and it works with the same magnetic case as the previous Oasis. The device comes with multiple storage capacities, and with and without cellular access, and is also available in a champagne gold color. (I got graphite.) It has 25 LEDs, compared to 12 for the previous model, and at first glance, this wasn’t very noticeable, but when I started reading on the Kindle, it was clear that the extra lighting made the fonts seem a bit crisper. I used to read my Oasis with the bold setting at the second level; I have lowered it on this one to the first level.

However, the “warmth” setting is interesting. By default, the new Oasis display is a bit warmer than the previous model; you can see it here: the 2017 model is on the left, the 2019 model on the right.


I’ve tried to get these colors as precise as possible. Since the screen emits light, it’s hard to get them to look exactly right, but the difference is quite visible.

The Warmth setting is available in the same place as the brightness setting. Here’s a series of photos showing the warmth at different levels, from off to the warmest possible setting.






Again, I’ve tried to get the colors as precise as possible, but it’s hard to really convey just how odd the warmest color is. It’s almost the color of a fake tan. However, upping the warmth just a bit looks very comfortable, and will make for excellent reading, though if you did like the bluish tint of the Kindle, then you might be disappointed. And if you look at both models in sunlight, with the backlighting off, the new Kindle looks a bit greenish compared to the previous model.

In practice, I found that I was comfortable with the warmth setting just up one notch. Any more than that, and it started seeming artificial. Since the default coloring of the screen is already a bit warm, it doesn’t need much more to be comfortable; however, it would simply be weird to want to put it all the way up.

It’s worth noting that I have the original fabric cover by Amazon, that was discontinued a few months after the 2017 Kindle Oasis was released. This held the device with magnets front and back. On the new Kindle, it doesn’t stick on the back, but does on the front. The current case that Amazon offers is a shell case, which I find defeats the purpose of the one-handed design of the device. To grip it correctly with one hand, you have to remove it from the case shell. So if you do have that original cover like I do, you can use it with the new Oasis, but you can’t use it as a stand (it’s Amazon’s “origami” cover that folds), since it doesn’t stick to the back of the device.

It’s fair to say that this is a very minor upgrade. If you already have and like the Kindle Oasis, you probably don’t need to upgrade. But if the addition of the warmth setting is something you find useful, and if you want some slightly sharper fonts due to the better lighting, you might want to check out the new Kindle Oasis. (, Amazon UK)

Amazon UK’s Subtle Pro-Brexit, Pro-Trump Bias

Amazon UK runs a lot of deals on Kindle ebooks. There’s a daily deal, where there books are offered, usually for £0.99, there are other occasional daily deals, and there’s a big monthly deal, with hundreds of books ranging from £0.99 to a few pounds. Lots of people take advantage of these deals to pick up books they might not have read at bargain prices, or often to begin or complete a series of books, such as mysteries, fantasy novels, etc. I check the list every month, and often find books that I’d been wanting to read; for a pound, it’s a no-brainer to buy them.

Among these deals are non-fiction books. This month, Amazon’s selection is surprisingly political; not that there are a lot of political books in the lot, but that most of them are pro-Brexit, pro-Trump, and anti-Corbyn (Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the Labour party). Here’s what you can find this month in the monthly deal selection.

This one’s thesis is very clear from its title: the EU is bad:


Here’s a biography of Jeremy Corbyn. It might not be biased, but the title is clear. It’s published by Biteback Publishing, which is owned by Michael Ascroft, former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party:


Here’s another one attacking the Labour party. Coincidentally, also published by Biteback Publishing:


In fact, it looks like Michael Ashcroft’s publishing house has quite a deal with Amazon this month. I wonder why? Perhaps because it’s likely that there will be new elections in the UK soon?


This one is also pretty clear; another from Biteback Publishing, as are all the rest of the books I cite below:


Here’s a memoir from the person who led the campaign:


A book “written” by Nigel Farage:


Here’s Ann Coulter’s pro-Trump screed:


And another pro-Trump book:


Another pro-Brexit book:


And one more for good measure:


It’s not uncommon for a publisher to offer a bunch of its titles at a discount to Amazon. (It’s worth noting that the first book above, The Great Deception, is from a different publisher, Bloomsbury, who is a generalist, not a propagandist.) But having this many books that clearly lean in a specific direction politically is dangerous. People who scan the sale titles will see these books, all clearly ideologically biased, and not see only other options at these low prices. A publisher funded by an ideological politician is selling books at bargain prices in order, perhaps, to try to sway public opinion at a time when the UK is in crisis. I think this shows Amazon’s bias as well.

The Kindle Moment

No one can ignore that the hottest book right now is Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, a narrative history of the beginning of the Trump administration. It’s the best selling book on Amazon, even though it’s not currently available in hardcover. (, Amazon UK) Originally scheduled for release on January 9, it was pushed up to the 5th to meet the demand that had been created by some carefully planned magazine excerpts, and a few tweets by the subject of the book, followed by some weak attempts to block its sale.

It’s a page-turner; I’ve read about half so far. It confirms that things are really bad in the White House, but also that they’re much worse than we could have imagined.

What’s interesting about this book is that it’s the first real Kindle moment. The first printing sold out in hours, and Amazon currently shows it as being available in 2 to 4 weeks. This estimate is probably exaggerated, because they should be able to get enough books printed in a day or two to satisfy the early demand, but it’s possible that they have so many orders already, that their next deliveries are already sold.

Unlike an iPhone, which is a physical product that often suffers from this sort of unavailability at launch, this book is also available in Kindle format. And Amazon is taking advantage of that, reminding readers that they can buy the Kindle version without waiting:

Fire and fury

You’ll note that the Kindle version currently costs more than the (unavailable) hardcover. This is a sort of surge pricing for books; why discount the hottest book of the season? It’s not a loss leader like the latest novels by Dan Brown or Stephen King, it’s a must-read that people want now, because it won’t be as interesting in a week, after many of the salacious elements are reported in the press.

It’s not often that a book like this drives demand so much that the publisher can’t keep up. Amazon is stepping in to help meet that demand, shifting a lot of readers from print to ebook. Even if they don’t have Kindles, they can read it on their phones or tablets.

Recent reports have suggested that ebook sales are sliding, but this is the kind of book that can give an unexpected bump to the format.

One note: credit is due to Amazon for policing reviews on this book. Following recent changes to Amazon’s review policy, this book can only be reviewed by verified purchasers. This weeds out the many fake reviewers that attempt to lower the ratings of controversial books. Nevertheless, at the time of this writing, more than 500 people have reviewed this book, giving it an average rating of five stars. I’m sure not all of them have read the book in its entirety, but many people are posting reviews just to say that, in spite of attempts to quash it, they’ve bought it.

There are currently 14 one-star reviews, including:

President has declared book illegal. If you read you illegal. America now great. Obey law or go gulag. Bad book. Bad writing. Go far away.


I read a lots of books more than anyone and this book is a DISGRACE.Wolff is a loser A TOTAL LOSER and everyone knows it. you know it, I know it, everyone knows it.This book is NOT FOR SMART PEOPLE. Only a very for dumb people would read this TRASH. Only very dumb people like, not the kind of book I would read because I’m one of the SMARTEST PEOPLE.


Sorry I made a mistake I want the actual book it is a present por my mom can you return it?

The Kindle Changed the Book Business. Can It Change Books? – WIRED

It’s now been a decade since Amazon unveiled the first Kindle to the world. The first model seems ridiculous in retrospect–what with the giant keyboard filled with slanted keys, the tiny second screen just for navigation, and the mostly pointless scroll wheel–but was wildly popular, selling out its initial inventory in less than six hours. Since then, the device has torn through the publishing landscape. Not only is Amazon the most powerful player in the industry, it has built an entire book-based universe all its own. “Kindle” has become a platform, not a device. Like Amazon tends to do, it entered the market and utterly subsumed it.

Interesting article about the Kindle. But I don’t see much supporting the “Can it change books?” question in the headline. The author points out the influence Amazon has in the publishing industry, but the only suggestions of change are vague and nebulous.

The Kindle they’ve always imagined is thin as paper, as light as paper, as flexible and durable as paper.

Perhaps, but a sheet of paper isn’t that durable, and I don’t think we’ll see a Kindle that thin for some time, at least until some sort of battery technology is invented that allows for paper-thin batteries. But the ideal Kindle wouldn’t be paper; it would be, perhaps, like the latest Kindle Oasis, perhaps a bit thinner, but still sturdy enough to hold on to.

Ebooks have been taking a hit recently, but I think this is cyclical. I know lots of people who swear by their Kindles, and many others, like me, who are avid readers and use read both the Kindle and print books. I find myself using the Kindle more and more, as publishers seem to be shrinking font sizes recently. Since a smaller font means fewer pages, and less expense, they are tempted, but they’re often making print books unreadable to those of us with aging eyes (the majority of readers). The Kindle allows me to set the font to a comfortable size, even one large enough so I don’t need to use reading glasses.

Source: The Kindle Changed the Book Business. Can It Change Books? | WIRED

Amazon Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, Waterproof), First Impressions

I’ve owned just about every Kindle, with the exception of the first, very large model with keyboard. As an avid reader, I have welcomed the experience of reading on a dedicated device, and the ability to store lots of books and read in many font sizes. The latest Kindle Oasis is the first model of this device to be waterproof (finally), and it also features a larger screen than the other current models. (, Amazon UK)

Being waterproof is a great idea, for the bath, the beach, and the pool (for those who have the latter). It’s still a bit pricey, but they’ve lowered the price a bit. And it comes with either 8 GB or 32 GB storage; the larger capacity is only $30 more. You won’t need that storage for books, but if you want to put audiobooks on it, it will come in handy. (That’s new to the Kindle Oasis too.) And you can get a cellular model for a bit more.

It’s an improvement on the first Kindle Oasis, which was a two-part device, with an additional battery in its magnetic case. The new Oasis is a standalone device, with a bit of a hump on one side, meant for reading one-handed. You can buy a case, which works like the older Oasis’s second part, and it might be a good idea to do so to protect the screen. (I’ve been putting my Kindles in sleeves or cases since I damaged one; miraculously, however, the screen damage healed itself some months after I dinged it.)

The new Kindle Oasis has the nicest display of any Kindle yet. In the past, Kindles have been plagued by uneven lighting; it was sometimes a crapshoot with different models, whether you’d see the LED bleed on the bottom or the side of the display. If you look at the photos in my review of the original Kindle Oasis, you can see that the lighting is uneven. But on the new model, it’s very smooth, with just some additional brightness at the bottom (which doesn’t show up in the photo below).

Kindle oasis

The new Oasis is also fast; page turns are fast, accessing menus is fast, and even typing is faster than before. It’s still got a bit of a lag, but you no longer have to wait to see a letter display before trying the next one when you’re searching for something.

I find the device well balanced, even though all the weight is on one side. It’s easy to hold in one hand – though I have large hands – and, like the previous model, it’s designed to use with either hand: the display flips when you turn it upside down. The buttons are tactile, and have enough travel (unlike on the Kindle Voyage), and you hear a satisfying click when you press them.

The latest Kindle software (which was not installed on my Oasis; I had to download it and manually update the device) adds some useful features for readability. There are more font sizes, and five font weights (levels of boldness), making it a lot easier to find a comfortable font. I’ve long appreciated the Kindle for the ability to use larger fonts; I’m able to read it without reading glasses, which is a lot more comfortable.

The screen – 7″ compared to 6″ on the other device – is a bit taller and wider, and this works well to make longer lines of text, especially with larger fonts. The bezels are a bit smaller, which, as you can see below, makes for much more text on a page.

Kindle oaisis2

You can also see above that the display’s color is a bit warmer, which is good if you read at night (or at least that’s what science seems to think these days).

All in all, this is certainly the best Kindle display I’ve seen, and, while the price is high, the added size makes it a great choice for people who read a lot, especially with larger fonts. If you can read with smaller fonts, you might want to opt for one of the other devices – smaller and cheaper – but if you want the most comfortable display, then this is it. Oh, and it’s waterproof… (I haven’t tested this yet). (, Amazon UK)

Amazon Improves Kindle Readability

Amazon today announced a new waterproof Kindle, and they also announced some new typography features that will roll out to devices from 2013 and later.

  • New Font Size and Bold Settings: Now choose from more font sizes than ever before–and five levels of boldness–for whichever font you choose to read with. Combined with the new, 7-inch Paperwhite display, you can personalize your books so it’s perfectly comfortable for your eyes.
  • New Accessibility Options: In addition to the OpenDyslexic font, we’ve added a feature to invert black and white on the display if you have light sensitivity. The new enlarged display option also lets you increase the size of items like the text on the home screen and library as well as the book icons to make the all-new Kindle Oasis easier to read.
  • Ragged Right Alignment: You can now read using left-aligned (ragged right) text.

Amazon says:

Starting today, the new size and bold settings as well as ragged right alignment will be delivered as a free, over-the-air update to Kindle Paperwhite (Gen 6 released in 2013), plus all newer Kindle devices.

These are good changes. I prefer reading on my iPad mini, in part because it has more font sizes. If I try to make the font on my Kindles big enough, it’s too big; this means there will be not only more fonts in between those sizes (sort of largish and very large), and different weights, making it a lot better for each reader to find their optimal font.

The New Kindle Oasis is Waterproof

I’ve long wanted a waterproof Kindle to read in the bath. Amazon just announced the new Kindle Oasis, which is waterproof. (, Amazon UK)

Great idea, for the bath, the beach, and the pool (for those who have the latter). It’s still a bit pricey, but they’ve lowered the price a bit. And it comes with either 8 GB or 32 GB storage; the larger capacity is only $30 more. You won’t need that storage for books, but if you want to put audiobooks on it, it will come in handy. (That’s new to the Kindle Oasis too.) And you can get a cellular model for a bit more.

Note that this Kindle Oasis doesn’t come in two parts like the previous model. Amazon does sell a fabric cover, that seems to cling to the device by magnets (, Amazon UK) and a leather version of the same case (, Amazon UK).

I’m tempted.

Amazon Updates its Basic Kindle, and Tweaks the Paperwhite with a New Color

I’m not a fan of the basic Kindle, the non-backlit version, that is simply called Kindle. (, Amazon UK) I find it hard to read indoors, and I greatly prefer the backlight. Amazon has just updated this device, with a new thinner, lighter model retailing for $80 or £60. It’s not a big update, but if you use the simplest model of the Kindle, and yours is getting long in the teeth, this might be the time to update.

They have also added a new color to the Kindle: it now comes in both black and white.

New kindle

Amazon has also added the new color to the $120 / £110 Paperwhite. (, Amazon UK) It, too, comes in both black and white, but that’s the only change they’ve made to this device.

From the photos, it doesn’t look white, but rather off-white, closer to the color of the original Kindle. I’m not sure I’d like a white Kindle; it might be too distracting to have the white body when reading; then again, this color is closer to the color of the page background, and perhaps it would be easier to read.

In any case, there’s no rose gold model, in case you were waiting for that color…

Review: Kindle Oasis, an Interesting Ebook Reader

My initial thoughts when the Kindle Oasis (, Amazon UK) was announced was that it was a WTF ebook reader. With an odd shape, a case with a built-in battery, and a stratospheric price, it simply didn’t make sense. Nevertheless, I ordered one in order to try it out and see if I was wrong. I think I was, in part.

The Kindle Oasis comes in two parts: the reader itself, and a leather case that contains a battery. The two link together using magnets, so when you slip the reader into the case, it automatically starts charging, if there’s any power in the case’s battery.

Oasis two parts

Oasis in case

The two items together weight 230g, a bit more than the Kindle Voyage, which is 179g. However, if I add the felt case I use with my Voyage, it comes to 219g, so there’s not much of a difference. The Oasis is a bit wider, but not as tall as the Voyage, yet the display on both devices is the same size.

Oaisis voyage

As with the iPad smart cover, the Kindle Oasis wakes up when you open the cover of its case. It’s very quick, so you can start reading immediately. You can read the device with the case on, folding back the cover, or you can remove the reader, which then weighs only 131g. The only downside I see to the case is that it doesn’t cover the entire back of the Oasis, because of the way the reader connects to the case.

Oaisis back

The case is interesting. When the Kindle Oasis is connected to the case, and you tap the Settings button, you can see the charge levels of the device and the case. But to charge the entire unit, you have to connect the Oasis itself, not the case, which means that you charge the two together. I would have preferred being able to charge the case on its own, then slip the reader in the case to charge it.

It’s interesting to see that the battery indicator at the top of the display – which you see when you tap in that area – shows the battery level of the case, if the reader is connected to the case, or of the reader, if not. You don’t get a sort of hybrid battery level indicator, which might be more useful. however, tap the Settings button to see the charge levels of each one, in percentages.

Oasis charge

Now to the reader itself. I thought the one-handedness of the device was a bit wacky when I first saw it, but once I held it in my hand I could see why Amazon designed it like this. I generally hold my Kindles with two hands, but you can still do that; you just grip the right side, and steady the device with your left hand. Or, if you prefer, turn it the other way; like an iPad, the display automatically flips.

There are two physical buttons on the wider side of the reader – gone are the press-and-pray buttons of the Voyage – and the are set up so the top button goes to the next page, the bottom button to the previous page. You can change this is the settings (as I did; it seems to make more sense to me that the bottom button is the next button).

The display is an improvement on the Kindle Voyage, with more LEDs to light the page. However, mine seems a bit cloudy on the right side of the display where the LEDs are. While the extra light makes the display a bit crisper – it’s the same resolution, 300 ppm – it’s not that different from the Voyage. However, comparing the two, the Voyage is noticeably bluer. Perhaps Amazon has made the display warmer because of the theory that bluish displays prevent you from sleeping.

Surprisingly, the Oasis doesn’t have an auto-brightness option like the Voyage. This means that you’ll need to manually change the brightness if you’re reading, say, in the evening as it gets darker. Also, battery life of the reader is poor; reading for about an hour, with the light fairly bright, I found the reader was down to 63% of its battery. This means that you have roughly three to six hours of reading time, if you use the backlight; considerably more if the backlight is turned off and you’re reading outside. But since there’s no auto-brightness, you’ll need to remember to lower the brightness to save battery. Of course, all you need to do is put it back in the case to charge it, but woe betide you if you ever lose or forget the case!

Page turns are faster than with the Voyage, but typing is just as slow. When you’re used to typing on a tablet or smartphone, you immediately realize that you have to pause after each letter when typing on any Kindle.

The Oasis offers some different fonts from the Voyage. There is Amazon Ember, a sans serif font, and there’s no Futura or OpenDyslexic. If you depend on the latter, you’ll want to stick with the Voyage.

(Update: My Kindle Oasis updated the day after I bought it, and both the missing fonts are now available.)

We have to discuss the price. At $290 or £270, the Kindle Oasis is expensive. That’s $90 or £100 more than the Kindle Voyage, and it makes this a luxury ebook reader. If you add the cost of a case – Amazon charges a fortune for their leather cases, $85 or £80 for the Kindle Voyage’s case – it comes out a lot closer than it looks. However, that’s a lot of money for a case. To be fair, this case has a battery, that claims to offer “months of combined battery life.”

Should you buy the Kindle Oasis? If you don’t have a Kindle Voyage, and you want to upgrade your device, I’d consider it, but only if you have money to burn. The Voyage is nearly as good, and even the Paperwhite is a fine ebook reader. If you don’t count your dollars or pounds, and use the Kindle a lot, I’d recommend the Oasis. You’ll probably like the overall lightness of the device (when not in the case), and the ease of charging. It’s a nifty idea, one that’s not perfect – especially because the case doesn’t protect the entire back of the reader – but one that makes sense if you read a lot.

So check out the Kindle Oasis (, Amazon UK) if you’re willing to spend this much to read ebooks. But there’s no hurry; it looks like it won’t be in stock until June 1, so you have plenty of time to make up your mind.

Kindle Oasis Is a Reality Check for Design Snobs – Khoi Vinh

Would it be so hard to make these devices and this software not ugly? Given Amazon’s resources and willingness to invest heavily in all kinds of crazy technological baubles, it seems well within the company’s reach to ship a Kindle that looks like it costs more than the cover price of a hardback bestseller to manufacture; it probably wouldn’t take much more effort to make sure the typography engine features a halfway decent hyphenation and justification algorithm, too.

Designer Khoi Vinh makes a good point. While he says that the new Kindle Oasis is an improvement on the design of the Kindle, he highlights how Amazon simply refuses to spend the time and money to make the display more like a book. The company did release a new font, called Bookerly, last year, which is well-adapted to reading ebooks. But hyphenation and justification are awful.

Interestingly, I came across this article in the Guardian today that says that, according to a study by Kobo, “three quarters of the most active readers are women over 45.” Many of these readers prefer genre fiction – notably romances – and appreciate the ability to change the font size to something more readable than what many paperbacks use.

I agree that the variable font size is one of the best features with any ebook device. I need reading glasses, but I prefer reading my Kindle with a large enough font that I don’t use the glasses. It’s pretty big, and I need to turn “pages” more often, but it’s more comfortable.

Source: Kindle Oasis Is a Reality Check for Design Snobs +