Reading is fun. I rarely have time for long hours of reading, therefore most of my reading time were short sessions I managed to get between other activities and occasional late night reading. My choice of e-reader is Kindle, simply because it’s the only major product offering cloud sync for custom files. With this feature, I could add my own e-book (books not from Amazon store) into my account, send it into the cloud storage and read it in any of my devices. At night I use Kindle. At daytime I use iPhone or iPad depending on situation. My last read position and bookmarks are automatically synced across my devices and I couldn’t be happier. Until the day Kobo offers this feature, I could not even consider their devices.
My Kindle Paperwhite from 2015 was still running strong. However, the idea of a Kindle with physical button and better ergonomic design has always been at the back of my mind for quite some time. Kindle Oasis offers these, but the price tag is steep and I kept on postponing my plan to upgrade. When I read that the newest Kindle Oasis model (2019, 10th generation) offers warm light for night time reading, I decided to give it a try.
Kindle Oasis 3 comes in 3 variants: 8GB, 32GB and 32GB with LTE. I don’t buy a lot of books from Amazon store. Most of my book are external files obtained from a number of third party sources. Therefore LTE model does not really give me significant benefit. 8 GB is plenty of storage for text-based e-books and it’s double the capacity of my old Kindle Paperwhite (4 GB), so it’s an ideal choice for most people. 32 GB is a dream-come-true model for readers with a lot of books containing images (for example: comic books).
Unlike Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis has non symmetrical design. One side has much bigger bezel with 2 buttons to turn pages. By default, upper button will go to next page and the other will go previous page. Luckily, we can change this in setting. When we hold Kindle Oasis using left hand, it will detect the orientation and automatically rotate the screen. The button function will also be adjusted. This is very convenient because the upper button with bezel on right-side will be the bottom button when we hold this kindle with bezel on the left.
The back of Kindle Oasis 3 is not flat. The side with bigger bezel and buttons is thicker and serves another purpose to hold the reader. I was a bit skeptical with such design at the beginning, but was quickly impressed with how comfortable it is to hold my new Kindle. The aluminum back feels nice and solid. It has a wedge-shaped grip, making it effortless to hold this reader for long hours reading.
According to Amazon site, Kindle Oasis 3 should weigh 188 gr. However, I used my own scale and it showed 186 gr instead. The same scale produced accurate weight for my iPhone and iPad so I have reasonable trust on its accuracy. Either way I am not complaining with my device end up being lighter than promised in the website. For comparison, My old Kindle Paperwhite 2015 weighs 206 gr. If reading near water is a concern for you, Kindle Oasis 2019 is IPX8 rated to protect against immersion in up to two metres of fresh water for up to 60 minutes.
Did I mention that Kindle Oasis 2019 is very comfortable to hold? Maybe I did. I just could not stress it out enough. It is by far the most comfortable reader I have ever owned, making each reading session fun.
Reading with the buttons feels natural and intuitive. The buttons has nice clicking feeling when pressed.
For its display, Oasis 3 packs 7″ screen with flush-front Paperwhite display, 300ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale. Book content appears very crisp. Page display setting offers various fonts, size, spacing, margins and alignment, just like what we would expect from any modern Kindle. If needed, we could opt to display clock while reading, along with the display of location number in book, or page number in book, or time left in chapter, or time left in book based on our reading speed.
The front light has 24 levels adjustable brightness and the colour can shift from white to soft amber, also adjustable at 24 levels. We can schedule automatic warmth setting, making the Kindle display becomes warmer at night. There are 2 options of schedule: manual time-based or automatic based on sunset and sunrise time. For me, I am generally happy with level 8 brightness and level 1 warmth during daytime, then changes to level 18 warmth for night reading. As a quick note, the warm amber colour is not really obvious at low brightness level.
Flush-front display looks nice and really glare-free. However, it seems that it picks up fingerprint smudges quite easily, especially near the buttons.
I tried ordering MoKo case for my new Kindle Oasis. The case itself looks nice and well-built. It is comfortable to hold but nowhere near the nice feeling of holding the device without case. There is one problem though, the case itself is 162 gr, almost as heavy as the device. The combined weight of Kindle Oasis 3 with MoKo Stand Cover is 348 gr (for comparison, iPad mini 5 weighs 308 gr). Reading my books on 348 gr device is still doable, but definitely less comfortable than carrying 186 gr and kinda beats the purpose of upgrading to lighter device. So, after a few days, I took off the case and decide only to use it on special occasions when I need to carry my new Kindle to outdoor events. Maybe I will experiment with screen protector later.
In less than a month, Kindle Oasis 10th generation has become my new favorite book reading device. Really happy with this upgrade.