If you asked me what inherent problems there were in the traditional Kindle line of products, I would struggle to come up with any. They are what they are and they deliver on the promise of hassle-free eBook reading with aplomb.
The battery performance and ease of holding the Kindles would be way down on my list of complaints, but Amazon has still chosen to make these the two stand out changes in the new Kindle Oasis. There are other improvements, but these are what make the Oasis look and feel different to the Paperwhite and Voyage models, but they come with a substantial price hike.
£269.99 feels awfully steep for a dedicated eBook reader (not the 3G model by the way) to me and especially so when compared to the latest Paperwhite (£109.99) and even the Voyage (£169.99).
There is a good argument that the Voyage does not do enough above the Paperwhite to justify the extra cost, and an extra £100 for month’s of battery life on one charge is far too big a leap surely. The inclusion of a case is welcome because these are not cheap, but they have always been extremely well made and add extra usability to the package.
I do wonder how Amazon decides what to upgrade on the Kindle because they nailed this product right from the start. The backlight on the Paperwhite is likely seen as necessary to many casual readers, but have you ever heard anyone complain about the current battery life of approximately 1 month? No, of course not and so I feel that Amazon is pushing where it can in the Kindle range, and that is not in many places because it already works beautifully.
Very casual readers could suffice with the Kindle at under £60 and casual to serious readers should be more than happy with the Paperwhite. If the Voyage is only for a sub-set who are extremely serious about their reading, the Oasis must appeal to an even smaller group.
I’m not trying to be critical here. I love my Paperwhite to bits and use it every day, but the Oasis feels like an upgrade that ticks all of the boxes that were ticked long ago, only with a thicker pencil.