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Saturday, July 02, 2016

A Sleeker Kindle

"The screen's frontlight is another noticeable point of departure. Like the Paperwhite, the Oasis has a user-adjustable frontlight for reading in the dark. It can be disabled if you're reading in bright indoor or outdoor light since, like all Kindles, the e-ink screen is made to reflect light rather than emit it. For whatever reason, the Oasis lacks the nice ambient light sensor that the Voyage has, so you'll need to adjust the light manually if it's too bright or not bright enough.

But unlike the Paperwhite, the Oasis lights its screen with 10 LEDs. More LEDs make for more uniform lighting, making for a more "book-like" experience. The four LEDs in the Kindle Paperwhite have no trouble getting bright enough, but there's noticeable unevenness, especially across the bottom of the screen. The difference between the Oasis and the Voyage, which has six LEDs, is less noticeable.

The Oasis' frontlight is also cooler and bluer than the Paperwhite's, though you really only notice if you have the two e-readers next to one another.

The Kindle Oasis feels like the next step forward for dedicated e-readers. Given the simplicity of their screen and internal components, the Paperwhite and even the Voyage feel larger and bulkier than they need to be. The Oasis boils the e-reader down to its essential elements, resulting in something that feels and looks noticeably, obviously better and more modern. And even better, it makes the screen bezels smaller and the body thinner without compromising usability—if anything, the asymmetrical bezel and physical buttons make this Kindle nicer to use than any of its predecessors, including the Voyage and its pressure-sensitive "buttons."

All of that said, this is still a Kindle, and the Oasis still has some of the same headaches that the cheaper models have. The e-ink touchscreen isn't as responsive as a modern smartphone or tablet, the hardware can be slow, and sometimes your taps don't register. Slow hardware is a problem if you're a heavy highlighter, an activity which is quick and painless on a phone (you can color code your highlights, even) but takes as least a few seconds on the Kindle. Like all modern Kindles, the Oasis lacks the ability to play audiobooks, and its screen is poor for viewing detailed PDFs or color images. If you buy one, you should do it with full knowledge of its limitations."

Take a look at Ars Technica!

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