Tech Gear

First Waterproof Kindle: The New 2017 Kindle Oasis E-Reader [Review]

Water-resistance is not the only great feature of the new Amazon Kindle Oasis E-Reader. Read our review for all the details…

First Waterproof Kindle: The Second-generation Oasis e-reader

You’re feeling good. You just moored your canoe after a day of paddling the Boundary Waters. You even squandered time to eat a snack on shore with your favorite paddling companion, an Kindle Oasis e-reader.

When you reach your campsite, you toss your daypack into the tent, snarl at some looming Upper Midwest thunderheads, and reach for your Kindle Oasis in the side pocket of your . . .”What?”. . . you yell out loud to yourself (then an expletive) as you hear beetle-sized drops pelting the tent. You suddenly realize you left your e-reader beneath the canoe’s seat instead of putting it back into your pack.

You trot back to your moorage and cast a grimace at the reader now sharing bathing space with a Minnesota-sized mosquitoe in a quarter-inch of rainwater that has already accumulated in the bottom of your canoe. You’re so lucky! Your Kindle Oasis is a 2017 model, the first-ever waterproof Kindle e-reader.

But as you step into the boat, you kick your Doug fir paddle’s business end smack dab onto the Oasis screen. Lucky again! It is the toughest screen Amazon has applied to any of its e-readers.

Whether battling Mother Nature’s fury or merely another crazy week in the city that has kept you so busy you’ve hardly had time to recharge your new reader—which by the way, also comes with a battery that can go without recharge for up to six weeks on average—your new Kindle Oasis has your back.

Not the First Waterproof E-Reader – but the Most Advanced

Sure, it is not the first e-reader to boast waterproof status. The Kobo Aura H20 —a waterproof, dustproof, IP67 certified e-reader— and the Nook GlowLight Plus beat the IPX8 certified Kindle Oasis to the punch. It’s just that you won’t find a waterproof e-reader with all the merits of the 2017 Oasis.

Waterproofing

The IPX8 rating of the latest Amazon e-reader means that it can withstand immersion in 2 meters of fresh water for up to 60 minutes. This is very useful for anyone who spends a lot of time reading outdoors, by the pool or in the bathtub.

Large 7 inch Screen

The new Kindle Oasis 2017 model is really handyLet’s talk about those merits of this larger-screened yet thinner version of the Kindle Oasis. Its 7-inch screen produces 30 percent more words per page than the Kindle Paperwhite, so you have to turn pages less often.

Its one-inch bigger display and commensurately wider but thinner casing (3.4 mm at its thinnest point) actually feels more handy in your hands than the 2016 model.

Read and turn pages with one hand

It allows you to read and turn pages with just one hand, thanks to the page-turn buttons. You can either hold it with your right or left hand, the page orientation automatically adjusts.

When you do finally wrangle some time to recharge the Kindle Oasis 2, it can be done in the time it takes to dry out your tent on a two-man boulder—from ground zero to 100 percent fueled in under two hours.

Battery life

Waterproof Kindle Oasis Review

Image by Amazon

While on the topic of battery, the newest Oasis threw out its twofold battery setup of the older model. A yet larger battery is now housed inside the reader itself. It can last up to 6 weeks, depending on usage and light settings.

Yes, the second-generation Kindle Oasis ditched its case. For an extra $40 you can buy the custom case for it, sans battery.

Its carrying capacity, in the form of memory, also received an uptick in more ways than one: Its new, dual-core 1GHz processor—touting 512MB of RAM—turns pages faster and downloads any of the 250,000 audiobooks available in a snap. Yes, you read “audio” in that last sentence.

New Feature: Audible Support

Though it requires a Bluetooth device to hear your favorite title being read rather than reading it, this is a bell and whistle the previous Oasis lacked, though the word is that audio software for the 2016 model lies on the immediate horizon.

Its beefed up RAM gives this version of the Oasis the fastest speed of any of Kindle’s readers and delivers any book ever written in less than 60 seconds.

2 Storage Options

The 2017 Oasis offers a 32GB model (holds over 160 Audible audiobooks) with cellular connectivity, with all the cellular data you can use for the lifetime of the reader, and a less expensive 8GB model that can hold around 35 audiobooks and a lot of usual text books.

12 LED integrated adaptive Front Light

Needing good back light to read books in your tent or at the dank, pre-dawn bus stop? The integrated lighting on this new Oasis features 12 LEDs instead of the 10 in the original model. This visual reinforcement lends to a more uniform spectrum of light across the screen, thus minimizing any shadows or other quirks on former screens. The display brightness automatically adapts to your surroundings and can be fine-tuned to your personal preference.

The text on this screen is characteristically sharp—as with virtually all Kindle readers—and the contrast is perfect.

Watch: The updated Kindle Oasis 2 Video Review – See it Side by Side with the 2016 model

What’s not so perfect about the new Kindle Oasis 2?

Well, it doesn’t quite fit in the same pack pocket you use to tote your water bottle. It’s all part of the price you pay for a speedier, better lit, thinner, easier to read and audio-capable reader.

You might also gripe about the fact there is no headphone jack for the audio perk, but that may have bumped this reader up to an even larger pocket size. But, really, who doesn’t own a handy Bluetooth gizmo these days?

Should you buy the second-generation Kindle Oasis?

The only question you must ask yourself now is whether the extra $130 you pay for the newest and greatest, as compared to the 6-inch, 4 GB Paperwhite, is worth all the functional bling? The difference is another $100 greater if you pine for a constant sync with Kindle apps and the chatty Alexa via the LTE model. We think it’s definitely worth it, if you take your Kindle with you on your outdoor adventures frequently.

It’s a challenging decision, one that’s kind of like choosing between a fiberglass or wooden canoe, or a 17-foot-long one over a 14-footer. Choose the one that floats your boat.

Also read: The Best Waterproof Phones 2017 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Kindle Oasis 2017 – Full Tech Specs

Check all the technical details of the new waterproof Kindle Oasis 2 here:

Display7” glare-free touchscreen
Screen Resolution1680 × 1264 pixels, 300 ppi
WaterproofingIPX8 (immersion up to 2 meters for max. 60 minutes in fresh water)
Size6.3" x 5.6" x 0.13-0.33" (159 mm x 141 mm x 3.4-8.3 mm)
WeightWi-Fi: 6.8 oz (194 g); Wi-Fi + Free Cellular Connectivity: 6.8 oz (194 g)
Storage8 GB or 32 GB
Audible SupportYes, Bluetooth headphones or speakers are required
Page TurnsTouchscreen + page turn buttons
Built-in LightYes - 12 LEDs + adaptive light sensor
ColorsGraphite, Aluminum back
Cellular ConnectivityFree Cellular Connectivity. 4G LTE connectivity in US where available, 3G/EDGE/GPRS in other locations; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide wireless coverage via AT&T's 4G LTE high-speed data network in the U.S and AT&T partner networks outside of the U.S.
Wi-Fi ConnectivitySupports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, or 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).
Bluetooth ConnectivityAdvanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from Kindle Oasis to your Bluetooth speakers or headphones. Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) support to remotely control playback of Audible audiobooks on Kindle Oasis from compatible Bluetooth devices. Bluetooth speakers requiring PIN codes are not supported.
Battery LifeUp to 6 weeks, depending on usage duration and Bluetooth and Light settings
Charge timeUnder 3 hours from a computer USB, or under 2 hours using the Amazon 5W charger (sold separately).
Accessibility FeaturesVoiceView screen reader, available over Bluetooth audio, provides spoken feedback allowing you to navigate your device and read books with text-to-speech (available in English only). Kindle Oasis also includes the ability to invert Black and White, adjust font size, font face, line spacing and margins.
Content Formats SupportedKindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP through conversion; Audible audio format (AAX).
SpeakersNo
Headphone-jackNo
Warranty and Service1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year or 3-year Extended Warranty available for U.S customers sold separately.

Further information: The Kindle Oasis 2 User Guide