The second generation Kindle Oasis and fourth generation Paperwhite represent the two latest generation e-readers in Amazon’s product portfolio. The Oasis came out late last year and the Paperwhite only hit the market a couple of weeks ago.
The new Kindle Oasis features a 7 inch capacitive touchscreen display with resolution of 1680 x 1264 and 300 PPI. Whereas the Kindle Paperwhite 4 features a 6 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1072×1448 and 300 PPI.
The front-lit display on the Oasis is more uniform than the Paperwhite. It has 12 LED lights and has an ambient light sensor to automatically increase the brightness, depending on the environment. The Paperwhite only has 5 LED lights that have to be manually configured.
On a hardware level the Kindle Oasis is the first e-reader in the world to utilize the Freescale/NXP IMX.7 dual-core 1GHz processor. This CPU is far superior to the Freescale 6SLL Cortex-A9 @800M/1GHz processor that the Paperwhite employs. Both e-readers have 512MB of RAM and two different storage options, depending on your needs – 8GB which will store around 15 audiobooks and a mix of e-books and a 32GB version.
If you are the type of person to read near the pool, at the beach or in the bathtub both of these Kindles are certified with an IPX8 rating, which means it can stay completely submerged in two meters of freshwater for up to sixty minutes.
The all-new Kindle Paperwhite is is the thinnest and lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet, measuring 8.18mm thick and weighing 182g. The Oasis in contrast is 194 grams, this added weight is due to the aluminemin back. Amazon has disclosed to Good e-Reader that they are using a 1500 mAh battery in the Paperwhite, this is a bit bigger than the 1,000 mAh battery found on the Oasis. You will get better mileage out of the Paperwhite if you tend to read all day.
When you compare both of these e-readers side by side, the Oasis has a more daring and striking design. It is asymmetrical, whereas the Paperwhite looks like most other e-readers on the market.
Amazon has the most entrenched digital ecosystem in the world. They have a larger regional ebook selection than any other company and Audible Audiobooks is a compelling value proposition. There are plenty of cheap ebooks to be found from indie authors, but bestselling titles from major authors or publishers tends to be expensive. Kindle Freetime Unlimited is a good program if you share your Kindle with kids, parental controls are super effective at limiting screen time. Kindle Unlimited allows you to subscribe and read as much as you want on a monthly basis.
The Oasis does a better job at reading because it has better resolution than the Paperwhite and an extra inch on the screen. This makes a big difference during long reading sessions. Comics, manga and PDF files perform better on the Oasis.
Page turn buttons are also a big draw on the Oasis, since you can quickly turn pages of anything you are reading, without exclusively relying on the touchscreen display. The Paperwhite does not have buttons, it is touchscreen reliant.
There is a large price difference between the Kindle Paperwhite and the Oasis. The Paperwhite retails for $129 for the base model and the Oasis is a staggering $249. Basically the Paperwhite is the midtier Kindle and the Oasis is considered their flagship device.
If money is no object, the Oasis provides better value, whereas the Paperwhite 4 is perfect acceptable when on a budget.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.