Do You Like the Kindle Oasis’s Unusual Design?

Kindle Oasis Design

It seems that people either love or hate the unique design of Amazon’s Kindle Oasis.

Both generations have the same kind of back where one side is thicker than the other, and the front has an offset look with a larger area for the page buttons on one side of the screen.

I’ve heard some people say they hate the unsymmetrical design of the Kindle Oasis so much that they won’t even consider it as an option.

But other people really like the ergonomic design that’s intended to center the weight of the device in your hand like the spine of a paper book.

The thin side of the Kindle Oasis is only 3.4 mm thick, and the side you hold onto is 8.3 mm thick. Where they come together there’s a rounded edge to grip with your fingers.

The Kindle Oasis is meant to be used with the cover off to minimize weight; leaving the cover on basically defeats the purpose of the design.

I wasn’t sure about it at first but now I really like how the Kindle Oasis 2 feels in-hand. To me it is more comfortable to hold than a device like the Kobo Aura One. Maybe it’s just because I’m a sucker for page buttons, but the Kindle Oasis does seem easier to hold for long reading sessions.

What do you think? Do you like the design? What if Amazon brought a similar style to their other models down the line?

32 Responses to “Do You Like the Kindle Oasis’s Unusual Design?”

  1. Count me on the hate it side. My Oasis 2 is by far the least comfortable device I have. I added a Popsocket to the back to make it easier to hold. Most comfortable is my Nook 3. Follow by my Kobo Aura One.

  2. I’ve only held one in Best Buy ( because i can’t afford one)…but i do like how it feels. It was hard to feel the weight displacement thought… because of the security tag attached to it.

  3. I like the Oasis 2 form factor. I find it very comfortable to hold.

  4. I hate the design of the Oasis 2, too bad I paid 230 euro’s for it. I tried several times to get used to that design, with nu result. So I don ‘t use it anymore, I prefer my Kobo Aura One and my Kindle Voyage.

  5. I love the design except the metallic portion. My smaller Oasis is plastic, which seems inferior, until you try to read a book in the winter when your metal device (Oasis 2, iPad, etc) is freezing. They need some kind of rubberized coating. The weight distribution is great though.

  6. They have buttons! I love the buttons.

  7. Kindle Voyage, all the way. Love the form factor, weight, and size… and the capacitive page buttons are a damn close alternative to physical ones. Really dig the laser etched screen, too. I just can’t get past the asymmetrical design of the Oasis, regardless of how much nicer it is on paper.

  8. it was odd at first but if you buy a fintie case it flattens out the back more and more comfortable. I love it outside of the poor battery life

  9. During a reading marathon, I appreciate the different ways I can hold the Oasis 2. I can manage the fatigue by reading with cover, then without. Shift from left to right hand, then both. Given the screen size, horizontal works too.

  10. Also a 7″ in the Voyage form I feel will be more sucessful or make oasis same thickness, not as thick as the fat end but maybe half way? even sized device you can put in a bigger battery. I charge mine at least once a week minimum. Every Sunday. In one week I have about 40% left

  11. I didn’t like it at first it it’s grown on me. Part of the dislike was my thick heavy finte case. As stated above it very much defeated the advantages of the design. I stumbled upon a D. Vordingborg oragami case and it’s so light the Oasis maintains its weight balance advantages. It’s still better without a case but I have one on if standing or someplace a drop would cause damage.

    Seriously check out that case.

  12. Look at all of us debating the design asthetics and ergonomics of our digital books.

  13. Ingo Lembcke, EU, Germany Reply May 21, 2018 at 4:19 am

    Hate the design.
    Main reason I did not buy one, no Oasis 1 (got a second Voyage after reading the first reviews), no Oasis 2, but instead got a Tolino epos with a 20% Black Friday deal November 2017.
    Hardware is quite good (imho better than Kindle, Voyage & Oasis), Software only ok.
    Own 2 Kindle Voyage (one for buying in US, one for Germany, where I live).
    Liked it that I could test the Tolino epos in a Thalia shop before buying. Main reason for a bigger eReader was that I thought Comics would work well, even PDF. Well, they do not, for some reason with PDF only portrait mode works, not landscape. Have complained to Thalia together with a few other things.
    Was really surprised by that.

  14. I had The Oasis 1 and 2 and ended up sending them back. I loved the larger screen size but hated the form factor. I liked the page turn buttons but would have preferred them on both sides instead of having to rotate the device when I wanted to switch hands – rotating to me was a reading distraction. I absolutely love the Kobo Aura One. It is lightweight and since you can make the whole bottom half of the screen the page forward area – I find it easy to hold with one hand (and my hands are small). Kobo has that great non-slippery backing. I did not like the metal finish of the Oasis. I have an iPad and have always either had a cover or a back bumper on it because I don’t like the slippery back. I think Kobo got it right and Amazon needs to go back to the drawing board.

  15. I like the design of the Oasis 2, thought I wish is was a little grippier. I find the metal a little of the slippery side, but it’s rarely enough to really bother me.

  16. I really like the screen and the form factor. I have to agree with a previous comment: the metal backing is freezing in cold weather! I always try and warm it up if I can before I use it, even in warm weather. I wish the back was made of the same material as the paperwhite. But for me, it is better.

  17. Love the page buttons being in optimal positions with no need for placement on both sides. Really like the wide side allowing for keeping fingers off the screen. As a reader it is close to ideal for me…the only things that might improve it for me are a slightly larger screen (7.5 -8″) and a good light temperature control.
    An added bonus is the ability to invert white and black.
    Great, quality device.

  18. I have an Oasis one and hate it. I use my Kindle Voyage with the cracked screen instead of the Oasis.

  19. Hate the design, never got used to it. Now i read strictly on my iphone 8 plus. I know it’s not as easy on the eyes as an E-ink screen But with the filters you get used to it. The software is night and day superior to any Kindle reader not only that but you can actually send notes and annotations on sideloaded books which is a game changer. You also get the book covers or sideloaded KFX files. These things you can’t do Kindle eReaders.

  20. I think it’s stellar. I often read for long stretches of time at once and being able to flip it over and adjust the grip in many ways is great, and I also can just roll with holding it one-handed and not having to worry about moving my hand at all since the buttons can sit under my holding thumb. The weight being centered under the holding hand is really smart.

  21. Love the larger screen, finally, at long last, a decent Kindle reading experience … FOR MY EYES ONLY.

    Unfortunately, it is marred by the horrid form factor that is very annoying to my HANDS. Which, as a 5’7″ woman with medium frame, are average in size.

    It’s painful to hold for long, the edges are sharp, and even in a case, it’s just not ideal. The buttons aren’t placed well, being a bit too far apart, so it’s a slight stretch for the upper one and uncomfy to use the lower. Plus, the large bezel gets in the way of swiping/tapping, my preferred way to turn pages. The bump is not quite wide enough for an easy grip either.

    Further, half the point of having flush glass is the easy cleaning, but Amazon clearly doesn’t get that, having stuck buttons on top of the flush surface so you have to clean around them.

    Wish they’d made it like the Voyage, only larger. Otherwise, BIG FORM FACTOR FAIL in what could’ve been a great reader. I’m glad I did the 25% off trade-in deal so I didn’t have to pay full price.

    I’ll use it, the larger screen is a pleasure, no complaints there, and I’m happy to have the waterproofing, but it’s just not a comfortable device to hold. I’m a couple weeks into ownership, a number of books read and it hasn’t gotten better in that regard.

  22. I should mention I use a Moko case. I can tell from occasionally feeling an edge that this reader would be cold to hold without a covering!

    I like that the screen is less blue than the Voyage, Amazon got that bit right. However, my Kobo Aura One is more comfy to hold, it will remain my primary reader.

  23. Got rid of my Oasis 2. Never got used to the form factor and was always uncomfortable holding it. I went back to my Voyage for the bulk of my ebook reading.

  24. If you recall, the original intent of the Oasis 1 — or at least the marketing hype for it — was that it would “disappear” in your hand because of its shape, size & weight and THAT was the origin of the odd design.

    Notice that they don’t say that anymore because, quite obviously, it didn’t sell terribly well and they were forced to turn it into the Frankenstein device known as the Oasis 2.

    Just like Apple, ‘Zon has its fan bois who will slobber over *anything* they produce but there’s a reason that no other manufacturer has adopted that design and that’s because *they* lack the fan bois who’ll buy anything they produce.

    When your product has to stand on its merits, you don’t adopt a design like the Oasis.

    • With so much “anti-conformist” fanboy hate, how could you possibly be wrong? It’s easy to find flaws; much harder to create an actual critique that involves more than spitting an angry self-serving agenda.

  25. I am not a great fan of the Oasis design, it is not that ergonomic to hold. However it is so light it is still comfortable. I love the Voyage however I have arm injuries that have prevented me from reading, among too many other things, for almost a year. Now one of my arms is in slightly better shape but my Voyage is still too heavy and bulky to hold one-handed for long times… I love the Voyage but because of that I got a used Oasis 1. And I can read on it!! Not for hours in a row, not without propping it on something here and there – but I can hold it one handed and read. KindleVoyage is harder on you holding it one handed. Even when I was healthier I would switch hands regularly. Think of all the older people with unsteadiness of hand or arthritis or any other hand/joint problem, this makes a big difference for that public. Oasis 2 is ridiculous to me because making it bigger ruined the lightness and compactness of it. As for buttons I much preferred those on the Kindle 4, the best buttons Amazon has had on a Kindle. Second comes the Voyage. I do not like the Oasis buttons. I’d be delighted if they were on the side, easy to press and silent like on the Kindle 4, that was such a smart way of making them! They required the slightest press. Those are harder and believe me I can tell the difference considering my mobility issues make it quite easy to differentiate.
    In any case – I love Kindles and I love reading and the Voyage is to me the best kindle ever but the oasis weird design or not is still quite readable too! Not the Oasis 2 for me though.

  26. This look ugly, though it is comfortable to hold it in hand, but I still think they can still do something to refine the look.

  27. Count me on the Hate side. I’ve tried the Oasis 1 & 2 multiple times but the design brings out my OCD regarding balance. I also want buttons on both sides without having to flip. My Voyage has a perfect screen and I’ve yet to receive a Oasis screen that is even close.

  28. Make it the same size as the paper white so that I can stick it in my pocket when I walk into a store.

    Keep the buttons, but add a software feature to disable the touchscreen capability when I’m walking and reading in the rain. It may be waterproof in terms of damage, but not operation. When the screen gets covered with raindrops, it does uncommanded random page turns. Disable that and it would be great.

  29. Hate it. I have tried the Oasis 1 and Oasis 2 – for almost a month(within the return window) and hated them both and returned them both. I never liked the Voyage’s page turn buttons so the Paperwhite is the Kindle I settled on. After reading on the Kobo Aura One though I cannot stand reading on the Paperwhite because of the small size and blue light. When reading a Kindle book I usually switch to read on the iPad which is strange since I like the size of the Kobo Aura 2nd Edition. I think Amazon should bring out the larger screened Kindle in Paperwhite form factor with the comfort light. The inverted color (on the Oasis unit I had received) made the font seem blurry.

  30. I actually like the off balanced design. I’ve never really looked at Kindles before but when I saw the Oasis I had to try it out.
    I’m going to have to return it though… the battery life is horrid! I don’t read much, so the fact that I’ve had to charge it three times, vs the zero times of my Kobo Glo makes this a no go.
    Amazon has something here though, if they can just refine it, by making it less bulky, trimming the bezels (since you hold it on one hand) and putting more efficient hardware to extend battery, they’ll have a winner. I wish Kobo, or other manufactures would experiment with design a bit more.

  31. I really love the new design and the balance it gives when holding it. The shape makes it easy to grip in portait mode but I like landscape with the buttons at the bottom.