Rave reviews of the Kindle Oasis keep popping up, including this video from Lon Seidman, who plopped down his own $290, just as I did.

The soft touch of the leather cover may be one reason for some people’s Oasis-love (no—I won’t get into the issue of the use of animal products). But here’s another angle.

If you own an Oasis and pay $20 to turn off advertising via Manage Your Content and Devices, your e-reader will almost instantly display where you left off in the book you were reading. Just open up the cover.

The Oasis’s speedy chips make this happen a lot faster than otherwise.

No need for a bookmark. And, presto, e-books close the gap with paper books in one other way.

What’s more, the Oasis will offer this advantage over an e-reading app on a cell phone (regardless of the wake-up function of the phone) if you’re constantly using the phone for purposes other than books.

Surely you are. It’s a phone, right? Not to mention text messaging and the rest.

One other attraction of the cover is that the flap can snugly attach to the Kindle, held in place by a magnet. So that’s one fewer distraction.

I won’t always use the cover when reading from my Oasis. But it’s nice to know it’s around, even if, when shut, it does not protect the back of the e-reader completely.

Detail: Of course, if you were reading your book earlier on another device and your place has changed, you won’t go to the last page read immediately. But you will get a prompt on which you can instantly act.

And a reminder of two important caveats: Amazon really, really needs to add all-text bolding capability to the Oasis—in fact, ideally a font weight slider, a feature in rival Kobo readers. I’d like to see other additional typographical amenities as well. Second, yes, I think the $290 is too much. Len Edgerly, a TeleRead contributor and host of The Kindle Chronicles, wants Amazon to sell the cover-battery separately from the actual reader. I agree. Not everyone will need the extra battery life.

Related: Replacement Kindle Oasis covers shed the clip-on battery, by Chris Meadows. The replacement covers might also be a way to avoid the genuine leather.



  1. I don’t understand why you are so amazed at this feature. Most modern ereaders have this feature, including all Kindles and Kobo models. In fact, Kobo made this a standard feature in 2012. I want to say the same for Kindle, but I am less certain. (And didn’t the iPad get this in 2011?)

    So why is it so gosh-darn wonderful that the Oasis has this feature?

  2. @Nate: Well, lots of people out there haven’t messed in the past with covers of this kind, and more importantly, the Oasis reopens books a lot faster than the typical e-reader. As for the iPad, it’s like a cell phone–used for many purposes. If you have been using other apps just before shutting down, the restarted iPad won’t open up directly into the book, much less to the exact page.

    • I have one, and it really is not any faster than other ereaders with smartcovers, no. I frequently see the words “waking up” when I open the cover.

      Also, I just ran a comparison with several ereaders that don’t have smartcovers. The difference in the time it takes to wake up is negligible.

    • Not sure what’s wrong with *your* PaperWhite or Voyage but, in my experience with both of those devices, each starts within 1 second of opening the cover. It would make sense that there’s no difference between the three — PW, Voyage, Oasis — since Amazon is using the same CPU in all of them.

      Your article kinda makes one believe that Amazon might be rewarding its Fan Bois for making stuff up. There’s marketing hype THEN there are outright lies and your article is leaning sharply towards the latter, my friend. Hope you got your reward from Auntie Amazon because your credibility just took a big hit, at least with me.


  3. @BDR: Yep, big difference between “front” and “back” for some people in terms of eyestrain. But mostly, Lon Seidman is on target. He appreciates the positives while also calling attention to negatives such as the price. At some point I may drop him a line about the issue of the AWOL boldface option. Let’s get Amazon to act!

  4. @BDR: Not every device is a Paperwhite or Voyage, and many people own older e-readers, including outside the U.S., where the Kindle isn’t always the leader. That said, were I do it over again, I’d go into the nuances.

    As for Amazon, I paid for the Oasis myself (and if Chris Meadows gets a review unit as hoped, he’ll return it or donate it to a homeless shelter—unlike certain other sites that’ll just keep em).

    I do confess to liking Amazon hardware, but I doubt that many e-book sites have pushed back at Amazon as hard as we have for its lack of TTS in recent Kindles (hopefully to be corrected soon!) or the dumbed-down software (just a fraction of the capabilities of, say, Moon+ Pro even though a menu for advanced users could include this).

    Hey, stick around! Meanwhile we’ll do our best to call ’em as we see ’em.


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