In some ways the Kindle Oasis is something quite different to other ereaders I've used – but in other ways it's reassuringly familiar.

All the usual Kindle features are here, but the improved screen quality, the radically new design and the included case together produce something more premium than any of the other Kindle products you can buy right now.

But is it really worth the sizeable premium in terms of price? Or you should just settle for the Kindle Paperwhite, with the extra money better spent elsewhere?

We liked

With the Kindle Oasis Amazon has redefined the way in which we use an ereader. Comfortable one-handed reading is now possible when you're on a crowded bus or train and need to hold onto a seat-back or handrail.

There's never been an ereader this comfortable to hold – it really does just sit on your fingertips.

The screen is gorgeous as well. As soon as you pick up the Oasis it jumps out at you how much better this display is than on previous Kindles, allowing you to read comfortably for longer periods.

The clarity of the words hasn't changed, but the real issue lay in the brightness of the screen, as you were straining your eyes in some lighting conditions.

Amazon Kindle Oasis review

The Amazon Kindle store is still second to none. The selection of ebooks on offer is fantastic, the pricing still beats most of the competition, and Kindle Unlimited is a big selling point if you read a lot.

And while the last few Kindles have been fast enough the Oasis pushes it that little bit further, so that turning a page now feels properly instantaneous.

We disliked

The drop in battery life is a problem for me, and slipping on the chunky battery case takes away from the slimline design that's such a key selling point of the Oasis.

I found myself taking it out and about without the case, as I didn't want two devices taking up space in my pockets – but that meant drastically reduced battery life.

Amazon Kindle Oasis review

The limited case options are also an issue, especially if you don't want real leather, whether it's for ethical or style reasons. You can't buy the Oasis without the case, and Amazon should address this by making it available case-free, or at least offering a non-leather case option.

Last, but by no means least, is the price. When I was told the price at my Amazon briefing I struggled to keep a straight face. It's genuinely a jaw-dropping amount of money to spend on an ereader, which isn't going to do anything other than let you read ebooks.

The cheapest model is US$289.99 (£269.99, AU$425). For that money you could buy a mid-range Android tablet or smartphone, and use it for reading ebooks and a lot of other things besides.

Final verdict

Without a doubt the Kindle Oasis is the best ereader you can buy right now. The new design is gorgeous, as is the new screen tech, and it offers everything we've come to expect from a Kindle product.

If you love to read ebooks and money is no object, there's no other choice on the market that will offer such a comfortable and enjoyable reading experience.

Amazon Kindle Oasis review

Amazon's ambition is to bring the Kindle down to the thickness of a piece of paper. The Oasis is still some way off that target, but it certainly brings major advances in the form factor, and ebooks have never been such a joy to read.

But the fact remains that this is a very expensive device. Amazon was criticised for the pricing of the Kindle Voyage when it launched, and it's no surprise that the Oasis is attracting similar complaints.

That said, the Kindle Oasis will find a market. If you use an ereader daily, and want the best experience money can buy, take yourself down to the Oasis.

First reviewed: May 2016