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Kindle Paperwhite (2021) vs Kindle Oasis: Which should you get?

Amazon unveiled the latest edition of its Kindle Paperwhite (2021) in September, but how does it compare to the company’s top-of-the-line e-reader, the Kindle Oasis (2019)

While the Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s most expensive e-reader, the Paperwhite is more of a mid-range option sitting between the regular Kindle and the Oasis.

We’ve already pitted the new Paperwhite against the 2018 Paperwhite, but how does the new mid-range tablet compare with the current Oasis? 

Kindle Oasis 2019 home 2
Kindle Oasis (2019)

Pricing and availability 

The new Kindle Paperwhite starts at £129.99 with ads or £139.99 without ads. There’s also a Signature Edition which costs £179.99 and a Kids Edition available for £139.99. The Paperwhite will be available to buy from October 27, while the Signature Edition comes out on November 10. 

The Kindle Oasis meanwhile sits at the top of Amazon’s e-reader line with prices starting at £229.99 with no ads. The line was last updated in 2019. This means you’ll save £90 by opting for the standard Paperwhite over the Oasis. 

paperwhite 5
Kindle Paperwhite (2021)

Design and display 

The Kindle Paperwhite is a very basic looking e-reader. The edges are thin and curved and the bezels have been slimmed down with this generation, though the Kindle logo still sits on the largest bezel below the display. There are also no physical buttons, meaning you’ll need to use the touch screen to flip the page, and the e-reader is water resistant up to IPX8. 

On the front of the Paperwhite is a 6.8-inch, 300ppi, glare-free E-Ink display with 17 LEDs to make it easier to read in low lighting. Amazon has also added the warm light feature it first debuted on the Kindle Oasis, making the display more comfortable to read at night. 

The Kindle Oasis on the other hand has a wedged design on one side which packs all the internals, along with a thinner side that houses the majority of the display, making the right-hand side the chunkiest bezel here. While the Oasis looks a little unusual, it’s clear a lot of thought has been put into making the device easy and natural to hold in one hand. 

You can also pick up a case to make the device feel a little less lopsided if you prefer to read two-handed. 

The Oasis features physical page-turning buttons, which are absent on the Paperwhite, along with the same IPX8 waterproof rating as the Paperwhite. 

The Oasis packs a slightly bigger 7-inch, 300ppi glare-free E-Ink display with 25 LEDs, making it brighter than the Paperwhite’s 17 LEDs. The Oasis also includes the warm light feature found on the 2021 Paperwhite. 

Kindle Oasis 2019 search
Kindle Oasis (2019)

Specs and features 

Both the Oasis and the Paperwhite run the same software and come with free cloud storage for Amazon content. 

The Kindle Oasis comes in 8GB and 32GB models. When it comes to the Paperwhite, the amount of storage you get depends on which edition you opt for. Unlike the previous Paperwhite, the Paperwhite 2021 comes with just one storage option – 8GB. If you’re willing to pay a little more (but still less than the Oasis), you can get the Paperwhite Signature Edition with 32GB of storage. 

This won’t make a massive difference if you only read books on the device, but if you’re a fan of Audible audiobooks then the extra space on the 32GB model will likely come in handy. 

The Kindle Oasis is also available in a 4G model that’ll help if you often find yourself stranded with no Wi-Fi connection and in need of new books to read. However, this won’t work with audiobooks, so that’s something to be aware of. 

Neither e-reader features a headphone jack, but both come with Bluetooth support so you can listen with wireless headphones. 

The Kindle Paperwhite also comes in a Kids Edition which includes a cover, a one year subscription to Amazon Kids Plus and the Vocabulary Builder and Word Wise apps, so if you’re looking for an e-reader for your kids then this may be your best option. 

Kindle Paperwhite (2021)

Battery life 

Amazon updated its battery and charging port with the new Paperwhite, putting the cheaper e-reader ahead of the Oasis when it comes to battery life. 

The Oasis offers 6 weeks of battery life based on 30 minutes of reading a day, while the Paperwhite can go for 10 weeks in the same scenario. 

The Oasis takes 3 hours to charge with micro-USB, while Amazon gave the charging port an update with the new Paperwhite by moving to USB-C. Not only can the USB-C port fully charge the e-reader in 2.5 hours, but it’s also a more common cable type, so you won’t have to juggle multiple different chargers if your phone or laptop already use USB-C to charge. 

The Paperwhite Signature Edition also takes advantage of wireless charging with any Qi charging pad – something which has yet to arrive on the Oasis. 

Kindle Oasis 2019 rear
Kindle Oasis (2019)

Early verdict 

With the Kindle Paperwhite 2021, Amazon brought a number of features that were previously exclusive to the Oasis line down to the Paperwhite. These include the warm light feature and a higher number of LEDs, though the Paperwhite still has fewer LEDs than the Oasis. 

The Paperwhite also brought with it some major battery updates including a longer battery life, a new USB-C port and wireless charging on the Paperwhite Signature Edition – all of which are not yet available on the Oasis. 

The main benefits of the Oasis are its more ergonomic design, larger and brighter display and the physical page-turning buttons. The Oasis is also available in a 4G model. 

However, the Paperwhite is significantly more affordable, making it your best option if you want an e-reader with great features that won’t break the bank.

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