There's something Amazon might not like to hear, in more ways than one:
The new Kindle Oasis is the last e-reader you'll ever need.
That's a multifaceted pun. One acceptable meaning to the phrase is that it's an outstanding e-book reader that lasts so long you will forget about charging it (the official estimate for battery life is "months"). It's the lightest Kindle ever, at 4.6 ounces, and has a bright, white, super-clear screen. Amazon has become such an online powerhouse that the ecosystem for books (and don't forget magazines!) is second-to-none (sorry Apple). Book prices are fair, and the selection is outstanding. It's the last e-reader you might purchase because it is so useful and innovative.
But the pun has a second, much less flattering meaning. "This is the last e-book reader you should purchase" is more of a ding than an encouragement. The phrase is a definite jab. It has to do a basic summary of value. "That's the last place you should eat in Vegas" is not a compliment. The reason the Kindle Oasis is in this category for me is due to the unreasonably high price ($290 is only $110 away from an iPad) and how gadgets themselves have changed over the past few years. It doesn't really make sense to use an e-reader when there are so many high quality tablets around.
The Oasis is a remarkable device, though. The best one ever. It comes in a nice brown case that is also a backup charger. To put the Kindle in the case, you hover it over a magnetic connector and it snaps into place. I can't think of a better way to design an e-reader and I'm not sure anyone ever will. We think flexible paper will be the best approach someday, but I'm guessing the Kindle Flex (if it ever comes out) won't last as long, won't have built-in lights, and will flex too much in your hand.
The Oasis has three buttons, one for power and two for turning pages. It feels comfortable in one hand, like a book. Books look so crisp, you might be hard-pressed to tell the difference between an e-book and a printed book. You can swipe the touchscreen to turn a page. There are ten LED lights for reading at night or in a plane without the overhead lights. It's 5.6 x 4.8 x 0.13 inches in size, or about the same as your palm if you're a football player. It has an anti-glare screen.
"Where did I put the Kindle?" was a common question I asked myself and anyone around me multiple times during my test period, however. It's not that the Oasis is easy to misplace, it's that it only has one function. You use it for reading. But the iPad, a Surface Book, any Android device, and even a smartphone make more sense for reading these days. The screen is not as clear as the Oasis, but you also can't play Clash of Clans on an e-reader. Or check email easily. Or really do anything other than read books and magazines, so it means an e-reader as a category has become superfluous. It doesn't make sense to own them anymore.
The only analogy I can think of these days is a gaming desktop. Yes, they still exist--and they are still awesome if you are a gamer. Yet, many modern laptops use a high-end processor with high-end graphics that can handle the latest games. They "handle" the games so that's why most people use them instead of buying a gaming desktop. A tablet can "handle" e-books even if it's not the best option.
And, there's another even bigger problem. I haven't heard of any really good statistics, so this is a bit anecdotal, but my guess is that most people don't finish e-books. You purchase them, you read some, then you switch eventually to printed material. I do tend to finish e-books, but I also have a few dozen that I purchased over the last few years and never read. When I buy an actual book, it sits on a nightstand or on a table. I keep it handy and visible enough that I usually finish every physical book (partly because they tend to cost way more than an e-book).
The Oasis is a double-sided coin, then. It's a fantastic, long-lasting reader. I like it! I really do. It's spendy but the price matches the quality. But I'd never buy one. I use an iPad for books, and there's no way I'd want to bring along a second reading device.
That's the last thing I'd do.