Photo from Amazon.com
I have been eyeing the Oasis since its first incarnation, but couldn't imagine spending so much on a Kindle (which is actually kind of ironic, since I was an early adopter of the Kindle and spent more than half the cost of the Oasis on my first Kindle Keyboard!). I have owned just about every Kindle since then, including the Fire (multiple Fires, in fact). Now, I love my Paperwhite, but as a left hander, I have to make certain adjustments when reading it (actually, I'm largely ambidextrous, but when you read anything for hours, your hands get tired!), namely, if I want to hold it in my left hand, I have to stretch my hand a bit further over to hit the screen for a page turn. Then there's the fact that I read so fast that those page turns can get awkward and annoying. Still, it's a wonderful, wonderful device. The Oasis, however (I'm speaking specifically of the 2017 version), is reversible! In other words, if you flip it upside down, the whole screen flips and you can just hold it in your other hand! Left handers rejoice! Also, while you still have the choice of a screen tap to change the page, the Oasis has actual buttons (under the dude's thumb in the picture) to change the page - no more manipulating hands in the right position to change the page! Again, when you're a very fast reader, the little things make a huge difference. Also, see how this Kindle is wider where you hold it? It's also (how do I say this?) raised in the back there, making holding it a very natural feeling thing. I can't read on the Paperwhite without a case. It doesn't feel right just holding it. The Oasis feels very natural just holding it. Oh, and the 32 gb storage? Awesome. Don't ever ask me how much I spend on books. There are some facts of life I just can't face: that's one of them.
So, is the Kindle Oasis worth its luxury price tag, especially given that during the holidays you could get a Kindle Fire for something like $29? I would say that if you are an inveterate, passionate reader, yes. If you read for hours a day - definitely yes. If you buy the majority of your books on Kindle (or Nook - I don't discriminate - I just go for the lower price and then run it through Calibre to convert it to the proper format), you might want to consider it. For me, it's definitely worth every penny. If you are a casual reader, but still want a back lit Kindle, I think you'll absolutely love the Paperwhite - mind was well-loved for years.