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Old 10-09-2010, 11:59 AM   #109
SensualPoet
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Posts: 2,295
Karma: 2607151
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Toronto
Device: Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura HD, Kindle Wifi, Nexus 7 (2013), Samsung Tab 10.1
In Canada, the Kobo Wifi at $149 + free shipping or in store purchase is cheaper than the Kindle 3 at $139 + shipping. There is also the intangible ... having a local bricks and mortar presence.

Finding an e-reader other than the Kobo or Sony in Canada at retail is rare. One or two Astak models showed up at the big box electronic chain for almost $300; the Aluratek (could that thing be any uglier?!?) is typically available at the $150ish mark. Sony, in it's wisdom, has only carried the 300 and 600 series; the Daily Edition 900 has not been sold here. The PRS 350 is $199 and the 650 is $249 -- neither offer wifi; both are touch screen; only the $249 model is 6".

The Kobo WiFi at $149 is competitive in this market and does not need to be sold at a lower price. Nor is Amazon likely to lower the Kindle 3 in the near future -- it's already a great unit and attached to an excellent customer experience.

Kobo WiFi is not intended to take notes -- that keyboard is essentially for adding a WiFi password. Maybe it is needed for search or dictionary -- I don't know; I don't have one (yet). There is no web browser so I don't think you can twitter with it ... but there is store access and access to your purchased library so I suppose the keyboard is used there, too. I have not actually browsed the Amazon store on my Kindle because the web experience is so rich; but I have used the "archived" feature to transfer purchased books onto my device. I am delighted that's been added to Kobo.

Kobo WiFi differentiates from Kindle 3: local sales/support, localised bookstore content, DRM ePubs from multiple vendors, public library borrowing. And now with WiFi it can also: sync across multiple platforms; plus it has an improved screen, faster processor and more internal memory.

Not to mention, Kobo support is generally pretty solid -- there when you need it. No customer support operation is perfect, but Kobo is certainly in the upper tiers of overall "goodness".

So, in Canada -- $149 Kobo WiFi vs $249 Sony PRS-650 touch screen? $100 is a lot extra to pay just to swipe the screen for page turns and trade off the benefits of connectedness. Kobo WiFi isn't a Kindle 3 -- its a portal to ePub that Kindle 3 lacks. If ePub doesn't matter to you, Kobo loses a good deal of its edge.

I strongly commend Kobo, and the business and product development teams for their innovative entry into the e-reader / e-book marketplace. Amazon has been in the e-reader market 3 years and Sony 4 years ... Kobo has made some very smart, savvy moves and executed pretty well (notwithstanding the original font glitchy software shipped in Canada) -- and it has only been in market four months in the US and less than six in Canada. Kobo's collaborative approach, and strong multi-platform vision, I believe provides it a decent chance to become the leading device of choice after the Kindle and it may eventually lead in some markets (thanks to ePub), especially outside of the US.
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