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Old 11-10-2012, 07:21 PM   #1
Big McLargeHuge
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Question Thinking of buying my first Kobo product, need advice.

Hi guys, i've been looking at all the lit ereaders and i have recently decided to stick to epub, so that kind of leaves out Amazon's PW. I've previously owned a Kindle 3 and 4, but own neither now. I guess my questions are:
  • How is Kobo's Customer Service?
  • Is returning a product i don't like as easy as it is on Amazon?
  • Is the Kobo stable? I see a few threads just on the first page of freezes and crashes.
  • I've heard that sideloaded books sometimes don't let you mess with their fonts/spacing. Does this apply even if the sideloaded book is a DRM free book bought FROM Kobo, unchanged? (even if the book previously had DRM? *winkwink*)
  • What features do you like/made you decide to buy your Kobo Glo?
  • What is the touch screen like? Is it capacitive like the Kindle Paperwhite? If not which is it? Infrared? Which is better, capacitive or infrared?

As always, thanks for any and all help!

Last edited by Big McLargeHuge; 11-10-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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Quote:
  • How is Kobo's Customer Service?
I've had good experiences with Kobo Customer Service. Other folks have not. Your mileage may vary.
Quote:
  • Is returning a product i don't like as easy as it is on Amazon?
Not sure what you mean here. Not liking a product is seldom a justifiable reason for returning it. Also not sure what you mean by product... reader or ebook?
Quote:
  • Is the Kobo stable? I see a few threads just on the first page of freezes and crashes.
Firmware 2.1.5 is quite stable. I've yet to have a crash on my Touch while running it. Keep in mind that the number of problem cases is always exaggerated on forums... people talk about problems. They don't tend to post "My e-reader is working great!" (although you can find a few "thank you!" topics around here if you look.)
Quote:
  • I've heard that sideloaded books sometimes don't let you mess with their fonts/spacing. Does this apply even if the sideloaded book is a DRM free book bought FROM Kobo, unchanged? (even if the book previously had DRM? *winkwink*)
It depends on the book. If the book contains formatting defaults, the Kobo e-reader firmware won't over-ride them. Sometimes you can run into this even on a kepub. However, if it's a problem most people have had great success in using Calibre to strip out the formatting. This would be quite simple on a DRM free book.

Quote:
  • What features do you like/made you decide to buy your Kobo Glo?
Can't speak to the Glo... but epub support and a Canadian store were the two main factors for me on the Touch. Most Canadian libraries can't loan to Kindles.
Quote:
  • What is the touch screen like? Is it capacitive like the Kindle Paperwhite? If not which is it? Infrared? Which is better, capacitive or infrared?
It's infrared. I find it works great on the Touch. Never had a capacitive screen e-reader, so I can't compare.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ottdmk View Post
I've had good experiences with Kobo Customer Service. Other folks have not. Your mileage may vary.
Not sure what you mean here. Not liking a product is seldom a justifiable reason for returning it. Also not sure what you mean by product... reader or ebook?
Firmware 2.1.5 is quite stable. I've yet to have a crash on my Touch while running it. Keep in mind that the number of problem cases is always exaggerated on forums... people talk about problems. They don't tend to post "My e-reader is working great!" (although you can find a few "thank you!" topics around here if you look.)
It depends on the book. If the book contains formatting defaults, the Kobo e-reader firmware won't over-ride them. Sometimes you can run into this even on a kepub. However, if it's a problem most people have had great success in using Calibre to strip out the formatting. This would be quite simple on a DRM free book.

Can't speak to the Glo... but epub support and a Canadian store were the two main factors for me on the Touch. Most Canadian libraries can't loan to Kindles.
It's infrared. I find it works great on the Touch. Never had a capacitive screen e-reader, so I can't compare.
Thanks a lot for the help!


I mean ereader. Amazon's return policy let's you return something and you can give the reason on the drop down list "no longer wanted". All they do is subtract shipping costs. Best Buy does the same thing with open electronics. I don't expect to return books or anything like that of course (unless they're unreadable due to errors or formatting issues), but Amazon also lets you return Kindle books within 7 days from the "Manage my Kindle" section, without even having to talk to anyone.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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I love the Kobo Glo and have had no problems with it so far.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:14 AM   #5
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I bought my Kobo Mini at Walmart and they have a 14 day no questions asked return policy which is pretty standard in Canada although many store will take returns after that.
As to Kobo I have no idea about longer term service but buying with a credit card gives you a two year warrenty. Walmart wanted $40 for an extended 3 year warrenty which seems excessive for a $79 device.

Amazons customer service for the kindle can't be beat IMO, but I would think Kobo would do pretty well. They are getting a lot of good press with the Glo and Mini, so why ruin it with crappy customer service.

I do love the Kobo Mini and most people seem to be very happy with the Glo. They aren't perfect, but seem (my opinion only) slightly better than most.

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Old 11-11-2012, 01:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big McLargeHuge View Post
How is Kobo's Customer Service?
As others have said, your mileage may vary but my experience with them has been great. They have successfully resolved every issue I've had, and usually relatively quickly. My partner and several other people I know all have Kobos as well, and either haven't had any problems or have seen all their problems resolved.

Quote:
Is returning a product i don't like as easy as it is on Amazon?
When you buy a Kindle, Amazon is both the manufacturer and the retailer. The question you're asking is for the retailer side of their business. Therefore the answer depends on where you buy your Kobo. Ask your retailer before you buy what their return policy is. For example, Chapters/Indigo (possibly the world's biggest retailer of Kobos, unless FNAC has them beat now) has a 30 day return policy if the Kobo is bought online, and a 14 day return policy if it's bought in store (though an online-purchased Kobo can be returned in store).

Return policy is retailer-based, warranty policy is usually manufacturer-based and that's a different question.

Quote:
Is the Kobo stable? I see a few threads just on the first page of freezes and crashes.
Mine's rock solid. I agree with others who say that the concerns are exaggerated by happy customers reading their Kobos and unhappy customers complaining about them.

Quote:
What features do you like/made you decide to buy your Kobo Glo?
- Support for open formats,
- Kobo easily has the very best e-reading devices on the market where I live (Canada)
- Kobo has one of the largest e-book stores going
- Kobo regularly offers generous discount codes for non-agency books (and lots more books are going to be non-agency shortly)
- I like spirited underdogs (though Kobo's no longer the underdog where I live, they still are globally)
- I disagree with the business practices of one of Kobo's major competitors (Amazon)

And while this reason didn't contribute to my decision, because I found out about it afterward, had I known in advance it would have factored in:

- the texture of the Kobo Glo screen has a texture that's got a touch of resistance to it and feels more like sliding your finger across paper.

Quote:
What is the touch screen like? Is it capacitive like the Kindle Paperwhite? If not which is it? Infrared? Which is better, capacitive or infrared?
It's infrared. IR has the advantage of requiring one less layer on top of the screen, which some have speculated contributes to (compared to the Kindle PW) a more realistic and more paper-like display. I can't personally attest that it looks more realistic than a PW, but I can attest that it's amazingly paper-like.

Quote:
As always, thanks for any and all help!
You're very welcome.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:11 AM   #7
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Ah. Gotcha. Can't say I know a lot about "no-ask" return policies. I will say that I love my Touch enough that I doubt you'd have any reason to return a Glo.

I wish I could justify getting a Glo for myself (I would love the better tech stats and the by-all-accounts really good lighting) but my Touch works great and I just can't do it.

As for returning books that have problems: While Kobo doesn't have the convenience of that Amazon website feature you mentioned, I have had problems with two ebooks purchased from Kobo. Both times Kobo Customer Service were very helpful.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:13 AM   #8
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Ottdmk, Can you sell your touch on Craigslist and that would offset some of the cost of a Glo? I just sold my Kindle there.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big McLargeHuge View Post
  • Is the Kobo stable? I see a few threads just on the first page of freezes and crashes.
  • I've heard that sideloaded books sometimes don't let you mess with their fonts/spacing. Does this apply even if the sideloaded book is a DRM free book bought FROM Kobo, unchanged? (even if the book previously had DRM? *winkwink*)
  • What features do you like/made you decide to buy your Kobo Glo?
  • What is the touch screen like? Is it capacitive like the Kindle Paperwhite? If not which is it? Infrared? Which is better, capacitive or infrared?
-I have it for about two weeks.No crases so far, more than 4 books finished quite a few others browsed.It had a few bugs(with the Wifi mainly) but nothing critical or something I consider a deal breaker.

-Until now I haven't had any problems,I could change the fonts/spacing in every e-book I had.Badly formatted epubs that caused the reader to misfunction were a problem for every ereader I had(3 so far),so I don't think it is a big problem or that uncommon.

-The light,the prize,the availability in my country and the fact that it isn't an Kindle.

-It has an infrared screen.
I can't realy compare it with the capasitive screen because my last reader that had one was the Orizon.Orizon is very slow due to prossesor(so every time I have to wait or tap twice) so I can't say with certainty which is better.So far the Glo screen is responsive and I faced few to none problems.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:21 AM   #10
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I haven't had any problems with Kobo customer support.

My Glo sporadically froze when I put a microSD card with about 800 books into it, but without the card it's been fine.

The page turns fail about one time in five. In spite of that, I prefer my Glo to the two Paperwhites I returned, because the screen is so much cleaner.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:58 AM   #11
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I haven't had any problems with Kobo customer support.

My Glo sporadically froze when I put a microSD card with about 800 books into it, but without the card it's been fine.

The page turns fail about one time in five. In spite of that, I prefer my Glo to the two Paperwhites I returned, because the screen is so much cleaner.
When the page turn fails I swipe once instead of tap and all is well again.

Helen
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:01 AM   #12
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When the page turn fails I swipe once instead of tap and all is well again.
Yes, that seems to help.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapking View Post
As others have said, your mileage may vary but my experience with them has been great. They have successfully resolved every issue I've had, and usually relatively quickly. My partner and several other people I know all have Kobos as well, and either haven't had any problems or have seen all their problems resolved.



When you buy a Kindle, Amazon is both the manufacturer and the retailer. The question you're asking is for the retailer side of their business. Therefore the answer depends on where you buy your Kobo. Ask your retailer before you buy what their return policy is. For example, Chapters/Indigo (possibly the world's biggest retailer of Kobos, unless FNAC has them beat now) has a 30 day return policy if the Kobo is bought online, and a 14 day return policy if it's bought in store (though an online-purchased Kobo can be returned in store).

Return policy is retailer-based, warranty policy is usually manufacturer-based and that's a different question.



Mine's rock solid. I agree with others who say that the concerns are exaggerated by happy customers reading their Kobos and unhappy customers complaining about them.



- Support for open formats,
- Kobo easily has the very best e-reading devices on the market where I live (Canada)
- Kobo has one of the largest e-book stores going
- Kobo regularly offers generous discount codes for non-agency books (and lots more books are going to be non-agency shortly)
- I like spirited underdogs (though Kobo's no longer the underdog where I live, they still are globally)
- I disagree with the business practices of one of Kobo's major competitors (Amazon)

And while this reason didn't contribute to my decision, because I found out about it afterward, had I known in advance it would have factored in:

- the texture of the Kobo Glo screen has a texture that's got a touch of resistance to it and feels more like sliding your finger across paper.



It's infrared. IR has the advantage of requiring one less layer on top of the screen, which some have speculated contributes to (compared to the Kindle PW) a more realistic and more paper-like display. I can't personally attest that it looks more realistic than a PW, but I can attest that it's amazingly paper-like.



You're very welcome.
Haha yes i just realized Kobo doesn't actually sell their own Kobo devices . I went to Bestbuy.com but it just says coming soon. Any idea when it's supposed to release? Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big McLargeHuge View Post
  • How is Kobo's Customer Service?
  • I don't have much good to say about Customer service. However, I kind of had a snit over 1 issue (several months back.). doesn't matter what company you're talking about, it's not hard to find someon who fell through a crack.


    Quote:
  • Is returning a product i don't like as easy as it is on Amazon?
  • Unlike Amazon, Kobo is also available throug several retailers. Chatpers return policy, for example, requires 'unopened box,' (although, I think you can probably persuade them in some cases, YMMV.) Futureshop has extended their usually great 'no questions' return policy to January in preperation for holiday shopping.

    Quote:
  • Is the Kobo stable? I see a few threads just on the first page of freezes and crashes
  • As of now, with Firmware version 2.1.5, Kobo is very good. Be forwarned, Kobo has a well documented history of pushing (almost forcing) updates to devies that are very buggy and almost always break something. 2.1.4 is the the first version I considered both feature complete and stable, (although, the ability to use SD card to store books was completely broken.) This is less of a concern if you are the type who would rather forgo a Kobo account and manage your device yourself.

    [
    Quote:
    *]I've heard that sideloaded books sometimes don't let you mess with their fonts/spacing. Does this apply even if the sideloaded book is a DRM free book bought FROM Kobo, unchanged? (even if the book previously had DRM? *winkwink*)
    This depends on how the book is coded.. However, without DRM, if there is formatting in the book you don't like and Kobo doesn't adjust, you can adjust it yourself by tweaking in Calibre, either by removing those formatting codes that prevent Kobo from applying user adjustments, or customizing the code to suite your preference.


    Quote:
  • What features do you like/made you decide to buy your Kobo Glo?
  • I was all set to wait and buy the Kinde PW, which I think is a superior device in many respects, and brings more features to the table. However, Amazon has recently adopted a stance of bitting the hands of their customers. The recently announced update they are pushing to the PW obliterates any of the user customization (aka: hacks) and locks the device to try and prevent tampering. Of course, people are already working on finding ways around it, (and there is one, so long as you install it first before any updates to the Kindle.) But I would rather buy a slightly inferior device than give my money to someone actively trying to screw me over.

    The Sony devices have many great software features, but even their newest release device is using a past generation e-ink screen. Also, unlike it's competitors, Sony has completely fallen behind on making fonts look good on e-ink, something I cosider rather important on a reader, and Kobo/Amazon do that best. Not to mention no illuminated screens.

    Quote:
  • What is the touch screen like? Is it capacitive like the Kindle Paperwhite? If not which is it? Infrared? Which is better, capacitive or infrared?
Kobo Glo is IR. I don't know if one is technically better than the other. The Glo I have is less sensitive to touch than my previous IR devices. This is either luck of the draw on an individual device, or a deliberate attempt to reduce the number of unwanted 'touches.' I do have to remember to slow down and take my time when trying to input with the on-screen keyboard.

As a final note, I will say that the whole file format debate is a red herring and should have no impact on your decision. The only thing that matters is DRM, and you already hinted your willingness to work around that. Books bought from Kobo or B&N work just fine on my Kindle Touch after using Calibre to convert to AWZ3 (Kindle format 8), which is very much the same thing as Epub3 (that is, HTML5 formatted files in a container with a few meta-data files to define structure.)
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:24 PM   #15
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: South Cackalacky
Device: Sony PRS-T1, Kobo Glo
I am one of the ones having crashes, but I haven't seen any other reports of people having problems like I'm having. I think I just got a bad unit. I love the device itself and feel sure that these problems will not be present after I exchange it for another unit.

(And the the point that people only post about their problems: That's probably true in my case. I don't think I ever posted to say how easy and trouble-free my Sony PRS-T1 has been. It runs like a diesel, but without the smell!)

I found my Glo by going to the American Booksellers Association web site and locating a member store in my area. I checked that store's site (Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC) and called to confirm they had the device in stock.

Courtney
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