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Old 10-30-2010, 07:13 PM   #1
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Kindle vs Kobo in Canada? Which to buy?

I was hoping that the experts and owners on these forums could help clarify something for me. I'm considering getting either a Kindle or Kobo for christmas; the only feature I need is wireless, no 3G so the entry level models for both would be fine.

However I live in Canada, and while I do like Amazon (satisfied customer) I don't like dealing in US dollars when they do have a Canadian website. So I like the idea of the Kobo because I can purchase books "in Canada" so to speak.

Now, I remember reading that the Kobo supports more formats (and DRM?) so I believe I can download from Amazon (and other places) and copy across to the Kobo. But I can't download from Chapters/Indigo and read the books on the Kindle. Is this correct?

Thanks
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to MobileRead, stodge

I'll let our Canadian members answer these questions, but I do know if you download from Amazon, you must remove the drm in order to read it on a Kobo.....

Whichever way you go, download Public Domain books from here.....you'll find them much better formatted, and ready to go.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:54 PM   #3
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Welcome stodge!

Where in Canada are you from?

I'm not aware of anyone here who considers the Kobo device to be superior to the Kindle 3. So if you choose the Kobo, it will be for other reasons.

I'll let the many Canadians here discuss their experiences and give you their recommendations.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:22 PM   #4
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From what I've read, the Kindle is the better device. But I need to consider the content and international aspect. I played with the Kobo today in Chapters, but I wasn't blown away by the device. I'm in Ottawa.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:33 PM   #5
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I would recommend stopping by chapters/indigo to see a kobo in person. I played with one in store and wasnt blown away by it TBH. The only reason I would buy one is if I absolutely positively was not going to use it for anything but books ever and because I like buying from chapters. But if you are ok stripping DRM you can buy from either chapters or amazon and put it on either device.
The only downside to the Kindle as a canadian IMO is having to ship it from the USA and pay customs, I believe it works out to 180 dollars after everything (dont quote me on that i think thats what I saw). I guess there is 1 more downside IMO, the kindle cant borrow library books.

Personally, I am skipping the wifi and getting a sony 350 or 650, I played with both at the Sony store and loved the touch screen, look and interface.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:48 PM   #6
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I did play with the Kobo in Chapters and I wasn't impressed by the device itself. My requirements are a reader are:

- reading books
- reading newspapers
- reading PDFs
- don't care about playing games or browsing or twitter access etc
- I want to download books via wifi from a store
- I want to transfer PDFs from my Mac but otherwise I want minimal interaction between my laptop and the reader. I don't want to mess with converting files or removing DRM etc

Thanks
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:57 PM   #7
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Oh and how do the Kobo and Kindle compare when reading non-DRM PDF?

I'm not considering the Sony reader - should I? It doesn't have WiFi, which is a nice feature but the $199 model has the E-Ink Pearl screen.
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:01 PM   #8
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If you want PDF, neither Kobo or the K3 will do. What I suggest is taking an SD card, put some PDF on it and go have a look at the Sony Reader PRS-650. The PDF support has reflow and margin removal. So it may do better for PDF. It does not have wifi though. The 650 supports the DRM used on PDF (that have DRM).
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Old 10-30-2010, 09:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stodge View Post
Now, I remember reading that the Kobo supports more formats (and DRM?) so I believe I can download from Amazon (and other places) and copy across to the Kobo. But I can't download from Chapters/Indigo and read the books on the Kindle. Is this correct?
It's actually closer to the other way around. Kobo supports both DRM-free and Adobe-DRM-ed versions of the open ePub and PDF formats (which libraries also use), Kindle supports Amazon's proprietary Mobipocket and Topaz, along with non-DRM PDF.

While both can be stripped and converted to load on the reader of your choice, Amazon's formats are a lot harder to deal with, both in terms of the exact hardware/software setup you need to begin with*, and certain limitations in the formats themselves which can lead to occasional display oddities that usually need to be manually fixed.

One consideration for Canadian buyers is that the Kobo store charges in Canadian dollars, and regularly puts out discount coupons which Canadians can generally use on just about any of their books.

The Amazon store charges in US dollars (you can use gift certificates to minimize the CC foreign currency fees if you stock up when the exchange rate is good) and the discounts tend to be irregular and haphazard in comparison, although sometimes there are better deals because of a publisher promo or whatnot.

I think perhaps you may want to consider the Sony, if the screen and PDF are very important to you and you're willing to give up wireless. It's a bit pricier, but there might be holiday discounts or other deals.

And since it also supports ADE-DRM ePubs and PDFs, you can shop from Kobo and borrow from the library (assuming yours carries e-books), which may be enough of a value-add to offset the higher cost.

* Especially tricky for PPC Mac and Linux users.

ETA: Ooh, from Fanatic to Guru in just one post!
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stodge View Post
I did play with the Kobo in Chapters and I wasn't impressed by the device itself. My requirements are a reader are:

- reading books
- reading newspapers
- reading PDFs
- don't care about playing games or browsing or twitter access etc
- I want to download books via wifi from a store
- I want to transfer PDFs from my Mac but otherwise I want minimal interaction between my laptop and the reader. I don't want to mess with converting files or removing DRM etc

Thanks
I personally would never buy the kobo I just dont like it, but I also wouldnt recommend a kindle unless you are willing to strip DRM. Kindle is for sure one of the nicest models Ive researched, but it's not particularily canadian friendly and its very limited for it's formats, I like the idea of borrowing from the library and using epub. Wifi I think is a super nice feature, but I personally am not near enough places that have free wifi (i have wifi on my mp3 player and most places where I usually am have their wifi passworded), I dont spend time at coffee shops or places like that. And at home I think its kinda lazy to not hook it to your puter.
When I played with the Sony I was really impressed by the whole model, and to be honest with all of the features it does have, I think it trumps wifi. The 199 model, 350 does not have audio or expandable memory and is 5" but is super nice for the price, even though it "seems" high comparitively.
Ive spent the better part of 2 weeks looking at reviews and different models. and in the end what made me decide, besides looking instores at the actual readers, is talking it out with a friend about exactly what I will be using it for. I realized after that what I actually wanted vs what I thought was fun.

/end small book on my life with ereaders lol
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:13 PM   #11
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Currently, after using both the Kindle 3 wifi and the Kobo Wi-fi, I can't recommend the Kobo. Everything else about Kobo company as a whole, including their phone apps are great, but their Kobo e-reader is still a work in progress.

If you want to use the Kobo store, or wish to stick with the ePub format I would consider the Sony devices. They are really nice and solidly built but you will pay a premium for them over the other devices price wise, and they won't have wi-fi.

The Kindle 3 is a very well built unit and very responsive to use. I have had no problems or frustrations using it--I can't say that about the Kobo. I have had problems syncing the Kobo to it's desktop app, using it's wifi option is test of patience just to update your library, newspaper publications don't turn out as well as they do on the Kindle, and getting through the menus can take time. When it actually comes to reading a book, the Kobo is fine--it's just everything else it does is somewhat lacking.

My suggestion, if you can afford it is to use the two devices your are most interested side by side for a week. Chapters has a 14 day return policy, Futureshop and Amazon both have 30 day return policies. It's what I did with the Kindle/Kobo, and I think I made a better purchase decision because of it.
In the end I chose the Kindle, but for you it might be different.
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Old 11-03-2010, 03:45 PM   #12
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To provide some contrast - I've got a Kobo and am very happy with it (and I have an original, no wifi version - the new one is faster and has more features). After seeing mine and after doing a lot more research than I did, my co-worker also got a Kobo (original) and is happy with it (currently travelling around asia with it).

If it helps, here were my reasons for getting it, in no particular order:

- Kobo has an open-platform philosophy (http://blog.kobobooks.com/2010/09/17...sbillofrights/) which I like;
- didn't want to have to deal with Amazon's geographic restrictions (i.e. some ebooks only available to US customers)
- I loathed the idea of a physical keyboard on my ereader. I wanted a device for reading, not typing and I wanted something compact.
- being able to borrow ebooks from my library - this is HUGE for me
- supporting a Canadian company
- the reader met all my needs: small, light, good battery life, etc. and I think it's cute.

It definitely helps to get your hands on one to play around with it. Good luck!
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:17 PM   #13
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To provide some contrast - I've got a Kobo and am very happy with it (and I have an original, no wifi version - the new one is faster and has more features). After seeing mine and after doing a lot more research than I did, my co-worker also got a Kobo (original) and is happy with it (currently travelling around asia with it).

If it helps, here were my reasons for getting it, in no particular order:

- Kobo has an open-platform philosophy (http://blog.kobobooks.com/2010/09/17...sbillofrights/) which I like;
- didn't want to have to deal with Amazon's geographic restrictions (i.e. some ebooks only available to US customers)
- I loathed the idea of a physical keyboard on my ereader. I wanted a device for reading, not typing and I wanted something compact.
- being able to borrow ebooks from my library - this is HUGE for me
- supporting a Canadian company
- the reader met all my needs: small, light, good battery life, etc. and I think it's cute.

It definitely helps to get your hands on one to play around with it. Good luck!
Dito, i'm with you
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:56 PM   #14
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I have both an original Kobo and a Kindle 3, and I live in Canada.

Hardware wise, the only thing that the Kobo does better is how it feels in your hands. It's a bit lighter and is easier to grip. Everything else, in my opinion, is better on the Kindle 3.

The Kindle 3's pearl screen is substantially better (much higher text contrast that looks more like actual print). There are a couple extra font sizes which makes finding the ideal size for you easier. You can display in portrait or landscape. You can adjust vertical line spacing to what suits you.

There are dedicated forward and back button on BOTH sides of the Kindle, making it much easier to hold the device in either your left or right hand. The page buttons are easier to press than the Kobo's, and a lot quieter. The Kindle's D-pad allows you to easily move forward or back by chapter. It also allows you to select and look up a particular word using the built-in dictionary. The D-pad also makes navigating Kindle newspapers really easy. I'm not sure how it works on the Kobo because my original Kobo currently doesn't support Kobo newspapers.

As for buying books, Kobo and Kindle prices are really close. Generally, Kindle books that go for 9.99 US go for 10.19 CA on the Kobo bookstore. Two factors to consider however are (1) exchange rate - the Canadian dollar just hit par with the US dollar so it is not much of a factor now ... but that may not be the case in the future. (2) the Kindle store does not charge me any tax when I buy from Canada i.e. no GST or provincial sales tax. The Kobo store charges both. That's a 12% difference that negates the exchange rate difference.

To conclude, the Kobo is not a bad e-reader, and the Kobo bookstore is quite good. The Kindle is just better in my opinion.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:36 PM   #15
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Stodge,

See my thread comparing the two devices.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=105979

Executive summary: the Kindle 3 device is significantly better than the Kobo.

While we aren't allowed to have explicit discussions about stripping DRM, it's a 10 second process. Once that's done, Calibre will convert to .MOBI format the Kindle reads.
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