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Old 12-02-2010, 03:34 PM   #1
jean_wat
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Just about ready to give up on Kobo WiFi reader

I am an experienced ebook reader. I travel almost non-stop for business, so I've been reading ebooks on my laptop for years. 2 years ago I started reading books on my iPhone. I often get library ebooks, and read them on my laptop, since there were no readers for iPhone that could easily display ADE epubs.

I picked the Kobo for these reasons. I had already purchased a number of Kobo books, so figured it would work nicely for me. The wifi interface would help when I'm on the road. I pre-ordered the wifi and it arrive in October.

Flash forward 6 weeks, and I am ready to give up. Why?

1) The loading user interface / desktop software.
To load Kobo books, I use the desktop software. It's...okay? I guess? I hate that you have to synch twice (It NEVER seems to load newly purchased books on the first try.) Would prefer a drag and drop file manager style. And why can't I flag what I want to read to selectively load? If I've read a book, I want to take it off the reader! And of course, you can't use it for other books. For epubs without DRM (eg. from Fictionwise), I use Calibre. For library and other ADE books, I use ADE. So 3 pieces of software just to keep my reader current!

2) The user interface on the reader itself.
I HATE that you can't sort by Author, make categories, or any other selective sort. Seriously, between the pre-loads (100), my purchased Kobo books (~200, which again, are all or nothing), it's already brutal to find the one I'm looking for. (Is "the" included in the sort? No, so "The Sentimentalists" is under S. But "A" is included! "A Fine Balance" is under A. Why? WHY? Indefinite articles are just more special???) Add in a minimum number of other books and I am irritated to begin with.

Add in the fact that there is no goto page and I am frequently screaming with frustration. Because....

3) It will NOT HOLD A CHARGE.
Randomly, without any use, the battery will completely drain. At this point, all bookmarks and % read markers are lost. For library books, which seem to have no chapter markers, it means you have to PAGE THROUGH THE ENTIRE BOOK to get to your place. This happened this morning for about the 50th time, and I wanted to cry. I was about 90% of the way through "The Sentimentalists", a library book, and the prospect of clicking the button endlessly just pushed me over the edge.

Yes, I have called CS about this. It's hard for me to do so, given the travel issue. I opened a request in October, and NEVER HEARD BACK. Have I called since? I've tried, and a) lost the connection on my cell phone, then b) was on hold then got hung up on etc, or c) not been able to use the toll-free number from where I was, with no other options. I have tried emailing, and also adding a comment to my original request, but no response.

If I could keep it charged all the time, I would, but since they won't let you do that on a plane I'm out of luck.

4) Other irritants
- Wifi. Entering a secure key with the "keypad" is not fun. Since I have to do this at every hotel and office it's even more fun. Also, why doesn't the wifi connect automatically? Since I've had to reset the Kobo about 5 times, I've given up on the Wifi. I'm not going to enter a 30-digit key every time, especially given that it barely works when "working".

- Button placement. If I were right-handed, I'm sure the button would be more convenient...but I'm not. (Also, rightys never want to give their dominant hand a rest?)

I am Canadian, and really wanted to love it! But it just doesn't work for me in any way. Unless I hear that a magical new firmware update is in the offing which will solve all my problems, next time I'm home I plan to drive to the nearest Chapters (~1.5 hrs away), and insist they take it back.

Sorry for the rant, I just have spent too many hours trying to get this working!
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:04 PM   #2
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The battery issue would earn you a return as a defective reader, as for the rest--I am surprised that you did not know most of these things before you made the decision to buy a Kobo. The button placement won't change--and go-to may happen--but not in the next update, and maybe not for a long time.

Spend the extra $100 or so and get one more to your liking. Reading should be a pleasure, not a pain. Chapters here is very good about taking a reader back within the first 30 days of sale.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:29 PM   #3
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Try Sony PRS-650; good screen and touchscreen.
Need Wifi ? Try the PRS-950.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:37 PM   #4
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If you really want to be able to access library ePubs, I'd have to agree with SkyDream on the Sonys. Better screen, better user interface, nice physical design. They cost more, but if you read a ton, you're better off spending the extra money.

If you can live without borrowing from the library, I'd recommend a Kindle 3. Given how much you are on the road, you are one of the few people who would actually benefit from the $189 model with free 3G wireless. I've got a Kindle 3 wi-fi and really like it. It allows you to delete and organize books on the device. And it's got page turn buttons on both sides of the device.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jean_wat View Post
1) The loading user interface / desktop software.
To load Kobo books, I use the desktop software. It's...okay? I guess? I hate that you have to synch twice (It NEVER seems to load newly purchased books on the first try.) Would prefer a drag and drop file manager style. And why can't I flag what I want to read to selectively load? If I've read a book, I want to take it off the reader! And of course, you can't use it for other books. For epubs without DRM (eg. from Fictionwise), I use Calibre. For library and other ADE books, I use ADE. So 3 pieces of software just to keep my reader current!

If you use ADE for your library books why don't you just use it for your Kobo books as well. There is no reason why you HAVE to use the desktop software. I think you're being generous in suggesting it is okay - I think it really lets Kobo down.
Also when using ADE you can choose which books are on your reader. You just drag them on when you want them. Otherwise they sit happily in ADE waiting until you decide to read them. Once you have read them you can take them off the Kobo until you want them again. Couldn't be easier.
With the original Kobo there is an option to hide the 100 free books (but only if you haven't opened them) otherwise there are instructions in one of the stickies above on how to remove them permenantly. I assume it works the same with the Wifi model?
As the others have said your battery sounds like it is faulty. I would exchange and get one that holds the charge.

Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:23 PM   #6
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Gotta disagree with you on the button placement jean_wat. The kobo is lefty biased as it leaves your dominant hand free. As a lefty, this is one of it's strongest features IMO.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:32 PM   #7
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The Nook might work for you since it reads Kobo books and you can use the library feature on it. The lower priced version has WiFi only and you can get a version with WiFi and 3G. Both are less expensive then a Sony with WiFi.
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
For library books, which seem to have no chapter markers, it means you have to PAGE THROUGH THE ENTIRE BOOK to get to your place.
I've never had this problem with library ebooks ... and the ePub of "The Sentimentalists" I purchased definitely *does* have chapter markers. Might be worth mentioning this to the library (unless you have found that all books have this problem on your device).

At any rate, I agree with the other commenters who've suggested that the Kobo is probably not the right eReader for your needs.

Last edited by triffids; 12-06-2010 at 08:38 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by jean_wat View Post
- Button placement. If I were right-handed, I'm sure the button would be more convenient...but I'm not. (Also, rightys never want to give their dominant hand a rest?)
This is weird. I'm a righty but when I hold the Kobo in one hand I use my left. My thumb (the left one, that is) seems to fall very naturally on the rubber button. I've figured it would be better for lefties.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:26 AM   #10
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...I'd have to agree with SkyDream on the Sonys. Better screen, better user interface, nice physical design.
Maybe it's because of effect of the Sony's touch screen, but I put my wireless Kobo up against a PRS-650 and tried different lighting, angles, and so on -- the screens appeared exactly the same.
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