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Old 03-28-2012, 04:15 PM   #1
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New e-reader, Kobo or Sony or...?

Hello,

I currently have an iPad, which I do love for reading, but it's a)not great outside in the gorgeous weather we've been having and b)quite harsh on the eyes when reading at night. I have previously had the very first touch screen Sony reader (can't remember what it was called) which I sold when I bought my iPad, and then a Kindle 3, which has now died.

I'd like a new e-ink device, or at least, a device that's cheaper than my iPad, so if I take it to the beach it won't be a disaster if it gets ruined. I'm pretty sure I ought to get e-ink, as I'm assuming all backlit displays will be pretty rubbish outside? I am tempted by a touch screen, as I assume that they are now better than when I had the Sony. But I did like the Kindle's page turn buttons. I am concerned as to whether I will be able to operate a touch screen device with one (small) hand? The new Kindle (non-touch) does not appeal to me, and to be honest, I am pretty fed up with Amazon's proprietary format. But they do seem to have the largest selection, at the cheapest price. Please let me know if this is not the case, as I'd love to jump ship! I don't have that many books in Amazon's format and I am able to convert them using Calibre (thanks, MR, for teaching me how to do that!), so that is not a problem.

So ruling out Amazon's devices, that leaves me with (I think) the Kobo Wireless/Touch and the Sony device. I am in the UK so I don't think I have access to the Sony store, and being able to quickly buy books is quite important to me. Do any of the Kobo/Sony devices have the ability to receive ebooks sent wirelessly at all? Or is it all through USB/Kobo Store? Not vital, but I did like that function of the Kindle.

I like to read books on both my iPad and an e-reader, so I guess the Kobo would be best for that - does it keep your last read page in sync across devices?

I think I am leaning towards the Kobo Touch, and would be interested in hearing people's views on it. I am completely open to being persuaded otherwise though!

Sorry for such a mammoth post, just wanted to make sure I gave all the info I could!

Thanks a lot,

Bat.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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If you are willing to remove DRM and convert you can get any e-reader and you will be fine.

I would stick to the Kindle, Sony, or Nook. The Kobo seems to be a good reader but is far more bare bones and not any cheaper then the others. You may as well pay the same money and get a reader with more features. You can always choose not to use them but you would have to buy a new reader if you decided that you wanted the features and they were not there.

Go to a Best Buy and play around with the differen e-readers. See which one feels best to you and make your decision that way. Honestly, the readers all do a good job of displaying text and reading. They are all using the same screen and they are all using the technology for the touch screen. There are some differences in the features but most of those are cosmetic. It really comes down to the bookstore and how the device feels to you.

If you think you are going to buy most of your books from Amazon then take a look at the Kindle Touch or the Kindle 4 (non-touch with buttons) if you want something inexpensive that you will be less annoyed if it gets ruined at the beach.

Customer Service wise, Amazon has the best. BN, Sony, and Kobo have mixed reviews.

I have no idea how to read Sony's marked down prices, there are reports of T1s being sold for $79 - $89 across the US. Does that mean that Sony is being more competitive price wise or is it that Best Buy has noticed that the Sonys are not selling well and are clearing them out because the Kindles and Nooks are doing better? Some folks have been told at Best Buy that they are not going to be restocking Sony's. I am getting this from topics I have read in the Sony forum so please correct me if I am wrong. I guess what I am getting at is that it is possible that Sony is withdrawing from the US ebook market and that could effect customer service and the like down the line. Then again, there are plenty of Sony users who are still using the Sony 500 so we know that the Sony readers are well built and you might not have any issues that you need to worry about.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:31 PM   #3
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Since agency pricing went into effect, Amazon doesn't have as much of an advantage in terms of pricing because the big six forces all retailers to sell their e-books at the same price. I'm not sure how Amazon's pricing for non-agency e-books is.

With the Kobo, you can purchase e-books directly from their store through WiFi. I don't have any direct experience with the Kobo Touch so I can't really say much.

With the prior generation of Sony Readers (PRS x50) you had to sideload e-books. The T1 has wireless capabilities but I'm not sure if that will allow you to download e-books from other stores wirelessly.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:35 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Idiotically, I forgot to mention that I am in the UK, so can't get the Nook, nor visit a Best Buy

Just watched some video reviews of the Sony and the Kobo, and I have to say I like the look of the Sony more, especially the Collections feature. However, with the absence of the Reader store in the UK, I'm not exactly sure how it works. It mentions on their web page that you can download books directly onto the device, but no idea how or from where. I'll have to do more research I think!

That's interesting about the agency pricing, I didn't know about that. I don't know if I would buy all my books from Amazon, I don't like being confined to them, but the consensus seems to be that they have the most choice? I don't know.

Thank you, any more replies are very welcome!
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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In the US, you download e-book directly from libraries and the Sony Store onto the T1. I'm not sure if you can download e-books directly from the library in the UK though.
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Old 03-28-2012, 05:59 PM   #6
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Collections are a really useful feature and fully supported by Calibre. If you use it to sideload your books, it will create Collections based on the tags and series information for your books. I like to modify my books before I load them, so I have little use for downloading directly to the device. With Calibre, you can buy ePubs from most bookstores to load on your reader. With a little scrubbing, you can use Calibre to load books from anywhere but Apple. Unless the ability to download, right now, is really important to you, I'd focus more on the reader's features.

Even though I usually use my touchscreen to turn pages, it is sometimes much more convenient to have buttons. I'd recommend something that has both features, especially if you're planning to read at the beach.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polly View Post
Even though I usually use my touchscreen to turn pages, it is sometimes much more convenient to have buttons. I'd recommend something that has both features, especially if you're planning to read at the beach.
That's a very good point. I hadn't thought of that.

I'm almost tempted to buy the Sony. BUT it's £50 more than the Kobo! That seems a bit ridiculous. And I don't know whether I can justify it. Hmm. Is it worth it, do you reckon?

Thanks, everyone.
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:29 PM   #8
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The software on the T1 is better then the software on the Kobo. There are bugs in the Kobo such as the embedded font bug. So really, it's a no-brainer to pay the extra and get the T1. Less bugs, less hassle, more enjoyment.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:03 PM   #9
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you may want to consider the Cybook Odyssey or a Pocketbook reader.... they have one out with a Pearl screen now....as stated above you can buy your ebook from any store strip the drm and slap it on any reader...that is what I do...thus my Opus, Pb360 and Sony 350 all have books from a mix of ebook stores......
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:11 PM   #10
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That's a very good point. I hadn't thought of that.

I'm almost tempted to buy the Sony. BUT it's £50 more than the Kobo! That seems a bit ridiculous. And I don't know whether I can justify it. Hmm. Is it worth it, do you reckon?

Thanks, everyone.
I think that depends on how much you liked your last Sony. The Pearl screens are all the same now across brands; if you had the 600, you'll notice a definite improvement. The software is a more polished version of the 600, keeping many of the organizational features and improving the rest. Have you looked at the 350/650/950 line? They've been discontinued, so if you can find one, it might be much less expensive. Only WiFi on the 950, but they are a really nice line of readers.

From the little I've played with them and seen posted here, the Kobo is really buggy. The Collections don't work nearly as well as on the Sony and the user interface is more clunky.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:08 PM   #11
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The software on the T1 is better then the software on the Kobo. There are bugs in the Kobo such as the embedded font bug. So really, it's a no-brainer to pay the extra and get the T1. Less bugs, less hassle, more enjoyment.
I wasn't even aware of the "Embedded Font" bug, a few times I've run across an embedded font so I just remove it with Calibre.

The Kobo isn't bare bones.

The reviews on the internet are using an older firmware, the new firmware has a lot more features including:

1. Much faster page turns
2. Multiple bookmarks, just tap the top corner of the screen to make a "Dog ear"
3. You can adjust: Line spacing, Margins, font size, and fonts (You can add all different types of fonts from your computer onto the device)
4. Lots of ways to share things to Facebook.


You can add the collections function with a plug-in from the Kobo section in this forum.

In my opinion the Sony not having the ability to tap the screen to turn pages (You have to swipe on the Sony) is a deal breaker, on the Kobo you can tap the page.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:10 PM   #12
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That's a very good point. I hadn't thought of that.

I'm almost tempted to buy the Sony. BUT it's £50 more than the Kobo! That seems a bit ridiculous. And I don't know whether I can justify it. Hmm. Is it worth it, do you reckon?

Thanks, everyone.
I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Kobo if you get it. I'm very happy with mine.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:54 AM   #13
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If you are fed up with Amazon and want to rule out the new Kindle Touch, then yes the Kobo Touch and the Sony PRS-T1 are probably the best two options. Though Waterstone's are reported to be hooking up with B&N to bring a Nook (or Nook like ereader) to the UK, meant to be released this Spring (though I don't think there has been any further news since it was first reported last year so perhaps it won't be released until later).

There's not huge differences between the quality of the latest generation of touch-screen readers, but I'd say the PRS-T1 is probably a bit better than the Kobo but considering you can get the Kobo for £75 (@ John Lewis), compared to £130 for the Sony....

Things to consider, the Kobo has things like reading awards, book recommendations etc, some people find them irritating but if you like being part of a community it might suit you. Page turns are still iffy and firmware updates are yet to fix them (as mentioned it has the option to tap or swipe whereas the Sony doesn't but it seems to be people who want to tap to turn pages are having more problems), but that apart it's a fine little reader. It's not as easy to buy books as it is with a Kindle but check the Kobo section of this forum, there's often Kobo discount codes posted.

The Sony is probably worth a little extra for the extra quality over the Kobo (but not £50!) and it doesn't appear to have the same issues with firmware updates not fixing little niggles, but a lot of people don't like the glossy facing it has (though a skin/cover can negate that), though it does have a 'bonus' of having physical page turn buttons. There's no great support from Sony, both in terms of physical ereader support or in terms of a decent shop linked to it.

If you are happy side loading your books (downloading them to your computer and transferring them via USB) then shopping doesn't really matter anyway, you can buy from pretty much where you want and sideload (apprentice alf and using calibre can even mean format shifting isn't much of an issue).

For ease of buying books and delivering them wirelessly though, well the Kindle is tops for that, and with the Kindle Touch now available in the UK....

Personally I like Amazon so if I was buying now I'd go for the Kindle Touch, I *think* I would quite like the PRS-T1 but am not sure it's worth the extra money. If I wasn't bothered about Amazon support, I'd probably go for the Kobo Touch. If price is at all a factor, it can't really be beaten, can it?

Last edited by soulfuldog; 03-29-2012 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:35 AM   #14
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Thank you so much for all the replies. I guess I am happy to transfer over USB, though it will be more annoying than simply emailing them to myself... although after a bit of hunting around I've seen solutions such as using Dropbox (can't remember whether that was the Sony or the Kobo though!). Here's another question - which can be hacked the easiest? I love to fiddle with things, and have in the past jailbroken my Kindle 3, so am quite happy to play around. It looks to me like the Sony might have more potential for playing around with, but please correct me if I'm wrong!
The physical buttons are tempting with the Sony, but having them to one side instead of on both like the Kindle is a bit annoying, as it means I have to hold it with my left (?) hand. Better than not having them though I suppose!
I personally quite like the idea of book recommendations, so that sounds good to me. Not sure about sharing to Facebook though... I think my friends would get annoyed, as none of them seem to have e-readers, or even seem to read at all! The gamer in me also likes the reading awards idea and stats!
I guess I just worry that there is a reason that the Kobo is so cheap. Iffy page turns don't sound good - how bad are they?
I guess it does come down to price really. £50 is a lot extra for an e-reader that isn't even linked to a store. I'd like to see the Nook if it gets brought out by Waterstones, but I wouldn't want to buy my books there - they seem extortionate compared to Amazon! Kobo doesn't seem as bad. And also, I don't know if I can wait for it to be released! This lovely weather really makes me want to be outside reading, which I just can't do on my iPad.

Thanks again for all the responses.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:21 PM   #15
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Things to consider, the Kobo has things like reading awards, book recommendations etc,
The recommendations aren't too big of a deal, the Nook has the same thing, but since it's always been there people aren't as mad.

You can also turn off all sharing options and awards.

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