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Old 09-13-2012, 09:53 AM   #1
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Kindle Paperwhite vs. Kobo Glo

What are everyone's thoughts, considering neither one is out there to check out in person?

I pre-ordered a Paperwhite, but am considering canceling after I took a closer look at the Kobo Glo. Based on the posted specs, the Kobo Glo, is smaller, lighter, and has a longer battery life. I know the screen technologies aren't exactly the same (IR vs. capacitive touch screen, light guide technology probably differs), but I'm wondering if that will affect readability / responsiveness at all. Screen resolution is the same. And I pretty much de-DRM everything and load via Calibre, so the Amazon ecosystem has limited appeal.

I'm leaning towards the Kobo Glo. Anyone else working through the same choice?
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:15 AM   #2
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Like you I have a PW pre-ordered, but have not real format loyalty (although I've been buying Kindle's lately). I find the Glo to be a nice looking device and am still considering it.

My biggest question I ask myself about the Kobo is about the firmware. It seems like everytime they release something there are bugs and it takes a long time to get them worked out after the fact. Note that is my perception based on posts I've seen here and talking to a few people I know that own Kobo devices and may not really be fact, just my perception. The other thing holding me back from the Kobo is every customer support interaction I've had with them (for books I've bought and for the Kobo Vox) were horrible experiences, so that give me pause.

One other thing, does anyone know if the Glo's light setup is like the one on the Nook Glowlight? From what I've read that's a bit fragile.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
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I second what AnemicOak said. Kobo has tons of issues. I've talked to several people that own them who say the same and the last one I did told me they've spent more hours trying to fix & upgrade & update the device than reading. I'm in Canada. As far as I know, she ditched her Kobo and went with Sony.

It's always personal opinion and I do have a major dislike of Kobo because of the above, but I want something that works out of the box. For me that's my Sony and the Kindle. Given the choice of Kobo or Kindle, I'd go Kindle. Hands down, no questions asked or a moment's hesitation. Kindle!

My perception of the Kobo is that they fix their devices similar to a leaky roof. They patch each hole as discovered instead of making sure the whole thing is done properly to begin with. I really, really don't like that way of working.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Judging from reports in the Kobo forum, the Kobo firmware is very much a "work in progress". The Kindle firmware has the odd minor bug, but it's rock solid in terms of stability.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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Thanks, very helpful opinions. I've been a Sony die-hard all these years, but just absolutely love the lighted screen (in fact, I've been reading a lot on my Nook Color lately, just for that reason although it's a battery hog and heavy).

I also have an underlying love for supporting the underdog, but not at the expense of usability. I'm pretty far down on the Paperwhite list due to my indecision, so I guess I'll check out actual user reviews on both readers before I make my final choice.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:14 PM   #6
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Thanks, very helpful opinions. I've been a Sony die-hard all these years, but just absolutely love the lighted screen (in fact, I've been reading a lot on my Nook Color lately, just for that reason although it's a battery hog and heavy).

I also have an underlying love for supporting the underdog, but not at the expense of usability. I'm pretty far down on the Paperwhite list due to my indecision, so I guess I'll check out actual user reviews on both readers before I make my final choice.
You might ask on the Kobo forum to get the perspective of actual Kobo users rather than those of Kindle or Sony fans. Kobo has 50% market share in Canada. Not everyone has had problems. I for one have not and taking into account it's popularity, I can't be alone or Sony or Kindle would be #1. Not saying I don't love my Sony but I'd take the opinion of owners rather than that of others based on hearsay.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:28 PM   #7
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You might ask on the Kobo forum to get the perspective of actual Kobo users rather than those of Kindle or Sony fans. Kobo has 50% market share in Canada. Not everyone has had problems. I for one have not and taking into account it's popularity, I can't be alone or Sony or Kindle would be #1. Not saying I don't love my Sony but I'd take the opinion of owners rather than that of others based on hearsay.
The only reason they have such a big share in Canada is that Kobo is propped up & highlighted all over the place. People don't want Kindle because they have to pay in US dollars when buying books, or pay the conversion in Canadian. Same difference. They're also somewhat limited in model choice. We get older crap up here.

Many, many people don't have the slightest idea that Sony makes an ereader. They want an ereader and someone in a store says Kobo.

In the US someone wants an ereader an invariably someone says Kindle. It's the same thing. They're starting to say Nook too but Kindle first.

Kobo has such a big share because people don't know the alternatives and are under the misconception that Kobo is Canadian so they think they're being patriotic and supporting it. It's not because it's a better device. Don't kid yourself. My opinion has nothing to do with being a Sony or Kindle fan. It's usability and Kobo doesn't have it over the other two.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:31 PM   #8
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Two reasons why I would prefer the Glo:

1. Kobo says the Glo has a "non-glass" screen, i.e. presumably the famous plastic substrate we're all waiting for, and so should be less fragile than the Kindle (or practically any other reader currently on the market).

2. Kobo has introduced a unique feature in their software that allows you to adjust the weight of the fonts you are using. That's great!
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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Two reasons why I would prefer the Glo:

1. Kobo says the Glo has a "non-glass" screen, i.e. presumably the famous plastic substrate we're all waiting for, and so should be less fragile than the Kindle (or practically any other reader currently on the market).
Actually, the Kobo rep said he was 80% sure that there still is a glass substrate for the reader: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...8&postcount=37 .

But the font adjustment thing does sound cool

I'll definitely keep an ear open for reviews once they're in market. I did a quick google search on the Kobo Touch and most of the reviews I saw were very positive.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:25 PM   #10
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Sorry to jump in with someone else's thread.

Amazon's 'no plans for the Paperwhite in the Uk' has me making no plans to buy another Kindle. There are two things stopping me pre ordering a Kobo Glo:

- I keep hearing lots about different touchscreen technologies but don't really know what they mean. On the Glo, does the screen need a finger touching the screen like my smartphone? Or would a gloved finger or the end of a duvet be ok? I'm happy with my K3 buttons, but touch seems to be the way the readers are going.

- Reading bad things about he Kobo firmware and MicroSD card support. I need something that works out of the box, I can stick a micro SD in and USE. What format (fat 32?) does the SD card need to be in?
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:34 PM   #11
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I can at least answer the question about the touchscreen.

The Kobo Glo uses Infrared technology, which means you just need something to physically touch the screen (or get very close) in order to register the touch. Gloved hands would work fine.

The Paperwhite uses capacitive touch, which is like a Smartphone, so it will need bare fingers (or a stylus designed for capacitive screens) to work.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:09 PM   #12
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Our family has four Kobo Touchs and the only problem was with one that was updated to firmware 2.0 after it had been modified with an add in.
Other than they've been remarkably stable and robust, surviving drops, being left in the car in weather from 40 below to 100 above, and even zapped (lightning strike that took out a cell phone but the touch survived (both plugged into the same usb charger)).
As for MicroSD support, we do use them occasionally, and I've seen the odd quirk, but nothing that was a game changer, but do you ever really need more than 100 or so books with you?

I have pre-ordered a Glo
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:11 PM   #13
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Actually, the Kobo rep said he was 80% sure that there still is a glass substrate for the reader: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...8&postcount=37 .
On the Dutch site, kobobooks.nl, they literally say that the screen of the Glo is not made out of glass. Any Dutch person reading the announcement of the Glo there would interpret the wording as meaning that there is no glass at all in the screen. Pretty misleading, then.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:55 AM   #14
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On the Dutch site, kobobooks.nl, they literally say that the screen of the Glo is not made out of glass. Any Dutch person reading the announcement of the Glo there would interpret the wording as meaning that there is no glass at all in the screen. Pretty misleading, then.
I'm not aware of any reader which has a glass outer screen - they're all plastic. The layer of glass is the screen substrate, which is underneath the topmost layer of plastic.
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:57 AM   #15
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I'm not aware of any reader which has a glass outer screen - they're all plastic. The layer of glass is the screen substrate, which is underneath the topmost layer of plastic.
Indeed. But that does not answer the question what Kobo means when they say that the Glo has a "non-glass" screen. If they only mean that there is no glass on top of the screen the Glo is no different from any other reader in that respect, so why use it as a selling point unless you want to mislead prospective customers? If they mean that there is no glass layer at all - we're talking about the new "flexible" screens.
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