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Old 11-05-2013, 05:34 PM   #1
ACGT
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Advice to buy Aura HD for xMas

Hi,

I have never used an e-Ink device. My daughter would like an eReader for xMas. She mostly read PDF and ePub books. From what I have gathered so far, the Kobo Aura HD is a good device. But it seems like Kobo has a terrible customer support. In particular, the Aura HD has a capricious screen that could break easily. Sometimes, even when there is a case and the user never dropped the device.

I am totally ignorant in eReader devices, can you please help me avoid novice blunders?

Q1. How compatible is the device in terms of reading DRM-free ePub and PDFs?

Q2. In Canada, would Futureshop 2Y extended warranty covers the screen issue? Let's says, the screen breaks after 3 months and there is no physical abuse. Or would it be better to buy it from Chapters?

Q3. For xMas is it a good timing to buy the Aura HD or would there be a new better one 2 months later?

Q4. I have read somewhere that the Aura HD is a limited edition. Does "limited" here mean early discontinuation? Any impact on tech support, warranty?

Q5. Would a case like this one appropriate?
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/261275663371?...84.m1423.l2649

Q6. Is there any benefit to apply a screen protector like this one:
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/171040081071?...84.m1423.l2649


Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACGT View Post
In particular, the Aura HD has a capricious screen that could break easily. Sometimes, even when there is a case and the user never dropped the device.
The HD's screen is no more or less breakable than a Nook, Kindle, etc. eInk screens are currently made using a glass substrate layer which can break if mishandled. That said I've been using eInk devices since 2007 and never had a screen break.


Quote:
Q1. How compatible is the device in terms of reading DRM-free ePub and PDFs?
ePub's work on it just fine. As for PDF it depends. Most PDF's are formatted as a letter or A4 sized page (or something else a lot larger than the 6'8" screen) this can mean needing to zoom in and pan/scroll to read the PDF. Not the most user friendly experience, but it does work I suppose.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ACGT View Post
Hi,

Q1. How compatible is the device in terms of reading DRM-free ePub and PDFs?
No DRM problem for ePubs without them
As for ebooks with DRM… No idea. But Calibre can remove them (I was told, never tried).

Quote:
Q2. In Canada, would Futureshop 2Y extended warranty covers the screen issue? Let's says, the screen breaks after 3 months and there is no physical abuse. Or would it be better to buy it from Chapters?
No idea : I am French, in France

Quote:
Q3. For xMas is it a good timing to buy the Aura HD or would there be a new better one 2 months later?
There will ALWAYS be a new shiny product in 6 months, from whatever company. You can get an e-reader now, or wait for ever.

Quote:
Q4. I have read somewhere that the Aura HD is a limited edition. Does "limited" here mean early discontinuation? Any impact on tech support, warranty?
No idea : I am French, in France. Standard French and European warranties are in full effect.

Quote:
Q5. Would a case like this one appropriate?
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/261275663371?...84.m1423.l2649
Hopefully, yes! Because I did order the same one (in black), from the same seller, 2 days ago

Quote:
Q6. Is there any benefit to apply a screen protector like this one:
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/171040081071?...84.m1423.l2649
For me, no: the screen is good at preventing reflects. But some people prefer a screen with one.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Most PDF's are formatted as a letter or A4 sized page (or something else a lot larger than the 6'8" screen) this can mean needing to zoom in and pan/scroll to read the PDF. Not the most user friendly experience, but it does work I suppose.
I am guessing here but this is what I do to read PDF on my Android smartphone using MoonReader Pro. There is a function to switch between PDF mode and text flow mode. The "Text flow" mode transforms the PDF content into text which could be displayed with line wrap without needing to scroll horizontally. In this mode, nice table format is badly broken and pictures are not visible. In such a cases, I just flip back to the PDF native mode.

Is there such a feature with the PDF Reader in the Aura HD?
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dclauzel View Post
There will ALWAYS be a new shiny product in 6 months, from whatever company. You can get an e-reader now, or wait for ever.
Salut and thanks for your input. Of course I am aware of this dilemna in the hitech gadget. As I don't follow the news in the eReader world, I just want to make sure that the Aura HD doesn't have anything bad in particular.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:45 PM   #6
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Salut and thanks for your input. Of course I am aware of this dilemna in the hitech gadget. As I don't follow the news in the eReader world, I just want to make sure that the Aura HD doesn't have anything bad in particular.
For text PDF, the Aura HD is fine. You can also read black & white comic strips like Calvin & Hobbs without any problem; however don't expect to be able to read full blown graphical books: that would be a large unpleasant pain.

The Aura HD is very good for reading romans. The screen is gorgeous, and the interface reactive.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:50 PM   #7
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A4: as I understand it, the "limited edition" part was because Kobo expected the Aura HD to be a niche item, appealing only to a small subset of their customers -- but it turned out to be one of their top sellers, and I recently heard a Kobo employee refer to the Aura HD, even after the release of the new Aura, as "the top of the line." I don't think there are any plans to discontinue it early (on the other hand, I believe the Kobo Mini HAS been discontinued with no fanfare, and existing stock is being sold off; it's no longer listed on the Chapters/Indigo website, is gone from their stores, and can no longer be ordered via the Future Shop website).

A6: I recommend against a screen protector; unnecessary, and will just dull the image or add more glare (there's very little glare as is).
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACGT View Post
I am guessing here but this is what I do to read PDF on my Android smartphone using MoonReader Pro. There is a function to switch between PDF mode and text flow mode. The "Text flow" mode transforms the PDF content into text which could be displayed with line wrap without needing to scroll horizontally. In this mode, nice table format is badly broken and pictures are not visible. In such a cases, I just flip back to the PDF native mode.

Is there such a feature with the PDF Reader in the Aura HD?
Someone else will have to confirm as I avoid PDF and I'm not where I can load one to try, but no the HD does not do PDF reflow. On all eInk readers I can think of PDF is more of a throw in or second thought format because some folks expect it to be supported.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:28 PM   #9
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A6: I recommend against a screen protector; unnecessary, and will just dull the image or add more glare (there's very little glare as is).
That's what I wanted to (no screen protector). The Aura HD screen is matte (I suppose) and my daughter like matte screen. But having heard about the fragility of the screen, I thought that a screen protector would add some strength. So if it is a useless precaution then there is no way I am going to add a glossy sheen on top of a matte screen.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:24 PM   #10
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Screen protector only protects screen from scratches. Glass ereader screens are very thin and can have damage you can not see other than it does not display correctly. Damage could be from reader being racked or twisted in pocket or droped. New 6" Aura has plastic screen more easily scratched and screen protector could help prevent screen scratches.

Sony T1,T2, and T3 have text refow for PDF formatted books and pinch zoom. It helps some for reading PDF books and using web browser. For reading PDF books it sometimes helps or not. Like a computer screen sometimes you must have bigger screen and color display for some books.

6" Aura not Aura HD has pinch zoom for reading PDF books.

Last edited by filmo; 11-06-2013 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ACGT View Post
That's what I wanted to (no screen protector). The Aura HD screen is matte (I suppose) and my daughter like matte screen. But having heard about the fragility of the screen, I thought that a screen protector would add some strength. So if it is a useless precaution then there is no way I am going to add a glossy sheen on top of a matte screen.
The screen's glass substrate would not be protected by a screen protector, they are to protect against scratches. The glass substrate breaks from stress, pressure or commonly from twisting.

There is an additional reader that you can use on most kobo and kindle e-Ink devices, Koreader started out as an improved pdf reader for kindles. I use it on my AuraHD as my primary reader.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 11-05-2013 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:15 PM   #12
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There is an additional reader that you can use on most kobo and kindle e-Ink devices, Koreader started out as an improved pdf reader for kindles. I use it on my AuraHD as my primary reader.
Hi Ken,

Thanks for the info regarding the screen protector. Now for sure I won't put it. Regarding Koreader, sorry for the silly question but I don't know about the Kobo ecology. How do you install Koreader in the device? I suppose register to Kobo store and buy the app?
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:07 AM   #13
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You can find out more about Koreader from this post in the Kobo Developer Forum...
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=216960
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:11 AM   #14
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Hi Ken,

Thanks for the info regarding the screen protector. Now for sure I won't put it. Regarding Koreader, sorry for the silly question but I don't know about the Kobo ecology. How do you install Koreader in the device? I suppose register to Kobo store and buy the app?
Here are the instructions boiled down to the essential procedure; http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...&postcount=751 You just don't have to delete an existing installation, so skip steps 2 & 3.

Luck;
Ken

Last edited by Ken Maltby; 11-06-2013 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:56 PM   #15
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1) With epub books, the Kobo software works well - it opens some epub much faster than Koreader - an open-source software you may want on the HD. One of my epub books (about 3.5M) takes 5 mins for Koreader to open but 20 seconds with the native Kobo software. However, Koreader is a must have for me because it allows me to install better dictionaries of my choice and support more ebook formats.

2) With pdf files, it depends on what kind of pdf ebooks you are talking about but the bottom line is you will need Koreader for better experience. I mostly read "regular" pdf ebooks, by which I mean they are not large-sized (A4 or A5 for instance) college textbooks or books with a lot of graphics. Most books in humanities and social sciences work very well on the HD when you read in landscape mode. The 0.8 inch makes a difference. My 6" works very well in landscape as well but the 6.8 inch is better - in both cases you don't need reflow for regular-sized books - I like the original format of books. Kobo also allows you to increase contrast of the text - I believe most ereaders today have that option. This function renders some pdfs more readable, for instance, light scanned books or books with smaller lighter fonts in notes and sub texts.

3) The frontlight is luxury to have but it also makes a difference. It is convenient not to have to look for good light source when one moves around - just always keep the frontlight on at 30%. It is also very good for reading in the dark - because the screen of an ereader is glass after all - no matter how anti-glare it is, you will get some annoying glare when you read under direct light - or even strong indirect light - from certain angles. With the frontlight on, you won't get glare in the dark because you don't have external light closeby.

4) The free pouch coming with my Pocketbook 602 fits the Aura HD perfectly. In stores like Winners one can often find all kinds of protection cases for about 10$ or less. You may find something of the right size and good quality.

5) If you are in Toronto, there is one store selling Aura HD and the new Aura with 50$ off. That is the deepest discount I could find so I got my HD. Maybe these models will go 50% off in 1.5 years as the Kobo Touch had been for a few days after two year of release. Sony 7" ereader never really got cheap but Kobo may have different pricing tactic.

6) CON: yes, based on my experience, Kobo service is bad. I emailed them about a potential screen problem on 31st Oct. and still haven't got any response today (6th Nov.). The auto-reply said I could expect a feedback within 24-48 hours! Instead, I got their promotion emails everyday.

7) CON: the upper 1/3-1/2 portion of the HD screen is noticeably yellowish when the frontlight is on. I checked many online photos and some youtube videos. It seems to be a rather consistent problem. I guess the new Aura may be a bit better because the screen size is smaller: the light travels less from the bottom to the top. Or maybe the new Aura has light sources on both ends? I don't know.

Edited: 7) Problem solved. Kobo service admitted the issue and will send a new device and a pre-paid mail bag.

8) Another potential CON of ereaders like Kobo or Kindle is they collect personal information. One has to register with Kobo online for a device to work. When you have the Wi-fi on, your "reading life" and "reading stats" will get synchronized. Before long I will get customized advertisements emailed to me - I suspect. I don't like this kind of practice at all but it may not bother others as much.

Last edited by jshzh; 11-07-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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