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Old 12-24-2013, 11:15 PM   #1
HeavyStorm
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:help: Kindle PW2 vs Kobo Aura HD

Hi all!

It's probably been discussed before, but I'm (being lazy and) taking a shortcut, and asking directly since my concerns may not be exactly reflected in other posts anyway.

I have to decide, ASAP, to buy either Kobo Aura HD or Kindle Paperwhite 2. I've never had an eReader before.

I've seem Aura HD on a store; I've seem PW1 on another store. I've not had the chance to check them side-by-side. I've read a LOT of reviews of both of them but, unfortunately, saw just one comparison, from goodereader dot com (the YT video and the article).

Well, now, my questions that, if this community can provide some insightful answers, may help me get over this and chose the correct device:

- The screen size difference, the most obvious difference, is the main deciding point for me. I'm a "constant reader", I read a lot of (pocket) books everyday. From what I could feel, the size difference seemed crucial since Aura HD looks exactly like the size I would want a book to have (not too big, not small). Kindle felt a little bit to small for my taste.

- The quality of the light in another point. It is the selling point of an eReader for me, since I like to read laying in bed, as dark as possible. Using the glowlight instead of a lamp seems much better. Now, I can't really say which one is better. I think they are the same. For that matter, what about screen quality? Aura HD seemed really white, PW1 not that much without the light, but I can't say anything about PW2 since I haven't seem one.

- I've shopped most of my past books on Amazon. 90% I'd say. From what I gather, Amazon currently has the best collection, and better prices on many titles. The shopping experience on Kobo seems VERY lacking (no reviews, no nothing). What are the community thoughts on this?

- The "chiselled" back of the Kobo seemed really nice to grip, but I have no idea what reading a book on a eReader must be. I saw one review that complained that the plastic finish made his hand sweat a little, which was uncomfortable. Also, some people complained that the case seemed fragile in comparison to Kindle, so that you wouldn't just drop it into a backpack.

Those are my main difficulties deciding which one to buy. Re-reading my post, I think I may have displayed as if I was leaning towards Kobo, but I'm actually almost on board with the Kindle.

Insights from people who had both devices at the same time (even if borrowed) would be wonderful. They seem to be very close in terms of features, and them one's strenght is the other weakness.
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Old 12-25-2013, 03:48 AM   #2
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They're both excellent devices with terrific displays and lights. I doubt you'd be unhappy with either. Unless you're a fontmonster like me.

It's near-trivial to strip DRM and convert between formats, so if you're on-board with that, shopping venue is near-irrelevant. Choose instead based on the real-life differences between the devices that matter to you: size as you say, font management and display customisation, the more niche aspects of ecosystem that matter on-the-ground (eg investment in Whispersync or Pocket, etc), customer service, and so on.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:27 AM   #3
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The Kindle has - in theory at least - the better screen. It has the latest generation "Carta" eInk screen, which has 50% more contrast than the previous generation "Pearl" screen that the Kobo has.

I very much prefer the Kindle, but they are both very good devices.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
They're both excellent devices with terrific displays and lights. I doubt you'd be unhappy with either. Unless you're a fontmonster like me.

It's near-trivial to strip DRM and convert between formats, so if you're on-board with that, shopping venue is near-irrelevant. Choose instead based on the real-life differences between the devices that matter to you: size as you say, font management and display customisation, the more niche aspects of ecosystem that matter on-the-ground (eg investment in Whispersync or Pocket, etc), customer service, and so on.
None of the reviews talk much about the cloud services that you mentioned, Whispersync and Pocket. When you say that an investment in either may make a difference, what is your point of view? Are there important differences between the two of them, or they are exactly the same (store the books bough on the stores, sync when necessary)?
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The Kindle has - in theory at least - the better screen. It has the latest generation "Carta" eInk screen, which has 50% more contrast than the previous generation "Pearl" screen that the Kobo has.

I very much prefer the Kindle, but they are both very good devices.
Hi Harry! From the number of posts you have there, I suppose you are a book fanatic, so, I think you may answer one question very well: does size matter?

Really, I'm afraid to make the transition from books to eReaders and find myself having trouble reading on a very small screen. Since Kobo has a larger one, that may push me in that direction. However, you just said that Kindle has the better screen (better contrast, for instance, may be very important), and I prefer Amazon ecosystem, so... if you say that you feel size wouldn't be an issue, I'd probably go with the Kindle PW2.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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The Kindle's great for reading fiction. For reading things which need a larger page size, such as PDFs, I use my iPad.
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Old 12-25-2013, 03:43 PM   #7
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I wouldn't worry about the case, either way you should buy a cover to keep your device in --much safer.

Amazon has a reputation for rock-solid firmware, far more so than any other ereader. Then again, this may be because they don't offer tons of customizations like Kobo, they keep the whole experience much more stable. I suppose it depends on what you prefer.

Amazon of course has the best store, and if you've bought many pbooks from them, you may want to take a serious look at Kindle Matchbook: https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/ep-landing-page

If you don't mind going to some lengths to manage all your books on your computer, using calibre, then you can use all of these books on a Kobo too (it's really quite easy once you get the hang of it).
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:17 PM   #8
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I wouldn't worry about the case, either way you should buy a cover to keep your device in --much safer.

Amazon has a reputation for rock-solid firmware, far more so than any other ereader. Then again, this may be because they don't offer tons of customizations like Kobo, they keep the whole experience much more stable. I suppose it depends on what you prefer.

Amazon of course has the best store, and if you've bought many pbooks from them, you may want to take a serious look at Kindle Matchbook: https://www.amazon.com/gp/digital/ep-landing-page

If you don't mind going to some lengths to manage all your books on your computer, using calibre, then you can use all of these books on a Kobo too (it's really quite easy once you get the hang of it).
Eschwartz, had no idea about Matchbook and was actually wondering why Amazon hasn't thought about that... Since I bought all those books from them and all... Wonderful.

Once more, I'm think going for a Kindle. With matchbook, it means I'll have tons of books already, and having the device directly integrated into the ecosystem seems more proper.

I wouldn't very much mind using calibre -- I'm a computer geek, after all -- but it just doesn't seems to make sense to go through all the hassle if I'm only going to buy from Amazon.

Again, I'm thinking I'm gonna miss the extra inch on the Aura HD, but...
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:25 PM   #9
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Good for you!
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyStorm View Post
None of the reviews talk much about the cloud services that you mentioned, Whispersync and Pocket. When you say that an investment in either may make a difference, what is your point of view? Are there important differences between the two of them, or they are exactly the same (store the books bough on the stores, sync when necessary)?
Oh, those two are completely different. Whispersync (Amazon) syncs your book reading with your audiobook reading (presuming you've bought both from them) so that you can pick up where you left off when switching formats. I don't use this, but others find it very useful.

Pocket (in conjunction with Kobo/iOS/and I think Android) is a service that allows you to grab web articles of various sorts, then syncs those articles in a stripped-down, readable form to your Kobo, tablet/phone device, etc. I use it a lot for short stories and novellas from online SF magazines, but also occasionally for long-form journalism, or to save a recipe for quick reference.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
The Kindle has - in theory at least - the better screen. It has the latest generation "Carta" eInk screen, which has 50% more contrast than the previous generation "Pearl" screen that the Kobo has.

I very much prefer the Kindle, but they are both very good devices.
Yep! And for me, the font tweaking and font sideloading on the Kobo is far more important for readability for my eyes than the (theoretical or actual) incremental screen improvements.

Each to their own! And this is why handling and using a device can be very useful before buying. Online videos are all very well, but often badly done in terms of trying to make sure the variables are equal; and also online video resolution just can't show you some of the differences that eyeballs can see.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:49 PM   #12
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The Aura HD is the cadillac of readers. Ive handled a PW1 and the Aura HD and the HD was much nicer. The screen is a thing of beauty and as far as I know its light is still the best. Also the Aura is much better for customizing fonts. However if you like buying via Amazon then of course you will find the PW2 conveniant. The PW is also a lot cheaper. I think youd be happy with either. Amazon does provide good support which is reassuring. But personally I'd buy the Aura, but our needs are different.
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Old 12-25-2013, 08:54 PM   #13
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Oh, those two are completely different. Whispersync (Amazon) syncs your book reading with your audiobook reading (presuming you've bought both from them) so that you can pick up where you left off when switching formats. I don't use this, but others find it very useful.

Pocket (in conjunction with Kobo/iOS/and I think Android) is a service that allows you to grab web articles of various sorts, then syncs those articles in a stripped-down, readable form to your Kobo, tablet/phone device, etc. I use it a lot for short stories and novellas from online SF magazines, but also occasionally for long-form journalism, or to save a recipe for quick reference.
Actually, Whispersync isn't (only) about syncing the audiobook with your regular ebook--it's about syncing your location, notes and bookmarks across all of your different devices that you read/listen to Kindle books on. The feature of Amazon/Kindle that resembles Pocket is the personal documents feature, where you can send any document or web page directly to your Amazon cloud from your computer using either your Kindle's email address or an application called Send to Kindle. The Personal Document feature goes one step further than Pocket, since with Pocket (I believe) you can only send web pages.

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Old 12-25-2013, 11:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyStorm View Post
- The screen size difference, the most obvious difference, is the main deciding point for me. I'm a "constant reader", I read a lot of (pocket) books everyday. From what I could feel, the size difference seemed crucial since Aura HD looks exactly like the size I would want a book to have (not too big, not small). Kindle felt a little bit to small for my taste.
I like the screen size of the Aura HD. I go back the Kobo Glo occasionally when traveling and while it seems small initially you adjust to it quickly, but I do like the bigger screen (that probably depends how small a font you're comfortable with too).

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyStorm View Post
- The quality of the light in another point. It is the selling point of an eReader for me, since I like to read laying in bed, as dark as possible. Using the glowlight instead of a lamp seems much better. Now, I can't really say which one is better. I think they are the same. For that matter, what about screen quality? Aura HD seemed really white, PW1 not that much without the light, but I can't say anything about PW2 since I haven't seem one.
Aura HD light can't be beat.

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Originally Posted by HeavyStorm View Post
- The "chiselled" back of the Kobo seemed really nice to grip, but I have no idea what reading a book on a eReader must be. I saw one review that complained that the plastic finish made his hand sweat a little, which was uncomfortable. Also, some people complained that the case seemed fragile in comparison to Kindle, so that you wouldn't just drop it into a backpack.
I would don't mine the shape of the Aura HD back, but I do wish they had kept the quilted texture. I don't find it particularly hard to hold or slippery, but some people do (and for some a cover or skin solves the issue), but the quilted backs on the earlier devices were just really nice.
NO e-ink device should just get dropped in your backpack. Twisting/bending more than direct contact is typically the screen killer (the e-ink substrate is a paper thin slab of glass and typically a broken screen results from a crack in this substrate). A case may help, but isn't a guarantee because most won't prevent twisting.

I love my Aura HD, but as others have said, you'll likely love either one. Except for a few specific issues that only affect some users the Kobo firmware isn't bad at all and allows a lot more customization. The Kobo store buying experience sucks, but you aren't stuck with it (and they have just introduced a cart, and it does allow discount codes to be used).
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:06 AM   #15
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I think you would be happy with both. Personally, I prefer the bigger screen size and never had problems with the Aura HD. But you can't go wrong with the Kindle, either. With the discount codes Kobo has the cheapest books at the moment, not that that should figure into the equation since you can shop there anyway. So, would you rather have a slightly heavier device with a bigger screen or not?
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