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View Poll Results: Which dedicated e reader should I buy?
Kobo (which model) 36 65.45%
Kindle (which model) 16 29.09%
other (please explain) 3 5.45%
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-24-2014, 07:46 PM   #1
Purrceyz
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Kobo vs Kindle dedicated e-reader

Hi all,


I have an early 1st generation Kobo which I'm thinking of replacing. I'm torn between getting a new Kobo (Aura? Glo?) or Kindle Paperwhite. Which one do you prefer and why?

I like the fact that the Kobo uses epub & it's Canadian but I find it slow in turning pages & dislike its management software (use Calibre instead). There were also a lot of bugs in the beginning and their online tech people seemed rather indifferent.

A friend of mine who was also an early adopter of the Kobo replaced it a year or 2 ago with a Kindle which she says it much faster. I did ask about the closed Kindle format but she also uses Calibre to convert epub to a format the Kindle can recognize.

Are the newer Kobos better? Which one do you prefer? Which would you recommend? (the Nook isn't an option as I'm in Canada).

Suggestions, comments welcome

Last edited by Purrceyz; 03-24-2014 at 07:55 PM. Reason: added a sentence
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:55 PM   #2
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Depends a bit on your preferences, but to me the Kobo Aura HD is the best of the bunch. There is a huge hardware difference between the old (especially if you're talking the true original Kobo with no touch, no wifi etc) and current versions. I like the extra size and IR touch on the Aura HD. Others like the smaller/lighter size and capacitive touch of the new 6" Aura. Either way, don't judge Kobo based on a really old model.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:59 PM   #3
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Do not buy something just because of the country it's sold from...

EPUB, as your friend explained, means nothing (the real lockdown is always DRM, which is offered by ALL ebook vendors). Amazon's AZW3 format is essentially an alternative wrapper to EPUB (which is a renamed zip-file) and supports everything EPUB does. The format is well-understood by calibre.

The great thing about the Kindle is its reputation for stability. Kobo has more customizability, but at the expense of slightly buggy firmware, so you have to ask yourself which one you value more. Amazon also puts a lot of emphasis on customer service. I have had to call them up a handful of times, and after being referred to a Kindle specialist, they were always extremely helpful and able to solve the problem.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:35 PM   #4
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Are there any Canadians out there using a Kindle with public library ebooks? (if not, this may be the deciding factor for me).

From what I've heard, Canadian public libraries do not support the Kindle format just epub. Looking through my local libraries, information about their ebooks, you need to use Adobe Digital Rights Managment tool to process/load their books. It is possible to use epubs from the public library with the Kindle?
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:43 PM   #5
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IMO Kobo is still pretty unstable but people have learned to deal with it. One major one to me are the page turns being erratic. Goes forward instead of backwards, or backwards instead of forwards and will often skip 2-3 pages. Lot of extra refreshes (screen flashes several times but page doesn't change). Cumbersome/awkward/extremely slow collection navigation.

Many people are happy to deal with these issues, but I find them irritating. I know swiping works more reliably than just touching but still seems to hang on occasion and the touch thing is great when it works.

My Mini seems to have a broken substrate (I much preferred the mini to the Aura HD) so I am trying to decide whether to buy another mini for $49 or an additional T3 for $79 for use on the bus/doctors offices etc.

The T3 is not perfect, but it does something peculiar about once every thousand pages instead of once every 10 pages. Probably what I will get although I do love the mini size.

Helen
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:47 PM   #6
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It depends on what you read, and how much money you have. It also depends on whether you have a smartphone, since that will overlap some features found on certain eReader models.

If I lived in Canada, Kindle would probably be out, because your public library Overdrive collections are ePUB-only. Now, it's true that you can, for a fee, join several US libraries with Kindle-friendly collections (notably, the Brooklyn Public Library).

For me, the Kindle New York Times Latest News Blog is the eReader killer app. AFAIK, there is no Canadian near-equivalent for either Kobo or Kindle.

If you read books much more than periodicals, and buy your books, I guess you can't go too far wrong. Then, for books only, you can't go too far wrong with paper either
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:50 PM   #7
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I've got a Kobo Aura HD and a Kindle Paperwhite (2013). The screen on the Aura is nicer but overall, I prefer the PW since it's easier for me to use single-handed. Unfortunately, none of the options for tap zones on the Aura was conducive to single-handed reading if you frequently switch hands.

Both kinda suck in terms of book organization, though. If not for the frontlight and wifi upon which I'm heavily reliant, I'd still prefer my PRS-350 with PRS+ firmware.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:00 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies so far everyone - it looks like the Kindle is definitely out for as I'd like to use public library ebooks here in Canada. I'll look at the Sony too.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:25 PM   #9
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I have both a Kobo Touch and a Glo. I'd vote for either depending on whether you prefer/need the lighting. I like the Touch's casing design better, but the Glo with the front lighting on low, about 10%, is my daily, and then some, driver.

I can't comment on the Kindles as I've never owned one, but warts and all the Kobos have performed well for me. Once in a while I get a wonky reverse page turn, but apparently far less often than most people who complain of them -I think it's a case of adjusting to the device and being careful about just how and where and how long you tap. Virtually all of my titles are side loaded with DRM misplaced... so that may make a difference as well. I've downloaded titles from my local library and had no problems with them both with and without DRM(as an experiment.)

We make a lot of noise about Kobo bugs, but honestly most of them are expressed as visual layout issues/preferences, not bugs, and Kobo does update fairly often to try and eliminate issues and add features. I'd say the bugs are relatively minor annoyances overall.

Updates are a double edged sword. They bring benefits and new features, but occasionally break old fixes doing it. Most problems are minor, some may require logging off the device and logging in again. Personally, I prefer a product and a company where the firmware gets updated to one where they never even try fixing issues.

I'd say the biggest firmware issues lately have revolved around the external sdhc card and scanning a lot of titles into the database. This can take time and some people have a problem with that. I only have a few hundred books on my readers, all on the internal card, and have had virtually no trouble beyond waiting for Calibre to transfer my books taking a while.

Good luck, try them out in person, if possible.

Last edited by TechniSol; 03-24-2014 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:20 AM   #10
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I have the Kobo Aura HD and the Kobo Glo and they are by far the best e-ink ereaders I have ever used. I doubt if I'll ever get another Kindle ereader.
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrceyz View Post
Are there any Canadians out there using a Kindle with public library ebooks? (if not, this may be the deciding factor for me).

From what I've heard, Canadian public libraries do not support the Kindle format just epub. Looking through my local libraries, information about their ebooks, you need to use Adobe Digital Rights Managment tool to process/load their books. It is possible to use epubs from the public library with the Kindle?
As you guessed, the format used in Canada by libraries is epub and you do need to use ADE to download the books to your computer before transferring to your device. Getting those books to a Kindle would then involve stripping off the DRM so that you can convert to mobi, something you shouldn't be doing for loaned books.

Last year I bought both a Paperwhite 2 and a Kobo Aura 6" to try since our Kindle Keyboards were aging. The two eReaders are very similar: lightweight, responsive, high contrast, and the nifty front-light. I ended up giving the Paperwhite to my husband since he reads in landscape mode (only the Kindle had that option), but I kept the Aura for myself since I liked the ability to easily customize the font and the access to library books. I've had no issues at all with the Kobo Aura during 6 months of heavy use.

Last edited by Synamon; 03-25-2014 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 03-26-2014, 12:35 PM   #12
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Three things I like about the Kobo Aura HD:
- the lighting - perfect for reading in bed with a sleeping spouse.
- the high resolution
- the Pocket program which is tightly integrated with the firmware on current Kobo ereaders. Pocket makes it easy to read articles from the web on the Kobo.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:34 PM   #13
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Hi Purrceyz - welcome to mobileread!

I live in Canada and do own an older kobo, and also a kobo mini for work. But my main reader for the last few years has been kindle.

The readers are quite similar, and I intended to keep both going. But I find I almost always buy from amazon.com (not .ca) now. It has the widest selection, which is very important to me. It has great customer service. Their storefront is easy to navigate, whereas I find kobo awkward, slow and frustrating. For the books I tend to buy, Amazon also tends to be cheaper. You can get great buys with their daily deals.

The ereaders are relatively inexpensive, when compared to books, which can be a big investment over several years. I buy a lot of books, and have frequented most online sites over the years. I reread books, and Kindle books are the easiest for me to manage - which let's me protect my investment with very little work.

That said, I've given kobos to relatives who are heavy library users, and know other kobo users who are very happy with their set-up. Good luck with your purchase!
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:36 PM   #14
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- the Pocket program which is tightly integrated with the firmware on current Kobo ereaders. Pocket makes it easy to read articles from the web on the Kobo.
Excellent point, and I am actually quite envious of that. Not enough though.
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Old 03-26-2014, 07:43 PM   #15
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I have both Aura and HD and I find the Aura to be slightly more portable than the HD and I love the grippy back of the Aura compared to the slippery HD.
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