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Old 04-28-2010, 10:59 PM   #1
AgentBEATS
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Aluratek Libre vs. Kobo Reader

I've finally gotten the money and am in the market for a cheap ereader and have narrowed it down to these two. Being in Canada my choices are slim, not that there is much else in the sub-$200 price range to begin with and am not one to order online much.

So after conducting some very basic research I've come up with these two readers, the Aluratek Libre and the Kobo Reader. I've read through some of the reviews and impressions I've found on the mobileread forums and found that most views of the Libre are quite favorable, as well as early hands on of the Kobo Reader being quite good as well. At this moment its really a toss up between these two and I cannot seem to decide.

My main digression between them is the difference in screens, meaning the Reflective LCD vs. E-Ink. I've read good things about the reflective LCD, but still question if it really something to take over an E-Ink screen.

Here is how I see it:

Aluratek Libre:
+ Larger feature set and file type support
+ No blackout on page turns
+ Up to 32GB SD Card
+ Many different controls to flip pages
- Damn Ugly
- Shorter battery life

Kobo Reader:
+ Longer battery life
+ Sleeker design
+ Larger screen
- Ugly blue button
- Harder to operate with only my left hand

I like to read books by holding them only with my left hand along the spine and assume I would be comfortable doing so with an ereader, so the Kobo has a slight disadvantage there. I know the Kobo has expansion up to 4GB and am hardly likely to fill that up, but I like to have more space available if needed.

Other than those things I really cannot distinguish which I would prefer. Both have there positive and negative aspects, so I was hoping for some feedback or some opinions on the two. I know the Kobo is not out yet so hands on experience might be thin, but any help would be appreciated. I would also like to know more about the differences in screen type if someone could fill me in on the redeeming aspects of each there. Thanks for any help I can get.

Last edited by AgentBEATS; 04-29-2010 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:06 PM   #2
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I would wait one week and then spend 15 min at each store and insist you get to play with the live powered up working model. The battery life on the Kobo isn't longer -- it's 10 times longer. And backlit vs e-ink ... e-ink is really a lot more flexible, particularly in brighter conditions. Also, since you put it that way, I'd be inclined to choose "ugly blue button" over "damn ungly" ... LOL. YMMV.
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Old 04-28-2010, 11:45 PM   #3
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I have used both readers (I had a review unit of the Kobo for two weeks) and have posted at length about both of these devices. The Kobo is lighter, prettier and is great for people who might read one book at a time, all the way through, then read something else. I jump around a lot so I found the Kobo a tiny bit slow and also didn't like the lack of folder or tag options---same issue I have with the Kindle, and it's why I got a Libre as a second reader, to hold fanfiction and other junk I wanted to read but didn't want to clutter the Kindle up with, absent an efficient way to browse. Capacity to store 1000 books is great, but not when you have to page through dozens of screens to find anything. You might enjoy the Sony Pocket too. Go to Future Shop and you can play with the Sony and Libre, then hit up Indigo this weekend to play with a Kobo. You can decide then.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:30 AM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replies, I was planning on doing just that, meaning heading to Futureshop/Best Buy and Indigo to check them out in person. However both Futureshop and Best Buy have had the Libre in stock for weeks and even stopping by today showed that they probably will not put it out on display at all.

While I haven't played around much with it, I have tried out the Sony Pocket. It's quite nice and in the same price range, however the lack of expansion makes me skip it all together. Again, I doubt I will ever need even 1 or 2 GB of space, I just like the option.

Definitely though, from what I've seen from the Sony models in store is that I quite dislike the E-Ink's blackouts during page turns. Everyone says you get used to it, but I don't want to get used to it really, which is why I started considering the Libre at all.

I'll check out Indigo when the Kobo is out and check that out before I make any final decisions. Anyways, definitely would still like to hear more thoughts on this. Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-29-2010, 12:42 AM   #5
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If you don't like the blackout, you will hate the Kobo. Imho it is a tiny bit slower than the Sony and Kindle. The Kindle is the zippiest of the three.

Honestly, it sounds like the Libre might be a great device for you. It's ugly and a little clunky compared to the light, pretty Kobo but it meets all your needs. I am posting a review of it tomorrow on Teleread.
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Old 04-29-2010, 01:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
If you don't like the blackout, you will hate the Kobo. Imho it is a tiny bit slower than the Sony and Kindle. The Kindle is the zippiest of the three.

Honestly, it sounds like the Libre might be a great device for you. It's ugly and a little clunky compared to the light, pretty Kobo but it meets all your needs. I am posting a review of it tomorrow on Teleread.
Really slower than the Sony? That could change things, but I will still of course check it out myself. I find the blackout distracting and made me feel like I was waiting more time than I was in between each page. It is that precise feature that makes me quite dislike E-Ink technology, I'm waiting for the day they eliminate that completely rather than just making the change happen faster and faster.

I'm certainly considering the Libre more and more. The difference in battery life between the two devices doesn't really concern me much because I can never see a need to go so long without a charge and the 20 hours of battery the Libre is said to have seems like more than enough. Of course I have yet to own an ereader and my reading habits may certainly change to need longer, but I guess I'll just have to find that out firsthand.
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Old 04-30-2010, 01:08 AM   #7
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I find the battery life to be a non-issue, unless you're going out to a jungle somewhere for months on end. Otherwise, what's the big deal about plugging the device in every couple of weeks to charge it? It's not like we aren't already spending time charging our cell phones, MP3 players, et al.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:10 AM   #8
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I find the battery life to be a non-issue, unless you're going out to a jungle somewhere for months on end. Otherwise, what's the big deal about plugging the device in every couple of weeks to charge it? It's not like we aren't already spending time charging our cell phones, MP3 players, et al.
I agree completely. The actual advantage of an E-Ink screen I can see is that it doesn't consume power when left idle. But other than that I already charge my phone every few days, I don't have any trouble with plugging in a reader at night.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:03 AM   #9
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My one issue with the battery is the lack of warning when it's going to go. Yesterday, it still had all the bars but I got the 'plug it in NOW' message. If it actually decreased the bars as the battery got used, so you had some warning, that would be fine.
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:02 PM   #10
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i just returned my week old new kobo for the aluratek libre pro and am already happier. love the look and feel of the kobo, but as many have said it froze within a week and then wouldn't read my library properly. It also couldn't handle 2gigs of sd card. the Libre is ugly but drives great! so easy to manipulate its a real pleasure. a bit small but i can cope. get it, was $79 for mother's day special
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:14 PM   #11
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I am not sure of the pricing on the Kobo, but the Libre is currently $70, delivered, through eBay and Buy.com. My main objection to the Kobo, is that they have no ability to replace the battery. I spoke with their people, and they basically intend that you throw it away when it fails in 2-3 years. E-Ink is nice; I have it on my Nook, but the LCD on the Libre/Jetbooks is not backlit as was stated above and their file system is near perfect.
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