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Old 08-19-2011, 11:03 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by the.Mtn.Man View Post
Not with epubs you can't. You have to convert to the Kindle format first which is an extra step, meaning an extra chance to introduce problems.

But regardless, if your primary interest is in public domain and library books then there's no point getting a Kindle since its only advantage is buying books from Amazon.
Well, no not from a site called epubbooks, obviously, but from Gutenberg, feedbooks, and lots of other sites including right here at mobileread, you can get free public domain books that don't have to be converted because they're already in .mobi format. And you can get most, if not all, of those same public domain books direct from Amazon. Still free. No "shopping around" required. And Amazon's bookstore is a big advantage of the Kindle (for me). If I had to winnow down my ridiculous collection of readers to just one, Kindle would be the one.

But hey - I'm all for having lots of successful devices on the market - competition is good for all of us who love our ereaders!
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:08 AM   #62
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No, the Kobo can't annotate. My husband has a Kindle, so I've had the opportunity to compare the two ereaders. Kindle is way better, no question. Of course they've had years that Kobo hasn't to perfect their product. That said, Kindle's much faster, has a sharper screen, and as of the latest edition, the ability to surf the Internet and play MP3 files. It's great. Kindle's biggest failing is it still doesn't support epub (what are they waiting for?) The big price differential used to be a reason to buy a Kobo instead of a Kindle. That's gone now that Kindle's drastically cheaper. Still, I'm grateful to the Kobo people for forcing Kindle, Nook et all to lower their prices. Hail Kobo!
Just to be clear, Kindle could always surf the net (kinda sorta - it doesn't work well with all sites, but you could always do it) and it always played MP3s.

I don't find the lack of ePub to be a problem, and don't particularly care if they ever implement it, aside from the fact it would quiet all the people who say "But it doesn't support ePub".
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:42 AM   #63
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Good point. Yes, I am doing that. I suppose that's not fair. But my friend has the WiFi Kobo and while it is faster than mine, it's still slower than Kindle. My husband and I tried the Kobo Touch in the store; I thought it was a little faster than the others and he thought it was the same. One thing about the Kobo Touch I don't like is that it's smaller than the other Kobos, with the same size screen. That is, instead of taking advantage of the lack of controls to put in a bigger screen, they used the same size of screen and made the whole device smaller. Seems like a missed opportunity to me.
The eInk screens are mass produced by a couple of manufactures. They likely only come in a couple of sizes. To order a size that is outside the norm would likely cost the maker more per unit (say something odd like 7-8"). There is a balancing act that goes into these products in order to meet a certain price point, and margins. The Kobo Touch is one of the cheapest current generation eReaders.

For a comparison this is why your will see relatively larger increases in the cost of say a 22" LCD screen for a computer monitor verse say a 24". The 22" are just manufactured on a much larger scale (plus there is less loss with the defective 22" panels verse a defective 24" so manufactures/suppliers don't have to cover. At the moment 6" is the sweet spot for eInk screens as 22" is for LCD monitors, but this will change in time. There is a reason the Kindle DX is so much more expensive than the 6" model.

Also as others commented, I haven't pulled a Kindle 3 screen, and Kobo Touch screen apart, but I really doubt the Kindle 3 has a sharper screen. Much in the same way that TV sellers/manufacturers tend to pump up the contrast/saturation of TV sets in stores to make 'x' model look better (rather than true colour reproduction) so too do I believe the Kindle 3 has a heavier font that give the impression of being sharper/darker. The nice think about the Kobo Touch is that you can just change it to whatever font you like.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:49 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by molman View Post
Also as others commented, I haven't pulled a Kindle 3 screen, and Kobo Touch screen apart, but I really doubt the Kindle 3 has a sharper screen. Much in the same way that TV sellers/manufacturers tend to pump up the contrast/saturation of TV sets in stores to make 'x' model look better (rather than true colour reproduction) so too do I believe the Kindle 3 has a heavier font that give the impression of being sharper/darker. The nice think about the Kobo Touch is that you can just change it to whatever font you like.
The Kindle doesn't have a heavier font, but it does have a font which is precisely optimized for the characteristics of the eInk screen, so that all the letter shapes are crisp and precise. That's why it looks sharper.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:29 AM   #65
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The Kindle doesn't have a heavier font, but it does have a font which is precisely optimized for the characteristics of the eInk screen, so that all the letter shapes are crisp and precise. That's why it looks sharper.
What makes you draw that conclusion Harry? Do you have a link to a factual study of the Kindles typography with relation to eInk display technology (particularly the varients used in the Kindle and Kobo's) or do yourself have a background in typographic analysis and design with technical insight to eInk screens? Not trying to have a go, genuinely interested in your assertion.
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:43 AM   #66
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What makes you draw that conclusion Harry? Do you have a link to a factual study of the Kindles typography with relation to eInk display technology (particularly the varients used in the Kindle and Kobo's) or do yourself have a background in typographic analysis and design with technical insight to eInk screens? Not trying to have a go, genuinely interested in your assertion.
Firstly, the Kindle and the Kobo Touch use precisely the same screen, made in the same factory, on the same production line. There are no "Kindle and Kobo variants" - the screen is the same in the two devices. So you can rule out screen differences as being a cause of different appearance.

It's well-known that the Kindle font is "hand-optimized" by Amazon to the device. It's because, unlike the Kobo, the Kindle doesn't have changeable fonts (well, OK, it has three different fonts, but that's it - you can't load your own) whereas the Kobo has to deal with any font, so the font rendering engine can't be optimized for any particular font.

This is true of any ADE device, not just the Kobo. If I compare the fonts on the Kindle with my Sony PRS-350 or my BeBook Neo, the Kindle's fonts are distinctly crisper in their appearance.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:14 AM   #67
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Firstly, the Kindle and the Kobo Touch use precisely the same screen, made in the same factory, on the same production line. There are no "Kindle and Kobo variants" - the screen is the same in the two devices. So you can rule out screen differences as being a cause of different appearance.
I said variants because the older Kindles and Kobo's had E Ink Vizplex verse Pearl screens. It's also a strong assertion to say they come out of the same factory/production lines unless you have some real insight into E Ink Holdings operations, but yes for all intents and purposes they are the same screens within corresponding variants.

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It's well-known that the Kindle font is "hand-optimized" by Amazon to the device. It's because, unlike the Kobo, the Kindle doesn't have changeable fonts (well, OK, it has three different fonts, but that's it - you can't load your own) whereas the Kobo has to deal with any font, so the font rendering engine can't be optimized for any particular font.
It's not known to me, hence why I asked. There is also a difference between marketing spin "waveform and font technology" and reality. Maybe they do have some real smarts going on, that’s why I asked.

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This is true of any ADE device, not just the Kobo. If I compare the fonts on the Kindle with my Sony PRS-350 or my BeBook Neo, the Kindle's fonts are distinctly crisper in their appearance.
Regardless of fonts used? I don't have access to so many devices so I'll take your word for it, but in photos it seems that through font choice there is little difference. Be interesting to do a blind test with people already not familiar with Kindle's typeface.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:26 AM   #68
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Technically eInk is the brand name for one brand of electrophoretic displays (see http://www.eink.com/history.html), the one that happens to be used by all the major ereaders.

As for the Kindle's font, it is definitely a heavier font than the Kobo default fonts. Just compare the two side-by-side. I'm not saying that's good or bad, or whether it is optimized for the eInk display, but I note that heavier fonts on the Kobo screen also look darker and sharper, so that probably explains the majority of the font impression.
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:14 AM   #69
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...I believe the Kindle 3 has a heavier font that give the impression of being sharper/darker.
I use the Rockwell font on the Kobo, and it looks as sharp as any Kindle screen I've seen.
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:36 PM   #70
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Technically eInk is the brand name for one brand of electrophoretic displays (see http://www.eink.com/history.html), the one that happens to be used by all the major ereaders.

As for the Kindle's font, it is definitely a heavier font than the Kobo default fonts. Just compare the two side-by-side. I'm not saying that's good or bad, or whether it is optimized for the eInk display, but I note that heavier fonts on the Kobo screen also look darker and sharper, so that probably explains the majority of the font impression.
Would be nice to see some more alternatives to E Ink hit the market. I always had high hopes for the OLPC/Pixel Qi tech, but it just never really got a foothold.

The Kindle font does 'look' heavier (in photos). If it really is or not, I don't know? You'd probably have to extract the font from the device and using raw vectors do a character volume analysis compared to other fonts for a given size. The Kindle font also looks to have less anti-alising style effect on it so maybe their special sauce is some sharpening filter. Has anyone been able to get the Kindle font and load it onto other devices? I know other people have hacked Kindles loading their own fonts and it's just Linux under there, so I doubt Amazon created their own font data format?
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Old 08-21-2011, 02:29 AM   #71
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Well to try and answer my own curiosity looked into the whole Kindle font thing. I still can't get any clarity on what they are really doing, but this was rather insightful => https://sites.google.com/a/etccreati.../kdesignworks/. I would love the same analysis for the Kindle 3. It seems that the Kindle's default font is Cacecilla? It also appears that the Kindle 3 'does' render fonts with more weight (the author of the above review/analysis descripted the font as 'whispier' when rendered on a computer (LCD) monitor which I suspect is a truer representation of the font).

It was also interesting to note that the author found notable display differences in the screens across units due to production variances.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:14 PM   #72
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The original Kobo and the WiFi Kobo both use the previous generation Vizplex screen while the Kindle 3 uses the Pearl screen. So yes, the Kindle 3 does have a better looking screen.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:01 PM   #73
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The original Kobo and the WiFi Kobo both use the previous generation Vizplex screen while the Kindle 3 uses the Pearl screen. So yes, the Kindle 3 does have a better looking screen.
Except that those are both now outdated units and so comparing to the Kindle 3 is pointless, the fact of the matter is the Kobo that is available now uses the exact same screen as the K3 and therefore any talk of sharper screens is so much balderdash.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:28 PM   #74
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Kobo vs Kindle

Nobody has mentioned the top 100 free books that Amazon have for Kindle. This list changes all the time and is not solely classics. There are lots of books by new authors on there too. Also there are hundreds of books at 99p. Bargains in my opinion.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:48 PM   #75
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All infected with DRM meaning no portability to other devices. No thanks.
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