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Old 07-23-2010, 11:55 AM   #1
kingduct
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Nook vs Kobo purely as reader

Hello,
I am looking at a cheap reader and the three that are cheapest (and have e-ink) are the Nook, the Kobo, and the Sony Pocket. Originally I planned to get the Sony, but with the Kobo being lighter than the Sony and the Nook having so many more features, it is really hard to take the Sony seriously, with its lesser screen size and smaller memory.

As such, I have narrowed my search down to the Nook and Kobo. I don't care much about the wifi and music features of the Nook. What I care about is the actual reading experience once looking at a book. I've never owned an e-reader (I've used a PDA), but these seem to be the most important factors:

1) Quality of text
2) Speed of page turning
3) Stability
4) Ergonomics
5) Compatibility with files from different locations
6) Battery life
7) Weight
8) Durability
9) Reliability
10) Customer Service
11) Compatibility with Linux (my primary OS)

While I have seen some complaints/comparisons of these, I'd love more feedback, especially since some of the software/firmware updates on these machines may have impacted these factors. Again, the other features of the Nook aren't an issue, and I am aware that on a purely price basis, those features make the Nook a better deal. What I care about is how happy I'll be when reading!
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:21 PM   #2
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I believe you will enjoy the battery life and less weight of the Kobo. And customer service is definitely a "plus" for the Kobo.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:58 PM   #3
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More opinions?

Any more opinions out there? I know that the Kobo is lighter and has better battery life, but have heard that the screen isn't as good and that the page turns are slower. Is that true? How great is the difference?
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:16 PM   #4
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I haven't seen Borders demo the Kobo. It is ridiculous they don't put out a demo unit, even in one of their highest traffic store on 5th ave/Manhattan.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:34 PM   #5
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Seen and played with the Kobo. As a straight eBook reader, I think it does a great job. If you ever think about needing any additional features, then I would go with the Nook. I just was impressed with it is small input screen. I have a Sony 505 which is great but I just upgraded to a Pandigital Novel because I wanted something that displayed PDFs better. Plus it was color & full screen touch screen (and I paid only $100 for it with discounts).

Go with the Kobo.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:55 PM   #6
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Nook:

1. Better quality of text (better contrast/more gray levels)
2. Faster Page Turns
3. Better file compatability (Kobo can't do Barnes and Noble, but Nook can do Kobo)
4. Ergonomics better because of left hand page turns + touchscreen swipes
5. In store Nook representatives for Customer Service

Kobo:

1. Better battery life
2. Ergonomics better for right handed readers due to size, weight, design
3. Lighter, and easier to hold one handed

Durability and reliability seem the same (both quality devices). The Nook firmware is newer and probably a bit more stable, but Kobo will catch up.

Don't know about Linux

Last edited by Noah98; 07-23-2010 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:12 PM   #7
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I was in the same spot as you last month and chose Kobo. These were the my findings.
Kobo page turns a tad slower..
Kobo versatitily much much higher, ability to drag and drop epubs, non proprietary material, which was really really hard on the Nook. Books had to loaded through their library system controlled by B & N.. (that killed it for me )
Kobo had an externally accessible SD card slot taking up to 4 gigs or so. Books can be loaded onto sd card from computer slot, then just popped in Kobo with out all of that syncing to proprietary programs that controlled one's library. Nook SD had to have back of ereader removed to be installed. A once or twice thing only, not a way to load ebooks.
Kobo screen slightly larger.
Kobo e ink clarity the same.
Kobo light weight and rubberzied back really nice.
Keep in mind I"m not a techie and could be slightly off on some of my findings, but these were what was presented to me and what I"ve found with my Kobo which I''m really pleased with.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for feedback

Thanks for the feedback so far, I hope it keeps coming! I'm going to try them out on Sunday, so we'll see.

Correct me if I've misunderstood anything, but here are some things I've learned so far in this thread:

-The SD card can't be easily inserted and removed from the Nook.
-On a related note, the Nook's library management can't just find a file on it's memory and display it. It has to be managed somehow through either Nook software or alternative software like Calibre (no basic drag and drop).
-Nook turns pages a bit faster
-Handedness impacts usability
-both have good build quality and good service (though Nook's I can get a real human at a store)

It is sounding like I'm really going to have to test them myself. If the image quality and page speed are truly and clearly much superior on the Nook, I'll probably get it. However, if it's about the same it'll be a very close call (I suspect that this is more likely)!
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:49 PM   #9
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It is not a big deal that you can't access the SD card in the Nook. I bought an 8 gig card and put in over 250 books and still have over 7 gigs left.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingduct View Post
Thanks for the feedback so far, I hope it keeps coming! I'm going to try them out on Sunday, so we'll see.

Correct me if I've misunderstood anything, but here are some things I've learned so far in this thread:

-The SD card can't be easily inserted and removed from the Nook.
-On a related note, the Nook's library management can't just find a file on it's memory and display it. It has to be managed somehow through either Nook software or alternative software like Calibre (no basic drag and drop).
-Nook turns pages a bit faster
-Handedness impacts usability
-both have good build quality and good service (though Nook's I can get a real human at a store)

It is sounding like I'm really going to have to test them myself. If the image quality and page speed are truly and clearly much superior on the Nook, I'll probably get it. However, if it's about the same it'll be a very close call (I suspect that this is more likely)!
I have to disagree with most of what dixieknits said.

1. The back cover of the Nook is very easy to take off, without tools. It has simple tabs. Also, while it's off you can replace or change out the battery. I'd rather my micro sd card be there where it will not accidentally pop out.

2. You can easily drag and drop ebooks into the my library folder through USB either in the internal memory, or the sd card. No management software needed at all! The only software you need is Adobe Digital Editions if you want to checkout Overdrive Library Books. Kobo requires the same. I think that is where dixieknits is confused.

3. The Kobo screen is not larger. They are both 6 inches.

4. Kobo ink clarity is not the same. Watch the video review on CNET.com and they specifically mention that the Kobo screen is not as clear as the Kindle or Nook.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:58 PM   #11
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A couple of more questions

I have wondered whether the new wifi Nook can actually use the web browser to directly download books from places like Feedbooks without having to hook up to a computer. My impression is that you can only directly get books from the B&N store, which I don't plan to use, but if I'm wrong, that would be an interesting feature.

A question that isn't really any different between the two is how important it is to have a book cover of some sort. From what I understand, neither comes with one. Do I need to figure that I'll immediately have to get one? I usually don't mind my electronics having imperfections, but I don't want to immediately break the thing either.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:19 AM   #12
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Nook is only wifi'd to Barnes and Noble.
Sorry, was wrong of screen size. Both then I guess are slightly larger than Sony.
It IS a big deal that the SD card can't come in and out of ereader easily, not because of the size of the gigs stored, but because you can't use it to load books. ie, instead of syncing to computer, you can drag and drop books onto whatever folders you choose to create on card and and then pop books into the ereader instead of hooking up cables and syncing, and in Nooks case only through B & N software which controls your library, what you keep and delete and your library goes back to them... I did not like any of this ......
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixieknits View Post
Nook is only wifi'd to Barnes and Noble.
Sorry, was wrong of screen size. Both then I guess are slightly larger than Sony.
Yet again wrong. The 600 is the same size 6" screen as the nook, Kobo, & Kindle 2. All eink readers with a 6" screen are the exact same size.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixieknits;
Nook is only wifi'd to Barnes and Noble.
Sorry, was wrong of screen size. Both then I guess are slightly larger than Sony.
It IS a big deal that the SD card can't come in and out of ereader easily, not because of the size of the gigs stored, but because you can't use it to load books. ie, instead of syncing to computer, you can drag and drop books onto whatever folders you choose to create on card and and then pop books into the ereader instead of hooking up cables and syncing, and in Nooks case only through B & N software which controls your library, what you keep and delete and your library goes back to them... I did not like any of this ......
I don't see how popping a card is any easier than plugging one cable to the nook. To each his own.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dixieknits View Post
Nook is only wifi'd to Barnes and Noble.
Sorry, was wrong of screen size. Both then I guess are slightly larger than Sony.
It IS a big deal that the SD card can't come in and out of ereader easily, not because of the size of the gigs stored, but because you can't use it to load books. ie, instead of syncing to computer, you can drag and drop books onto whatever folders you choose to create on card and and then pop books into the ereader instead of hooking up cables and syncing, and in Nooks case only through B & N software which controls your library, what you keep and delete and your library goes back to them... I did not like any of this ......
The Nook has two different folders. The B&N Library and My Documents.
The B&N library is synchronized with the B&N library of your account using 3G or Wifi (books you do not want to see can be archived, that way they will not show on the Nook, you can always unarchive them).
The My Documents folder is the folder you manage yourself. You can just drag and drop books to this folder, no B&N sofware needed, the Nook shows up as a driveletter on your PC.
You can also download your B&N books from the B&N website and drag and drop them to the My Documents Folder. You can also download the books from the B&N website this way to backup them to your PC. B&N does not control your books!
Your B&N books are even more futureproof that regular Adobe Adept DRM books, because the Adobe Adept DRM depents on an online Abobe activation server (which one day may not be available anymore), while the B&N DRM is encrypted within the book itself.

As for the Wifi connection. You can use your home wifi network or any public hotspot to connect to the internet. You can visit all websites. The only thing you cannot do at the moment is download files to your Nook. Perhaps we will see this in a future update (the browser is only Beta yet).
To shop at B&N you use the SHOP function of the Nook, not the browser.
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