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Old 09-15-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
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Kobo early adopter just got Kindle 3 (Canada)

Very preliminary impressions:

- lightning fast pages turns; if you had to (and you don't, with a K3), you really could page through to page 250 of 500, as I've had to with a poorly-formatted epub on my Kobo
- leap to any arbitrary location withing ebub using Menu|Goto|location # (see above)
- better display/contrast
- epub -> mobi effortlessly, using Calibre

Those three points make this WiFi/3G Kindle 3 incredibly easy to use and to switch to. Note that none of these compelling advantages involve WiFi or 3G; I just hooked up to Calibre and went. Calibre even knew enough to auto-convert to mobil when I transferred an epub to the K3.

Oh, and any word the cursor is on is defined at the top (if you're on the botton), or the botton (if you're on the top) of the page.

Very sweet
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:29 PM   #2
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Thank you for sharing! I've been very tempted to add the K3 to the family as a second reader.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:28 PM   #3
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The Kobo default font (and I don't pretend to understand how these things work) is much more attractive than that of the K3. I brought in a few non-aligned judges (read: people who don't even know what an ereader is); five of five preferred the Kobo font. The K3 font looks like a fat Bookman.

At the risk of repeating myself: the K3 is *way* faster. Suddenly, going from text to menu to system to menu to text seems workable. Such an operation has always been onerous on a Kobo.

Power-off to time-on: negligible on an K3. You know about the Kobo.

Free newspapers and magazines (a la Calibre) look much better -- is it the display? The layout? I haven't yet tried side-by-side.

Did I mention power-off/power-on time? I'm still waitiing for the Kobo to come up so I can do the newspaper comparison.

ONTH, the K3 has a finicky teeny tiny keyboard with irksome little keys. OTOH, the Kobo has none...
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:46 PM   #4
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I liked my Kobo when I first got it, but I hate to agree, the K3 is a way better device. Lightning fast page turns and sharper contrast than the Kobo. It takes the Kobo 47 seconds from "off" to reading a book. Doesn't sound like a lot, but that is horrid - the K3 takes mere moments.

My one reservation about getting the Kindle was its inability to display epub documents. I got my copy of 1984 in epub format and, with a couple mouse clicks in Calibre, converted it and transferred it to my K3 and it looks great. Couple that with the fact that the K3 has wifi.

I wonder how Amazon is able to sell a device like that for only $139? Are they simply selling it as a loss leader for their book store? I still really like my Kobo, but with the price war that's going on it's going to have to go beyond it's $129 price tag to compete.

If the Kobo price were lowered to $89 or something ridiculous, Jeff Bezos would crap his drawers. The Kobo has flaws, but nothing than can't be looked over for the right price. I'd like to see the Kobo fire a shot across Amazon's bow with a drastic price war like that. It would certainly get people's attention to a really good ereader that's not being talked about.

I think I'm going to keep my Kindle. I think I may sell the Kobo, but I kinda don't want to, she's been good to me. I might give it to my girlfriend and load it with Twilight books. *sigh* Unless anybody here wants to buy a mint Kobo for cheap.

Last edited by kajoob; 09-15-2010 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:46 PM   #5
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I told myself I would wait for the next firmware upgrade before I officially give up on my kobo, though I must admit I didn't think I'd be waiting so loooonnnnggggg.
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Old 09-15-2010, 09:50 PM   #6
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Independent sources (see above) say the Kobo is lighter. But it's close.

Online stuff: I just checked my email on my K3. Kobo: hmm.

The K3 is slimmer, but a tad bigger (maybe 1/4" wider and longer). As above, heavier. I prefer the rubber back of the Kobo.

The Kobo is far more my mother's ereader. I'm a bit of a fiddler, so the K3 is my preference. All those extra keys are worth something... like typing and bookmarking and commenting and stuff.

Book load time? Pillars of the Earth, Kobo: 10 seconds. K3: sub-one-second.

Font change time? Kobo: 10 seconds, multiple keypresses. K3: instantaneous.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:03 PM   #7
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I just had my K3 read to my wife. While its performance of "Thou art a rose in mine eyes" was clearly more robotic than my own, my wife was still swayed.

Again -- Kobo: 0, K3: my wife's own heart. Edge: K3.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:04 PM   #8
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I was expecting an update that mostly fixed a few known issues on Kobo, but with Sameer just telling us that we are getting new features, I'm intrigued. I bought my Kobo in May, and at the time, it was an amazing deal--even allowing for the limited feature set. Now Amazon's price drop has changed that, at least for now. I think I will wait and see. I don't have the money to justify two readers.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmacaskill View Post
More:

Independent sources (see above) say the Kobo is lighter. But it's close.

Online stuff: I just checked my email on my K3. Kobo: hmm.

The K3 is slimmer, but a tad bigger (maybe 1/4" wider and longer). As above, heavier. I prefer the rubber back of the Kobo.

The Kobo is far more my mother's ereader. I'm a bit of a fiddler, so the K3 is my preference. All those extra keys are worth something... like typing and bookmarking and commenting and stuff.

Book load time? Pillars of the Earth, Kobo: 10 seconds. K3: sub-one-second.

Font change time? Kobo: 10 seconds, multiple keypresses. K3: instantaneous.


I agree, I much prefer the Kobo's back to that of the K3 - it's just better. Also, I don't like the K3 page turn buttons on the side. I keep accidentally hitting them - I love that little aquamarine carbuncle on the Kobo, I do love it so. The very simply form, function, and feel of the Kobo is better than the K3. If the Kobo had the speed of the K3 and a pearl screen, it would be hands down the best ereader on the market.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmacaskill View Post
The Kobo default font (and I don't pretend to understand how these things work) is much more attractive than that of the K3. I brought in a few non-aligned judges (read: people who don't even know what an ereader is); five of five preferred the Kobo font. The K3 font looks like a fat Bookman.
Thanks. I was curious about how the K3 font compared. Elsewhere I've been discussing the Kobo compared to the new Sony I have, and I realised that I still prefer the font on the Kobo. Its serif font is very nice.

I would really like to see the Kobo drop down in price, and become a much more competitive reader in the market. Despite how it seemingly pales in comparison to the K3 (or the new Sonys), there's still many good things about the Kobo (mainly its elegance and simplicity), and I do think it deserves more attention than it's currently getting.

I'm also waiting excitedly for the Kobo's next firmware update.
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by bmacaskill View Post
I just had my K3 read to my wife. While its performance of "Thou art a rose in mine eyes" was clearly more robotic than my own, my wife was still swayed.

Again -- Kobo: 0, K3: my wife's own heart. Edge: K3.
I'll have to recant. The K3 just read Tennyson's "And Ask Ye Why These Sad Tears Stream" to my wife and now she's just afraid of machines.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:25 PM   #12
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Font change time? Kobo: 10 seconds, multiple keypresses. K3: instantaneous.
You are aware you can change the font size on the Kobo using the up/down buttons right?
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:29 PM   #13
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The Kobo default font (and I don't pretend to understand how these things work) is much more attractive than that of the K3.

Damn you. You just made me go compare the two side-by-side, and now I have to read my K3 knowing that the Kobo's typeface is indeed better than the Kindle. Score another point for the Kobo.
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:36 PM   #14
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You are aware you can change the font size on the Kobo using the up/down buttons right?
Yes, of course you're right. Still takes 10 seconds; still takes almost no time on a K3.

I love my Kobo, it's just that it's so sloooooooooooow. The K3 *sparkles* -- it leaps from place to place in a second. I guess they really saved money on the Kobo when they chose the processor... it's only now, with the K3, that you realize what they could have done -- and may yet do -- with future Kobos.

But the Kobos we have are only good for page-to-page stuff. The moment you want to leap around in a book -- or outside of a book and then back in -- you realize the Kobo is a one-trick pony.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:30 AM   #15
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I guess the thing which sounds the most appealing to me would be the speed. I love the Kobo's UI for the most part (seems logical and clean to me, more so than the Sonys), the ecosystem around the Kobo (Kobo's store and ePubs etc), and I had loved the price. I don't like the somewhat sluggish performance as much and there are obviously some improvements to the feature set which could be made (page jumping, collections, list management such as moving books from reading list without USB sync).

I don't have much interest in dictionary support, note taking etc, basically to me the keyboard of the Kindle actually puts me off, I don't need all that space taken up. I'd rather the up/down buttons on the Kobo could be configured to operate as page back/forward (ala Sony readers IIRC), I rarely find myself adjusting the font size. The Kobo's UI is very easy to navigate with the 9 + 1 (power) buttons on the device.

If I were buying an eReader today I think my decision would be different than it was in May, today the Kobo seems a bit expensive for it's more basic feature set than the Sonys and Kindle. I still don't think I'd go for the Kindle because of the Amazon lock-in but perhaps the speed could convince me. I haven't really looked at the new Sony readers since I do have the Kobo but it would probably be my main competitor to the Kobo. I think at the $128 price point that the Kobo is currently at it needs more features to compete with the Kindle at $139, I think a $99 price point for Christmas would make sense unless it can reach feature parity (I think this expecting a bit much). If/When the Kobo reaches feature parity with the Sony readers then I can see the $128 being a decent price compared to $139 but I suspect the market won't stay still long enough for those prices to stay the same.

Edit: Thanks for the perspective, it's very interesting to hear the comparison from someone who has really used both devices. A lot of tech reviewers I find just haven't used a device long enough to really make quite such useful comparisons.

Last edited by JPenguin; 09-16-2010 at 12:35 AM.
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