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Old 08-18-2014, 05:17 PM   #1
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Onyx T68 or Kobo Aura?

The regular Aura, not the Aura HD (not a fan of the ridges). So yeah! I'm looking for an e-reader, and I've got it down to these two. I like the Onyx for its open-Android, physical buttons, higher resolution, and audio out. I like the Aura for its better front-light, more responsive screen, lower price, and, to a degree, greater portability (presuming it's not too small, which I can't tell without getting a hands-on). I like them both for their SD expansion slot, which, for me, is a requirement.

This will be my first e-reader, and I don't have any terribly grand designs. Really, all I'm looking for is access to "free" (read: public domain, library, publisher handouts, etc.; i.e. - legal) epubs. Yes, a Nook Simple Touch (w/ or w/o GlowLight) would probably serve me well, but I just can't get over the 800x600 res.

So I'm left ping-ponging between these two. What I guess it really comes down to for me is that the Kobo seems more refined, where the Onyx seems more quirky, and the Onyx seems more versatile where the Kobo seems more restrained. It's a tough call, especially without being able to see a demo model for either device. So what say you? Any clear preference one way or the other? Any thoughts or advice that might help with this decision? Any other devices I should consider? Let me know! Your thoughts, feedback, opinions, and advice are all greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:50 AM   #2
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Don't judge a book by its cover, hence go for the Aura HD. My $0.02

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Old 08-19-2014, 07:00 AM   #3
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Do you want to do a lot on you reader, or do you just want to read? The Kobo is a reader. The T68 is an eink tablet that can do many different things. From what I understand, the T68 has a learning curve, lots of fiddling before you get things how you want them.

The Aura HD is much simpler in that respect. (Made even better used in conjunction with the free program Calibre). Just turn it on and read.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:49 AM   #4
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Since you are specifically stating the standard Aura and not the Aura HD, you are looking at two quite different options?

The T68 has the larger 6.8" screen, and it's more of an e-ink tablet than a simple ereader. It's better if you want to be able to install different ereader apps on it, hold a huge library of books on it, and possibly read some PDF's. Whereas the Aura has the standard 6" screen and is therefore a little smaller and lighter (there isn't really a huge difference in size and weight to be fair, although the Aura is one of the smaller ereaders out there), and will be a better option if you just want to read.

The T68 will definitely be more versatile, but it'll probably take a bit of time for you to learn how to get the best out of it.

Last edited by soulfuldog; 08-19-2014 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback! I know it seems incongruous to compare the Aura to the T68, but I came by it honestly. I started by comparing the T68 to the Aura HD, and then comparing the Aura HD to the Aura. I soon found that I like the aesthetic of the Aura much better than that of the HD. I also like the two-finger-swipe to adjust the screen brightness, which is an exclusive feature on the Aura. So even though the T68 and Aura are rather different devices, in the end, that's where I ended up.

As far as what I'm looking for, I'd say I'm looking for the best e-reading experience I can find. I will be using this as a reader, and while it would be nice to have access to a plethora of different reading apps, as long as it's solid, all I need is one.

Since you mentioned Calibre, let me talk a bit more about why I'm looking for an e-reader and how I plan to be using it. In a way, it was Calibre that started this whole thing. Initially, I thought the only way to get e-books was on a device. It wasn't until recently I learned about Calibre, and realized that most major markets can be accessed from a PC. I thought it'd be nice to be able to scour the web for free & legal content to store in Calibre and read on a device, which was why I started looking for an e-reader. It wasn't until I found the T68 that I realized I could access all the different markets directly, but even then, I'd still prefer to manage everything centrally in Calibre.

In that regard, almost any e-reader would do, as the content would always be the same. However, I did stumble across something that may give the T68 an edge. Because it's open-Android, the T68 has access to the Calibre Companion which, among other things, would let me send books to the reader via WiFi. As far as I know, the Aura would have to be connected via USB to access either Calibre or the Kobo tools.

In part because of this, I am starting to lean more toward the T68. The main thing that's holding me back is the screen. I know it's not the most accurate/responsive, and I know that's the sort of thing that would bother me. Right now it seems to be a matter of figuring out whether I'd like the screen of the Aura more than I'd miss the various features of the T68. Tough call.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PaneintheGlass View Post
Right now it seems to be a matter of figuring out whether I'd like the screen of the Aura more than I'd miss the various features of the T68. Tough call.
That's a yes for me. The T68 brings nice features, but the display quality is the priority for me because this is what I feel the reading experience all comes down to.

I'll probably be wrong according to most people though :P
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:08 AM   #7
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I've had a T68 for a couple of months now, and am very happy with it. I use Calibre Companion to manage my books on the device, and Moon+ Pro as a reader.
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Old 08-20-2014, 05:05 AM   #8
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In that case, it's maybe worth your while waiting to see if Kobo announce a new Aura or Aura HD in the next few months (there are now rumours about an new HD model). It might make your decision a little easier. Although in saying that, I guess you could always be waiting to see what new option is coming....
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:05 AM   #9
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I wouldn't get the Onyx unless you are specifically looking for an open Android OS. Also be aware that the front-light on the Onyx has been reported not to go down low enough on its lowest setting. The Aura does not have that problem.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:23 AM   #10
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I wouldn't get the Onyx unless you are specifically looking for an open Android OS. Also be aware that the front-light on the Onyx has been reported not to go down low enough on its lowest setting. The Aura does not have that problem.
It's low enough for me, but I know from your previous posts that you're very sensitive to light.

Being able to run CC on it is the "killer app" for me. It's such an amazing tool for managing a large library. WAY better than any system of bookshelves, folders, or collections.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:48 AM   #11
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It's low enough for me, but I know from your previous posts that you're very sensitive to light.

Being able to run CC on it is the "killer app" for me. It's such an amazing tool for managing a large library. WAY better than any system of bookshelves, folders, or collections.
Personally, I could not use a front-light in pitch-darkness, no matter the brightness. Either bright or dim, it would make little difference to me. Eyes vary.

If you're interested in the Onyx, you should really check out the very long interactive review on the digital reader site. Also, there is an alternative, cheaper Android-based e-reader out there called a Boyue T61.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:31 PM   #12
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I am expecting to have a large library that I'll likely keep on the device. In that respect, the T68 (w/ CC) is looking like the stronger option. I don't know how often I'll be reading in low-light conditions, so at this point, it's not really something I can plan or shop for. Once I have a baseline, I'll be in a better position next time I'm in the market.

As far as "wait and see", I'm sorely tempted to wait for a second revision of the T68. But, as you pointed out, there's always something on the horizon. I'm hoping this is the vanguard of open-Android eink devices, rather than a passing niche; a movement I could support by voting with my wallet.

I did read the review on The Digital Reader, as well as a 'preview' that was posted before the review. The preview had some very interesting comments. There's also an excellent series of videos from The eBook Reader, and a few from GoodEReader. I also read darryl's post 'Onyx T68 - Is it right for you' in this forum.

I won't say it's decided (and I won't until I've placed an order), but I will say I'm fairly well persuaded that the T68 may be the way for me to go. I haven't had a chance to check out the Boyue, but I will before I do anything rash. Thanks for all the help!
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:54 PM   #13
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Just finished ordering the T68. In the end, the open-Android platform was enough of an edge to win me over. I did look into the Boyue T61, but couldn't find as many reviews or retailers as I'd like. Normally, for me, the screen would be the determining factor, but here I figured I'd value the library management tools more than I'd value the slightly, though albeit significantly, better screen.

Thank you very much for your help! I was stymied by analysis paralysis, and your input and perspective went a long way toward breaking the stalemate.
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