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Old 03-25-2018, 11:09 PM   #1
Bobb_o
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Question Upgrading from Nook Simple Touch: H2O, GL3, or A1?

I've gotten back into reading and while my NST still works I'd like to upgrade, at least to something with a light.

I don't care about ecosystems because I don't buy books, I'll either sideload or borrow from the library. I'm fine using Calibre and adding books connected to my PC.

The reason I'm not considering a Kindle is because if I'm going to get an ereader with a light I'd like one with a warm setting. It's the same reason why I'm not considering the Aura Edition 2.

From everything I've seen it looks like Kobo's software has more features I'd like and the new Nook software (compared to my current touch) doesn't seem to be noticeably better.

I like the idea of the big screen from the A1 but am worried about how unwieldy it might be. I tend to switch around from one hand to two, left to right, button to tap/swipe and I'm sure I can get used to touch exclusive with a Kobo but the size of the A1 might really throw me off.

Storage capacity is a non factor. I don't care about water resistance either.

I haven't done a lot of reading outside of the Nook so apps for my phone/syncing doesn't make me lean one way or the other. My ereader will always be a bag and not a pocket device so the size doesn't matter for that purpose

At the moment I'm leaning towards the H2O because of the 6.8inch screen in a body that's practically the same size as my NST plus the added features of the Kobo software. I feel like the upgrade in PPI will feel the same whether I go to 265 or 300 from 167. While the OverDrive integration would be nice in the A1 the thing that worries me is the device size. The GL3 is still in the back of my mind because of how cheap it is and the fact that it has buttons and I would know the kind of experience I would get (albeit with newer software that looks slightly worse to me)

So what I'm hoping to hear is just people's general thoughts and opinions to help me decide. I'm not going to buy a used device or an outdated model so no need for recommendations on those.

Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:29 AM   #2
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I had written a very lengthy comparison with pros and cons but for some reason when I tried to post it got an error and it's gone now.

So to summarize:
I was in the same situation and ended with the GL3, although my last ereader were the kobo mini and aura and the GL3's software is a bit underwhelming in comparison.

GL3:
+ great screen, actually better than other 300 ppi reader in comparison, probably because of lacking a capacitive layer on the screen, so the text just pops more and is a bit crisper
+ great front light, nicely warm and evenly distributed
+ hardware buttons

- kinda sluggish software, limited text-formatting settings
- you can't change the darn screensaver and the 2 included options are really bad

H2O 2nd ED:
+ bigger screen and with the easy full-screen mode you can get even more reading estate
+ nice warm front light
+ waterproof
+ better software with a lot more options (you have a lot more fonts and you can sideload more, more options for font weight, more options for line spacing, etc.)
+ more supported file types
+ you can actually read pdf files on it

- the screen is not as crisp and the background is darker (not that it's too important with a front light on) than the competition, but if you come straight from the NST it will be a big upgrade nevertheless
- The screen is not flush (it's not flush on the GL3 too, but on the nook it serves a purpose and you get better looking text)

KA1:
+ great big screen (I can only imagine how it looks with the full-screen workaround), which also looks great quality-wise
+ actually quite comfortable to use because of its thin frame and weight distribution
+ all other H2O pros (software, waterproofing, etc.)

- the front light is more of a pink/reddish color on the warm setting, which is kinda distracting and washes out the text a bit and is also not as evenly distributed and can be kinda blotchy, but I read that this can vary from one KA1 to another
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:51 AM   #3
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Thanks for your summary. I never got the hate for indented IR screens because it never really bothered me so a flush capacitive screen doesn't really make it stand out for me.

I am hoping Walmart starts stocking the Kobos soon, they announced a partnership with Rakuten in January an said they'd start selling them later this year but who knows when that could be. I will definitely need a new one before my vacation but that's not til July. I'm even thinking of trying to find a tablet that's about the same size as the A1 just to get an idea of how big it is (cause the weight will obviously be off)
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:16 PM   #4
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kova4a pretty much covered all you need to know.

I own a Glowlight 3, a Nook STwG and an original model Aura, running the most current O/S which should be the same as the H2O2. Kobo definitely has better software outside of a book. So, navigating your library, etc.

The latest Nook software is similar enough to what was on your Nook ST that you are familiar with it. But the latest software seems buggy. When not in a book, it is very slow. Also, some users have had problems with it losing sideloaded books. I haven't had any of those issues, but be aware of them.

On the plus side, the screen is beautiful. The night light works great and the buttons are nice to have. All the software issues I mentioned impact what happens when you aren't reading. When you are reading, everything is fine.

Kobo has much better software, but for me at least I don't like everything about it out of the box. I have to hack and patch the Kobo software to make it worthwhile for me (this is fairly easy to do and different folks have different tastes. Just letting you know). Also it costs more. And you'll have to order online or wait until Kobo materializes at Walmart (end of the year is what I remember hearing).

Kobo's font/margin/spacing control blows Nook and Kindle out of the water. They also make it easy to add your own fonts to the device. The GL3 and H2O2 are close in size, but the Kobo gives you a bigger screen (at a lower resolution).

As a bonus, it is waterproof. You mentioned you don't care, but it's not a bad extra to have.

Either reader will be a noticeable upgrade to your Nook ST. I have noticed when the GL3 and my Aura are on side-by-side in a dark room, the light from my Aura (which doesn't have color changing light) seems harsh compared to the Glowlight 3. So maybe there is something to this night light reading.
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Old 03-26-2018, 01:12 PM   #5
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So as silly as it sounds having the "stats" that Kobo provides seems like it really might be useful. Something I've always wanted is a time to finish chapter/time to finish book, it's not a need but it's a want.

In terms of the Nook I don't browse the store and I generally only read one book at time so I don't use the library to browse different books on the device either. It's good to know that I won't run in to much of the sluggishness if I spend most of the time with a book open.
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Old 03-26-2018, 02:05 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Bobb_o View Post
So as silly as it sounds having the "stats" that Kobo provides seems like it really might be useful. Something I've always wanted is a time to finish chapter/time to finish book, it's not a need but it's a want.
I haven't seen any time to finish chapter setting on the Kobo. Maybe it's some setting I'm not using?

I read kepubs on my Kobo and it will tell me that I'm on page 11 of 16 in the current chapter. But I haven't seen that it will estimate five minutes remaining.

One thing I do wish is that I could see I'm on page 11 of 16 in chapter 17 and I'm on page 363 of 475 overall. Instead you have to choose one or the other. Though the clock in the top bar will show you that you are 53% through the book.

The sleep screen does show that I am 53% done and it will take an estimated three hours to complete the book.

Incidentally, the Glowlight 3 does show you are on page 363 of 475 in the footer at the bottom, like always. Tapping the center of the screen will bring up a bar that shows you have 5 pages remaining in the chapter. I like the way they handle it.

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Old 03-26-2018, 02:56 PM   #7
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The goodereader review has a shot of the stats page you can bring up.

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Old 03-26-2018, 03:08 PM   #8
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The goodereader review has a shot of the stats page you can bring up.
Hey! You showed me a use for the stats button. I'd ignored it previously.
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:22 PM   #9
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Well, you can't really judge the KA1 weight based on similar tablets as tablets have thick glass screens, big batteries, often have metal bodies, etc. Most similarly sized tablets will weigh almost double the KA1. Actually, for reference the KA1 is heavier than the NST by less than 20g, which is less than a pack of gum.

As far as reading stats, I personally don't care - I used to read a lot phones and tablets at one point and they had these stats and they are not more accurate than you finishing 10 pages, seeing the time and estimating how long it took you - then you'll know that it will take you about 30 times that to read 300 pages, that's what these stats do, but one can read certain pages at different speeds etc. Imagine a program telling you how much time you have left in something like House of Leaves based on the number of pages alone.

Anyway, sometimes I wonder what would have been if B&N put a more powerful hardware in the GL3 and raised the price, but anyway I chose it for the screen and the front light because nothing else it the price range is as good. The kindle paperwhite's screen is not that good and there's no night light and the kobos go up in price with the H2O's screen also not being as good.

Btw, I saw that some local stores are carrying pocketbook and I might have to check them soon just for reference as they also have a 6" and a 7.8" screen devices with warm light - pocketbook touch hd 2 and pocketbook inkpad 3, and they have some great specs and features

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Old 03-26-2018, 03:27 PM   #10
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...sometimes I wonder what would have been if B&N put a more powerful hardware in the GL3 and raised the price, but anyway I chose it for the screen and the front light because nothing else it the price range is as good. The kindle paperwhite's screen is not that good and there's no night light and the kobos go up in price with the H2O's screen also not being as good.
I think the hardware for the GL3 is fine. It's the most recent software that is letting it down.
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:48 PM   #11
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I'm not that sure, yeah it has the same cpu and amount of ram as the kobos, but it's android-based, and we all know how resource-heavy android is, especially the older versions used on ereaders. That's why most android-based ereaders nowadays have double the RAM and a lot more powerful multi-core processors that are more suitable for android.

On the other hand, this does open the GL3 to the possibility to sideload another reading app and have stuff like landscape mode, more fonts, etc., which I might check out at some point.
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:08 PM   #12
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@kova4a I know the weight will be off but I'm trying to really get an idea of the footprint.

And about the stats that's why I know they're not a necessity but I think they're fun to have. It'd be nice to know the total time it took for me to finish books or to see which chapters are longer than others.
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