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Old 07-17-2018, 08:37 PM   #1
sawdin2
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Kindle Oasis, Kobo Aura One or ipad mini 4???

Looking at purchasing either a KA1, Kindle Oasis, or ipad mini 4.

I used to have a Nook color tablet (can't remember if if it was the 7" or 9" model) and cannot imagine using a 6" screen. Thus, I'm only looking at options that have a large screen. I have not used a tablet or ereader for about three years. Following are some questions that I have:

1. In general, it appears that there is less glare with an ereader compared to a "tablet". Is this true in comparison to the ipad mini 4 ("m4") which has a laminated display with AR coating?

2. Reading on an e-ink display is supposedly "easier on the eyes" and more enjoyable than using a tablet. I've read that holds true even in comparison with the m4. Is that true?

3. Night Shift on m4 is not as good as twilight or f.lux. Is there a way to get f.lux or twilight w/out jailbreaking/rooting the m4? I have to have an effective blue light filter given sleep issues.

4. Is there a way to get f.lux or twilight on the Kindle Oasis? Not having a good blue light filter is the biggest knock I have against the Oasis.

5. Using overdrive with KA1 is supposed to be a breeze (when it's working), how easy is it to use overdrive with the Oasis?

6. I have read that KA1 and Kobo's in general have more glitches/issues than the Oasis, including uneven screen. Is that true?

Screen size and clarity, ease of use and a real Blue Light Filter are most important to me.

Any and all thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

TIA!
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:06 PM   #2
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The Oasis doesn't need a blue light option, it's not backlit, it's front lit. It's single use, just for reading. I love mine. It's great in the sun, or total darkness, and everything in between.

The mini gives you the option of being able to use email, browse, stream video, etc. I also love my iPad mini, but generally don't use it to read unless it's a book that is better with a color screen. It's not great in the sun, and it's hard on my eyes in a dark room, even with the light turned way down.
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:30 PM   #3
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Deskisamess,

Thanks for replying. If the LED's in the Oasis are on, they will emit blue light, though because they are inward facing, the amount that reaches the reader's eyes would be less than a back-lit tablet. If the LED's are turned off, wouldn't you need an external light source to read in a dark room (e.g., at night in bed)? I do have workarounds for that (e.g.., orange, red, or amber LED reading lamps).

PS...I used to use the twilight app with my Nook and besides any blue light filtering for circadian rhythm issues, I found the amber screen relaxing).
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:33 AM   #4
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Item 1, I am not that familiar with the iPad Mini gen 4. My iPad Pro has quite a bit more glare than any of my ereaders. In bright daylight, it makes a pretty decent mirror.

item 2, the ease of reading on an eInk screen? For myself, I can read much longer on my Kobo Aura One or Tolino epos (both 7.8" screens) compared to my iPad Pro. I do use the iPad Pro for reading pdf files which are mostly manuals where I am constantly zooming in and out -- reading a page intended for a letter or A4 size page on a 7.8" screen is not the greatest experience.

Item 3, the Kobo Aura One has what Kobo calls Comfortlight Pro. This lets you alter the colour temperature of the frontlight though taking it to extremes might cause the frontlight to be uneven likely, I suspect, due to fewer LEDs being used. On mine, the highest night setting makes me think of reading by candlelight but I seldom move the slider more than 25% towards the night setting and that is in a totally darkened room.

Item 4, the LEDs that illuminate the Oasis screen are single colour so no chance of a colour varying application.

One item to remember is both Amazon and Kobo use a Linux variant on their eInk ereaders. No chance of running an Android or similar application.

Item 5, yes, I use Overdrive on my KA1 and it works very well. The books are borrowed from the Kobo store and not the library server so once in a while I get a book that I am not able to borrow without going to my computer/web browser/ADE and then using calibre's content server to get it to my ereader wirelessly. I can't speak to the ease of using Overdrive with an Oasis since that is not supported outside the USA however some comments have suggested it is not quite as simple but still easy to do. This question would be easier to answer if you are able to add your location to your profile (no need to be exact but country/city/state/province helps with these questions).

Item 6, I'm not sure about the prevalence of glitches between Kobo and Amazon. Both have their share though Amazon has the advantage in controlling the format of their ebooks whereas Kobo has to deal with the variety of epubs that can claim to be standard compliant. Overall, I've been quite happy with my Kobo ereaders. One thing I like is that unlike the Kindlles, you don't need to jailbreak your ereader to be able to customize the reading experience or add additional reading software such as KoReader.

I would say that given what you wrote about screen size, clarity and blue light filtering, the Kobo Aura One meets those needs. With the assistance of calibre, you can purchase your ebooks from virtually any source and convert them to your needed format though that may need some assistance from Apprentice Alf.

Last edited by DNSB; 07-18-2018 at 12:36 AM. Reason: Fat fingers cause typos...
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Old 07-18-2018, 01:20 AM   #5
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1. In general, it appears that there is less glare with an ereader compared to a "tablet". Is this true in comparison to the ipad mini 4 ("m4") which has a laminated display with AR coating?
The entire principle of eink screen as opposed to an LCD is different. In LCD screen, each pixel is basically a tiny little lamp. Depending on the underlying input, different pixels are lit in different colours, and that's how you see text and images. If the lamps are shut off, you see nothing. If the lamps are weak, you see a little. In strong ambient light, such as outdoors in daylight, you need the LCD turned on to the fullest.

But eink screen is a physically white surface where select pixels are physically black/gray. Just like in case of a printed page of paper. And again, just like in case of a printed page of paper, you need no lamps to light it up when you are outdoors in daylight. You need lights only when you are in the dark, but the lights are completely distinct from the screen. Just like a reading lamp is a different thing from the book, an ereader's frontlight is different from its screen - it's a series of little lamps around the edge of the screen. That's why it's called frontlight, not backlight, when talking about eink.

If you have never seen the difference, you must go to a store to see it. The experience cannot be conveyed by talking, and youtube is a poor substitute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY38mNujMJU

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2. Reading on an e-ink display is supposedly "easier on the eyes" and more enjoyable than using a tablet. I've read that holds true even in comparison with the m4. Is that true?
Eink is definitely easier on the eyes compared to LCD just like a physical book is easier on the eyes compared to a TV screen. Certainly if you look at them at the same distance.

As to "enjoyable", most still enjoy TV more.

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Originally Posted by sawdin2 View Post
3. Night Shift on m4 is not as good as twilight or f.lux. Is there a way to get f.lux or twilight w/out jailbreaking/rooting the m4? I have to have an effective blue light filter given sleep issues.

4. Is there a way to get f.lux or twilight on the Kindle Oasis? Not having a good blue light filter is the biggest knock I have against the Oasis.
Eink hardly needs this stuff, unless you do night-reading much. A good option to have in an ereader is invert colours. I have heard Kindle Oasis has it out of the box (don't trust me on this, I have never seen a Kindle close). Kobo Aura One has invert colours when you install Koreader app on it. Additionally, Kobo Aura One has an orange-tinted frontlight, which helps a lot.

In general though, eink devices tend to be monopurpose devices: Just to display text. You can install other apps on it (including other reading apps in addition to the default one) with difficulty, particularly if you have no nerd talents. If you need a multi-purpose device for games and videos, go for a tablet.

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6. I have read that KA1 and Kobo's in general have more glitches/issues than the Oasis, including uneven screen. Is that true?
Not uneven screen, but uneven frontlight. Relevant only when you do much reading in the dark.

Last edited by mobama; 07-18-2018 at 01:24 AM.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:11 AM   #6
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Public Library borrowing with an Oasis is easy, as long as your library uses Overdrive and lends Kindle compatible books. I borrow the books from the library site, and they are funneled through my Amazon account and delivered to my Oasis just as if I bought the book from reside on Content & Devices and can be delivered to other devices registered to my Amazon account.

After you borrow the book at the library site, you're sent to Amazon to log in, so you just need to be sure to log in to your account with which you buy Kindle books.
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Old 07-18-2018, 11:55 AM   #7
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Public Library borrowing with an Oasis is easy, as long as your library uses Overdrive and lends Kindle compatible books. I borrow the books from the library site, and they are funneled through my Amazon account and delivered to my Oasis just as if I bought the book from reside on Content & Devices and can be delivered to other devices registered to my Amazon account.

After you borrow the book at the library site, you're sent to Amazon to log in, so you just need to be sure to log in to your account with which you buy Kindle books.
Am I correct in reading from what you wrote that you are required to use a computer or, if truly desperate, the Kindle web browser, to browse for and to borrow the book from the library website before you get shunted off to the Amazon website to complete the borrowing process. So no searching on your Kindle and having borrow or place a hold as an option when you find a book you want.

As for delivery to other devices, once I have borrowed the book on my Aura One, it becomes available as would any purchase to my other Kobo devices.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:41 PM   #8
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I have NEVER used the Kindle experimental browser to access my public library site. I don't think it would work, the browser is basically useless.

I use my iPad browser, or the computer if necessary.

For normal buying or using Kindle Unlimited, I rarely use the Kindle. I do it from an iPad or computer.

Kindle doesn't have the same type of direct link that the Kobo Aura One has to public libraries. But, once a book is borrowed, it is available for any Kindle or Kindle app on my Amazon account.

None of my comments pertain to Amazon's Fire tablets. I don't use them, but assume their browser would be fine for accessing public libraries.
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Old 07-18-2018, 08:21 PM   #9
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DNSB, mobama and Deskisamess,

Thanks for the feedback.

1. My understanding is that if you do not modify the settings in the KA1 to remove the Header and footer (page numbers), the actual amount of text displayed is the same even though the KA1 has a larger screen. If you do modify the settings to remove the header/footer, does it only work for certain types of files (e.g., EPUB) or will it work for any file type?

2. Oasis screen is brighter than KA1. If you are not doing a direct side-by-side comparison, would one complain that the KA1 screen is not bright enough?

TIA,

Dino
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:02 PM   #10
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1. My understanding is that if you do not modify the settings in the KA1 to remove the Header and footer (page numbers), the actual amount of text displayed is the same even though the KA1 has a larger screen.
That is hard to answer because it depends on font size, line spacing margins and how lot more. Of course, without the header and footer, there is more text on the Aura ONE screen than with them. But, I've never felt that comparing this to the amount of text on a different size screen with a completely different renderer made sense.
Quote:
If you do modify the settings to remove the header/footer, does it only work for certain types of files (e.g., EPUB) or will it work for any file type?
The full screen mode is for all book types.
Quote:
2. Oasis screen is brighter than KA1. If you are not doing a direct side-by-side comparison, would one complain that the KA1 screen is not bright enough?
The only advantage of having the maximum brightness higher than another is if you are trying to walk around in the dark. Turning the brightness up makes them an OK torch.

The brightness is one of those things that is the reverse of the what you immediately expect. You actually turn the brightness up as the room gets lighter. And you get to a point where it just isn't needed and you can turn the devices light off. Personally, I have found that all the Kobo devices go to bright and only turn them past about 50% for testing.

Most people are concerned about the other end of the scale: Can the light be turned down so it is still comfortable to use with no external light source. I found that the minimum I used on the Aura ONE was about 5% in a dark room.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:22 PM   #11
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davidfor,

Thanks for the reply. I will be using an ereader a lot at night in a dark room w/ either no ambient light or minimal ambient light from a low lumens blue light blocking led bulb: KA1 should be fine.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:38 PM   #12
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2. Oasis screen is brighter than KA1. If you are not doing a direct side-by-side comparison, would one complain that the KA1 screen is not bright enough?
Bright enough for what? The highest setting brightness is way too bright in a dark room. No matter if the device is from Kobo, Apple, or Amazon.

If anything, the Oasis 2 might be too bright in its lowest setting if your are unusually light sensitive. You do have the option to completely turn the light off without having to jailbreak. The Kobo does that too, I think. But I am unsure who is brighter in their lowest setting.
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:01 PM   #13
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I have NEVER used the Kindle experimental browser to access my public library site. I don't think it would work, the browser is basically useless.
You can borrow books directly using the Kindle's Experimental Browser, but you have to have the patience of Job. I just tested it again on my old Kindle Touch and it still works (at least it does with the Fort Worth Public Library). Once borrowed Overdrive sends you to Amazon where you click to claim your book. And it's available on any Kindle at that point.
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Old 07-19-2018, 02:51 AM   #14
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DNSB, mobama and Deskisamess,

Thanks for the feedback.

1. My understanding is that if you do not modify the settings in the KA1 to remove the Header and footer (page numbers), the actual amount of text displayed is the same even though the KA1 has a larger screen. If you do modify the settings to remove the header/footer, does it only work for certain types of files (e.g., EPUB) or will it work for any file type?
I have done some patching on my Kobo H2O, so I don't see the header anymore at least. However, I find the patching system convoluted and error-prone, and it addresses too few of my annoyances with Kobo software, so that I circumvent Kobo software entirely and I use Koreader instead. Koreader is sufficiently configurable and can handle both epubs and pdf files more competently. Here's an overview of Koreader on Kobo Aura One https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2oSOeAnD10


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2. Oasis screen is brighter than KA1. If you are not doing a direct side-by-side comparison, would one complain that the KA1 screen is not bright enough?
As others have already correctly pointed out, the lowest point of the frontlight is more important than the high point. When you read in pitch dark, you don't want the thing to blind you. You want just enough light to discern the text, nothing more.

I have no experience with Kindles. My Kobo H2O is perfect at the lowest setting in pitch darkness (plus colours inverted in Koreader). I expect Aura One to be no worse, not too much anyway.

It's understood that it's not a simple engineerial task to construct an even frontlight for bigger screens. However, I am quite satisfied with the 8" Pocketbook Inkpad that I have. Its frontlight is good enough in pitch dark. More of a concern on it is the contrast and ghosting, probably because the eink screen uses the older Pearl technology as opposed to the newer Carta. Kobo Aura One and Kindle Oasis use Carta, so they should be fine.
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Old 07-19-2018, 07:21 AM   #15
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I have done some patching on my Kobo H2O, so I don't see the header anymore at least. However, I find the patching system convoluted and error-prone
I don't patch as it's more trouble than it's worth to me (I'm easy), but the full screen hack is trivial, takes seconds and is once and done through firmware updates. As an aside, the full screen hack is a necessity to make the Mini viable, IMO.
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