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Old 05-16-2010, 05:44 PM   #1
sjfwhite
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Kobo vs. Kindle

Hi folks - I have been reading books on mobile devices since the first Palm Pilots but the Kobo is my first dedicated ebook reader. I transitioned from my iPhone and wanted the better battery life when I go canoe tripping. This being my first ebook reader, and never having tried out any others, I really having nothing to which to compare and find the Kobo a pretty bare-boned reading experience. Having come from an iPhone (Stanza) I am very aware of the time it takes for pages to turn and the slowness of the device when loading books, changing menu options, display options, etc...

How does the Kindle compare in those respects? I have no need for 3G, wireless, web, touch screen, or text to speech which is why I got a Kobo as opposed to any other ebook reader - I didn't need to pay for those extras. However, is the user experience of reading a Kindle much different? If so, my wife may get the Kobo while I get a Kindle.

Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:49 AM   #2
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My friend has a Kindle while I bought the Kobo for the very same reasons - why pay for what you won't use? I like that the Kobo is a little smaller and is uncluttered by the keyboard at the bottom. I know that the Kindle has 16 shades of grey while the Kobo has 8 but unless I look really hard I can't tell the difference. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison but they seem comparable to me in terms of screen redraws and start time.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:08 AM   #3
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I have no need for 3G, wireless, web, touch screen, or text to speech which is why I got a Kobo as opposed to any other ebook reader
You sir, are exactly the market the Kobo is targeting. I'm in the same boat, I just wanted a descent eInk screen (the 5" always looked too small to me), at a reasonable price.
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:54 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! I decided to splurge on a Kindle and give my Kobo to my son who is a voracious reader. I checked out some videos and like that the page turning appears to be faster on the Kindle. Lack of ePub support is unfortunate but Calibre will come to the rescue! I will post back once I receive it and contrast it side by side with the Kobo. Cya soon!
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:30 PM   #5
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I own too many readers and what I like about the Kindle as compared to the Kobo is:

1. Dictionary - Kindle has one the Kobo doesn't. Even reading modern popular fiction I find myself looking up all sorts of words that I wouldn't if I had to use a paper dictionary.
2. Whispernet - If the dictionary doesn't give me enough info then I can go to Wikipedia. I can also quickly and easily download Amazon content from anywhere I have coverage and you don't need 3G.
3. Navigation - Don't overlook this, especially if you read periodicals or feeds. The five-way controller stick allows me to jump from article to article or quickly navigate to a TOC.

On the other hand:

1. Kindle does not support ePub (which IMO is a superior format than mobi/axw). Converting DRMed ePub for the Kindle requires removing the DRM. Once it's set up on your PC it's trivial to remove but the setup takes a bit of research and loading of programs. Converting nonDRMed ePub is trivial with Calibre.
2. The Kindle costs $100 more than the Kobo.
3. The Kindle is bigger and heavier than the Kobo but not by a whole lot.

With either you are *not* tied in to any bookstore especially if you read books without DRM.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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I agree with your points, TallMom. I had a Kindle for 3 weeks and returned it today. I've had to replace it 3 times, twice for broken screens and once because they sent me a refub unit that was scratched, a previous version and kept locking up. I'm going to miss the dictionary and text-to-speech. But, the Kindle really is huge. It's far too big to be comfortable to use. And, it's far too fragile.

I tried out a Kobo in Chapters today. Incidentally, there is a 6-week backorder on Kobo at the moment. I did notice that the Kobo is considerably slower than the Kindle. And, you can notice the difference with the 8-shade vs the 16-shade.

The Kobo is much better in size and weight. About perfect. For me, and this is only my preference, the deal breaker was left-justification for text. I can't read with the ragged right edge. This one factor stopped me from looking at the Kobo. Also, FWIW, the sans-serif font is very thin and much harder to read than on the Kindle.

What would I recommend? Honestly, anything but a Kindle or Kobo. I'm sure Kobo will come out with an upgrade that allows full-justification (again, you may not care about this), and a readable sans-serif font. Otherwise, it's darned good.

Oh, one final point. The Kobo is slooooooooooooow in comparison to the Kindle. It's noticeably slower on startup, page turns and loading a book. I would estimate that the Kobo is at least twice as slow, if not more.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:47 PM   #7
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The justification is only on the pre-loads. I loaded other books onto it and they were fully justified. My mother prefers the text to not be justified if she has the option so I did the stylesheet hack on all the books I gave her to get around the font-scaling issue, but a regular book you load yourself *should* be justified.

I agree that it's slower than the Kindle. And I use text to speech a LOT, so for me the Kindle was better. But the Kobo is much lighter and sleeker, so there's that

If you want a budget reader *now* and don't want to wait six weeks, or don't like the Kobo altogether, the Aluratek Libre is another option, and it's on sale for $149 at Future Shop right now.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #8
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Actually, I do have an Aluratek. I bought it 6 months ago at Costco. I've put a novel that I've written on it and it's currently "on loan" for someone to read the novel for me. In all honesty, the LCD display on that Aluratek isn't that bad. It's not eInk, but seems to be pretty readable at different angles. It's smaller but does fit into a pocket. I do like the navigation on that more than the Kindle or Kobo because you can just press one of the 10 buttons on the side to select the book. you can still scroll through and do it that way. One thing I noticed on it - that reader ALWAYS displays photos correctly. I had made a photos folder on the Kindle and they rarely display properly. I guess it is "experimental", though.

Now, if the Aluratek had eink, it would be pretty good.

Thanks for the note on the pre-loads. I may take an SD card to Chapters and see if I can read a couple of my own documents on it.

The text-to-speech is really, really good on the Kindle and I used it a LOT. It did kill the batteries, though. I would need a recharge in 2 days. LOL. I think I'll miss that, but the more I think of the Kindle, it's far too big and awkward.

My quest continues ... :^D
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:38 PM   #9
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Rather than starting a new thread I'll ask in this.

With the Kobo do you require the Kobo Desktop software to put books on the reader? Or will ADE work? I'm asking seriously as I am a Linux user and with no Linux software it would kind of cancel me out as a user.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:04 PM   #10
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If you only want to use ePubs then ADE is all that is needed (or Calibre). However, there IS a version of Kobo Desktop for Linux; look at https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82378
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:44 PM   #11
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If you only want to use ePubs then ADE is all that is needed (or Calibre). However, there IS a version of Kobo Desktop for Linux; look at https://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82378
Thanks, I requested a copy a few days ago, yet to hear back.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:09 AM   #12
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I have a Kobo but find my right thumb getting really sore from pushing the blue button so much as I read. Is the Kindle 2 easier in page turning?
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:14 PM   #13
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I have a Kobo but find my right thumb getting really sore from pushing the blue button so much as I read. Is the Kindle 2 easier in page turning?
I was noticing this last night as I finished reading book number five on the Kobo.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:24 AM   #14
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Amazon Kindle With On-Screen Ads

The online retailer was set to announce Tuesday that the new Kindle with Special Offers will cost $114 – $25 less than the currently lowest-priced Kindle.

I wonder how successful this tactic will be?

Myself, I would pay $25 not see advertisments.

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Old 04-13-2011, 03:17 PM   #15
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The online retailer was set to announce Tuesday that the new Kindle with Special Offers will cost $114 – $25 less than the currently lowest-priced Kindle.

I wonder how successful this tactic will be?

Myself, I would pay $25 not see advertisments.

ltr
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