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Old 10-15-2019, 05:47 AM   #1
mintwurm
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best device for koreader

Hi,
I've recently stumbled over koreader and would very much like to start using it.
Problem is, my kindle has long been updated to a problematic firmware version. And before I risk bricking it, I would rather give it to someone in my family (demand is definitely there).
So I'm looking for a new ereader.

Since I would like to get a device with more than 6in screensize, candidates are the kobo libra h2o and the pocketbook inkpad 3.

As far as I can see, koreader is made mostly with kobo devices in mind. I would have already bought the libra, but potential PWM (forma apparently had it - huge no-go for me) is keeping me doubtful.

Can you help me with recommendations here?
How is the compatibility of koreader and pocketbook devices?
Anything I should be aware of?
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:51 AM   #2
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If PWM was an issue, you'd be reading a lot more people mentioning it as a problem. And nobody has mentioned PWM as a problem for the Libra.
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Old 10-15-2019, 07:28 AM   #3
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The problem with PWM is that you really can't see it. It is only measurable with special equipment.

Moreover, it's a very technical detail. I don't think the average customer is even aware of its existence.

Nevertheless, in susceptible people and depending on how it is implemented, it can cause eye-strain and headaches. This is definitely something that shouldn't be discarded as "can't see it, doesn't exist". Notebookcheck for example checks for PWM on every display they test. This is a huge topic.

Some people say that the Kobo Forma uses PWM. There's even a poll on this forum with 6 out of 51 participants saying that it causes eye-strain for them: https://www.mobileread.com/forums/po...ts&pollid=2051

I don't think the numbers are reliable. But it's something to keep in mind. Regarding the libra h2o, you're right, I couldn't find any complaints. But the device is barely out yet. I wonder what will turn up in time.

To clarify this, I used the chat option on the kobo website. They told me they would forward my question to the technical team and get back to me. Well, let's see ...

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Old 10-15-2019, 11:08 AM   #4
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The Forma does use PWM, and, no, it's not an issue, but let's not go down that road again, please. If you need technical details, the exact frequency used has been confirmed and posted in the Kobo forum.

The Libra probably doesn't, as it's basically a Clara in hiding, and nobody ever complained about that on the Clara (not that anyone actually did with the Forma, despite making a lot of noise about it).

We lack actual developers with PocketBook devices, so, while it could be a great platform for us, it's plagued by a number of weird quirks no-one can really work on.
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Old 10-15-2019, 11:27 AM   #5
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Kobos are number one because they have good stock software and can install KOReader easily. The cervantes 4 is another good option if you want a 6" device JUST for KOReader (because stock reader sucks and isn't maintained anymore).

Android devices, on the other hand, are not exactly the best ones to run KOReader. Most of them will work but there are, usually, bloated with "bad"ware and Android itself has a few (I would say a lot) of quirks to run a "everything is a file" program like KOReader.

In short: get a Kobo.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:47 PM   #6
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We lack actual developers with PocketBook devices, so, while it could be a great platform for us, it's plagued by a number of weird quirks no-one can really work on.
The quirks are arguably objectively quirkier than Kobo though. Weird custom touch protocol vs. goes to sleep after a second… Might be hard to call. Perhaps PB is more consistently quirky? :P

The Libra is promising when buying new, but you could also consider a used older Kobo. Post 2014 pretty much anything goes… depends a bit on what you're used to from that Kindle I suppose.

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Old 10-15-2019, 05:58 PM   #7
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There's the whole InkView layer that I'm naively hoping would ideally hide the quirks away from us ;p.
Which, granted, may not always help us, as we often do things slightly closer to the metal than what InkView is designed for.

I *really* wouldn't recommend older Kobos (today, that is, unless you get them extremely cheap), though, stuff was all kinds of weird until Mk. 6 at the very earliest . Especially if you pit them against the matching Kindle generations.

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Old 10-16-2019, 08:04 AM   #8
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Used Kindles might be preferable in theory, but there you have firmware of no return issues, don't you?

Anyway, I just mean that if you bought a used H2O for € 50, for example (not sure what you mean by extremely cheap), imo you'd be getting an excellent device. I'm sure the same applies to a roughly equivalent Kindle. The Libra is € 180.

Of course if I'd already made up my mind and budgeted ~200 for the purpose then whatever.

For KOReader support definitely the Libra, but one question potentially worth asking is whether PocketBook has better build quality?
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Frenzie View Post
Used Kindles might be preferable in theory, but there you have firmware of no return issues, don't you?

Anyway, I just mean that if you bought a used H2O for € 50, for example (not sure what you mean by extremely cheap), imo you'd be getting an excellent device. I'm sure the same applies to a roughly equivalent Kindle. The Libra is € 180.

Of course if I'd already made up my mind and budgeted ~200 for the purpose then whatever.

For KOReader support definitely the Libra, but one question potentially worth asking is whether PocketBook has better build quality?
eInk Readers are generally of a similar build quality due to them using glass backed screens. There are some now with plastic backed screens such as the Kobo Forma. And yes, you will read about more Kobos getting broken then Pocketbook not because of build quality but because many more people have a Kobo and some are not all that careful (i.e., no case, put it in a bag with too much other stuff, etc.). Kindles break as well. Just look on eBay. You'll find some Readers for sale for parts because the screen is broken.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:45 AM   #10
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I *really* wouldn't recommend older Kobos (today, that is, unless you get them extremely cheap), though, stuff was all kinds of weird until Mk. 6 at the very earliest . Especially if you pit them against the matching Kindle generations.
What's odd about mark 5 hardware such as the original H2O?
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:47 AM   #11
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Used Kindles might be preferable in theory, but there you have firmware of no return issues, don't you?
Amazon has locked up the Kindles nice and tight with the newest firmware. My guess is that people jailbreak and then call Amazon when something isn't working that has nothing to do with Amazon.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:06 AM   #12
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What's odd about mark 5 hardware such as the original H2O?
I assume @NiLuJe is primarily referring to the display driver, since the newer devices are no less weird in custom touch drivers and at least some of them are also a bit odd (or at least oddly slow) about FL/colored LED control.

The original H2O for example has a really nice screen, but it doesn't take full advantage of the superior screen update methods theoretically available to the hardware (REAGL). Only the Aura does iirc.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:56 AM   #13
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They (Mk. 5) also happened to be basically a generation behind everybody else in terms of pretty much everything, and NTX's kernels were *really* iffy at the time.
And yeah, one very visible consequence of that is that Mk. 5 screens are *really* slow .

That's also one thing that's worrying me about PB, last time I checked, they seemed to be using fairly old kernels for no apparent reason, even on decently recent HW (f.g., I think they have a couple devices w/ an i.MX7D running on 3.0.35 o_O)...

And, yeah, as Jon said, Kindles are pretty much out, unless you're willing to basically forgo WiFi forever, and you manage to get one that can be broken in to begin with.

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Old 10-16-2019, 07:47 PM   #14
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I can read on Mk. 4 devices. In fact I do maintenance on some minis and auras hd and they're still great if we can omit the "vs syndrome". Batteries are still solid (some of them were replaced at some point, but remember they're 3rd hand devices used weekly the last 3-4 years),

Quality control is being a mess today, with Rakuten Kobo. Old kobos were top notch for a small company.
I think the last model before the mess is the original H2O, still a good device to buy today if you can find it for less than 50-60€
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:15 AM   #15
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I can read on Mk. 4 devices. In fact I do maintenance on some minis and auras hd and they're still great if we can omit the "vs syndrome".
And I'd argue the only "vs" you really notice during regular ereader use is the quality of the screen itself, as in pixel density and contrast.

Edit: although when I wrote that I assumed reasonable touch detection. I just remembered the Aura One doesn't detect the corners very well or something. But that's more of a quality control thing than a part of the design.

Last edited by Frenzie; 10-17-2019 at 06:17 AM.
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