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Old 02-21-2021, 11:51 AM   #1
ng76
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Looking for basic, Calibre-compatible, e-ink reader

My old Kindle is getting a little long in the tooth, so I was hoping to get a suggestion for a replacement. I don't want anything fancy, just a simple e-ink reader that works well with Calibre.

My needs are pretty simple
  • E-Ink only
  • Decent Battery life
  • Works well with Calibre - I was hoping for something that would automatically use the calibre categories, if that exists.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 02-21-2021, 11:56 AM   #2
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I suggest a Kobo Libra H2O with a 7" screen. It's similar in design to the Kindle Oasis but it' integration with Calibre is worlds better. It will give you everything you want and more.
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Old 02-21-2021, 01:37 PM   #3
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^That is a great suggestion, probably the best general-purpose reader in the market that's reasonably priced. It's also worth noting I've seen a few rumors Kobo are about to release a new e-reader any time now. No idea if these are solid rumors or more 'smoke and mirrors' (I saw the rumor I'm basing this on, here). But if it's not an urgent need to replace right away, might be worth waiting a few weeks to see what Kobo comes out with. If they come out with an update to their premium reader, the Forma, IMHO that would be worth waiting for. I'd buy one of those myself.

If you're hard-core committed to the Kindle books platform, it's probably a little easier to get another Kindle. They have some pros/cons obviously vs Kobo, but I don't see any show-stopper problems, just different in some aspect. The current Paperwhite is a fantastic reader and you can get them for a great price.

Personally I'm hoping Kobo does come out with that new upgraded whatever-it-is. Because I wouldn't mind buying a Forma that actually works.

Last edited by hollowpoint; 02-21-2021 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
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^That is a great suggestion, probably the best general-purpose reader in the market that's reasonably priced. It's also worth noting I've seen a few rumors Kobo are about to release a new e-reader any time now. No idea if these are solid rumors or more 'smoke and mirrors' (I saw the rumor I'm basing this on, here). But if it's not an urgent need to replace right away, might be worth waiting a few weeks to see what Kobo comes out with. If they come out with an update to their premium reader, the Forma, IMHO that would be worth waiting for. I'd buy one of those myself.

If you're hard-core committed to the Kindle books platform, it's probably a little easier to get another Kindle. They have some pros/cons obviously vs Kobo, but I don't see any show-stopper problems, just different in some aspect. The current Paperwhite is a fantastic reader and you can get them for a great price.

Personally I'm hoping Kobo does come out with that new upgraded whatever-it-is. Because I wouldn't mind buying a Forma that actually works.
The expectation, based on an FCC filing, is that there will be a release in the April/May timeframe. But, it probably won't be a "basic". The specs found shows 32GB of storage and so far Kobo has only used that on the top-end devices. And if Nate is right about colour, it is most likely to be a Forma replacement and as such will be the luxury model.


@ng76: Any of the Kobo devices will fit your specs. The use of "basic" in the subject suggest low cost. In that case, the Nia is the most basic of their devices. Personally, I would go with at least the Clara HD (same size screen, has colour changing light and more storage). The Libra H2O and Forma are bigger, have buttons for turning the page and are cost more (significantly more for the Forma). All of the Kobo devices run the same software with the only differences are those related to the hardware differences. Which of these devices is best for you depends on what you want in screen size and how much you have to spend.
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Old 02-21-2021, 08:50 PM   #5
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I would second the choice of Clara HD as the minimum to target if a 6” screen is enough and waterproof isn’t necessary.
The Libra is a really good reader, but a bit more expensive.
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Old 02-22-2021, 09:41 AM   #6
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7" Kobo Libra.
Find it hugely better than 6"
Kobo with current or not too old FW is best for Calibre. Collections, Series, Annotations (In Calibre Kobo Utilities for per book copy/paste, or Annotations) Choice of epub2 or kepub on the fly.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:21 AM   #7
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I agree that the 7" screen is much better then the 6" screen. I have an Aura H2O with a 6.8" screen and I like it much better then a 6" screen.
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:38 AM   #8
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if you both insist to call the Libra basic...
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Old 02-22-2021, 11:41 AM   #9
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if you both insist to call the Libra basic...
The thing is, basic is the Kindle Basic and it's awful. The Kobo Nia is a step up, less basic, and still so-so. The Kobo Clara HD is yet again less basic and quite good for a 6" Reader. But this is something yu will spend a lot of time with and you want something that's going to give a really good reading experience. So to me that means going even less basic to get the Kobo Libra H2O with a 7" screen. The reading experience is going to be not basic at all.
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:11 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I looked over all the suggested options, and decided to go with the Kobo Libra H20. It's a bit pricier, but I decided I was willing to pay to have physical buttons.
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:20 PM   #11
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The thing is, basic is the Kindle Basic and it's awful. The Kobo Nia is a step up, less basic, and still so-so.
They are both really good readers for people who don't need anything fancy and just want to enjoy their books.
The Kindle is snappier than the Nia, while the Nia has a better resolution screen.
Their only downside is to be slightly cheaper than better readers.
But once again, for someone who's looking for basic and wants to spare few bucks to buy books instead, they are legitimate readers.

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The Kobo Clara HD is yet again less basic and quite good for a 6" Reader. But this is something yu will spend a lot of time with and you want something that's going to give a really good reading experience.
I've been reading more than 10 years on 6", and I've been loving this form factor. It fits more pockets, its lighter and the screen size is a really good compromise.
Bigger is not always better.
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So to me that means going even less basic to get the Kobo Libra H2O with a 7" screen. The reading experience is going to be not basic at all.
But it's not necessary the best choice for someone looking for a basic reader.

Edit : All of this was written before your answer, but enjoy your reader ng76.
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:29 PM   #12
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Isn't the Amazon Kindle basic still prehistoric low resolution? Bad choice for 6"
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Old 02-22-2021, 12:35 PM   #13
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It is, and after manipulating it, I found it really good to read despise the apparent low resolution.
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Old 02-22-2021, 05:27 PM   #14
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Isn't the Amazon Kindle basic still prehistoric low resolution? Bad choice for 6"
Yes, 800x600 and after using the H2O, there is no way I would go back to such a low resolution.

The Nia is 1024x758 and the Clara HD is 300DPI.

US prices...

The Kindle basic is $109.99. The Clara HD is $119.99. The Nia is $99.99.

IMHO, of the three, the Clara HD is the best value.
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:16 PM   #15
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It is, and after manipulating it, I found it really good to read despise the apparent low resolution.
I have a KK3, and have used a Basic and PW3, there is no comparison. The Basic compared to PW3 is like reading poor pulp magazine rather than decently printed HB or PB.
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