Amazon rival Kobo has revamped its e-book reader line ahead of an anticipated Kindle relaunch from the online retail giant. Kobo's existing reader, the Touch, has been given a lower price, and its 7in Android tablet is now called the Arc not the Vox and features souped up internals and a 1280 x 800 display. Kobo 2012 e-book …
Does anyone know if the Kobo is profitable, or are they still trying to break the market like Ms with phones?
Let's hope the software is better
- incredibly slow screen updates and responsiveness
- Resetting the time/date every time via up/down buttons and a really slow screen if you reset the device (rather than getting it via nntp, not that the device needs time/date anyway)
- wireless turning off and staying off even though you've read the book, let the device sleep and then turning it back on
- device not sleeping properly and emptying its battery
- only five books on the home screen, meaning about a 5 min process to scroll through all the pages in a 100-book library
I am currently selling mine so I can get a Kindle.
Re: Let's hope the software is better
I'm guessing from what you've written you have the non-touch model (i.e. up/down buttons), I've got the touch and I couldn't be happier with it.
To be fair I expect the Kindle touch is as good (I've only used a non-touch Kindle so can't really compare fairly) - but the Kobo is cheaper so I simply don't see any reason to spend the extra. I think price is a massively important feature with ebook readers as you tend to carry them about more and less carefully than say tablets.
If the prices are what is in $, UK £ will be the same and Kobo can kiss goodbye to UK market penetration.
With the plethora of £60 to £90 Android tablets, who will want just an e-reader for that price?
Errm, people who want to read books rather than play games, who want a daylight-readable screen, and vastly better battery life? There's definitely a market there, and the price of these devices is getting down to the "what the hell, let's just buy one" level. The biggest threat would be if they leave the numbers on the price stickers the same and just change the currency symbol. £1=$1 has always been the curse of gadgetry in the UK,
I have the older gen £50 kobo
I can easily read it outdoors in bright daylight and a button on the bottom means I don't have to put my grimy mitts on the reading area. And the battery lasts for ages. Unlike tablets and phones it does one thing well rather than 50 things really badly.
Horses for courses
I'm glad to see Kobo is persevering, because choice is good, right? I bought a Kobo Touch before Amazon released Kindle Touch in the UK. I only ditched the Kobo because their firmware update earlier in the year bricked it and I couldn't be bothered to figure out why. Well done WHSmith: they didn't have a replacement in stock (which I'd have taken) so they issued a no-quibble full refund!
I replaced it with a Kindle Touch. YMMV, but I preferred the configurability of the Kobo for text size and spacing, its choice of touch zones on the page and a wider choice of typefaces (somehow none Kindle's choice of 3 fonts pleases me). I preferred the Kindle's because its menus are less cluttered and Amazon offer my newspaper on subscription. I couldn't choose between them in terms of e-ink clarity, page turn speed, compatibility (hello Calibre!).
I didn't experience the same problems of Ambivalous Crowboard, but a bricked device doesn't make anyone happy.
Good news about the backlight though. I'm sure it'll drain the battery, but I'm sure it's a step in the right direction. Next stop: cross-device syncronisation for sideloaded ebooks please!
Mini & Glo prices
WHSmith are listing both the Mini and Glo as pre-order items with prices. They cost £59.99 and £99.99 respectively - which isn't far removed from the US prices + 20% VAT!
5" Screen is what we need
I was thinking of switching to a Kobo from my current eReader (Pocketbook 360) and I'm glad I didn't now, because it means i can wait for the Kobo mini.
One thing annoys me about modern tech and it's the desire of all these companies to fill our houses and bags with increasingly thin objects, I currently don't like carrying my ebook reader around because it pretty much fills the cross section fo my handbag and it means I constantly have to ensure an even distribution of other items in there. If the contents of my handbag coalesce it creates a single point of pressure for it to bend around and possibly snap.
Smaller tech is awesome, thinner tech not so much. I eagerly await a nice mobil- phone form factor ereader with the battery life offered by an eink screen.
Or to phrase it differently: SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
The next generation
On a side note, now that we've got tech for wireless charging, wireless data transfer and solid state touch control, how long do people think it will be before we see the first 100% sealed waterproof ereader for taking to the pool?
I predict it will be called something like the Kindle Splash.
Re: The next generation
Or reading in the bath. I think this is a brilliant idea.
Re: The next generation
I agree and this is the market PlasticLogic was/still is going after. Closest thing seems to be the Wexler Flex. Coming from Russia, where PlasticLogic had a factory, but using LG's screen so presumably somekind of fallout.
Heise's CT magazine recently included a nice piece on PlasticLogic: you can punch holes in the printed screens and they still work. Pity no gear using them is on the horizon.
Having recently lost my Sony reader I'm looking for a replacement and saw a Kobo in a local score. Definitely a less reflexive screen than the Sony and, despite (shock, horror) not having an MP3 player, it looks the better tool for the job. Adobe's PDF reader on the Sony is definitely the dog's bollocks when it comes to PDF reflow but fortunately almost all the tech stuff I need is now available as EPUB/MOBI. So a Glo it is for me in October. € 130 here.
Re: The next generation
Maybe the "Kobo Ducky"
It could float too!
Re: The next generation
Hehe, at least no-one can patent the idea. Your post qualifies as prior art. :)
Offered in Canada
I just checked the Kobo page, and the readers are offered. Looks like Canadian prices:
Mini - $80, Glo - $130, Touch - $100, ARC - $200
All are "Coming Soon", except the Touch, which had a "Buy Now" button.
ARC pages say 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1280x800, 2 Megapixel camera, 1 Gig RAM, Android 4, 8 or 16 GB models, 10hrs reading, 2+ weeks standby, uses Google Play. No mention of an SD slot (the VOX has one).
That 2+ weeks in standby would be the biggest benefit over the VOX, which only has a couple days of standby.
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