back to article Kobo Glo HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Which one's best?

Over the last few years, the market for e-readers and books has managed to both consolidate and grow. Many more people have an e-reading device, or use tablets to read, while at the same time the number of players has shrunk. Kobo Glo HD and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Bought to book: Kobo Glo HD (left) and Amazon Kindle …

  1. Hollerith 1

    Kobo keeps you free

    The Missus has a Kindle and is content to be a captive of Amazon. I have an old, small Kobo that has served faithfully and well. With Calibre, Internet Archive and Gutenberg, I have oodles of reading, and leave newspapers to their web versions. I went for the Kobo because they don't seem to cage you nearly as tightly.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Kobo keeps you free

      There is an excellent script that comes with Calibre which reformats Gutenberg (and other free ebook sources) content into Kindle format. I have loaded quite a few books on mine using this method.

      1. TheDillinquent

        Kindle previewer

        software from Amazon will convert epubs to Kindle (Mobi) format, which you can side-load to the Kindle.

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Kobo keeps you free

      Not sure why you should be captive to Amazon with Kindle...

      Also, does Kobo not have DRM? I'd find it hard to believe...

      1. Nigel Whitfield.

        Re: Kobo keeps you free

        Some Kobo titles are without DRM, but I think the main thought behind the point is that you can buy books from a range of stores and read them on the Kobo without any messing around.

        Technically, you can do the same with Kindle, as long as you are prepared to install a tool like Calibre, and format shift (and potentially) de-DRM. That's easy enough for most Reg readers, I should imagine, but other people may find it trickier.

        If someone has a collection of things they bought previously, from say Waterstones, in Adobe Digital Editions, they that can simply authorise the Kobo for that collection and copy files over by drag and drop.

        For the non technical, I would say that the Kobo likely has a slight edge in that regard. But on the other hand, how many of those non technical people would have been dicking about with ADE in the first place? They'd probably have bought a Kindle anyway.

        1. Mage Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Kobo keeps you free

          Some Amazon titles are effectively DRM free too. The Publisher (or Self Publisher) decides.

          I don't know why you'd use Calibre to reformat Gutenberg texts. Their Mobi version has always been compatible, and now they call that Kindle version

          (Amazon bought Mobi, IMDB, Goodreads, Book Depository, ABE Books and probably other stuff).

          .AZW with DRM -> Kindle

          Adobe Digital Edition (ePub with DRM) -> Kobo

          Calibre with added plug-ins lets you use either dedicated ereader and remove DRM.

          The Kindle isn't any more walled in than Kobo.

          Kindle Touch: Best Value

          Kindle DXG: Best value for A4/Letter PDFs, free Wikipedia and Amazon on 3G, 60 M Byte a month limit otherwise

          Kobo Aura H20 : Waterproof, 6.8" screen that might be same pixel count as DXG, so might do better than Paperwhite or Glo for PDF

          Kobo Glo and Paperwhite: Only needed for very gloomy rooms.

        2. Deltics

          Re: Kobo keeps you free

          I think what you meant to say way "You can buy books from a range of stores and read them on the Kobo with equal amounts of messing around required, regardless of store."

          You can buy books from a range of stores for reading on a Kindle as well, but access to the stuff bought from the Amazon store is as frictionless as it's possible to get, and getting stuff onto your device (and/or into your library) from other stores isn't that much harder either.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Re: Kobo keeps you free

            I find this argument specious - that Kobo is less restricting than Amazon's Kindle because more stores use the DRM which Kobo is set for.

            DRM is DRM - if your Adobe access licence gets revoked your Kobo's access will be cut off from all of those stores and your books will become unreadable, most likely too.

            So, the real comparison should be which system's DRM are the easiest to remove. Once they are removed it doesn't matter which store the books are coming from for either device...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kobo keeps you free

        Kobo has DRM, but its EPUB and adobe. This is pretty much the industry standard, si you aren't chained to kobo for content. Kobo content works on all other ereaders (ecept locked down kindle of course), and kobo readers work with all other stores (apart from Amazon of course).

        This means kobo operates in a pro consumer competitive market, and prices reflect that. Amazon is what it is, tough luck.

    3. Geoff Campbell
      Boffin

      Re: Kobo keeps you free

      Calibre works fine with Kindles, too, including a plug-in to strip off DRM from purchased books. My Paperwhite has never been connected to a network.

      GJC

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Kobo keeps you free

      "I went for the Kobo because they don't seem to cage you nearly as tightly."

      Although a Kindle user myself, that's pretty much what I took away from this article too. Amazon are an e-book seller who will sell you a device to access their Library. Kobo are an e-book device seller who have a library but are happy for you to buy/borrow from elsewhere, DRM not withstanding.

      Of course, either is ok when you have a PC and calibre, but for the "appliance" market they are differentiated by their attitudes to 3rd party book suppliers.

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    The war is not being waged on the device

    The device is a proxy - the real war is in the backend and is a war Amazon has won. Though if the war was being a device-only it would have won too. The software (and hardware quality is higher).

    Our household started with both in the days of the first kobos sold in the UK (the ones resold by WHSmith) and the first kindle (the one with the keyboard). We kept that for a while, but nowdays I am actually inclined to even re-buy books I actually "own" on Kobo to get them on the kindle.

    A recap after 4 years:

    1. The 3 kobos we have had over the years are dead and buried now.

    1.1 Flimsy USB connectors. I re-soldered or hacked 2.5mm plugs instead of them as they were broken, but all in all nowhere near Amazon old kindle (the newer ones are worse) build quality.

    1.2. Seriously buggy software which breaks and cannot be recovered without a windows PC. After resetting it for the 8th? or 9th time I got sick of it and assigned it to the scrapheap. A device that needs a service laptop to carry just to fix it is not a device fit for purpose.

    2. Amazon has managed to convince quite a few publishers that did not give Kobo international rights (especially kids and teenage books) to sell e-book version in Europe.

    3. The Kindle bought at the same time as the first Kobo is still alive and in use. It is joined by a kindle app on every android device in the house and a new (though much flimsier) little 6 inch brother.

    Check, Check, Mate. No more kobo in this house.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The war is not being waged on the device

      Really, my kindle croaked after 3 years, will do nothing, its dead (as in this parrot is dead),

      my kobo is still going strong, and more pleasing to the eyes.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The war is not being waged on the device

      Its a real YMMV question which device you prefer. I bought the Kindle Paperwhite because I needed something to replace the iPad app I was using, so I was already using some Amazon resources (but I also have Calibre on the Mac and a boatload of PDFs).

      The replacement was simply functional: an iPad you need to feed daily because it is overkill for text, whereas a Kindle keeps going for weeks on a single charge, even if you don't bother to disable the backlight.

      My impression of the software is less than that of the hardware: it is crude, and gives the impression not having been updated for years.

      1 - There are no usable tools to group and manage a large collection of books (calling Amazon's "collections" usable would redefine the term), PDFs you insert yourself more or less disappear in the library (the lack of grouping or even categorisation means you are entirely dependent on the name of the document to find it again) and the e-ink screen is not exactly fun if you need to scroll through a list to find something either. Put another way, the UI doesn't offer ways around the display deficiency by grouping and other tools to minimise screen rewrites other than a search function.

      2 - you may be able to scale the view of the book you're reading, but the rest of the interface is fixed size, so if you need reading glasses I would suggest not to put them away just yet

      3 - there is no way to change the appearance of the lock screen, so the idea of adding your name to the device details is utterly pointless as anyone who can use the device can change it. This is less an issue with professional users, but it is IMHO a serious barrier to school use where on-device naming still works a lot better to prevent theft than a sticker that can be peeled off.

      In short, the Kindle software is a considerable distance from perfect, I would call it just about functional. It does not match the excellent quality of the hardware.

      As for books to read, the Amazon system is a bit of a mess between countries. It is not as butchered and broken a mess as Apple's iTunes and App Store are when you live in multiple countries, but it too can get weird at times. I have it set to the US (explicitly use amazon.com instead of amazon.<country code>) which seems to solve most of the problems. It also makes using books clubs for discounted and free books easier.

  3. PleebSmash
    Alert

    more storage could be used

    More storage would be great for the pure e-readers. 250 KB to 1 MB of text per file is a starting point, but throw in some pictures (generally in PDFs, or perhaps the comic book formats mentioned), and the size per file can climb to 25 to 100 MB. I don't expect many non-comic books to be that big, but some can be (cookbooks for instance).

    It's time to double storage to 8 GB at least, and maybe to 16 GB+ to coincide with a switch to color e-ink in a few years.

    1. Phuq Witt

      Re: more storage could be used

      My Kobo Mini's internal storage is in the form of a microSD card on the motherboard. Popped off the back, replaced with an 8GB one and —job done! Quadrupled storage.

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      @PleebSmash, Re: storage.

      I whole heartedly agree.

      Granted being Blind means I read more Audio Books than plain text versions, but even still there's no way in hell my current library will fit in such piss-poor amounts of storeage space.

      From my Archive HDD:

      Audio Books: ~480GiB, ~90.7K Files.

      E.Books: ~65GiB, ~75K Files.

      Total: ~850GiB, 165.7K Files.

      Just my E.Books alone would require one 64GiB SD card to contain the bulk, and they don't MAKE an SD card with the capacity to hold the Audio Books, much less the entire library.

      So paring it down to a mere 8GiB is a laughably depressing proposition.

      Hell, that's probably not even enough to store the Asimov books, much less the SciFi genre as a whole.

      *Snorts*

      *Sigh*

      Even if I kept it strictly to E.Books, there's no way to put my library on any device I've found thus far. It *has* to have an SD card slot capable of the 128GiB cards & up, otherwise I can't even fit it all on a single 64GiB card after FileSystem overhead.

      Yes I know I've probably got a few more books than is normal, but it's not like I can spend my time playing video games now can I? Got to do SOMETHING with all that "free time" spent standing in lines waiting for you Sighted Folk to move along: the Department of Motor Vehicles to explain (again) why I don't need a Driver's License, at the Post Office to mail in all those stupid forms explaining to the Government why a *Blind Person* can't simply hop in their car & drive across the State to visit some inconveniently located bureaucracy office, standing in line at the Guns N' Ammo store to buy more supplies for the impending Zombie Appoccalypse, etc.

      *Grins*

    3. Neoc

      Re: more storage could be used

      I have a Kobo glo. Had it for a while, after upgrading from the Touch (I left it outside, it rained - my bad). Both of them had a separate microSD slot, so moving my collection of books from the dead device to the new one was as easy as swapping the SD card between both devices.

      I also use Calibre with my Glo (you do need an extra plug-in though) but mostly for quick re-ordering/renaming of collections.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Nothing about the Dictionaries / Highlighting

        I would have liked to have had the internal dictionaries compared, - touch a word on the screen and it brings up a definition. Also, the highlighting features where the books are being used for academic study, passages are highlighted and the highlighting counts are shared for all users.

  4. Nigel Steward

    Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

    I find a Samsung Galaxy Tab with Calibre & Moon+ reader serve my requirements, and more importantly many more.

    NJSS

    1. PleebSmash

      Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

      Battery life and readability in sunlight (and the Paperwhite's reflection of light off the e-ink is supposedly better for your eyes at night than a tablet display).

      Why buy a YotaPhone?

    2. John Bailey

      Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

      Because sometimes a hammer just isn't enough.

    3. PleebSmash

      Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

      These e-ink readers are also cheap enough that their strong points and low price point are enough to make you want to get one. You can go cheaper than Paperwhite, and the features from the newer Kindle models seem to trickle down yearly.

      1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

        "...low price point are enough to make you want to get one..."

        ...of each.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

        These e-ink readers are also cheap enough that their strong points and low price point are enough to make you want to get one.

        Yup, that was my exact reason for getting one - cheap enough to be a one-task device

        You can go cheaper than Paperwhite

        I considered that, but my son has the earlier version so I decided to get the Paperwhite to see what the difference was. The result was that I had to buy another one for my son :). The Paperwhite is in my opinion the best text-only Kindle, it is worth spending the extra money over and above the non-lit version.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

      3 month between charges, usable in sunlight, waterproof (kobo).

      Eink definitely has a place. I wish someone would release one that works with Google play books. It's quite easy to load (with ade), but I would love to see one with an onboard store that is as good as kobo..

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

        Smaller, lighter, screens easier on the eyea. Battery life, cool operation, cheap.

        I have no idea why anyone would want to use a tablet for reading fiction books.

        1. Cameron Colley

          Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

          I spent a few weeks reading Kindle books on an iPad on my 45 minute (each way) commute. When I switched to using a Kindle Paperwhite I noticed my eyes didn't hurt any more.

          Reading on a tablet, or even a laptop or desktop, is entirely possible and I have done so but it is more stressful on the eyes.

    5. Chris Malme

      Re: Why buy a dedicated e-Reader ?

      I started with ebooks during a holiday where I loaded the kindle reader on my phone, for convenience when travelling. I loved it, but on my return, I went out and bought a dedicated Kindle reader. The phone (or, later, tablet) was completely usable, but the dedicated reader wins because it is easier on the eye and has greater battery life.

      Years later, and I am now on a Kobo. What I love about both Kindles and Kobos is that you can be reading a book, but if you find yourself out and about withouth your ereader, you can bring up the corresponding app on your phone (which you probably do have on you) and continue reading from the point you left off. Pretty seamless and very convenient.

      Relaxed reading, and long trips = ereader. Quick reading breaks while on the move = phone. You can have your cake and eat it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try Libraries

    Where getting books and reading the content is free.

    1. Corinne

      Re: Try Libraries

      That's fine, if a) you have a decent local library you can get to when they are open, b) you don't re-read books and c) you don't mind using up half your luggage allowance with books when you go on holiday.

      I like real books made of paper and have many hundreds in my home, but the convenience of having an e-reader for travel and holidays means I use that as well

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Try Libraries

      Where getting books and reading the content is free.

      I find the key challenge of libraries:

      - visiting hours and location

      - limited availability (it depends on the focus of the library what they stock)

      - restricted offers of non-native language resources (if you're multi-lingual it is not easy to find a library that caters for that)

    3. John Gamble

      Re: Try Libraries

      I do use libraries. And I own a Kobo. Why do you think these are mutually exclusive?

      1. Cameron Colley

        Re: Try Libraries

        As mentioned the two are not mutually exclusive.

        Why do I prefer a kindle? Well, it's as pocketable or more so than my real life books, lighter and means that I don't have to carry two books around for a day or two in case I get engrossed in the book I'm reading and finish it early. It also means that I can buy a dozen books, say, if I'm planning a holiday and ,as mentioned above, no room is taken up in my case. I also don't have to treat my Kindle with kid gloves lest I damage it and ruin the experience for the next reader. Sure, if I damage or loose my kindle it costs me money I'm not indelibly marking something others will use after me.

  6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    PIty. Most of the stuff I'm interested in is in PDF

    If neither is that good....

    <sigh>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PIty. Most of the stuff I'm interested in is in PDF

      PDFs aren't "reflowable" and often contain images. While they will load, my experience with them on Paperwhite was pretty bad.

      1. ari

        Re: PIty. Most of the stuff I'm interested in is in PDF

        Well, AC gives his Kindle Paperwhite experience, I can assure you that my experience of PDFs on the original Kobo Glo is equally bad.

        Tablets are good at PDFs, e-ink devices such as the Kobo and Kindle are ONLY good at pure text. They truly excel at that, but suck at everything else. Still worth it for reading on :)

    2. silent_count

      Re: PIty. Most of the stuff I'm interested in is in PDF

      No John Smith 19, no e-reader is any good at PDFs, mostly because PDF is a shitty, though admittedly popular, format. If you've got your heart set on a PDF reader my advice is to go looking for a cheap android tablet.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: PIty. Most of the stuff I'm interested in is in PDF

      PDF is simply compressed Postscript, a language designed for the printed page. Going from A4 to a particular reader size is tricky. It's easiest to simply scale down but this means zooming in and out and scrolling. Reflowing can otherwise be tried but will always involve compromises.

      The Sony readers used to contained software from Adobe that did an excellent job of reflowing PDFs to the device's size.

      If you really do have a lot of PDFs that you want on a reader then Sony's DPTS1 is the dog bollocks: http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/product-DPTS1/?PID=I:digitalpaper:digitalpaperproductpage

      I think this is kind of device that any of us with lots of technical documentation would like to have.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PIty. Most of the stuff I'm interested in is in PDF

      Agreed - I've tried several readers for tech PDF books, and they're all terrible. Tablets win here. And since you can't reflow text, size matters. Any 10" tablet should do, or an 8" tablet with 4:3 aspect ratio (like an iPad, or more and more Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0). That's the perfect size to read in portrait mode for most books, so long as you use something like ezPDF Reader (iOS or Android) to crop the margins.

  7. Alan Sharkey

    While the Kobo does sound more versatile, I spend 99% of my time reading and 1% adjusting (if that). Once the Kindle is set up, I'm finished playing.

    I don't know about the Kobo back end - but Amazon stores all my books and shares them with my wife (separate Amazon account) and vice versa. It's all too easy - which I like.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Kobo's backend is just as flexible as Amazon's. My books come from a variety of sources so I have to manage any replication by hand.

      For me, the ergonomics and device handling are paramount and the Kindle doesn't come close to the Kobo in that respect.

  8. Rich Harding

    Interesting use of the Kobo

    It's possible to wire a GPS unit to them, so they've become hugely popular in free flight circles (pun intended!):

    http://50k-or-bust.com/Kobo%20XCSoar/Kobo%20XCSoar.htm

    1. ari

      Re: Interesting use of the Kobo

      That is VERY interesting. Thanks for the link! Considering buying an extra Kobo now for that sort of Frankensteinery...

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Interesting use of the Kobo

        Indeed; I purchased a fourth kobo (a mini, sadly no longer available) for that very purpose.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kobo

    i have the aura hd model they bought out a couple of years ago with the slightly bigger screen. Much prefer it and won't be inclined to change it for a smaller one.

    I've found it to be pretty robust having saved numerous camping and road trips through the Rockies.

    Kobo also do some good daily deals if you check, I have it bookmarked on my phone browser, picked up station eleven for under $5 recently and managed to buy 16 books with a $100 gift card I had for Christmas just using the last of it a month ago.

  10. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Real buttons

    "unless you really like proper buttons to turn the page."

    That's a real deal breaker for me - so, Kindle Voyage is the only option currently available, as far as I know. It is good though.

    1. Tim Hughes
      Thumb Up

      Re: Real buttons

      Without a doubt, the buttons on the original kindle were just the best: duplicated on both sides, in exactly the right place for the thumb, positive mechanical feedback, accessible from both front and back.

      By the time I accidentally kneeled on it several years later, it was still unmarked and working perfectly - looking like it was new. If I recall, it even smelt nice - vaguely reminiscent of peardrops.

      Kindle 2: touchscreen only, crap experience trying to turn pages, greasy marks all over the bezel. Really, really badly thought out.

      Kindle Paperwhite: still marks up really easily, but at least its got buttons, well sort of - apparently they "reinvented the navigation experience with haptic feedback zones" or some such idiotic marketing nonsense. It kind of works, but my message to Amazon would be "bring back the fucking buttons and stop dicking around".

  11. Trixr Bronze badge

    I've got the Aura H2O - works fine with Calibre

    Other than not wanting to directly load Amazon books so they can delete them at will, I like the smaller bezel, lighter weight, and double the on-board memory. And the fact I can read in the bath and not worry about dropping it in, since it's waterproof (to a degree, but sufficient for bath time and being caught in the rain).

  12. fruitoftheloon
    Go

    Checkout bookbub.com

    Folks,

    May I suggest that you check out bookbub.com, everyday I receive an email with info about relevant books on promo etc. There is some tatt there, but quite a bit of good stuff too...

    Btw I have no €£ interest in their company...

    Ymmv.

    Jay.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Checkout bookbub.com

      May I suggest that you check out bookbub.com

      That has my vote too, but you'll find you best use the US version of Amazon or the book links don't work too well. If you fix that, Bookbub is excellent.

  13. therebel

    Whilst I've bought many bargain Kindle books in the past I'm still totally confused as to why they often cost as much as the printed versions. I understand there is still a cost but surely the ebooks should be at least the value of printing a book and delivering it cheaper than the paper equivalent.

    I read somewhere they have to spend ages reformatting etc to convert to an eBook. There are often formatting errors in many books I have read on the Kindle so that can't be a very accurate process.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Different tax rates is part of the reason in Europe. Take here in the UK, printed books aren't taxed at all while E-Books at taxed at 20%.

      Supposedly we need a change in European law before this will change.

      http://www.pcworld.com/article/2893492/no-reduced-tax-rate-for-ebooks-top-eu-court-rules.html

      1. Nigel Whitfield.

        Thanks for posting that; what an annoying decision.

        Of course, likely it wouldn't have made any difference in the UK. Before this ruling, it was possible for eBooks to be sold at the lower rate (5% in the UK), but the UK declined to exercise that option.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Charlie Stross discusses it in detail here, but the short version is that a very small fraction of the price of a book is for the printing, storage, transport of dead trees etc. Most of it goes on things like editing and proofing of the manuscript.

    3. Gannettt

      Reformatting: true! I was so tired of formatting errors and typos I found myself getting at the HTML inside te books and using the excellent ebook editor in Calibre to tidy them up. What a slog, but well worth it.

  14. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Library Management

    We have several Kindles in my household as the missus got them at a deeply discounted price. My view of them is that they are - even the newer model - more like 1st gen products. Amazon went for the proprietary format route when they could have allowed for other formats which I find annoying, but not terrible. Where they really fall down is in the their ability to manage your collection on the device or from an outside interface. I haven't found anything that really gets the job done. Sure, for loading a few books and taking it on vacation, they are OK, but for loading a bunch of books and keeping them organized (there is tons of room on these things - why not use it?), they don't deal well.

    I have not had a chance to play with the Kobo, but don't get why anyone would think that being able to read comics or similar formats on a small, black and white screen is a good idea. Perhaps we will see a workable color version of e-ink and perhaps tablets will become cheaper, but I think the next thing I will buy for reading is a large tablet. At this point, all the choices have significant trade-offs with none of them really what I would consider ideal: an affordable device about as large as a magazine with good readability, color, and low power consumption. It needs to handle pretty much any e-book format and have a good library/collection management system. If anyone has spotted such a creature in the wild, please share.

  15. G.Y.

    my killer app

    is reading large-font, white-on-black, when I don't have my glasses on. Tablet PCs do that OK; does either Kobo or Kindle?

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: my killer app

      No, neither of them has a white on black option.

    2. JLV Silver badge

      Re: my killer app

      Not sure about the Kobo, got it for my daughter.

      But the basic Kindle does has white on black, black on white and sepia. Fonts can be dialed up or down and the adjustable backlight level also helps a lot if your eyes are tired. Depending on the situation, I find myself varying the settings quite a bit to suit.

      Also, backlit e-readers a la Kobo/Kindle are much, much, less disruptive to my sleep than a tablet or a PC.

  16. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Well from my experience

    The main problem with my Kobo mini is that the firmware is annoying. It tries to get you to use their store. I don't want a store connected to my device. I want to get files, for example by buying them DRM-free (which I've done several times already despite of problem 2) or getting them from a free source.

    Problem 2 is that it's rather small and really bad at pre-formated files like PDF or plain text.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Well from my experience

      WiFi on my Kobo Glo is permanently disabled. I've bought a couple of books from the Kobo store (price was fine) but most of my content gets uploaded via Calibre, though you can just do it via USB.

      See comments above about PDF. It's effectively a restriction of the file format. The best thing would probably to run the PDF through a printer filter on a computer to create a PDF using a page size of your device.

      1. ari

        Re: Well from my experience

        I feel like an idiot for not having thought of that printer filter trick. So obvious in hindsight. Thanks.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well from my experience

        You can also use Briss (free, cross-platform) to crop PDF's. Still not a good experience on an eInk screen IMO, and Briss isn't needed on tablets, since ezPDF reader (and likely others) can crop without involving a laptop.

        http://briss.sourceforge.net/

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow!

    30+ comments and nary a mention of {cough, cough} the iPad. Oh, how the mighty have fallen?

    Personally the Paperwhite does what it says on the tin. Perfect for reading e-Books provided you can bare being within the Amazon walled garden.

    The Kindle Fire does handle (IMHO) PDF's a lot better.

    All moot now coz some cretin nicked both of them last year in the USA. Never bothered to replace them but I might as the hols are fast approaching.

    Some very useful comments so far! Keep it up.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Gardener's Law

    As an online discussion grows longer, should it avoid being subsumed by Godwin's Law, it will inevitably degenerate into a heated discussion involving the term 'walled garden' and the participants' strongly and generally poorly argued position on whether it is better to be in the garden or not.

    No form of agreement will ever be reached, and the signal to noise ratio of such a discussion will asymptotically approach zero.

  19. netean

    Nook?

    I'd be interested to read how either of these stack up against the Nook Simpletouch or GlowLight.

    I've got an old Kindle (3?) with the keyboard buttons. Still going strong after 5+ years,

    I'm still also unclear why ereaders are so damn small, sure they're fine for reading fiction but where are the larger sizes for text books, or visual impaired readers

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Nook?

      If it doesn't fit in the back pocket of a pair of jeans, the boss can see it when you disappear down the corridor to the little room with the porcelain chair to, er, consider a tricky software issue.

    2. Gannettt

      Re: Nook?

      I thought Nook had gone by the wayside, but could be wrong.

      Oh, the old Kindle 3! I had one for over 4 years, till I dropped a cup on it and it left a grey mark on the screen that wouldn't go away. So sad, but replaced it with a Kindle Voyage, very happy!

  20. FlossyThePig

    Recently updated the firmware on my Kobo Touch so it now has all the functionality of the Glo, apart from the light. The process was really simple: connect to wifi, click on the sync button and wait. I didn't time it but it was seconds rather than minutes.

    Most of my books come from Suffolk library (even when I was on holiday in New Zealand). I do have one pdf file on it, the manual for my camera, as the small page format does not cause any problems.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've had a KOBO Glo for a couple of years now and frankly if it died tomorrow I'd go an buy another without hesitation.

    I've disabled the wireless as I side load via Calibre using the plugins for that allow me to mange shelves, book series and change formats (ePUB to KOBO's KEPUB which sorts out chapter pages). Not killing the wireless has on occasion in the past caused duplication in my library, but apart from that worked well.

    Books come from KOBO store and SainsburysEbooks depending on my mood / price. e.g. I got all 17 (at the time) Rebus novels for £17 from Sainsburys..

  22. Alistair Silver badge
    Coat

    up here we're pretty much kobo

    Amazon.ca

    Does not deserve comment.

    My SO has gone through all the kobo iterations - she's just addicted to the "new" thing. All of the old kobo's she had continue to live, one with a neice, one with an aunt, one with a good friend of ours. I rather like the latest kobo, since I'm one of those rare readers that finds the 'black flash' refresh seriously disturbing to my reading experience, and one can now put that out to a rather large number of pages. Oddly my favourite reader was a clunky, awkward, LCD screened (with backlight) Asian whitebox "ereader" - there was only one format it would not accept (Amazon's own). Its single largest advantage was being able to read 64Gb SDcards, which I could load with books in the reader on my machine.

    In this house (and my mother's) we've possibly enough dead tree books about to be called a small library, Our electronic books consume about 12G on the storage array. (these however include about 800Mb or so of technical manuals and programming manuals). Keeping it all organised is rather much of a challenge, but we can keep trying.

    Still would like to see a reprise of my LCD ereader - it sadly died a quiet power off and never wake again death after about 4 years of use.

  23. Lallabalalla

    I've tried both, and the winner is...

    Kindle by a mile.

    Out of the 2 Glo's (and a non-glo) I've had, one Glo broke after 13 months and all of them were/are subject to random freezing (very annoying on the train or especially on holiday) requiring a complete reboot and re-acquisition of content. The screens *must* be refreshed every page in bright sunlight or you can see all the text from previous pages still etched on the screen. The software is slow and clunky compared to Kindle, with typing so laggy you'd think it's stopped working leading to triple-letter mayhem as you re-type letters. The book choice is expensive and IME limited (YMMV).

    The plethora of controls is a red herring: you set the backlight and font size etc once and leave it alone, no-one is constantly resetting stuff, the idea is to read the book not reformat it.

    The kindle responds fast and accurately to input; buying from the store directlly on the device is a breeze; I've done it over free wifi while on the tube, completing a purchase before the train headed back into the tunnel! By comparison the Kobo wouldn't even have got its browser fired up in that time.

    TL;DR: I'd climb over any number of free Kobos to get my Kindle back.

  24. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Sad to see that physical buttons for turning the page seem to have lost favour.

  25. Lamont Cranston

    I can't help thinking that,

    in a sane world, you'd be able to buy the device of your choosing, then buy the books from the stores of your choosing. If, say, Sony were to restrict their Blu-Ray players to only play films from their own studio, everyone would think them mad.

    As a side note, I've put a few books on my android tablet, and found Adobe Digital Editions to be a steaming heap of poo.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: I can't help thinking that,

      ADE is indeed a massive heap of unpleasant smelly stuff - and in particular on the Mac, where (unless they've updated it lately) you couldn't actually authorise a reader. So, I had to boot up Windows to authorise my old Sony.

      Once that's done, Mac users then get lumbered with ADE when a new book is downloaded, as it opens the ACSM file and grabs the epub from wherever, before delving into Calibre to find the file and them send it over to the device via USB.

      Small wonder, with all that dicking around, that many less technical people say "sod it" to the theoretical ability to buy books from anywhere, and choose a reader that has a store built in. At least, with the Kobo, you can enter your ADE credentials on the device, which solves that horrible nightmare.

      I wish someone would do a sort of 'white label' ebook store specifically so that independent bookshops could sell things that way. And perhaps offer the value-added services of a) allowing people to pay cash for ebooks and b) copying them onto old Mrs Higgins' reader for her.

      As others will be keen to point out, you can in theory convert books and get them on to either of these devices using Calibre. If you simply want to buy from any store and get a broadly compatible book, then in the real world you're presently talking about EPUB (with ADE if it has DRM), which means the least fuss solution is the Kobo reader, or any other that supports those two natively.

      My collection presently has books bought from Waterstones, Kobo, Sony, WH Smiths, Amazon and probably a few other places. So in practise, the world while certainly not sane, is perhaps not as completely lunatic as you might imagine

  26. dalamar

    Too many problems with my Kobo Aura H2o, avoid

    It is pretty irresponsive if you add many books, also it hanged a couple of times to the level of restoring to initial state loosing all the books, status in each book etc... not good!

    I will try a kindkle next time, probably pretty soon, a pitty given that my kobo is only a few months old.

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