Best E reader?

Thinking of getting a new E reader - used to have a Paperwhite which I loved, but am considering jump to kobo for waterproof reading in the bath. Are these devices much of a muchness these days - any considerable advantages / disadvantages?


“Best” is subjective as there are too many differences that some may consider deal-breakers on one side or the other, but I do very much like my Kobo. :slight_smile: I have two of them, the Mini (which sadly is no longer produced, from what I hear) and the Aura HD. The latter would be more of a replacement for the Paperwhite, and I think it is basically similar in features to the H2O, sans being waterproof of course. It’s a large form reader with a high-resolution display and front-lighting similar to the Paperwhite—only you can choose to turn it off if you don’t need it. :exclamation: In fact you can turn the whole device off, something Amazon inexplicably does not let you do with the Paperwhite. There is no way to shelve it without it constantly draining battery power, reducing its overall lifespan (which in fact might explain why they don’t let you, if one is to be cynical about it).

Downsides: selecting text, for the purpose of looking up a word or to highlight or annotate a phrase, is really super slow on the Aura HD, to the point of wondering if the device has crashed, it just kind of hangs for ten seconds after you lift your finger, until finally drawing the underscore. So that could be really frustrating if you use look-up a lot.The book management software may be a bit too “cute”. I prefer the straight-to-business outline of books that I get when I press the home button on the Kindle. With Kobo you go to a Windows Metro-esque tile page that is somewhat useful, but I’d rather just have a list of my books without having to press another button to get to it. If you like to keep track of your notes (assuming you even take notes), Kobo isn’t quite as nice. Kindle saves all of those into a plain old text file that you can extract from the device when it is plugged into a computer. Kobo stores your notes as well, but it is in an XML file that requires some extraction to make it useful to a human.

Positives: they can read industry standard ePubs. You don’t get bombarded with a bunch of “social” buttons and stuff—just read. There are more options all around, which I appreciate. For example there are four different tap layouts, one which lets you use the entire bottom 1/3rd of the screen for Next, middle 1/3rd for menus, and the rest for Previous. It’s sideways from what most vendors use, but ends up working out really well if you tend to hold the device with one hand and use your thumb—now you can use either thumb. :slight_smile: You get a MicroSD slot, so storage will never be a problem (not that the built-in 4gb is going to be easily used up).

I can’t really speak for the built-in store as I’ve never used it to buy anything, but browsing through titles seems like it should do fine. You can drill down to “Steampunk” if you want, a level of specificity I don’t recall Amazon having within the device itself. No doubt the Kobo store itself isn’t nearly as fleshed out as the Amazon store, but again: ePub. There are many more purchasing options for devices that aren’t stuck in Amazon’s system.

Thank you for your considered reply AmberV. One question - how easy is it to get content onto your Kobo? When I had a kindle I did like being able to email documents and books directly to the device to read. Is there a comparable service or mechanism?

I’m not sure if there is an e-mail address system or “cloud” thing thing like Amazon has—I never really paid any attention to that stuff as a Kindle user, to be honest, I just left the WiFi antenna off 99% of the time and used it like and old-school peripheral, so I’m not the best to ask about this stuff. I use Calibre to manage my Kobo. I just plug it into the computer and it shows up in the Calibre library. I can manage categories, offload and upload books in batches and so on. When I’m done I just hit the eject button and unplug.

I have a bog-standard eink Kindle. It’s not great for PDFs, but I prefer it over the android tablet for reading ebooks. (Although if I need to take notes on something, I’ll use the tablet, because trying to type a note on the Kindle is annoying.) It’s pretty easy to move things to it: plug it in, drag from Calibre. Tablet, less easy–Calibre Companion or dropbox is the easiest way.