Just recently I have had a delve around the e-reader market and had a good look at what is now on offer between Kindle and Kobo. When you buy an e-reader it usually follows that you will also buy a cover to protect it. And like the Smartphones, covers come in an array of colours and styles specific to your make of phone. This also follows in the e-reader world, you can’t use a Kindle cover, for a Kobo e-reader? Can you? Well in the lower range of the Kobo e-readers aimed at your average Joe. Kobo have produced a 5 inch ‘Mini’ to compete with Kindle’s basic model which is 6 inch. I do wonder if Kobo have purposely pitched the screen at 5 inches, so you won’t want to buy from Kindle’s uniquely tailored, leather, tweed and canvas designed covers. Theoretically you could, if you don’t mind the reader slipping about a little bit inside.
I’ve always looked at Kobo as Kindle’s younger sister. Still needing to grow and develop in to the experience and gravitas that an older sister projects. However, a younger sister can often be competitive, and will look to branch out in areas where her older sister wouldn’t venture, or perhaps even thought of. Kobo offer interchangeable backs on their ‘Mini’ which are sold separately and their ‘Glo’ and ‘Touch’ models offer an array of colours. These are subject to availability, but the plus side of the latter two models is that you are able to add an SD card to bump up your storage. So for example ‘aura’ comes already with 4 gigs of storage and you can add an SD card of up to 32 gigs. You might find this a more cheaper option, than purchasing a reader with large storage already present. From Kindle’s sales literature, none of the models appear to offer this option.
Like a wiser older sister, Kindle not as brash, still has a few tricks up it’s sleeve, that can out shine it’s sibling. The simple ‘Paperwhite’ offers a non-glare experience, which is essential if you’re someone who likes to sit/lie and read on a sunny beach or garden while trying to get a tan. Another appealable feature of the Kindle is that ‘Paperwhite’, Fire, and Fire HD models have a programme you can use called X Ray. X Ray, Kindle states, ‘appears on around 70% of the catalogue’. And here further is an explanation of what it is
a brilliant feature that lets readers experience their books in more detail than ever before. With a single tap, readers can see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia.
I like the idea of being able to explore such avenues instantly, rather than bookmarking key words or phrases to investigate later. Although, one could say this is prescriptive learning and not self discovery. It just depends upon what you want to get out of your reading experience
In terms of spec for both Kindles and Kobos nothing really stood out on either ranges for me. Battery performance on both makes are roughly the same and you should read the small print about this before buying. Kindle as with the iPad, has become the sought after e-reader within the market, are priced higher than Kobos. However I do think you can also get a great deal out of Kobos without it burning a hole in your pocket.
As always I urge you to try before you buy and I found staff both at Waterstones (Kindle), WH Smith (Kobo) very helpful. So whether you go for a ‘Paperwhite’ or Expresso coloured ‘Aura’. There is plenty of choice to meet everyones’ reading needs.
Information source: this article was taken from Waterstones and WH Smith sales leaflets, as of June 2013.