eReader Suggestions: Kindle versus Kobo

Kindle or Kobo?


  • Total voters
    144
#1
I read a ton, and have discovered that it might be time to finally get an eReader. Certain books are easier to get digitally, and it's now even possible to borrow ebooks from the library through Overdrive. They also sometimes only have those versions instead of actual books.

I prefer paper books and have never owned an eReader. So I really don't know what I'm looking for, what's best or where to start. Do I go Kindle or Kobo?

I installed Kindle on my phone yesterday, downloaded a bunch of free books (some had really good reviews) and thought I'd go that route. But my friend who works at the library told me that I'd have to go with a Kobo if I wanted to borrow books from the library. Apparently Overdrive doesn't support Kindle in Canada, even though it does in the US. They've been saying it 'will soon' for years, she says.

Can anyone suggest something that won't break the bank, but is good, durable, trustworthy and easy to read from?
 
Oct 25, 2017
532
#3
I really like my Kindle Paperwhite. It's light, the screen is great, battery life is excellent and the water-proofing is a nice "Just in case" feature. I never thought to get a non-kindle simply because I already have a decent collection of books on Amazon and audio-books through Audible. Is there perhaps another app besides overdrive you could use? I know for (For the US) I use Libby instead of Overdrive although both apps support my local library, I thought Libby was supposed to be the updated Overdrive new app.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,570
#6
I had Kobo but then traded for Kindle mostly for the Home interface and side buttons on the Kindle Voyage. Ideally, I want the Oasis for the waterproofing and buttons. the differences aren't that huge.

So to compare:

Kindle has cheaper prices when you buy books through the store. But you can easily add side loaded books on both devices. Kobo is the more popular device in Canada too.

Kobo's most important feature IMO: Warm glow lighting, which IMO is super important for eye strain and comfort. Kindle doesnt have this

Kobo lets you use pocket, which allows you to read web articles on the Kobo by sending to your Kobo from PC. Kobo also supports far more fonts and lets you side load additional fonts. You have far more options customizing Kobo in terms of fonts, font weight, size, etc.

Kindle has the better eco system. It's like XBL vs PSN last gen. Or android vs iPhone.

With Kindle you need to jailbreak to customize all that if you care. You also have to pay Amazon to get the ad free version, $20 extra though you could also ask them nicely via support chat.

Kindle has the better hardware, but both are susceptible to faulty hardware issues with the screen or lighting or discolouration. I had no issue exchanging with both companies when I wasn't satisfied with my device.

Kobo does indeed play nicely with libraries. Kindle has more features for books like X-Ray, which give you info about characters for certain books, making large fantasy books like Game of Thrones easier to manage

Regardless, download an app called Calibre on your PC/Mac that helps you side load books
 
OP
OP
TheBeardedOne
#8
I have maybe 150 paper books to get to, so I wouldn't use it for all my reading. I just want to have it as an option in case I want to borrow something from the library or something is only available digitally. Some publishers give away digital copies or only publish digitally.

I won't be reading articles or anything on it. Just books, I assume.
 
Oct 25, 2017
7,233
#10
I have a Kindle Paperwhite, I love it. I just buy ebooks on Amazon and they appear there, so my use case is pretty basic. I don't personally care about any extra features or customization, but I can totally see why someone would. I'm sure both are largely similar, but as a pretty heavy Amazon user, Kindle just works in the same way an Apple product does.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,570
#12
I have maybe 150 paper books to get to, so I wouldn't use it for all my reading. I just want to have it as an option in case I want to borrow something from the library or something is only available digitally. Some publishers give away digital copies or only publish digitally.

I won't be reading articles or anything on it. Just books, I assume.
If you read comics at all, you'd want a Kobo because you can upgrade storage with SD cards, though you should double check for new models.

Kindle has the bigger library, but you can always just side load books so I dont think its a big deal. Overall, Kindle has cheaper books if you're going to buy 150 books. If your library has the books you need, I am pretty sure Kobo is easier, especially if youre Canadian since you can just download to your Kobo, though Ive never tried the feature

You can sideload Fonts and there are bolding options on Kindle now. You can also save those settings as different themes for quick access.
Yes, there are bolding options on Kindle but Kobo has a lot more variation. I should look into side loading fonts

Kindle sucks so bad right now. The backlight is the wrong color for reading at night, and only rich assholes who buy the premium model get basic features like page turn buttons.
I will forever hate Amazon for this. I want the page buttons so bad but am forced to use the shitty touch. if Kobo released a baseline model with page turn buttons Id jump back
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,253
#13
Kobo in Canada, Kindle in the US. Either one you go with just make sure ebooks you download are backed up. Amazon has taken away people entire libraries before. The DRM in Amazon books are easily stripped so you can convert the file to run on any ebook.
 
Oct 25, 2017
158
Toulouse
#14
I had the exact same problem a year ago when I broke my kindle. I tried kobo and it took me maybe 10 minutes to decide to bring it back. I's subtly worse in every department: screen, backlight, touch, responsiveness, software, you name it. Just buy a Kindle and use calibre. It's free software and allow to synchronize your kindle with a library of ebooks from basically anywhere. It works on linux too. Calibre + Kindle is the way to go.
 
OP
OP
TheBeardedOne
#15
If you read comics at all, you'd want a Kobo because you can upgrade storage with SD cards, though you should double check for new models.

Kindle has the bigger library, but you can always just side load books so I dont think its a big deal. Overall, Kindle has cheaper books if you're going to buy 150 books. If your library has the books you need, I am pretty sure Kobo is easier, especially if youre Canadian since you can just download to your Kobo, though Ive never tried the feature


Yes, there are bolding options on Kindle but Kobo has a lot more variation. I should look into side loading fonts



I will forever hate Amazon for this. I want the page buttons so bad but am forced to use the shitty touch. if Kobo released a baseline model with page turn buttons Id jump back
I'm not a comics reader, and feel like there's just too many to start now. I have nothing against them, but would rather read novels. I've amassed a ton of those from used book sales, charity shops where they were 25 cents to 2 dollars at most, and people giving them to me. So I have a lot to read. It's just that some upcoming books I'm interested in are digital only.

I won't be buying a lot of books. Mostly borrowing or asking for copies to read and rate on GoodReads.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,870
#16
Kobo in Canada, Kindle in the US. Either one you go with just make sure ebooks you download are backed up. Amazon has taken away people entire libraries before. The DRM in Amazon books are easily stripped so you can convert the file to run on any ebook.
Pretty much.

I am not living in the US so Kindle doesn't make sense for me. I can buy books on Google Play and Kobo. So it really is a matter of location. Otherwise I'd probably just go with Kindle.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,570
#18
I'm not a comics reader, and feel like there's just too many to start now. I have nothing against them, but would rather read novels. I've amassed a ton of those from used book sales, charity shops where they were 25 cents to 2 dollars at most, and people giving them to me. So I have a lot to read. It's just that some upcoming books I'm interested in are digital only.

I won't be buying a lot of books. Mostly borrowing or asking for copies to read and rate on GoodReads.
If youre borrowing, go with Kobo. Are you Canadian? See what your libraries have for digital borrowing. Most books that are upcoming appear primarily on Kindle's store and will likely be cheaper there. I think Kobo has some points/rewards system, can't remember. But regardless, you can buy a book one place and then side load to another device. So its not a big deal

I could be mistaken, but the only Kobo I see on their store page that has page-turn buttons costs $280
these devices had buttons before. then touch screen became the standard. then they reintroduced buttons as a premium option. Both these companies are scummy for it, because they know tons of enthusiasts prefer them
 
Oct 31, 2017
4,362
#19
I love my Kobo to bits, my favorite thing is that it isn't locked in to some weird store ecosystem and it can pretty read any ebook extension out there, downloading books and transferring them via USB is flawless. It's also reasonably priced.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,505
#22
I don't really care about page buttons one way or another. Going from a Kindle 2, to Paperwhite 1, to Voyage, can't say I think they are all that big of a deal. It's a nice feature to have, but for a device they want to sell as an impulse, most people won't care. Swiping or tapping the screen is how most people interact with devices now a days. So, you have to have a touch screen. Buttons are a nice feature and so they get regulated to premium devices. And enthusiasts will pay a premium price. But considering how much Kindles launched for, I don't think the price of a premium reader like the Oasis is bad.
 
OP
OP
TheBeardedOne
#23
If youre borrowing, go with Kobo. Are you Canadian? See what your libraries have for digital borrowing. Most books that are upcoming appear primarily on Kindle's store and will likely be cheaper there. I think Kobo has some points/rewards system, can't remember. But regardless, you can buy a book one place and then side load to another device. So its not a big deal



these devices had buttons before. then touch screen became the standard. then they reintroduced buttons as a premium option. Both these companies are scummy for it, because they know tons of enthusiasts prefer them
I'm Canadian, yeah

The library closest to me uses Overdrive, which apparently doesn't work on Kindle in Canada for some stupid, fucked up reason. I'm not sure about other libraries.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,073
#24
I have the kindle oasis and love. I take it to the beach and read it at night before bed with no real issues. It’s water resistant so that’s great for the weather down the shore. I have been in the kindle ecosystem for about 8 years and they have some good prices.

I have heard great things about kobo lately. Kobo has some features that kindles don’t however I have heard the software isn’t as smooth as kindles.
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,053
#25
I can just speak about my Kobo Aura One ( and I had a Kobo Glo HD before it), and especially the Aura One improves on the Glo in every regard, really. The water resistance is nice if you wanna read on the beach, or in a bathtub. The night light makes it better on the eyes to read late at night.
I know that technically Amazon has more books, but basically anything published by a actual known publisher is on the Kobo store. It's usually self-published small authors that opt for the Amazon Marketplace

Overdrive is nice. I used it a while, and the two weeks default lending period is a bit too short for me, I don't read stuff that quickly, especially as I don't get to read stuff that often outside holidays. Still a great service that many public libraries around the world support.

Kindles are really fantastic devices, but go for the Kobo if you don't want to be reliant on Amazon's store.
Or even a Nook if page turn buttons are important.
There is a new Kobo reader that has physical buttons:
 
Oct 29, 2017
84
#29
I had a Kindle before but switched to Kobo Aura One because of the large screen and nice lighting options. Most of the books I read are public domain, so Kindle store wasn't really appealing to me and I have been able to find any book I want in the Kobo store and the prices seems comparable to Kindle store. But the Aura One may not be what you're looking for because of the price. Something to think about.
 
Oct 25, 2017
265
#30
In general, for everyone: unless you plan on buying a whole bunch of books, definitely get a device that's compatible with your local library. Library books on e-readers are amazing, doubly so if you have a kid who's just starting to read
 

k701

Banned
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Oct 27, 2017
453
#32
Never tried a Kobo, but I've owned a kindle 2,3/keyboard,voyage and oasis 2.

If you are going for a kindle, and want a new one, then IMO the page turn buttons are indispensable, so I recommend splurging for the oasis 2. What you can do is buy a cheap kindle on craigslist or whatever local place you have, just the cheapest one you can find (around 10 USD or less), and then trade it in to amazon. They will give you 25% off a new kindle AND take off the value of the kindle you traded in on top of that. So you can get the base model of the oasis 2 for less than 180 USD.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,696
#33
Kobo's most important feature IMO: Warm glow lighting, which IMO is super important for eye strain and comfort. Kindle doesnt have this
Just found out about this, killed any interest that I had in the Kindle. Hate using anything without warm lights nowadays, shame I can't do the same for my consoles/handhelds (blue light filter glasses are not an option).
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,202
Colorado
#37
Oh my god I have a library card/kindle and had no idea Overdrive existed this is fucking insane. Most books have a wait list but in 5 minutes I found two I’ve been meaning to buy and downloaded them instantly for 21 days. If Canada doesn’t have support for this via kindle you have to get a kobo.

Thanks op and everyone.
 
Last edited:
Oct 26, 2017
748
#38
your friend is correct, if you want to borrow ebooks from the library without reading them in a browser you need to go kobo in canada

weigh that against kindle ebook sales i guess
 
Oct 25, 2017
541
#39
I've owned both and maybe it's different now (I owned a Kobo quite a few years back as my first e-reader), but the Kobo was the buggiest piece of shit ever. Randomly stopped working, syncing, etc... In comparison, my Kindle Paperwhite has been running flawlessly since I got it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,570
#42
Wtf is a Kobo?

I picked up a Kindle Paper White a few years back for like $15 on some crazy student discount, and it's great.
It's Kindle's main competitor but its not like they are a huge threat. Most popular in Canada. They are ahead of the curb though:

they had waterproofing before Kindle, 300 PPI, and Comfort Light before Kindle. They also tend to make bigger ereaders -- an inch or two bigger usually. Their software and ecosystem isn't as great, but they are like an android, u can customize the software and it supports tons of options
 
#43
Do Kobos back up notes and highlights which sync across all devices? That’s primarily what I use my Kindle for. I like to be able to look up my notes on things I’m reading. Also I keep my books in very organized categories so I can easily find them. I assume Kobo has folders/categories which sync to all devices too.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,505
#45
It's Kindle's main competitor but its not like they are a huge threat. Most popular in Canada. They are ahead of the curb though:

they had waterproofing before Kindle, 300 PPI, and Comfort Light before Kindle. They also tend to make bigger ereaders -- an inch or two bigger usually. Their software and ecosystem isn't as great, but they are like an android, u can customize the software and it supports tons of options
Bolded isn't true. The Kindle Voyage came out in 2014. Kobo Glo HD came out in 2015. But the Kobo Aura HD (265 PPI) came out in 2013. Of course The Kindle Paperwhite (212 PPI) and Kobo Aura (213 PPI) came out within a month of each other in 2012, the Kobo first.
 
Oct 29, 2017
240
#47
I've been using a Kindle Paperwhite (my first Kindle ever) for two weeks now and I love it. Zero complaints. The brightness options are perfect and I have no problem touching through pages. Not sure why there's so much hostility towards it, it's a great device.

e: should preface that I used to be against e-readers but this device has radically changed that stance.
 
Oct 26, 2017
5,419
#49
I have a Kobo Glo HD (now discontinued I believe). The screen's gorgeous, and works very well. The text options (size, margins etc.) are better on Kobo than a Kindle, but there are some small inconveniences here and there (a big one is that when you sideload books onto the device page numbers are often very inaccurate).

You can put books from other sources on Kobo very easily, and even put in custom fonts.

Kobo's drawbacks are that the store is just bad. You can't find any good copy of a public domain book without getting bombarded with 20+ shit versions, and the storefront appears to be inundated with mediocre stuff. If you'll spend more time buying/reading modern books on it, though, the search engine works fine. Also, it doesn't have some of the nifty features especially newer Kindles have. You'll be OK if you know what you're looking for.

What I used to do, at least, was to get Kindle ebooks (cheaper, more sales, sometimes just better availability etc.), download them through the Kindle desktop client, import and convert them using Calibre, and then put those converted books on my Kobo. Worked pretty well, except it sometimes threw page numbers out of whack. I think it might be harder to do now since they changed the file extension Kindle books use a while ago, but maybe it's going to be possible again.

So basically AFAIK, Kobo is a less polished experience than Kindle but allows you a touch more freedom