38 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2015 9:08 AM by lovemyereaders

    Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?

    lovemyereaders

      I recently started using my ereaders more, due to eye strain from reading for long periods on my tablets. I want to be able to read at night without and not disturb my hubby. I've been looking at the glow light and kindle paperwhite, also considering kobo. Is it wise to continue investing in the nook line? I'm not hearing of any updated nook ereaders. Any thoughts?

        • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
          kamas716

          Personally, I wouldn't invest in any more Nooks until B&N starts treating its customers as something other than potential pirates/thieves.  But that's just me. Given their recent moves to lock people into using only their devices/apps and making it so hard to back up their eLibrary, I'd shop someplace else.

            • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
              lovemyereaders

              You might be right. I've had some bad experiences with B&N customer service so I try not to use them. I was mainly looking at the lowlight for the ePub capabilities. I may look at kobo, kindle doesn't support it. The nooks have so much potential, they really should have stepped it up, and kept them going with better customer service.

                • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                  bobstro

                  I am a big fan of the Kobo H2O. In addition to not being Amazon, it has a great screen, and the waterproof feature is proving to be a lot more useful than I'd hoped. The larger screen is nice without being bulky to hold or carry. With Kobo, you do have the issue of only being able to order online from Canada if you can't find it stateside, and Kobo's tech support isn't the best. I've got 3 Kobo devices and have had no issues, and the only purchase issue I had was resolved with a refund after a single email, albeit after a week. I read a lot about epub formatting issues on Kobo, but after doing some testing, I've quit converting to Kobo's kepub format and just sideload epubs to it. There are a lot of tweaks you can use on it to customize the experience.

                   

                  The Voyage looks like a very nice device. I'm glad to see some competition in the premium eink reader space. If you get comfortable using Calibre and "future proofing" your purchases, either the H2O or Voyage are probably a winner.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                      Mercury_Glitch

                      It's funny you should post this and a day later I should opt to check in on these forums.

                       

                      I bought a Kobo H2O back when they launched in Fall 2014.  I have not looked back since.  The screen is fantastic, it more closely resembles a mass market page (which was my preference for physical books), the lighting is smooth and even, there's an SD Card slot, and as Bob mentioned you can tweak it very easily.  Just the other day a user created a patch to allow for random screensavers which was my only gripe about the Kobo*.  It's not as good as I'd like it, since it's a random image from one folder and you're not given the option to select different folders, but I can load a single image in and have that as a screensaver so I'm happy.  And fret not, it's actually fairly easy to apply these sorts of tweaks, it's generally no harder than double clicking files and moving them around.  You do not need to be a coder, you do not need to know a programing language, and even without tweaks the Kobo is great.

                       

                      I do not know what B&N plans for the future of eink, which makes me really sad, it's a great format which isn't being flooded with devices currently.  There's a lot of potential to make a great ereader.

                       

                      *Kobo doesn't allow screensavers, save for either a blank screen or the cover image of whatever book you're currently reading.

                      • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                        lovemyereaders

                        I Have looked at the kobo ereader. no one seems to carry them anymore, just available online apparently.

                         

                        I may try one out. I don't really need their bookstore, I just need the device do sideload books I have from a subscription on another site.  kindle doesn't work (ePub or Adobe) but my nooks do, which was why I wanted the glowlight. I just don't want to waste money on an obsolete device. The kobo sounds like a great option.

                          • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                            bobstro

                            Like most devices these days, you do have to register the Kobo initially, but you can easily never sync again if you don't want to. I do like to let it check once a month or so for firmware updates (Kobos's pretty good with those), but I have book sync disabled and only use sideloaded content. Calibre integrates very nicely with the Kobo, and lets you do things like set up tag or custom field to collection (shelves) mappings. Calibre will also handle things like duplicate collections, sorting collections and the like.

                             

                            Family Christian carries some Kobos, but if there's not a store local, you'll still end up ordering online. I have never seen them carry the H2O, so I got mine direct from Canada on a trip to Montreal. I ordered a Mini and Aura online with no issues, other than a somewhat slow (1 week) delivery.

                    • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                      keriflur

                      I'm a kindle user and highly recommend the paperwhite. While I haven't tried the Kobo H2O, I found the paperwhite screen and light superior to the Kobo Aura. I've also found Amazon CS to be great, and Kobo CS to be lacking at best. It's not too hard to do a one-time conversion of all your books to the Amazon format (KF8) and the books display beautifully on the device.

                        • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                          bobstro

                          The Aura is screen is good, but the contrast is a bit disappointing, at least compared to the current crop of readers. The KPW definitely beat it on that count. The Aura's on sale now for $99, but I'd probably go for the KPW for a few bucks more.

                           

                          The H2O screen is markedly better than the Aura. Larger, higher density but also better contrast. The H2O screen contrast is outstanding. I've not compared an H2O and Voyage side-by-side, but from what I'm reading, the screens are pretty much at parity. That choice probably comes down to price and the relative value of buttons versus waterproofing.

                           

                          Does Amazon offer anything equivalent to Pocket on the Kobos? I find it handy to flag a bunch of articles when browsing on my desktop, then read them at my leisure later on the H2O.

                           

                          If B&N does try to get back into the eink reader game, they'll really need to step up the game. The NGL was a sidestep at best, and unfortunately (for B&N), hit right at the time Amazon and Kobo were ramping up. The company that manufactures the Kobos has some other very nice devices B&N could choose from.

                            • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                              keriflur

                              Aren't there size and weight differences between the H2O and the Voyage? Those would be factors for me (I'm not in the market, but still), as I like to read one-handed.

                                • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                  lovemyereaders

                                  I Think the h2o is a little bigger than the voyage. I have seen the voyage and its very light and compact.

                                   

                                  I think I am going to try the h2o. 

                                  • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                    bobstro

                                    The Voyage is a 6 inch device, the H2O 6.8 inch. Both have the same resolution. The Voyage weighs 6.3 oz versus the H2O's 8.2 oz. The Voyage is about $20 more expensive, but you can probably get free shipping. The Kobo H2O is waterproof. The Voyage has buttons.

                                     

                                    Kobo has several different screen zone settings to flip pages. If holding in my left hand, I use the one that has a narrower page-back zone at the left, and a wider page-forward zone on the rest of the screen. Flipping pages with my left thumb works perfectly. I find the larger size a nice match for reading.

                                     

                                    I do have a Kobo Mini for those times when I want something really portable. I don't use it now that I have the H2O.

                                    • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                      Mercury_Glitch

                                      Kindle Voyage:

                                      Size - 6.4" x 4.5" x 0.30" (162 mm x 115 mm x 7.6 mm)

                                      Weight (WiFi only model) - 6.3 ounces (180 grams)

                                       

                                      Kobo Aura H2O:

                                      Size -  7.04" x 5.07" x 0.38" (179 mm x 129 mm x 9.7 mm)

                                      Weight - 8.2 ounces (233 grams)

                                       

                                      So yes the H2O is bigger, and by nature of that weighs more, however I find I can easily hold the H2O in a single hand.  It's worth noting that the weight of the H2O (and I presume the Voyage) is evenly distributed, unlike say the first gen Nook which was distinctly bottom heavy.

                                       

                                      It's also worth noting that the Aura (the Kobo device which better compares in size to the Voyage) is lighter, though it's by about 6 grams.  I mention this only to emphasize that the weight added to the H2O is directly tied to the larger screen.

                                        • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                          bobstro

                                          A minor note: The Aura uses a capacitive screen while the H2O uses IR sensors to detect touch. The H2O thus has the (slightly) raised screen bezel, whereas the Aura is flush. Neither is a big deal in practice.

                                          • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                            keriflur

                                            Yeah, that extra weight of the H2O, and the fact that the larger size distributes that weight over a larger amount of device, are deal breakers for me. (What's comfortable to hold obviously varies by person and scenario, but anything larger and heavier than the KPW will not work for me.)

                                             

                                            The fact that no one has yet been able to hack the Voyage to get rid of the awful kindle screensavers is also a deal breaker for me.

                                             

                                            I'm glad I got a great device in the KPW - hopefully it will last a long time.

                                              • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                Mercury_Glitch

                                                I obviously don't have an issue rooting a device, I did it for my NST and NSTG, and had I not purchased an H2O I likely would have tried the method out there for the NGL.  But I wont lie, when looking at devices Kobos openness to user modification was a huge plus versus Amazons requirement to jailbreak (I think all their devices require it, and Voyage just hasn't been hacked yet). 

                                                 

                                                Really the differences between the Kobo line and Amazon line are all going to come down to personal preference.  I doubt either are going to go anywhere anytime soon, both companies have been consistently releasing new devices in the eink line.  Though Kobo ditched the tablets awhile back, that can easily be argued as a wise move in a market flooded with tablet options.

                                                  • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                    keriflur

                                                    Mercury_Glitch wrote:

                                                     

                                                    But I wont lie, when looking at devices Kobos openness to user modification was a huge plus versus Amazons requirement to jailbreak (I think all their devices require it, and Voyage just hasn't been hacked yet).

                                                    Yeah, buying a kindle is a lot like buying an ipad, in the sense that the company thinks they know exactly what you need and you *will* be assimilated. I'm glad Amazon has brought back page-turn buttons in the voyage, and lets users adjust the auto-light settings, but there are still a lot of things (screensavers, touches - including a multi-touch gesture that drives me nuts, fonts, library layout) that are fixed.

                                                     

                                                    There are a few things I wish Kobo would let the user change though, like screensavers and that blasted italic menu font.

                                                      • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                        Mercury_Glitch

                                                        There's a patch for the screensaver, though it just lets you load an image, or multiple images, into a folder for the device to use. 

                                                         

                                                        There have been attempts to change the italics, but some elements seem to elude the folks patching so for now it's basically stick with the italics or have a weirder mix of italics and whatever you want.

                                                          • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                            bobstro

                                                            Hopefully I can avoid the moderation bug/feature long enough to post some pics. Here's the Kobo family with the NOOK cousin:

                                                            20150311_174125.jpg?t=1426024615

                                                            Left to Right: Kobo Mini (5 inch, 4.73oz/134g), Kobo Aura (6 inch, 6.13 oz/174g), NOOK Simple Touch (6 inch, 7.48oz/212g), Kobo Aura H2O (6.8 inch, 8.2oz/233g)

                                                             

                                                            Here they are stacked side-by-side in the same order:

                                                            20150311_172935.jpg

                                                            And here are the Kobo Aura and Aura H2O held one-handed:

                                                            20150311_175529.jpg

                                                            2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                                              • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                Mercury_Glitch

                                                                I think one of the best unmentioned things in your post is the evolution of the backlight in the Kobo.  You can clearly see the blue tinge that Keri found distasteful in the Aura, but it's lacking in the H2O. 

                                                                 

                                                                It seems like those are the default margin sizes for the Kobos, and I presume they're  kepub since you can see the chapter progress.  Have you updated to 3.13.1?

                                                                  • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                    keriflur

                                                                    Mercury_Glitch wrote:

                                                                     

                                                                    I think one of the best unmentioned things in your post is the evolution of the backlight in the Kobo.  You can clearly see the blue tinge that Keri found distasteful in the Aura, but it's lacking in the H2O.

                                                                    Yes, it looks MUCH better. Glad they got that sorted out.

                                                                     

                                                                    The H2O does look rather thick in comparison to the others.

                                                                     

                                                                    Also, Bob's hands are bigger than mine.

                                                                    • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                      bobstro

                                                                      Mercury_Glitch wrote:

                                                                      I think one of the best unmentioned things in your post is the evolution of the backlight in the Kobo.  You can clearly see the blue tinge that Keri found distasteful in the Aura, but it's lacking in the H2O.

                                                                      I didn't make any effort to adjust the displays, but yes, the Aura definitely has more of a blue tint. It's the contrast that bugs me more. That said, after pulling the Aura out for this comparison, I've been reading on it for the last several days, and it's still a delightful device to use. Although eink hasn't evolved at the same pace as other display technologies, it's still changed a lot in the last 2 years. The Aura still holds its own.

                                                                      It seems like those are the default margin sizes for the Kobos, and I presume they're  kepub since you can see the chapter progress.  Have you updated to 3.13.1?

                                                                      I'm at 3.12.1 dated 1/29/15 for the Aura and the H2O. I updated both to the latest a couple of days ago. I did a sync today, so that seems to be the latest. Perhaps they're phasing the rollouts? I use the 2nd smallest margins.

                                                                       

                                                                      As to the format: I've noticed something about Calibre. The filename makes all the difference. "Raw" epubs named as <title>.epub show the footer but not the header, and have a few formatting quirks that might bug some readers as shown here:

                                                                      20150311_220308.jpg~original

                                                                      That same file renamed as <title>.kepub.epub uses Kobo's enhanced renderer. I just deleted that ebook from my H2O, renamed it to <title>.kepub.epub on my PC and copied it directly over with no other processing, and it now looks like this:

                                                                      20150311_220748.jpg~original

                                                                      I know the filename determines which renderer is used. What I didn't expect was that a simple rename is all that's required to benefit from Kobo's renderer (assuming you like it).

                                                                       

                                                                      I'm not sure exactly what it is in my workflow (import-touch up metadata-polish-send to device) that trips the renaming, but the results are fine with no further work on my part. I suspect it's the "polish" function, but I haven't tested that yet. The worst results come when I try to make extensive "fixes" in Calibre, then convert to kepub. That seems to result in a lot of the formatting issues I see complained about over on Mobileread. If I do an actual conversion, it takes much longer and I wind up with a kepub in my Calibre library. I find just leaving the formatting alone for the most part yields pleasant results as you see in the pictures. Just to complete this drama, here's the same document after (again) deleting it from the H2O then converting it to kepub format and sending that format to the H2O:

                                                                      20150311_222040.jpg~original

                                                                      Personally, I see little difference, although the kepub version seems to be doing more hyphenation, which I do like. The conversion might also be using the widow and orphan custom .CSS settings I specified for kepub conversions which might explain the difference in the amount of text shown. Based on these observations, I've decided that the "must convert to kepub" issues is FUD or misunderstanding.

                                                                       

                                                                      The H2O is a bit thicker than the Aura, but not as much as that picture makes it seem. Here's a side-by-side from a more consistent angle:

                                                                      20150311_210434.jpg~original

                                                                      And here it is next to my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, a tablet much lauded for its thin dimensions:

                                                                      20150311_210502.jpg~original

                                                                      In day-to-day use, the thinness depends entirely on the case you use (if any). Here are my Kobo Mini and H2O in their everyday cases, the Mini suffering in a bargain purchase that I didn't study too well before ordering:

                                                                      20150311_210733.jpg~original

                                                                      Every day I see gorgeous $600 smartphones buried in bulky cases that remind me of 1980s laptops, with the creak-free chassis entombed in a squeaky plastic shell. A lot of the thickness and one-handed usability is going to depend on your case, so be sure to study that before making any decisions based on naked device dimensions or weight. The 50g you save on the bare device may be more than offset by a padded case.

                                                                        • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                          Mercury_Glitch

                                                                          What case are you using?  It appears to not have a front flap?  Please tell me it's just a shell, because I will then be a very happy person.

                                                                           

                                                                          Kobo released a 3.13.1 version for Japan only, but sideloading the upgrade works for the H20.  Major feature seems to be sideloaded kepubs have book tracking.

                                                                           

                                                                          I've tweaked my margins to the edge of the screen, though I did need to use patches to do so.

                                                                            • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                              bobstro

                                                                              Mercury_Glitch wrote:

                                                                               

                                                                              What case are you using?  It appears to not have a front flap?  Please tell me it's just a shell, because I will then be a very happy person.

                                                                              It's a sleep cover case, a cheap one, from Amazon. It's pretty crappy, but I only use it for travel. There's one for the Kobo Aura that has a much nicer (not as finger print prone) inner lining and more leather-like feel. Looks like they've released one for the H2O.

                                                                              Kobo released a 3.13.1 version for Japan only, but sideloading the upgrade works for the H20.  Major feature seems to be sideloaded kepubs have book tracking.

                                                                              Ah, I got all excited thinking you meant tracking progress between devices. I see that it's the reading stats for sideloaded books. Still a nice thing! Thanks for the pointer. I'm updating now.

                                                                              I've tweaked my margins to the edge of the screen, though I did need to use patches to do so.

                                                                              With my margins at minimum, text is within 2-3 mm of the screen edge. Any closer and I find it distracting!

                                                                        • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                          lovemyereaders

                                                                          Aside from being waterproof, what the big difference between the aura and aura h2o, in your opinion?

                                                                          I Don't think being waterproof will be a big deal to me, just wondering about the software. I'm also looking at the glo.

                                                          • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                            lovemyereaders

                                                            I Tried the pw but I have a ton of ePub books and they don't work on the paperwhite. I tried everything and call Amazon. I can load to my nook, but I need an ereader with the light such as pw or glow.

                                                              • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                bobstro

                                                                lovemyereaders wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                I Tried the pw but I have a ton of ePub books and they don't work on the paperwhite.

                                                                Are these ebooks DRM-encumbered? If not, you can use Calibre to convert them to a Kindle format fairly easily. If they care, you'd have to look into "future proofing" them by removing the DRM, which is a whole topic unto itself. You may also have issues with them even on an epub reader such as the Kobo, depending on specifics of the DRM. In either case, if you have a lot of books to deal with, I think you'll want to get familiar with Calibre to manage them.

                                                                  • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                    lovemyereaders

                                                                    They are ePub from Adobe digital editions (ade) . to load them to the nook I had to authorize the device before side loading them, that worked fine, but couldn't  get anything to work for my paperwhite. Even tried send to kindle, to no avail.

                                                                    HHow does calibre work?

                                                                    MY nook 1st Ed is so slow....but, it works : (

                                                                     

                                                                    I've heard the kobo should work.

                                                                      • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                        kamas716

                                                                        epubs don't work on Kindles, that's why you can't get them to open. Kindles use a different format than epub. You'll either have to change the format of the ebooks to something the Kindle can read or you'll have to get a different device that reads the epub format.

                                                                        • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                          Mercury_Glitch

                                                                          ADE will load them to a Kobo just as it loads them to your Nook. 

                                                                           

                                                                          Calibre is ebook managing software it lets you edit quite a lot of things with an ebook.  Primarily the metadata, so the title, author, series, and tags for a specific ebook.  Tags work just like they do on these forums so you could search your device for the tag you used and it would find the book.

                                                                           

                                                                          Since you're using a subscription service you probably don't need to worry about those things, unless the service allows some really high amount of books to be borrowed at a time.

                                                                           

                                                                          From what you've said you're looking for the following from an ereader

                                                                           

                                                                          1) easy to use

                                                                          2) eink

                                                                          3) supports using ADE loaded books

                                                                          4) uses current technologies

                                                                          5) backlight

                                                                           

                                                                          Pretty much any of the Kobo device line up will meet all of those requirements.  The H2O is their newest and highest end ereader, but the Aura and Aura HD are both solid devices.

                                                                      • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                        keriflur

                                                                        To put your epubs on the kindle, first you have to remove any DRM (which is easy to do, just do a google search). Then you convert them to the KF8 format with a tool such as Calibre (you can even use Calibre to remove the DRM). Once they are in the correct format, they load easily to the paperwhite.

                                                                         

                                                                        To put your epubs on the kobo, if they have B&N DRM, you will still need to remove the DRM. One the DRM is removed, they'll load just fine, but they don't always display as nicely as they do on the nook. To get a consistently nice display, you'll have to convert them to the kepub format (again using Calibre).

                                                                         

                                                                        So it's six of one, half dozen of the other, IMO.

                                                                          • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                            lovemyereaders

                                                                            TThey are actually ADE books, I tried steps to get my kindle to read them but it didn't work. I gave up lol

                                                                             

                                                                            i even called Amazon for help. The glow light worked perfectly, just side loaded and I was done After I authorized the device.

                                                                             

                                                                            I Might try the kobo aura and see if it works, I'm just really not crazy about their customer service or website. The glowlight is looking like it going to win out after all.

                                                                              • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                                bobstro

                                                                                The Kobos can handle ADE directly. You have to enter your Adobe credentials in the setup, but after that, you don't have to worry about removing DRM (though I'd still recommend it).

                                                                                 

                                                                                You do not have to convert epubs to kepub to get them to display well. I don't even bother anymore.

                                                                                 

                                                                                Personally, I'd go with the Aura over the Glowlight just to have the ability to store ebooks on a card if you find yourself wanting more space down the road. The shelving features are also very good (especially with Calibre!) if you have a large ebook collection.

                                                                        • Re: Glow light, kindle paperwhite or kobo, thoughts?
                                                                          lovemyereaders

                                                                          I went to the kobo website, the aura was listed on sale $30. When I clicked on it, it came up as regular price. I called, they said the special was for Canada only : (