Kobo Ereader in Canada

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treeoflife
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Kobo Ereader in Canada

Post by treeoflife » May 4th, 2010, 8:00 pm

For the Canadians out there... I noticed in my regular trip to Chapters that they are now selling an ereader called the Kobo. Has anyone heard of / used one of these yet? The price point is there... only $149.

I assume since Chapters sells it, you'd get the same books as Chapters.ca?

Looks good from what I can see... us poor Canadians have only had the Kindle for a few months... and for over $100 more.

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Mark
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Re: Kobo Ereader in Canada

Post by Mark » May 9th, 2010, 8:11 pm

I played with a Kobo today, and it is cheap in all senses of the word. It feels like something you might pull out of a cereal box if you were really lucky. The plasticy feel okay at that pricepoint, but my concern was that the screen seemed quite low quality. I walked over to the Sony store afterwards to compare readers, and found their screens much more readable. The Sony readers seem to have sharper contrast and darker text. Downside to the Sony Pocket reader is that it doesn't have expandable memory (512 MB max capacity), and that it's $40 more expensive, although today it was on sale for $179.99. It feels more solidly built though.

My next big problem with the Kobo and Chapters in general is situations like this example:
http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/The ... -item.html
Online Price: $15.20
irewards Member Price: $14.44
eBook price: $16.49

Why on earth would I ever pay more for an eBook than a paper copy?

Another small concern was the lack of page skipping shortcuts. You can page forward, or chapter forward, but you can't skip from page 11 to, say, page 28 without clicking the next button 17 times. Given the page turn delay of roughly 2 seconds, that's half a minute to skip forward or backwards a few pages. One of my thoughts was that for some titles that have the eBook bundled with the purchase of the physical book, I might read the physical copy at home, and the digital copy while out and about. If you read 60 pages at home and then want to skip to your page on the Kobo, you better hope you have a chapter break near your desired page, otherwise you're going to spend several minutes thumbing the next button.

It's not a bad low end reader, and my big concern is the screen quality. It was like reading a cheap paperback with a weak print job. The text was just too light for my liking. I'm still considering buying one, depending on its ability to load PDFs and books from other sources (like the Google Bookstore coming this summer), but it was far from love at first sight.

Also, I think it might be a touch sexier in the black colour they also have available.

treeoflife
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Re: Kobo Ereader in Canada

Post by treeoflife » May 10th, 2010, 1:06 am

Thanks Mark, and welcome a fellow Vancouverite. That was an awesome review.

I've seen the Sony e-reader, and don't actually like the screen... comparing it to my brothers Kindle anyways. When looking at the two, the Sony screen just didn't look like e-ink. If you're saying the Kobo is WORSE than the Sony screen, that's a big negative. Did you try different fonts an such?

And what the heck is with the book prices?! I guess chapters wants to discourage all people from buying an e-reader. Now, with the Kobo, don't you buy the books from a different site? This part I couldn't figure out. That said, the google books are supposed to be compatible with all readers, so maybe I'll just have to wait for that to come out. No way am I shelling out $150 clams just to buy books that are more expensive to read on a machine. I prefer the paper books really, but I buy a lot of books so am considering an e-reader to save money. This one boggles the mind!

And the lack of page skipping is no small deal. If you could turn pages quicker, that wouldn't matter, but ya, that'd be a wee bit annoying.

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Mark
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Re: Kobo Ereader in Canada

Post by Mark » May 10th, 2010, 10:34 am

I could only find 2 different font options... Serif and Sans Serif. One was a touch darker than the other (Serif maybe?) but the text still seemed less crisp than I was expecting.

I'd like to play with a Kindle to see the difference.

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