Like the Kindle, you can read your books on other devices and the Kobo app for the iPad, for instance, looks pretty good. The page turn animation isn’t quite as gorgeous as Apple’s own, but it’s slicker than the Kindle app where pages slide dully across. There are other differences, such as Reading Life, which basically keeps tabs of which books you’ve read and how much of each. This sounds like a sure way to make yourself feel guilty, but maybe you’ll like it.
MicroSD storage expansion allows for 30,000 books – if you have the time
Extras include a sketchbook where you can scribble notes and find them saved to your library. It’s OK, but no match for, you know, a pen and paper. There’s an internet browser though this works best for text-based sites and you’ll only want to use it if it’s absolutely your only way on-line. And there’s Sudoku, which is always fun, though again, it’s more enjoyable in a newspaper.
Like the Kindle, the Kobo E-reader Touch Edition is an accomplished, affordable reader with access to many thousands of titles. The screen is easy to read, thanks to the latest version of E Ink, and the textured back means the Kobo feels good in the hand. The touchscreen interface is easy to get to grips with and is accurate enough, and the on-screen tutorials will help those uncertain what to do.
So which should you buy? To be honest, there’s not much in it and the Kobo commands a £20 premium for its touch interface and its memory card slot. The Kobo’s virtual keyboard is easier to use than on the basic Kindle. And if you don’t want to be locked into Amazon’s ecosystem, the ePub format of the Kobo may appeal – you can shop around for your titles. Both products are great but neither are as lovely as books, which, if you find yourself in WHSmith's looking for a Kobo Touch, you can always opt for instead. ®
More Tablet and Reader Reviews
WHSmith Kobo Touch wireless e-book reader
W H Smith is going to pay dearly for this! Steve Jobs invented touchscreens, and gestures! And language!
You can run, Smith, but you can't hide from the US Patent Office!
You need to "install an application on your computer to register the thing"?
That is totally stupid. Congratulations on getting it to work with WINE, but you should have returned the thing out of principle.
What inspired me to buy a Kindle was these words on Amazon's web site:
"System Requirements : None, because it's wireless and doesn't require a computer."
That is how a tablet or e-book reader ought to work. Why do so many companies fail so utterly to achieve this? Even Apple iPad users are expected to install iTunes on a computer running an approved OS. Idiots, idiots.
The reader everyone has been waiting for?
You betcha. I have a Sony PRS-650 and won't be updating (it offers me nothing, as it uses the same 6in e-ink Perl and touchscreen, just no Wifi).
However for new to e-book consumers, this beats the Amazon hands down. It supports EPUB, which means you aren't locked into any proprietary stores like the Kindle, does everything the Kindle does, and even reads the Kindle format (MOBI), so you can un-DRM your kindle books and read them on here.
What I don't get, is it scored the same as the new Kindle, despite being better in that it's not locked to a single content supplier. Surely that deserves another 5% In my world it does...
RE: Kindle is not locked in
A couple of people have stated the Kindle is not a lock-in, but in both cases have cited how easy it is to get other formats ON to the Kindle.
That's not dealing with lock-IN but lock-OUT and, fair enough, they are right on that basis.
The lock-IN is true though. Buy from Amazon, which you do if you buy from on the Kindle device itself, and the book you get will work on all Amazon devices and in all Amazon reader software. That's it. And that IS lock-in.
There's talk of Calibre and, true enough, it converts formats. Unless you want to crack the DRM though you still won't get your Amazon-bought ebook onto a Sony, Nook or Kobo. That's lock-in.
I'm against proprietary as much as anyone
But I have to dispel the myth that the Kindle is somehow 'locked in'. You can download Calibre and convert pretty much any ebook format to one that the Kindle will read. You don't have to go through proprietary software, such as the dreaded iTunes to transfer files to or from it, plug it into your PC and it shows up as an external drive. It is a bit of a pain that it doesn't natively support epub, but it is by no means an insurmountable obstacle.