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E-readers review: Kobo vs Kindle

Updated on August 30, 2012

Personally I’m still a fan of printed books. Nevertheless I must admit that using an e-reader is much more economical in the long run, in terms of storage and money. I’ve been doing some research about the available e-readers in the market before I decided to get one. I ended up with 2 options – Kindle or Kobo. Both of them are the most popular e-readers at present time. Like other products, they both have pros and cons. Below are my findings from different perspective.

Kobo E-reader
Kobo E-reader


Let’s be realistic. Price is one of the must-consider factors before you get any gadgets. Kobo costs 5-10% less than a Kindle, depends on the model and if you are able to get a good deal. Obviously Kobo comes a year or 2 later than Kindle and is less seen as the ‘authentic’ e-readers. However if you do not mind that, the price is quite attractive. It’s somewhat comparable with the situation whether you want a cheaper Samsung tablet or an authentic IPad.


One of the most critical factors that I considered is the weight and size of the e-readers. I always have a paperback in my handbag (alongside with all the other stuff that you can find in a lady’s handbag…). To substitute my paperback, the e-reader cannot be bulky and heavy.

To my surprise, Kindle is only 170g (around 5 ounces) – a weight that is even lighter than an average paperback. (Average paperback, of course depends on the book’s size, and is around 3 times heavier than a Kindle.)

Kobo is not bad too, it’s only 221g, which is again, lighter than my paperback from Haruki Murakami, for instance.

The only setback could possibly be the fact that the screen of both e-readers is 6 inches only, which is slightly smaller than average paperback. But then I’d see it as a compromise to the weight of the gadgets.


Thanks to Steve Jobs, we are trained to use as less buttons as possible. Kobo shares the same concept. Menu is also simple – which I would say, is even elderly-friendly.

On the contrary, Kindle is more complicated in terms of usage. The reaction time for the touchscreen keyboard is also comparatively lower than other touchscreen products in the market.

Both e-readers’ page turning speed is slower than flapping a book manually. That’s really the biggest downside of all these e-readers.

Free ebooks for Kindle


The nice thing for book lovers is that there are loads of free e-books for downloading from both Kindle and Kobo.

Here are some examples of free e-books from Kindle offered in Amazon.

Check out the free e-book collection from Kobo.

What is handy about Kobo is that it has already stored around 100 classic novels in the device itself. Kobo also accepts more e-book file formats than Kindle. EPub is the most popular e-book file format, which can be loaded directly into Kobo but needs conversion for Kindle.


One of the biggest advantages of having e-readers is that you do not need a huge bookshelf to store your books anymore. Kindle itself can keep around 1400 books while that for Kobo is around 1000.

If you do need more than that, it’s possible to have an SD card for Kobo but not for Kindle. However to be honest, spaces for 1000 books are more than enough for reading-on-the-go.


The gimmick of Kobo is that you can participant in a ‘reading-based’ award system, where you can interact with your online audience through Facebook and twitter.

Both devices offer apps for synchronizing your library across different devices like smartphones, tablets and computers.

E-reader is a nice gadget to bring with you on holidays. Needless to say, you’ll need a waterproof bag to enjoy it in the pool while zipping your cocktail.


I’ve had my Kobo for sometime now, and I’m pretty content with it. It is extremely handy for on-the-go. If you do read regularly, e-reader is an amazing gadget. I do still buy paper books, especially for kids, as I do see that as part of education. The thing I do miss about paperbacks is the smell of paper!


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