The Kindle and Kobo eReader are both popular devices in Australia. Deciding between these two ebook readers can be tricky, as both have fantastic hardware and software, as well as good title availability. However, there are some important differences to consider before selecting which device to purchase.
Anyone who wants to read books by a particular author or publisher should check whether those titles are available on the Amazon or Kobo store before purchasing either device. Although Amazon is the global front runner in terms of the number of available titles, many Australian publishers have resisted joining forces with the US-based retail giant. The result is a situation where Kobo has some titles that cannot be found on Amazon, while others are available from Amazon but missing from the Kobo bookstore.
One advantage that the Kobo eReader has over the Kindle is that the Kobo can handle the generic ePub format, so it is possible to upload books onto the reader from a PC or other device. The Kindle, on the other hand, can only read PDFs and books purchased through the Kindle store. This flexibility is important for users who want to be able to import non-DRM-protected ebooks (those not protected by copyright) onto their reader.
On the one hand, the Kindle wins out in terms of the clarity of its display. The Kindle Paperwhite features a high-contrast screen that boasts a resolution of 1024 x 758 pixels. The Kobo Aura’s screen has the same size and resolution, but the contrast is lower, which makes it harder to read in low lights. On the other hand, the Kobo offers a greater range of fonts and more options for page layout, which improve the reading experience for many readers. It is also easier to change the light settings on the Kobo: simply slide two fingers up or down the screen. The Kindle requires the user to access a menu to change the light settings, which can be inconvenient.
The Kobo is slightly smaller than the Kindle, although both devices have a six-inch screen. Some reviewers like the fact that the Kobo’s screen is flush with the device casing, rather than recessed like that of the Kindle, as this feature makes it easier to swipe a finger across the screen of the Kobo to turn the page.
While Kindle users are limited by the standard storage capacity of the device, Kobo devices have the advantage of accepting microSD memory cards, which allow the user to expand the amount of storage space available for books and other publications. Although Amazon increased the storage capacity from 2 GB to 4 GB for the 2014 version of the Kindle Paperwhite, adding a memory card to the Kobo can expand the device’s storage space up to 32 GB.
The Kindle and Kobo are both excellent ebook readers. The most important factor for many buyers is the range of titles available for each device. Buyers should check whether their favourite authors’ works are available for their chosen device before they proceed to purchase a Kindle or Kobo. Both devices are available for sale through online retailers, where ebook reader owners will also find a range of accessories for their devices, such as stylish leather covers to protect and personalise the device.