Tag Archives: Kobo

Hands-on video: comparison of an ereader and a tablet as ebook reading devices

2017-06-18

Recently, we studied the Kindle ereader and the Fire tablet in order to discover their differences as ebook reading devices. We concluded that – in addition to the price – the biggest differences were display, multipurpose vs single-purpose product and battery life.
kobo aura one ereader
The Ebook Reader blog recorded a video that lets you view a comparison of the Kobo Aura One ereader and the Kindle Fire HD 8 tablet. Both products have about 8 inch screen: the Aura One has 7.8 inches and the Fire tablet 8 inches. The dimensions of the screens are different, so it looks like they are not the same size, but they are very close.

In any case, the video shows one more key difference between ereaders and tablets: weight. Tablets are heavier than ereaders. It may not matter to you, because it depends on how you usually hold your reading device. If you are holding the reading device so that your arm tires, then the weight can be a factor for you.

View the video by The Ebook Reader below:

Why tablets are heavier than ereaders although they have roughly the same screen size? There are more parts inside the tablet than inside an ereader. The processor is usually more efficient on a tablet, it has more memory, perhaps larger speakers, and above all, a bigger battery. Batteries are surprisingly heavy, and the color screen of a tablet is power-hungry, whereas an ereader’s E ink screen is very power-efficient.

The current price gap is wide between the products seen on the video: the Kobo Aura One is $229 and the Fire HD 8 tablet $79.

Now, we have five factors that influence the decision which one is the right product to choose: display, multipurpose/single-purpose, battery life, weight and price. Everyone has his or her own priorities that specify which factors rise on top, and it makes the decision easier.
Amazon FIre HD 8 tablet, 2017 model

Convenient reading on a large screen: Kobo Aura One ereader comes with a 7.8 display

2016-08-22

It seems that we are not the only ones who have been wondering why the majority of ereaders are six inches in size. A compact device has its advantages, but when it is time to do some serious reading, we prefer larger screens. Kobo has introduced the Aura One ereader that maybe the answer to our hopes – and makes many ebook lovers to think twice before investing in the Kindle Oasis ereader.
kobo aura one ereader
The highlight of the Kobo Aura One ereader is its screen: it is 7.8 inches in size. That’s about the same screen size as the iPad Mini tablet, and larger than entry-level 7-inch tablets have.

The list price of the Aura One is $230 which means it priced lower than the Kindle Oasis. The Oasis, however, only has the standard six-inch E ink screen. Amazon pushes ads to Kindle ereaders that you can prevent by paying a little extra. Kobo doesn’t push ads to its ereaders.

Another highlight of the Aura One is that you can take it to a bath or swimming pool without having to worry about water, or sand on the beach. The device is waterproof.

The ereader can wirelessly connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi and it comes with a touch screen. It also has a front light that is a big help when reading in a dark nook or late at night in bed.

The product is available at Kobo’s online store for $230.

Here is a hands-on video of the Kobo Aura One:

Kobo Aura One key specifications

– 7.8-inch E Ink touchscreen, 1872 x 1404 resolution, 300 dpi
– Front light for reading in places with inadequate light. ComfortLight PRO technology that reduces blue light exposure.
– 8 GB on-board memory. Storage for up to 6,000 ebooks.
– 11 fonts and over 50 font styles. Font weight and sharpness settings.
– 14 file formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR.
– Access to public libraries that use Overdrive ebook library system.
– Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n.
– Micro USB port.
– Battery life up to 1 month.
– Built-in device languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish.
– Weight 230 gr.
– Dimensions 195 x 138.5 x 6.9 mm.
kobo aura one ereader by a pool

People who read a lot is the biggest customer group for ebooks and ereaders

2016-04-26

Ebook retailer and ereader device vendor Kobo recently published a survey that confirms many assumptions we have had about people who read ebooks. Who are they? Young or old? Men or women? The Kobo survey tells us that the typical ereader/ebook user is a middle aged, or older, woman who is a voracious reader. That’s exactly the same group of people who is buying and reading the most printed books.

According to the Kobo ebook reader survey, 75% of the most avid readers are women (ed. note: occasional ebook readers is likely to be a larger, more diverse group of people). Out of these active readers, 77% are 45 years of age or older. The largest single group (30%) being 55 to 64 years. In the age group 65+, men represent 34% of the most avid readers.

Kobo is able to collect plenty of information on their customers’ buying and reading habits because the company has an online bookstore, it markets ereaders and provides reading applications for computers and mobile devices. When we buy products from any online store, the stores are able to capture many pieces of data about us – not only the compulsory fields that everyone has to fill in. In addition, companies that provide reading apps and connected devices tend to track our reading behavior in the background as we read, underline and possibly comment a book.

Kobo also asked a market research company to survey their customers. The combined results are published in the White Paper “How the Best Readers in the World Read”. Here are a few highlights from the paper.
kobo, ebook reading survey
Where ebook readers like to enjoy their books?
By a clear margin, the most common places to read are home and while traveling. It makes so much sense to pack a tablet or an ereader with a stack of digital books into a travel electronics kit. No more carrying heavy printed books in a bag to the other side of the world.
kobo, ebook reading survey
What was the key factor for the decision for the last book purchase?
It is remarkable how little impact recommendations by friends, critics, or online sources have on purchase decision according to the Kobo survey. Four key factors were:

1. Genre
2. Author
3. Series
4. Subject

Kobo also reports that since the beginning of 2016, they have seen a 60% increase in sales on titles generated through data-driven recommendations and related-reading suggestions. The retailer has simply improved its algorithms that provide book recommendations to customers. This must be the reason why Amazon has – for as long as we can remember – been keen to display recommended products on every page you visit. Many times, Amazon’s recommendations actually are very much to the point.

What does all this mean to the future of ebooks and ereaders?

First, the survey results largely explain why ebooks so far have been replicas of printed books. People who like the look of printed books want ebooks that look roughly the same. That’s what the industry has given to readers in simply laid out EPUB and Kindle titles.

Second, the survey results explains why ebooks have not yet developed beyond the look and possibilities of printed books. Middle aged and older readers are not necessarily interested in new features, like interactivity in books. Younger generations could be interested in new features that might attract them to read more, but they are not buying books as much as older generations. Middle-aged people are buying and, to a large degree, financing the industry.

As movies and music have gone digital, the products have changed, or they are under a long change development phase. Movies have adopted effects and animated characters that were not possible in the analog era. Music industry has changed focus from albums to singles as streaming and video services have become popular. Live performances are more important for artists’ livelihood than earlier.

The book trade hasn’t yet experienced major shifts like many other media industries already have gone through. It is not an option that everything stays the same in the book industry when products go digital. Things will change. Who knows how and when?

The best ereaders for ebook lovers in 2015

2015-11-18

Dedicated ereaders with black-and-white displays remain the favorite reading devices for two types of people: those who read a lot and those who travel. People who read a lot like the pleasant, flicker-free contrast of the screen and simple functionality, whereas travelers like to load lots of books into a small and light device which is not a business- or privacy-critical item (in case the device is broken or lost). Which ereaders are the best picks of 2015?

First, let’s take a look at the top four ereaders in 2015 ranked by the Ebook Reader.com. The blog, specialized in ereaders, has tested and reviewed new products and ranked them by their features, usability and value.
amazon kindle paperwhite 3, outdoors
1. Kindle Paperwhite 3
The Kindle Paperwhite 3 has deserved its number one place as the best overall ereader after a few iterations of the model (version 3). Available at Amazon stores at $120.

kobo aura h2o reader by a pool
2. Kobo Glo HD
Kobo runs a bookstore that has perhaps the largest selection of EPUB books available. Kobo also manufactures ereaders, but their availability is limited to few markets. In some countries, Kobo ereaders are available at ordinary bookstores (France’s largest bookstore FNAC is one of these). Kobo Glo HD is available at $129 at Kobobooks or at bookstores.

amazon kindle voyage, coffee
3. Kindle Voyage
The Kindle Voyage is at the high end of the scale when ereader features and prices are compared. The Voyage is ranked as the best premium ereader. Price $200.

onyx boox i86 ereader
4. Onyx Boox i86
The most common ereader screen size is six inches. It is actually difficult to find products with larger screens, but the Onyx Boox i86 is one of them. Price $280 at Amazon.

You can read reviews of all the products at Ebook Reader blog.

After global brands like Sony and Samsung withdrew from the ereader market, availability of products is very different in different parts of the world. In addition, regional products only targeted at certain markets are being marketed by bookstore chains or retail electronic chain stores.

For, example, Tolino ereader and ebook store in Germany is practically as popular as Amazon Kindle and its German ebook store. In Scandinavia, online bookstore Adlibris is marketing Letto ereader that is available only from company’s online stores. Both Letto and Tolino are EPUB readers. A reason for the success of these regional products is that they are available in local languages, and customers can shop in online stores in their own languages.

Tablets and large smartphones (also known as phablets) have become so popular that many device owners are using them to read ebooks as well. And why not? Sharp, bright color display is a pleasure to view when reading non-fiction books or any books and magazines that include color photos or images (not to mention videos).