In previous posts, I discussed the two most well-known ereader brands on the market today: Kindle and Nook. Today, we’re going to compare the Kobo ereaders. What the heck is Kobo, you might be wondering. The brand is actually fairly distinguished, you just might not realize it.
Kobo is a brand under which Rokuten sells ebooks and devices. Rokuten also does Ebates.com, in case you’ve heard of them. So they aren’t some obscure backwater company that you only thought did an ebook reading app. If you were aware of it at all. Kobo also teamed up with Walmart last year in order to facilitate the retail giant releasing ebooks and audiobooks or are selling Kobo ebooks, however you want to look at it. But we’very already covered the Walmart ebook app in The Best Free Reading Apps – From Your Favorite Retailers.
BTW, book lovers, I am not reviewing individual products because that would take a load of cake, which I definitely don’t have to purchase 16 different ereaders. I’m simply giving you the information about the current ereaders available in the easiest summation I can manage. Read Why I Don’t Write Ereader Reviews (Spot a Fake Review) if you want my reasoning.
The Kobo Forma is actually a pretty unique ereader. It has an 8” Glare-free screen, comes with 8 or 32G of storage, its own light source, and is waterproof. It has an ergonomic curved design with page turn buttons for comfortable reading. As with most ereaders you can customize the font and size as well as language.
Unlike some ereader brands (like Kindle doesn’t read EPUB and Nook doesn’t read MOBI), it does accept both MOBI and EPUB formats as well as a few others, like PDF. You can also read in portrait OR landscape mode, or both if you set the device text to orient on how you’re turning your device. This is apparently new to the Kobo as previous models did not have landscape mode for ebooks.
What makes this ereader fun is the curved design and actual screen rotation if you turn the option on. Most other ereaders I’ve noticed use portrait mode as a default with an option to change to landscape mode in the settings.
Another huge advantage to this reader is it comes installed with Overdrive which lets you borrow ebooks from your library. How cool is that?
Want to read the technical specs or purchase your own, go to the Kobo Forma page.
Kobo Aura ONE
Kobo Aura ONE is a 7.8″ ereader with a front-lit glare-free screen. Being front-lit means it is easier on the eyes. It is also waterproof like so many ereaders these days and comes with Overdrive for you library lovers. This one has the usual 8G of space that most ereaders have.
The Kobo Aura ONE’s claim to fame is its night reading mode that reduces blue light for less sleep disruption. This feature can be fully automated to slowly reduce the blue light at the same rate the sun moves. Pretty nifty!
Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2
The Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 is the second edition of the first waterproof Kobo ereader. It comes with 8G of storage, 6.8″ glare-free screen, and is waterproof if you like reading on a beach.
The only difference from the previous edition of H2O is the Comfort Light feature that makes for excellent night reading without disrupting your sleep. It changes the kind of light depending on the time of day, just like the Kobo Aura ONE.
This one does not include Overdrive, but you can still borrow library books through your local library.
Kobo Clara HD
This has the feel of a more basic ereader. It has a 6” glare-free high-resolution screen and 8G of storage. It does have the Comfort Light feature for better nighttime reading, though. This one does allow borrowing ebooks from your local library, though no Overdrive on the Kobo itself.
It’s not waterproof.
So if you’re looking into a slightly cheaper Kobo, but still want a high-resolution screen, this one might be worth looking into.
Kobo Aura Edition 2
The Kobo Aura Edition 2 is probably the most basic and cheapest Kobo model currently on the market. This one has a 6” glare-free screen lit with the Comfort Light feature that most Kobos have for easier nighttime reading.
Storage is fairly limited at half the other models available, 4G. Like other Kobos, you can borrow library books as well.
If you’re not looking for a fancy ereader or have a limited budget, this one is probably perfect for you.
Kobo Aura ONE Limited Edition
Basically, this is exactly like the Kobo Aura ONE, except 4x more storage and comes with the new Comfort Light feature. That’s 32G! If you love your graphic novels or comics, you definitely want this one. (Yup, ereaders can be used for magazines, comics, or graphic novels.)
So this means a 7.8” glare-free comfort light waterproof ereader that comes with Overdrive AND 32G of storage.
All Kobos are black and come with some way to borrow from your library. They are also completely ad-free, which is why the basic models are a little more expensive than your basic Kindle. Amazon drives their prices down by having a ‘special features’ option. Special features = ads. It’s never bothered me because the ads are never in the book, but it might bother you, which means you should consider Kobo, definitely.
All Kobos can be used with WiFi or USB. Kobo has yet to add cellular option, but that also drives the prices waaaay up.
A huge disadvantage of the Kobos (for me) is lack of audiobook capability. If you don’t listen to books or only use a phone for your audiobooks, then this ereader might also be a consideration for you.
A huge benefit for some people might be the ability to buy ebooks at your local Walmart. HOWEVER, I am uncertain about buying ebooks for Kobos bought from Kobo. I’m sure the Kobos bought at Walmart are compatible, but it looks like your Kobo account and Walmart account are two different accounts. If anyone more tech-savvy than I has an answer, please let me know. Because I have yet to find the ereaders in my local Walmart.
in case you all are wondering, I’m mostly a Kindle girl. The Kobos look like a nice alternative if you don’t need the audio capability. I DID hear a rumor of one being in the making, but we will just have to wait and see!
Offer your Kobo experience in the comments if you want or just say hi. Both works for me!