"Good simple ereader, far more open than the competition"4.5 starson by MistressNomad
Pros: - Lightweight
- Reading Life
- Always adding new features
- Open format
- Adjustable refresh rate
Cons: - A few minor foibles still remain
- Some features not available for side-loaded ebooks
- Need better filing system
Summary: I love my Kobo Touch. I wanted a simple reader - this is my pure enjoyment escape device. And the Kobo fits the bill perfectly. Font, size, margin, etc are customizable. You can adjust the screen to refresh anywhere between every 6 pages to every page. If you set it to refresh less often, you don't have to see the black "flash" every page turn. However, there will be some slight ghosting of words from the previous page. I don't find this bothersome, and I have mine set to max at a refresh every 6 pages.
The touch interface works great and is pretty intuitive. I like using a touch interface so much better than buttons - it feels more natural to simply tap the screen.
Reading Life is also great. I can see how long I've read, how many pages, how much of my library, etc, and win "awards" for various reading achievements. It's a silly thing really, but I enjoy it. You can integrate with Facebook as well if you want to, and share your stats and awards online.
What I really love, though, is how much more open the Kobo is than the Nook or Kindle.
The Kindle uses a proprietary format to try to lock you in to their device and their store. If you ever migrate, you lose your books. If they drop support for a current formats or DRM protocols (which has happened before), you lose your books.
The Nook Store refuses to tell you if a book is DRM'ed or not. Basically, they won't tell you what you're buying and under what conditions, so you're shopping blind. That would be illegal in any other industry. They also sequester your non-Nook books in a different folder, intentionally making it more difficult to access your books.
That kind of stuff isn't right. It's not fair to the customer, and if any physical store tried to do stuff like that, they'd be sued.
Kobo has no such annoying tricks up its sleeve. It supports a variety of formats, discloses whether the books being sold through their site are DRM'ed in plain, simple English, and doesn't pull any weird filing shenanigans.
I use my Kobo with Calibre instead of Kobo Desktop, and it works perfectly. As I understand it, Kobo and Calibre actually have some amount of communication to make sure the Kobo is integrating properly. Calibre is an open-source program for most devices for managing your ebook collection.
Firmware updates are also frequent, and constantly seem to introduce new features and patches, directly from what customers have asked for. I really appreciate that responsiveness, and it's yet another area where Kindle and Nook are lacking.
I've got a lot of love for my Kobo, but a couple niggling little issues remain, as to be expected with "underdog" companies.
There are little glitches. On a couple of my books, I've noticed the page numbers display as a reduced fraction. In other words, if I have a 200-page book and I'm 100 pages in, it displays while I'm reading the book as "25/50," or something like that. Not a huge deal - it still gives me an idea of where I am in the book, and it only affects a few of my books (ones which have been extensively reformatted and messed with, unsurprisingly), so it's a little odd.
Also, some in-book features like highlighting are not available for side-loaded books. I get that it's more difficult to make it work with books from who-knows-where formated who-knows-how, but c'mon guys. Get on top of it.
It would also be nice if there was a more comprehensive folder system. The shortlist helps, but after a certain point more folders would really help.
Over-all, I'm pretty smitten with my Kobo, and with a few tweaks, it'd be perfect.