One of the hottest gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season could certainly be an e-reader device. With the existing popularity of readers such as Amazon’s Kindle, and the growing demand for tablet based devices including the iPad, the interest in digitally accessible books will only increase. For those that are only interested in a dedicated e-reading device, there are a variety of devices to choose from, including the new Kobo eReader.
There are many advantages of using an e-reader device over a traditional computer for reading digital text. When it comes to portability, even the lightest and smallest netbooks and tablet based devices don’t compare to the ultra-compact characteristics of a dedicated e-reader. The smallest and lightest computing devices weigh at least a few pounds, where-as a dedicated e-reader, on the other hand, typically weighs less than a pond.
Against computing devices, e-readers are a fraction of the cost, with the latest generation of e-readers being priced in the range of $129 – $199. The new feature packed Kobo debuts with a suggested low price of $139.
How does the Kobo compare to the rest of the popular e-readers? Measurements for the Kobo are comparable to other next generation devices such as the Kindle 3G/Wifi models (AKA the Kindle 3). Both readers offer 6″ screens in a similar form factor of slightly over 7 x 4 inches, with the Kobo coming in slightly smaller at 7.2 x 4.7 compared to Kindle’s 7.5 x 4.8 measurements. However, when it comes to screen size and resolution, the Kindle specs win, hands down. The Kindle offers 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, and 16-level gray scale; the Kobo only offers 8-levels. Regardless, user reviews report the Kobo device as having stunning E Ink technology that offers easy readability.
There is an interesting mix of wireless technologies available between the two competitors. The Kindle 3 devices come in two variations – the Wi-Fi only version, and the 3G(Free)/Wi-Fi version. The Kobo, which also provides Wi-Fi access for new content, includes Bluetooth technology for computer based synchronization.E-reader purchasers should also take storage capacities into careful consideration. Although, not horrible in terms of being unacceptable to use, the Kobo can only hold up to 1,000 books, while the Kindle (3) is capable of holding up to 3,500. This number is estimated with an average book being about 1 MB in size. As only 1,000 books is not a horrific limitation for the Kobo; it all then comes down to getting the best bang for the buck in terms of differences in purchases price.
Amazon Kindle (3)
Digital Journal: Opinion: Kobo eReader is simple, affordable but no touchscreen