Sony’s Reader Store closing in the US and Canada
e-Reader Reviews / February 6, 2014

Today Sony announced that it is closing its Reader Store in the US and Canada.  It will be closing on the 20th of March 2014. The press release indicated that existing libraries will be transferred over to Kobo.  To be honest the news doesn’t surprise me; Amazon and Kobo have long been dominant players in the market. For those of you affected by this, it’s good to know that you won’t lose your libraries and that arrangements have been made for a handover.  My biggest fear is that one day Amazon will close its doors (very unlikely) and that I will lose my entire digital library.

Kobo Aura 6 inch 2013 version First Impressions
e-Reader Reviews / September 17, 2013

Despite my rant yesterday, and despite having received no shipping notification my Kobo Aura 6 inch ereader was delivered to my door this afternoon.  I’ve played with it for a little while and here are my first impressions. It is a gorgeous device.  I really like the industrial design that the screen is flat without a bevel.  It makes it feel very tablet like – and avoids messy crumbs being caught!  eReaders aren’t normally noted for their look, but I really love what Kobo has done with this.  From other reviews I’d seen I’d been concerned about the reflection of light on the screen, but it didn’t seem to be any more noticeable than on the Glo. The screen is really lovely, too.  Comparing it to the Kobo Glo, it’s an incredible difference.  You can see some pictures here: The Kobo Aura is on the left.   and compared to the Kindle Paperwhite (2013 edition) The Aura’s Comfort Light is warmer to my eyes than the Glo’s and certainly much more even, and in comparison the Glo’s screen seems somewhat muddy.  Page turns are the same on both devices.  This is hardly surprising, given that they both have the same…

Kobo Aura preorder issues
e-Reader Reviews / September 16, 2013

As some of you may know, I placed a new Kobo Aura on preorder, and I’m wondering if some of you are experiencing the same issues I’m having.  It took me several attempts to place the order, which I simply put down to attempting to preorder just an hour or so after it was made available. However, that is not the only issue I’ve experienced. I have received no confirmation from Kobo at all regarding my order – I had to contact them several times just to confirm that the order had in fact been received and to find out its status.  Sadly, judging from the forums I follow, I’m not the only one experiencing these issues. I don’t know about you, but when I place an item on preorder and the site says shipping from September 11th, I expect to receive the item on or around September 11th.  Perhaps that’s just my conditioning from Amazon and Apple.  From my latest contact with Kobo today I can expect to receive it in 10-14 days. The Kobo website is still showing “preorder” for Kobo Auras, yet when you click on it it says “***Pre-Orders begin shipping on September 11, 2013. Your…

If Kobo is here, can Amazon be far behind?
e-Reader Reviews / August 31, 2013

So now that Kobo has announced its new lineup, I’m pretty confident Amazon won’t be too far behind.  I have some updates I’d love to see in the new lineup. My absolute dream device would be an eInk/LCD hybrid.  I’d love to be able to switch between a tablet and eReader.  I don’t think that’s going to happen, though. For eInk readers, I’d love to see audio support reinstated.  I didn’t miss it when it disappeared from the Paperwhite, but at that point I wasn’t as heavily invested in Audible and audiobooks as I am now.  I would also love to see full Audible integration as we have it on the Fire, immersion reading included.  I would snap that baby up in a New York minute.  I ADORE the Audible integration on the Fire, but I do prefer reading on eInk. In terms of the Fire, of course any improvement in specs and screen would be welcome.  Not that the current Fire isn’t excellent.  I would also welcome a better way of organising content.  The Favourites drawer isn’t nearly flexible enough.  I like Kobo’s idea of a Reading Mode where you can switch off all other distractions and optimise battery…

Kobo announces its new device lineup
e-Reader Reviews / August 27, 2013

Kobo held a press event today entitled “Beyond the Book.”  in which it announced three new variations of its popular Kobo Arc tablet and a new version of its eInk Kobo Aura.  I hadn’t been expecting a refresh at this point as both their eInk readers (the Aura) and their tablet offerings (the Arc) were refreshed earlier this year. For me, the Kobo Aura seems very interesting.  It retains the HD pixel density of the 6.7 inch Kobo Aura HD released earlier this year but reverts to the traditional 6 inch screen.  It is priced at $150 as opposed to the original’s $169.  I have placed my order – it took a while as the devices are newly up for preorder.  The Aura will be delivered on the 11th of September. In addition to SD and HD 7 inch Kobo Arcs, the company is now offering a 10 inch tablet.  The specs are higher on the new version.  Check out for full details.  Personally, I won’t check out the tablet – I adore my Kindle Fire HD and see no need for another. Additionally, the company is also launching value added content with Beyond the Book, which will include links…

Kobo Arc Original version – Full Review
e-Reader Reviews / July 24, 2013

I have now had my Kobo Arc for several days now and this is my update to my initial impressions.  My other tablets are a Kindle Fire an iPad 3 and a Nexus 7. I find the smaller form factors of the Nexus and the Kindle Fire very comfortable to use. As with my review of the Kindle Fire, I will discuss how the tasks I usually undertake on my iPad and now the Kindle Fire translate to the Kobo Arc. Generally I don’t use my tablets for work/production related activities.  There are many apps I use on my iPhone to check a few quick things. Checking email I was able to import most of my personal accounts – two Yahoo emails, Gmail and a non standard account for my email – with minimal hassle.  I did have a problem with one of my Yahoo accounts, but I believe that to be a Yahoo problem rather than an Arc problem.I have not been able to access my work Exchange email, but i generally check that on my iPhone rather than my tablet anyway. Surfing the web I find surfing the web on the Kobo Arc noticeably faster than on the…

Kobo Arc – First Impressions
e-Reader Reviews / July 10, 2013

Kobo is currently offering a special price on the Kobo Arc, so today I picked one up and have been playing around with it these last few hours.  Here are my first impressions. The device seems solid and well made although it took a while to start up, because it had no battery left.  Once I charged it up, it worked well.  The setup was easy – I entered my Kobo username and password and my Google Play username and password to access the apps I’d previously bought.  My Kindle, Kobo, Audible and GoodReads apps all downloaded easily and installed with no fuss. The Arc is a major step up from the Kobo Vox, which was underpowered, underdeveloped and underwhelming.  The newer device is based on Android Jelly Bean with a Kobo skin.  The skin is far more subtle than that on the Kindle Fire, which is unrecognisable as Android.  With the Kobo Arc you have access to Google Now, Google Playstore and all the features of Android Jelly Bean.  For me it seems a really great hybrid of ereader and fully fledged tablet.  I can see real advantages to having all the features of Android available on an ereading…

A Newbie’s Guide to eReading
e-Reader Reviews / May 20, 2013

Ereading still causes a lot of confusion.  I thought it might be useful to put together a post of some common questions regarding ereading and to do my best to answer them. What is eReading?Simply put, ereading is reading a book, comic, magazine or other similar content on an electronic device rather than in hard copy. Why should I give up my paperback and switch to ereading?Like many things, ereading is not an either/or activity.  There is no reason why you cannot read books in both hard copy and ebook formats.  It is very much a personal choice. Having said that, there are pros and cons to ereading.  I have listed some here to help you decide if ereading is right for you. Pros:Convenience.  With ereading you can carry your entire library around with you on your eReader, smartphone or tablet.   Can you imagine carrying around all 14 hardback books in the Wheel of Time series?  With ereading that is no issue. Likewise, if you’re living in a small space, an ereader takes up much less room than forty shelves of books. Accessibility.  Most ereaders and ereading applications allow you to adjust the font size to suit your eyesight.  This…

Kobo Aura HD 6.8 inch – Review
e-Reader Reviews / May 13, 2013

The Kobo Aura is the new premium ereader from Kobo. It is marketed as follows: The eReader, Re-Imagined. Kobo Aura HD is the only premium eReader, offering an unprecedented immersive reading experience for the book lover. Unlike other eReaders, Kobo Aura HD elevates the reading experience by combining the most advanced, highest resolution, extra-large screen with a book-inspired design that feels natural and comfortable to hold. The Aura is an eInk reader with a 6.8 HD backlit screen. Comparing its specs with those of the Kobo Glo and the Kindle Paperwhite we see the following: Kobo Aura 6.8″ Custom WXGA+ Pearl E Ink Screen ClarityScreen+: 265 dpi, 1440 x 1080 resolution 240 g (8.4658 oz) 1 GHz; 20% faster processor than other leading eReaders 4GB internal storage Kobo Glo 6″ XGA Pearl E Ink touchscreen; 1024×758 resolution; 16-level grey scale 185 g (6.5 oz) 1 GHz 2GB internal storage Kindle Paperwhite 212 ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale 7.5 ounces (213 grams) 2GB internal storage So, the main improvements you get for an extra $40 is the larger screen – 6.8 inches compared to 6 inches and higher resolution. Kobo has also made a change to the standard padded…

Kindle Paperwhite Review
e-Reader Reviews / December 23, 2012

So on my day off work this week I took a trip to Plattsburgh NY to purchase a Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve wanted one ever since Jeff Bezos presented the project launch back in early September, but they are not available to ship to Canada. I’ve been keeping an eye on for stock information and when they came in stock last week I decided to go ahead and purchase one. The bad When I first got it home, my initial reaction was, well, it’s nice, but not overwhelmingly so. I had been keen to see the new UI, but was exceptionally frustrated to know that as I had the cheaper special offers version there was only room for THREE books on the home screen in the new Cover View. THREE!!! Three!!! The rest of the space is taken up by Amazon advertising. That is ridiculous. Fortunately a quick Google search helped somewhat. Hint: From Home screen go to Settings -> Device Options -> Personalise Your Kindle and turn off Recommended Content. This will give you an extra three books on your home screen. Having said that, it is lovely to have book covers as a home screen rather than just…