Our discussions on eReaders have usually been around Amazon’s Kindle lineup and Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Color and NOOK Touch. Now, we have a new challenger from Kobo – the new Kobo Touch. This eReader is emerging as a strong contender in the market with design and features comparable to the market leader – Kindle 3.
Both Kobo Touch and Kindle 3 feature a 6inch E Ink Pearl screen, WiFi, Linux operating system, and web browser. Kobo Touch is available for $129.99 while the Kindle 3 WiFi is available for $139. That makes the Kobo reader $9 cheaper with the added value of a touchscreen. Amazon beats that price with the ad sponsored Kindle with Special Offers (the same as Kindle 3 WiFi, with ads) that’s priced at $114.
With Kindle 3, you have access to the world’s best book store. Amazon also offers discounts and offers on a periodic basis for Kindle readers. Kobo Touch on the other hand supports Adobe DRM so it can display eBooks from a number of sources other than Kobo’s store.
As you can see, Kobo Touch and Kindle 3 both have something to recommend them. As the price difference isn’t significant, the choice ultimately depends on what features you would like your digital reader to have.
Let’s make the comparison easier by tabulating the differences and the commonalities between the two eReaders.
|Kobo Touch||Kindle 3|
|Dimensions||6.5 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches||7.5 x 4.8 x 0.3 inches|
|Display||6inch E Ink Pearl with infrared touchscreen||6-inch E Ink Pearl screen|
|Extended Storage||microSD support up to 32GB||N/A|
|Processor||800MHz Freescale i.MX508||532MHz Freescale i.MX353|
|Weight||6.5 oz||8.5 oz (WiFi) / 8.7 oz (3G)|
|Battery Life||1 month||1 month|
|Connectivity||WiFi only||WiFi, WiFi + 3G|
|Text to Speech||No||Yes|
|Orientation||Portrait (can rotate via interface)||Portrait and landscape|
|Colors||Blue, lilac, silver, black quilted back||Black, white, graphite|
|Supported formats||EPUB, PDF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, MOBI, CBZ, CBR||AZW, AZW1, TXT, MOBI, PRC, AA, AAX, PDF|
|Fonts||17 sizes, 7 styles, plus you can add more fonts||8 sizes, 3 styles|
|Importing books from open-standard book stores||Yes||No|
|Price||$129.99||$139 for Kindle 3 Wi-Fi
$189 for Kindle 3G
|Discounted Price||N/A||$114 for Kindle 3 with Special Offers*
$164 for Kindle 3G with Special Offers*
|International eReader||Coming soon on Kobo – in French, German, Spanish, Dutch and Italian||