I’ve had my Kobo Aura HD for just over a week now, before that I had a Sony PRS605, Kindle Keyboard and a Kindle 4 non-touch. Each had it’s pros and cons and it’s got me thinking about what my perfect ereader would be.
The size should be between 6 and 7 inches, the Sony and Kindles were around 6 inches and my new Kobo is 6.7 inches, any bigger and it would become too unwieldy and probably too heavy for easy portability. It also should be eInk as opposed to LCD, the battery lasts longer with eInk and my eyes prefer it over a backlit screen when reading for longer periods of time.
There shouldn’t be any possibility of dust becoming trapped between the screen layers. After a while some dust particles had worked its way between the layers of the Sony, my first ereader, after moving around for a while they became stuck almost in the middle of the screen. That was very distracting when reading.
The screen also should be lighted. I like the relatively even lighting of the Kobo Aura HD, only at the bottom there is a very, very faint darker shadow. I prefer a warm lighting over a cool, blueish or greenish light. Also, the lowest setting should be low enough to be able to read by in total dark.
The Sony had both a touch screen and buttons, though the page turn buttons weren’t in a very practical location. The Kindles had a page forward and page back buttons on both side of screen, which was ideal. The way I usually hold my ereader is with my thumb on the side of the screen, where the Kindles buttons were, I just had to press the button to go to the next page. Most ereaders with a touch screen nowadays seem to have no buttons at all. My ideal reader would have the page turn buttons of the Kindles but also a touch screen. The touch screen should be adjustable so you can decide which area to press to page forward, back and open the menu.
Most importantly it should work with Calibre, which is so much better than any of the software developed by ereader manufacturers.
I wish it would be easier to manage shelves/collections. For the Kindles I used the Collection Manager plug-in, but found it bothersome and with the newer Kindles it won’t work at all. Both the Sony and my Kobo can create shelves automatically if you set up Calibre just right. I have it now set up to shelf books according to series, but you can also choose to set it up to make shelves for genres or authors.
My ideal method would be that I would be able to make shelves/collection manually on the reader when it’s connected to Calibre and I could drag books over it. It should also have the possibility to add books to multiple shelves.
A lot of people are upset that Amazon has chosen to reduce the storage space of newer Kindles from 4GB to 2GB. I personally didn’t care, I don’t keep my entire ebook library on my reader. However, 2GB would be my minimum. Many manufacturers have started working with a cloud, if you buy a book in their store it will be added to your cloud and you can easily download it to your reader. I wouldn’t like to be dependant on that system, I often buy books from stores other than that of current ereader I’m reading and convert it to the good format. I would never buy an ereader where I can’t sideload an ebook with Calibre.
I like it that the Kobo has got a slot for a micro SD card, I think the Sony also had the possibility to use a SD card. I probably won’t use it, but I love that I have the possibility to just copy all my books to an SD card and my reader being able to read it.
My ideal reader would be able to read all formats, epubs, kepubs, mobi, azw3, etc. With and without DRM. No matter what format all options would be available; my current Kobo’s got nice features when using kepubs, but not when using epubs.
I love the flexibility of my Kobo, it’s got a lot more font than my Kindles or Sony plus I can load my own fonts. Like all readers you can change the font size, but also distance between lines (I prefer reading with a bit more space between the lines) and how much white space you want around the text. You can also set the weight of the text (how bold) and it’s sharpness.
I love the Kindle’s option of emailing an ebook to your reader. So, my ideal ereader’s got to have wifi, also to receive updates. I would be able to shop at any ebook store and have them send my purchases to my reader.
I’m pretty happy about battery life. Most manufacturers promise 2 months when you read half an hour a day, for me that means I have to recharge ever week to two weeks. Longer battery life would, of course, be welcome.
Most important of all, something that really isn’t part of my ideal ereader is that all books would be available as ebooks and done well.