Kindle Paperwhite vs Kobo Clara HD

I’ve switched back to reading on my Kindle Paperwhite for a while now. Mostly because my Kobo Clara HD didn’t want to hold its charge anymore. And there’s nothing more annoying to get a low battery warning when reading. I still need to see if a factory reset of the Kobo will solve this problem. But to be honest, I’m enjoying reading on my Kindle.

Each device has its pros and cons. I prefer the feel of the Kindle, it’s more comfortable to hold for me. I’m not sure if it’s because of the weight, balance or shape. I also like that it’s easier to pop out of the case. Sometimes I like to read on a naked device.

I also like that the Paperwhite is waterproof. I don’t have a bath, but when I’m on vacation or house sitting I often have access to a bath and I like to read when bathing. The Kobo I always put in a ziplock bag to protect it from water. The Kindle I just pop out of the cover and if it gets a bit wet it isn’t a problem.

Finally, the last external feature I missed when using the Kobo was the flush screen and bezel of the Kindle. The Kobo’s screen has a “crumb catcher”, the screen is deeper than the bezel and there’s some space between the bezel and screen where crumbs and dust can collect.

The biggest thing I miss on my Kindle is the comfort light. I wish that my Kindle had a warmer colour lighting, it’s a fairly cool colour. Which is especially noticeable at night. The Kobo automatically made it’s lighting a warmer colour the later in the evening it was (or you could set it manually).

The Kobo is a lot snappier than the Kindle. Not with page turns, they feel fairly similar. But in the main screen and menus the Kobo is definitely better.

The Kindles battery doesn’t last as long as the Kobo’s, on the other hand, the Kindle charges very quickly. One charge would last me over two weeks on the Kindle, I think one charge on the Kobo (before it started losing its charge quickly) would probably last me three to four weeks. So I really don’t have a preference on either.

I also liked how the Kobo handles series. There’s a section in the main menu where you can find all the series categorised, if the metadata (from Calibre or publisher) is correct. The Kindle now offers something similar, but only if the books are directly downloaded from Amazon, but I always sideload my books, since I like to add a summery/the blurb to the front of the book, it helps me decide which book I want to read without having to search titles on GoodReads.

I also like how, when a book is opened, on the Kobo you can easily view how long the chapters are in a bar graph. It isn’t precise, but you get an indication at a glance. On the other hand, you can easily check that on the Kindle, when viewing the content list in the Go To view.

I like how the Kindle displays the font better than the Kobo. Both offer the option to upload your own fonts. And when I compare the same font on both devices I prefer the Kindle over the Kobo, although I can’t explain why exactly.

Lastly, I miss how easy I can adjust the brightness of the lighting on the Kobo. Just swipe up or down on the left side of the screen will adjust the lighting to your liking. To adjust the lighting on the Kindle you have to go to the quick menu. Not a huge deal, but I found out I changed the brightness more often than I thought.

All in all I like both devices. Each has pros and cons, both big and small. All in all I prefer the Kindle, mostly because it’s more comfortable to hold. But I do get frustrated with the slowness of the menus and homescreen. Though I might just have to get used to it.

None of the newer or higher end ereaders both brands offer interest me. They are either too big for me, I like the size of both the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kobo Clara HD. I don’t need a bigger memory for more books. I had a lot of books on the Kobo, but that was all books in series I read, because they are automatically categorised. But even then I didn’t have hundreds of books on it. The only thing that might tempt me is a good colour eInk screen. There are several ereaders out now with colour displays, but the colours don’t look really vibrant. They can’t compete compared to a tablet. I don’t read many graphic novels, and those that I read I get in print. But if I wanted to read them digitally I would get them on my tablet. I occasionally read magazines, mostly on my tablet, for various reasons.

If a Paperwhite, or other Kindle with a similar size, would be released with the option to set the colour temperature, that’s waterproof, has a flush screen and bezel and is snappier in the menus, homescreen and library view I would be tempted to get it. Although price would then be the deciding factor. At the moment I wouldn’t pay more than €150 (without a case) for an ereader.

I’m quite content using the Kindle Paperwhite for the foreseeable future. It meets my basic needs in an ereader. And although I might miss some options or get annoyed at time by it’s sluggishness I can live with it and probably get used to it again.

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