After a few days of futile factory resets and eventual silent mourning, I have finally come to the conclusion that my Kobo Touch has gone on to Kobo eReader Heaven. I think it is no secret that I am addicted to reading (one glance as my Goodreads account will show you that) so I’ve been going through withdrawls of reading. Luckily for me though, I had taken some actual books out from the library and I have my Surface Tablet to read on so all is not lost. (Read more about my experience using my tablet to read here).
I’ve had my Kobo for 2 solid years and in that span, I’ve used it everyday and never had a problem until a Monday morning. That morning, I ran into a software issue where the screen froze in place and the device would no longer turn on. It is possible that it took a hard fall from my nightstand but I’m not entirely sure what happened so I was a little dumbfounded as I had just charged the device overnight. I contacted Kobo via their customer service online chat forum and the associate walked me through all the resets I could perform on my device, but it wasn’t enough to fix it. The customer service rep was really nice but there weren’t any other options for me and Kobo does not have a service to repair eReaders. As I was out of my warranty, I was left with the option of looking for a new eReader.
As cliché as it is, I went through the steps I have on my eReading page to make my decision (I did create it for a reason!). Having been a part of the eReading world for the last 2 years, I thought I would have an easier time but these newer models are a little overwhelming and there are so many choices out there now! But I do know what I want out of an eReader and what I don’t want and what I could care less about so that is a start.
I continued to look at Kobo models because when all was said and done, I loved my Kobo Touch. It did everything I needed and up until that day I never had a problem with the device. It’s also a Canadian company so I am slightly biased in supporting a home-based company ;). But perhaps the biggest factor was the fact that I had a solid 100 books that I bought for my device and never had a chance to read and getting a Kindle wouldn’t allow me to read them so that was an obvious no go!
One thing I really didn’t like about my Kobo Touch was the fact it didn’t have a built in light. I would always forget my light somewhere and not have it when I needed it, so getting a device with a built in light was high on my priority list. But, as a graduating university student who would be having some major student loans to pay off in the next two months, price was another factor so I wasn’t totally opposed to buying a Kobo Touch again seeing as its price had dropped considerably since I bought it and I already have all the accessories for it. (And, if I spent less on the device, I could buy more books instead!).
I found the Kobo site’s ability to compare devices handy, but not enough for me to make my final decision. I’m a visual learner, so I really needed to see the devices at work to make a decision. From the Kobo website I narrowed it down to 3 choices: The Kobo Glo, the Kobo Aura and the Kobo Aura HD.
Basically, the devices differ in slightly different ways which means they differ in prices. As I said on my eReading page, buying an eReader is like buying a car because there are so many models out there and they only way they differ is in the small details. The Glo has the same quilted textured background as the Touch while the Auras have plastic with slightly slanted backs. Memory capacity and size were other ways that these differed with the Aura HD being the largest. The device colour options also differ between all three models. All three have built-in lights but after Googling the differences between the Glo and Aura and reading various forums, the Aura is the winner in the better light category.
I also found that the Youtube channel by Goodereader was very helpful comparing the three devices. They start from the outside of the model (appearance and light) and then work their ways into the interface of the device. Before watching these videos I was probably leaning more towards the Kobo Aura HD because it sounded like the better model from the forum reviews (I also thought it was the newer model, but turns out it isn’t! The straight Aura actually is!). It wasn’t until I watched the videos that I really saw the difference between them that I realized the Aura HD probably isn’t for me–it’s just way too big and it was more money than I was willing to spend when I could get all the features (that had been improved) in the Aura for cheaper.
So I was down to the Aura and the Glo but probably leaning more towards the Aura because I was willing to spend the extra $10 (they were on sale for $10 off when I was looking) to get the better light. BUT, I wanted to go see the actual device because the screen on the Aura is a uniformly flat (like a tablet) while the Glo is a sunken in screen like the Touch. I also wasn’t sure if I would like the physical feel of the Aura compared to the Glo–so that meant I had to go to the store and physically see the models.
I went to the store and seeing the models helped. While the feel of the Aura was different from the Glo and Touch, it was something I could get used to and would be easier to clean. One thing I found about buying my Kobo Touch as a white/lavender combo was that it got a little dirty. The white part of the device is actually still pretty white, but the quilted lavender part got dirty fast and easily scratched. Seeing the Glo on display also reaffirmed this fact as it is the same material. The Aura HD wasn’t as large as I thought it was but again, it was just a little over my price range. What my decision really came down to was the light and screen. The Aura had a much crisper screen and I really liked how you can use your fingers on the screen to adjust the light. The light was also more superior and the screen is much easier to clean because it isn’t sunken in. The tech expert in store also informed me that the battery life is much longer on the Aura including the light than the Glo without the life so that is an added bonus.
In the end, I bought the Aura. One nice thing about being a previous Kobo user is that it is super easy to sync your Kobo books to the device. I had some trouble transferring my library books to the device but I got that sorted out the next day. It also froze on me a bit when I tried reading it that night and I had to do a basic reset to get it going normally. I think I overwhelmed it by adding so many books and then subsequently changing all my settings. After the reset, it’s been working beautifully.
I like the interface a lot. For Kobo books it tells you how long it will take to read each chapter and the book overall. The page refreshing is a lot longer (though in all honesty the page refreshing bit never bothered me–I hardly ever noticed it) which I know some people will appreciate. Having the light is also super awesome. It’s weird not having a home button but I’ve gotten used to using my fingers to scroll up and down in my library or getting the menu up. I also like that I can sort books by whether or not they have been read, opened or unread.
So far the reading experience has been good and I am glad to be using my eReader instead of my tablet again. Though it sucks to see my old eReader sitting dead on my desk, I will always cherish the times we spent together 😛 But I’m looking forward to getting lots of reading done on my new (and slightly improved) device!
I wish you all SERIESously happy reading!