Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kobo impressions.

Got it at my friendly local Borders - $150 for the unit, and it came with a $20 gift card for The unit itself comes with 100 public domain books - started "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" last night.
The hardware seems nice enough. Light, comfortable. I don't think its going to be award winning or anything, but I'm reasonably pleased with it. Its a bit slow compared to what I'm used to (LCDs and multi-cored gigahertz processors), but I got used to it.

The control pad on the bottom goes to the previous page (left), next page (right), up a font size (up), down a font size (down) and brings up the menu (center click). Works nicely, although I do want to press down to go to the next page sometimes.

I've discovered that you can make it crash/hang-up if you hold the power button too long. Clicking it puts it to sleep, so (somehow) I've been trained to press and hold to turn off. That hasn't worked so well for me! Having to find a paper clip to stick in the tiny, not obvious, hole for the reset switch is annoying.

The desktop software is simple and easy to use. It seems to be a gussied up web-browser. Works well, however its very basic and the payment options from it are different from, even though you're using the same account! At I can use Borders bucks (or whatever) I've accrued and gift cards. Attempting to pay from the application only let me do credit card payments. Its a nice start, but I'd like to see it get a bit more feature rich (for example - I've not seen a "backup books" option, but it might be possible that you can redownload stuff too).

Sadly, not all books allow you to use the Borders bucks discount. Oh well. I've bought two books so far (Relationships 101 and How Successful People Think by John Maxwell - they're business/leadership titles), and would have bought a novel or two (Guild Wars: Ghosts of Ascalon and one of the Halo novels) except I couldn't use my discount stuffs (seems that some books aren't allowed to be discounted on the insistence of the publisher).

All in all, decent. Should I have gotten the Sony eReader instead? Not sure. I'm happy either way, though. Did some reading before bed, even! Would I recommend it over a Sony eReader? Depends on the person. Someone like me would be fine with the Kobo. I know at least one road-warrior who is far better served by the Sony eReaders (and she has one) because it opens more formats and does more stuff. Can't compare to a Kindle or Nook as I've never used those before, but those should be much better. The reason I went with Borders is because later on I'll be able to buy eBooks from the store, keeping some of the money local. I like my local Borders and its staff.

I do have to admit, though... since getting this I've gotten a lot more interested in how to make ePub books, and have gone looking for information, programs, etc. I'm learning! The prospect of converting books to ePub books for people has some appeal. Right now I'm attempting to convert an open game to ePub although the first program I'm trying it with is giving me issues (of course, its a free program, so I didn't expect too much). Time to move on to a new one :p

I get that figured out and then its figuring out how to get books submitted to Borders/Kobo (Kobo powers Border's eBook store), Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple's iBook store. Possibly Lulu, as well.

I'm liking it so far - been reading a chapter a night of one book and started Ten Thousand last night :)

1 comment:

  1. Can't remember if I've shared this link with you before or not. Anyway, Calibre is an ebook conversion software. You can use it to convert, say Kindle to EPub, or vice versa plus several other ebook formats as well (including PDF). Just a thought in case, you know, you find some other sources (wink wink) for ebooks that may or may not be in the correct format for your Kobo.