Monday, 17 June 2013

Bargains and caveats.

For more than a year we've been a Kobo using family. I bought Chris a Kobo for mothersday last year IIRC, and although she was initially slow to begin, having become familiar with it, this device is now the mainstay of her reading time. In order to get revenge (and stop me stealing hers) she then bought me another for my birthday last year.


But there's a feature of the kobo that 'ain't great.

It        is        slow.

This slowness seems built into EVERYTHING about the Kobo, including the software than runs on Mac, PC and Android, download speeds, updates, and especially a complete lack of enthusiasm for the readers to actually DO anything before tomorrow. Maybe here's a link to my post about mediocrity and computers again? I can see no reason why a simple piece of software to render data into text and track ownership of said data need be either so large (the Kobo app is around 40Mb IIRC, Kindle about 27Mb - still huge) or so slow. Especially so slow. The Kindle, both hardware and app, are much faster at almost everything.

Chris, it seems, is driven nuts by this mediocrity, and to be fair, her reader (possibly a slightly early model) is glacial at times. Just like a machine running windows without enough memory, you don't know if it's sitting there apparently not doing anything because it's pedaling like mad under the hood to finish other tasks.... or it's simply not doing anything. Sometimes I sits and thinks, and other times I just sits........

Anyway, the Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader is quick - quicker even than a Kindle - and very cheap. Both Ben & his GF have them, and Ben's seems enormously quicker than the Kob, especially of you turn pages with buttons instead of swiping the screen. B&N had an offer, apparently lapsed, with the basic reader (with touch screen & wifi) for £30, and yesterday afternoon Currys were still happy to take my order & confirm it for one at £29.99 inc shipping.

Bargain, no?

So the caveats. Kobo do a (very slow, usable) app for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Amazon do a Kindle app for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. B&N do a Nook app for Windows 8, iOS and Android. They withdrew support for a general Windows and Mac app a month or so back, and apparently newly purchased content no longer appears in the application. In a way I don't really care, but something nice about Kobo is that I can have books across all my devices, from Mac to phone to reader. I do have a few Kindle books on the phone,and could probably convert & sideload them to the Kobo if I wanted, but it's no big deal. However having a Nook adds another layer of disconnection, which is irritating.

So Chris will get the Nook (same screen as Kobo, clumsy, bulky body) to use in place of the Kobo, or possibly alongside, assuming we can share content between devices. Lets see how we do. I'm holding out for a bit longer yet, with a view to possibly pickup up a cheap tablet in another year or so - no good on the beach, but pretty handy sat on the settee. It might also convince me to go back to a real candybar phone.

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