Kindle vs Kobo: the best ereaders for Australians in 2020

Wednesday, 15 April 2020 (2 years ago) 32 views

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With each the Federal and state/territory governments asking Australians to remain indoors to curb the group unfold of the novel coronavirus, many people have discovered ourselves with a number of spare hours every day to spend.

While you possibly can use that point to binge watch exhibits on Netflix or Stan, or get some pending DIY tasks completed and dusted, you possibly can additionally spend that point catching up in your studying.

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An ereader would make an important reward for anybody who likes to learn. With loads of onboard storage to hold a whole library round and battery life that retains going for fairly some time, an e-book reader is a superb companion for these additional hours we discover ourselves with nowadays.

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However, many booksellers and libraries throughout the nation are actually closed, though you possibly can nonetheless buy and borrow ebooks. To learn the digital variations of your favorite books, although, you will want a devoted ereader, a tool that may be pretty straightforward to dismiss should you’ve acquired a contemporary big-screen smartphone or pill and also you’re utilizing Amazon’s Kindle app to get your e-book repair.

According to a 2014 report from the Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning, nonetheless, the manner we learn on our smartphones and PCs is totally different from how we learn on paper. Thanks to the web, we have skilled our eyes to skim and dart round on screens, consistently looking for the data we’re after – a non-linear behaviour the Stanford paper calls ‘floor studying’.

When studying from a paper e-book, in contrast, our brains swap to a extra concentrated type of data processing – dubbed ‘deep studying’ – and it is a mode that really helps us higher take up and comprehend what’s on the web page.

To us, that seems like an important argument for giving books their very own area, away from the distractions of apps and fixed notifications on our trendy do-all gadgets.

And whereas there is definitely one thing irreplaceable about curling up with a very good hardcover or paperback, nothing beats the comfort of a digital system with regards to the measurement and shopping for new books – however with a devoted reader, you possibly can arguably have the benefits of each.

By design, they are an easier system made for the singular function of studying – they usually have benefits too, corresponding to batteries that final weeks reasonably than hours, and much-clearer legibility in direct daylight.

There are solely two firms that promote their readers in Australia: Amazon (with its vary of Kindle e-readers) and Kobo. We’ve divided this web page into two sections to focus on the best each firms have to supply, so you possibly can select which ereader works best for you.

Amazon Kindles

1. Kindle Oasis

The best e-reader cash can purchase

Screen size: 7-inch | Screen type: Carta E Ink | Storage: 8GB/32GB | Resolution: 300ppi | Weight: 188g | Backlight: Yes | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | 4G: Yes | Battery life: as much as six weeks

Premium reading experience

Adjustable backlight

Ergonomic design


If cash is not any object and also you need the most luxurious studying expertise a digital e-book reader can provide you, then it does not get any higher than the 2019 model of Amazon’s Kindle Oasis.

While the older 2018 mannequin can also be still out there on Amazon, the new mannequin is lighter than its predecessor, and its IPX8 waterproofing means it may well simply deal with an unintentional dunk in the tub or the pool.

The backlight could be adjusted from white to hotter yellow hues to scale back eye pressure, and it may well even be scheduled to change into hotter at bedtime (say, 9:30 pm for instance).

There’s additionally the ordinary Kindle Oasis options we noticed in the earlier era – a high-quality and huge 7-inch show with E Ink expertise that makes phrases on the web page crisp and clear and a ‘ridge’ on one facet of the sleek-looking aluminium chassis that has been designed for straightforward and cozy single-hand use.

The buttons to show pages are inside easy attained for the thumb even you probably have small mitts, and the system could be turned the other way up for use with both hands, with the pages swapping mechanically to go well with.

WhisperSync assist means you possibly can cease studying in your Oasis and choose up studying the place you left on the Kindle app, or one other Kindle system, though it will require your gadgets to be on the identical Wi-Fi community.

There’s additionally loads of space for storing onboard, with 8GB being the start line, however, you may get a 32GB model of the Oasis should you’ve acquired (or planning on having) a big digital library. The base mannequin comes with Wi-Fi enabled, however, there’s an LTE choice as nicely, which lets you obtain ebooks from the Kindle Store irrespective of the place you might be.

It’s the e-reader that comes with all the bells and whistles, should you can abdomen the premium value.

Read the full review: Amazon Kindle Oasis

2. Kindle Paperwhite

Screen size: 6-inch | Screen kind: E ink | Storage: 4GB | Resolution: 300ppi | Weight: 209g | Backlight: sure | Touchscreen: sure | Wi-Fi: yes | 3G: yes | Battery life: as much as six weeks

Affordable value

Improved display options

Bland design

Lacks some UX options

There was a time when Amazon had a Kindle known as Voyage, however that has been discontinued. Instead, a few of the options from the Voyage have been added to the Kindle Paperwhite, making it one among the best, inexpensive Kindles until date.

The new Paperwhite is thinner and lighter than the earlier era and gives 8GB of storage on its base mannequin – twice that on the predecessor. Like the Oasis, although, you possibly can decide for a 32GB flavour as nicely, in case you’d prefer to retailer a staggering variety of ebooks on the system. And, like the Oasis, there are Wi-Fi and 4G fashions out there too.

The 6-inch screen is a beautiful HD show with 300ppi pixel density that makes the phrases on the web page seem sharp and clear, even in vivid daylight. The built-in mild could be adjusted from white to hotter hues to scale back eye pressure, though you possibly can’t schedule the mild to alter for nighttime studying as you possibly can with the Oasis.

Compared to the Oasis’ modern, premium design, the Paperwhite’s chassis is reasonably boring and feels plasticky in the hand, but it’s remarkably purposeful, so long as you do not want want to make use of it with a single hand.

Thanks to its IPX8 waterproofing, you possibly can safely calm down in the tub or lounge by the pool together with your favourite titles and never fear about it falling into the water.

Battery life does not appear to be nearly as good because it was in the older model, however you may nonetheless get days of use out a single cost with the present mannequin of the Paperwhite.

Read the full overview: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

3. Amazon Kindle (2019)

Screen measurement: 6-inch | Screen kind: Pearl e-paper | Storage: 4GB | Resolution: 167ppi | Weight: 161g | Backlight: sure | Touchscreen: sure | Wi-Fi: sure | 3G: no | Battery life: as much as 4 weeks



No waterproofing

Not the best display

These are unprecedented occasions and everyone seems to fund aware at the second. So if you would like an e-reader that will not burn a gap in your pocket, then Amazon’s newest Kindle is for you.

It retails for AU$139 a pop, however, you get what you pay for. It’s an entry-level, no-frills system that comes with a backlight which can’t be adjusted. The 6-inch show is glare-free but it surely’s not the sharpest display out there on the Kindle vary.

That mentioned, the display is sufficient for studying indoors, the battery will see you through a number of days of studying and you will stand up to 8GB of storage (with the base mannequin coming with 4GB).

The consumer interface is primary however intuitive and makes reading digital books and magazines a breeze. It’s additionally slim and light-weight, making an extremely transportable library for all the titles you personal.

Read the full overview: Amazon Kindle

Kobo ereaders

1. Kobo Forma

Giving the Kindle Oasis a run for its cash

Screen measurement: 8-inch | Screen kind: Carta E Ink | Storage: 8GB | Resolution: 300ppi | Weight: 197g | Backlight: sure | Touchscreen: sure | Wi-Fi: sure | 3G: no | Battery life: 7-Eight weeks

Ergonomic design

Better interface than Kindles

OverDrive assist for library books

Premium price ticket

Plastic chassis

The Forma is Kobo’s reply to the Kindle Oasis, albeit with a lot steeper price ticket. Like it is Amazon competitors, the Forma has an asymmetrical design that is meant to make extended one-handed holding comfy. Where the Forma one-ups the Kindle – and maybe makes an attempt to justify its AU$30 value premium over the AU$399 Oasis – is by including an additional inch to the show, for an expansive 8-inches incomplete.

Despite the measurement disparity, each premium readers have related weights, though the Forma’s plastic physique tends to lose its shiny look over time and use. But whereas the Oasis’ metallic exterior definitely feels extra sturdy, it is also far more slippery. The Forma’s rubbery and textured again, on the different hand, imply that regardless of its larger measurement your grip by no means wavers and its larger footprint helps hold that weight really feel extra evenly distributed.

You can maintain the Forma in both your left or proper hand (and even in panorama) and the show orientation mechanically rotates inside a few seconds of switching. And it’s clear the Forma makes use of newer and snappier E Ink tech than Kobo’s earlier flagship system, the Aura One, with full display refreshes required much less usually and a contact extra responsiveness when turning pages or utilizing the onscreen keyboard. It’s quick.

As is widespread with all Kobo gadgets from the previous few years, the Forma’s backlight additionally gives colour-temperature adjustment, so you possibly can decide for an orangey-yellow mild tone reasonably than the commonplace (and probably sleep-disrupting) blue mild, which may even be scheduled.

Unlike the Oasis, although, there’s solely a single 8GB model of the Forma out there it surely’s the studying expertise that finally counts. The Forma undoubtedly shines in that regard: it’s the asymmetrical design and huge display do undeniably make it extra comfy to make use of for lengthy intervals, and it is consumer interface has many more options than the Kindle options, notably with regards to organizing your library.

Another benefit to utilizing a Kobo e-reader is OverDrive assist, which permits customers to borrow books from their native libraries – and most of the libraries in Australia permit you to take action. So should you’re an e-book junkie wanting for an e-reader that may hold tempo, this one’s acquired the items.

Read the full overview: 

2. Kobo Clara HD

Screen measurement: 6-inch | Screen kind: Carta E Ink | Storage: 8GB | Resolution: 300ppi | Weight: 166g | Backlight: sure | Touchscreen: sure | Wi-Fi: sure | 3G: no | Battery life: as much as Eight weeks


Excellent consumer interface

Bland design

No waterproofing

Kobo’s Clara HD ereader is greater than able to giving its direct competitors – Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite – a run for its cash. Priced cheaper than its Kindle counterpart, the Clara HD manages to outperform Amazon’s hottest e-reader in nearly every space that issues.

 Key amongst these is the display. The Clara HD’s 6-inch front-lit show matches the Kindle for sharpness (each are 300ppi) however integrates a blue-light filter that makes use of your timezone to mechanically change display brightness at night time to scale back your publicity to sleep-disrupting blue mild. It suits that show right into a compact physique that is lighter than the Paperwhite, making it simpler to slide into nearly any bag.

Cover artwork and textual content are rendered at a better DPI (dots per inch) on the Clara HD than different older Kobo e-readers, making them seem considerably sharper incomparable. The Clara HD additionally introduces a brand new ‘fast web page flip’ engine which lets you rapidly transfer ahead in an e-book by holding down the backside left nook of the display. The slight caveat is that this characteristic solely works with KEPUB ebooks, i.e. the ones purchased immediately from Kobo.

The responsiveness of the new E-Ink display was additionally a lot quicker and extra exact than we’re used to seeing on both Kindle or Kobo e-readers, which makes issues like a textual content choice for dictionary lookup (or highlighting and note-taking) a lot much less hit-and-miss than earlier than. It additionally has wi-fi OverDrive performance, so you possibly can browse and borrow out of your native library’s e-book assortment immediately on the system.

With a battery life that lasts a number of weeks, the Clara HD is a feature-packed system with a show that is the best-in-class for an e-reader at this value level.

Read the full overview: Kobo Clara HD

Kindle vs Kobo

Kindle vs Kobo: which ereader must you purchase?

With not a lot of competitors from different manufacturers, Australians have an easier catalog of readers to select from. The sole ones we will get Down Under are Kindles and Kobos, so which one is best for avid readers in Australia?

It boils down to cost and has set. Both Amazon and Kobo have premium choices in the Kindle Oasis and the Forma respectively, however, there are funds ones as nicely. The Paperwhite and the Clara HD are glorious in their very own manner, however, the Kobo holds a trump card for most Aussies.

Borrowing books

All Kobo e-readers have OverDrive assist, which means anybody with a public library membership in Australia can borrow ebooks from their native library. Most public libraries in Australia now permit members to borrow ebooks, saving you loads of dosh in the long run on buying books.

That mentioned, Amazon does supply a subscription service known as Prime Reading – out there for free to all Amazon Prime members. There are over a thousand titles to select from, however, you will not personal the books you learn through the Prime Reading service.

If you are eager to proudly owning all the titles you learn, then the Kindle Store often has far more titles on supply than the Kobo Store, however, Kobo’s Super Points system lets you save factors you earn on purchases for later use.

File assist

Another factor to maintain in thoughts when selecting an e-reader is the assist of totally different file sorts. All Kindle ebooks you buy from Amazon might be in .azw format, though the readers will even assist .mobi information too. There is not any .epub assist right here and you will want to make use of a software like Calibre to transform .epubs to a supported file (both .azw or .mobi).

Kobos, on the different hand, will assist most file sorts – with the exception of Amazon’s personal .azw after all. You’ll even be capable to learn PDFs in your Kobo system.


While the Kobo Store has numerous audiobooks, you possibly can’t take heed to them on any of the firm’s leaders – not even the costly Forma. For that, you may must obtain the Kobo app in your smartphone or pill.

However, all the newest iterations of the Kindle gadgets (Kindle eighth Gen, Kindle Oasis eighth and ninth Gen, Kindle Paperwhite 10th Gen) have Bluetooth connectivity for wi-fi headphones and audiobook assist for something you get from Audible.

External app assist

Goodreads is a superb social platform for avid readers and, ever since Amazon acquired the firm, there’s seamless integration with Kindle gadgets out there on the ereaders. It’s an important and simple strategy to hold tabs in your library.

Other than OverDrive assist to borrow library books, Kobo additionally has a partnership with Dropbox. If you occur to have your library saved in a Dropbox folder, you possibly can simply join the two and switch information to the system with no need to plug the ereader into your laptop.

Then there’s Pocket assist on the Kobo gadgets as nicely. This app lets you learn long-form articles that you just save for later, and syncing together with your Pocket account offers you entry to all of them in your Kobo ereader.

So, which one must you purchase?

There are some variations between the two platforms with regards to the consumer interface as nicely – the essential being the potential to organize your library on the system. While you possibly can create folders and collections on each Kindle and Kobo gadgets, you possibly can solely organize ebooks you’ve got bought from the Kindle Store on an Amazon system. If you’ve got added books you’ve got bought from elsewhere, they may sit in the essential library however you won’t be able to maneuver them to a folder.

On the different hand, the whole lot you may have saved in your Kobo system could be organized as you see match.

Pretty a lot the whole lot else about the two platforms is aggressive, together with pricing, so the alternative of the system finally rests on whether or not you’d prefer to borrow library books or should you’re a Prime member, what file format the overwhelming majority of your current library is, and whether or not you’d prefer to take heed to audiobooks whenever you’re not studying.

At the finish, you will not go improper with both a Kindle or a Kobo, with each providing their very own set of professionals and cons.

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