Why I bought a Kindle instead of a Kobo or a Sony Reader

Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest GenerationFull disclosure: I use an Amazon affiliate link in this post. See my disclosure page for more info on my use of affiliate links.

I bought one of the Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6″ Display, Graphite – Latest Generation when they first came out at the end of September 2010. As a result (and because I’m a geek in general), a few people have asked for my recommendations on which e-reader to buy. Here’s my “pitch” to them: My two cents (or, why I bought a Kindle instead of a Kobo reader or a Sony Reader):

  1. Kindle’s form factor, with the keyboard, is the nicest of the bunch (yes, that’s subjective);
  2. Kindle’s e-ink screen was the best available when it first went on sale;
  3. Sony has a touch screen, but, according to reviews, it degrades the reading experience – the screen isn’t as clear apparently;
  4. Kobo reader was reeeeeally slow – I was excited by the sold-in-Canada Kobo, but it’s performance was terrible!
  5. Kindle has amazon’s back-end system behind it – my favourite feature is the ability to email content to your Kindle device it will even convert content when you email it. See here for more details:
    1. Kindle Personal Documents details
    2. Full Kindle feature-set
  6. Amazon’s inventory can’t be beat. They have a HUGE selection of books;

I bought my Kindle (the latest generation one that went on sale Sep 27) a couple of months ago and I love it. Primarily, I love it because of the reading experience. I have been a heavy reader on my ipod touch and my palm pilot before then. I find it easier on the eyes than a backlit screen. And, the battery life (almost a month!) is awesome. The killer feature for me though is the ability to email content to it. In fact, I have never synced my kindle with a computer. All content has been delivered wirelessly via email.

The Sony Reader is expensive for what it does. And, the fact that you need to sync with a computer makes it cumbersome to manage content. Those two factors alone put the Sony device out of the running for me.

Oh, and I only bought the Kindle with WiFi. I didn’t see a reason to invest in the 3g support.

One last thing… Calibre: If you’re a geek, if you like managing your book inventory on a PC, or if you simply like to tinker, I can’t recommend Calibre enough. It manages all of your books locally on your PC. It will convert them into different formats (EPub to Mobi to pdf, to whatever). If you don’t care about this, don’t worry about it. But, if this is something you’ve been looking for, then look no further.

Oh, as a bit of a footnote, CNet has provided a very informative post that provides some additional info and context required to make a decision. Don’t just take my word for it. See what they’ve got to say as well.

I think that’s it. What do you think? Why’d you buy the device that you bought? Or, what features are you waiting for before committing to an e-reading device? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


By Todd Dow

Author, Geek, CF fundraiser & Cancer Survivor. My family, baseball, infosec, privacy & devops are a few of my favorite things.

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