Computers & Electronics

Kobo Paperwhite vs Kobo Aura/Glo HD - Use Case Questions

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 27th, 2015 6:29 pm
Jul 26, 2015
6 posts
Toronto, ON

Kobo Paperwhite vs Kobo Aura/Glo HD - Use Case Questions


I'm looking to get an ereader and am deciding between the Kindle Paperwhite vs Kobo Aura/Glo HD. I've done a quick research through some of the comparison postings so far, but have a few specific use cases where I haven't found the information yet. Can I pick your brains Kindle and Kobo owners?

In general, I'll be getting books not from the Kindle or Kobo store (through other sites online), and will be borrowing a few books from the library. I like to annotate/highlight when reading.
  1. Sideloading books found online (not purchased from the Kindle/Amazon or Kobo store) - For these sideloaded books, are they loaded into a central server and thus appear on all other devices on the same account? (e.g., will I see it on my Kobo/Kindle and my smart phone running the Kindle/Kobo app?) Or are they stored locally on each device? For these sideloaded books, can I sync my reading progress across devices? (I've heard yes for Kindle, can you please confirm?
  2. Format conversion - For Kobo users: When converting from AZW format to EPUB, how is the conversion? Are the books generally readable after? How often do formats/fonts mess up/"break"? For Kindle users: Same question when converting to Kindle format?
  3. PDF reading - What's the experience on both device? Is it easy to zoom/pan pages? I've heard that PDF reading is not ideal in both, but which one is "less crappy"?
  4. Annotation/Highlights/Bookmarks
    1. Sync-ing: are these annotation/highlights/bookmarks sync'ed across all devices? Or locked only on one device? (e.g., can I see the same annotations on my Kindle/Kobo ereader + the Kindle/Kobo app on my phone?) How about for sideloaded books - can you annotate/highlight/bookmark on them as well, can you also sync them across devices?
    2. Ease of use: is it easy to make notes and search for notes + highlights from inside the device?
    3. Central Annotation: Is there a central repository/page where I can look up all my previous annotation/highlights/bookmarks and the book where it originated from? Or are they "locked" within each book?
  5. Borrowing/Library Books - For Canadian Kindle users, I know you can't borrow from Canadian libraries without some Calibre workarounds , but have anyone tried borrowing from a US library (assuming that a US city library card can be procured?) Can Canadian Kindle users get access to the Prime Lending Library (with a Canadian Prime membership)? For Kobo users, how's the ereader selection of the Toronto/Calgary/Burnaby public library? Are there long waiting lists for books?
  6. Chinese/Chinese-English Dictionary - I'm referring to where you can select a word on screen and see the definition directly. From my research, it seems to be available on the Kindle. Are there equivalents on the Kobo (without too many hacks?)
  7. Last words - Anyone switch from Kindle to Kobo or vice versa? If so, what's the reason and do you regret the switch?
Thanks everyone!
5 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 20, 2009
8862 posts
The format differences don't matter - you can easily convert between Kindle format and the epub format that everybody else uses with Calibre, the free ebook management software. That includes DRM-protected ebooks such as those you get from the public library. As long as you have the rights to read the ebook on your computer, Calibre with the appropriate plugin can convert the format (incidentally stripping out the DRM at the same time). The conversion either way is usually fine, but little quirks are common due to the vast number of ill-defined format variations allowed in ebook formats. For example you might find that the margins are wrong, or that all the text became Bold, or that some special characters show up as code sequences.

They're both horrible for reading PDFs unless the pdf is text only and reflowed for the proper page size - and if that's the case, you could just convert the pdf to a proper ebook format anyway. Trying to read larger pages with multiple columns and colour illustrations is painful - emergency use only.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 21, 2012
5065 posts
You need to convert PDFs to mobi or ePub. Trying to read pdfs on an e-reader is a challenge.
Usually these conversions mess up pictures (pictures run on the next page, get shrinked), but pure text conversion works well.
Favourite Games: NieR (PS3), Catherine (PS3), Persona 3 FES/Portable (PS2/PSP), Final Fantasy IX (PSX), Persona 4 Golden (PSV), Witcher 1,2,3 (PC), Skyward Sword (Wii), Pokemon Colosseum (GC), Fire Emblem Awakening (3DS), Shin Megami Tensei IV (3DS), Majora's Mask (3DS), Bravely Default (3DS)
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 25, 2003
9151 posts
Kindle only supports mobi and its own format. You can email books to yourself and it will whisper sync. As far as I am aware, there's no reading stats, but kindle does have integration with goodreads.
it's me ramin.
Deal Expert
Jan 17, 2009
18275 posts
I know when you send a book to your Kindle device wirelessly via email (to your address - something calibre can do beautifully within the program) the book is only sent to that single Kindle device. It does not get automatically placed on all Kindles.
However, the book is also placed in the 'cloud' which is accessible through your Kindle or Kindle app.

So from any other Kindle that you have associated with your account, you can simply access the "cloud" from the device and download any books or other documents you've sent to other Kindles. It's really handy. After the book is downloaded, you can then sync up the reading progress with the push of a button so that you are exactly where you left off on your other device.
Aug 18, 2008
337 posts
I used a Kobo Touch for 3 years and almost every book I read was sideloaded with Calibre without any problems. If your original file is fine then you shouldn't notice anything, but there are also preferences you can set in Calibre to control how much (if any) of the CSS formatting of the original file is modified.

Just this month I switched to the newest Kindle Paperwhite and I love it. I had a lot of Amazon credit that I wanted to spend but I never really liked the Kobo software and was looking to switch anyway. Perhaps the newer Kobo's have better processors now, but navigation, highlighting and typing on my Kobo Touch always felt slow and I could never even get the wifi to connect without 3 or 4 attempts. Everything on the Paperwhite is really quick and with the sleep cover I'm back to reading right after opening it up. I also like how the Kindle keeps all of my notes and highlights from all of my books in a single 'book' that I can access them in, and it does the same with any words that I've looked up a definition for too.

If you don't know about it already, is a really great source of information on e-readers.


Thread Information

There is currently 1 user viewing this thread. (0 members and 1 guest)