PROS: Excellent display; rich feature set (makes great use of screen size); great battery life; handy shortcut gesture for adjusting the backlight.
CONS: Contrast could be better.
BOTTOM LINE: A significant improvement over the Aura HD and a slightly better form factor than the Kindle Paperwhite.
I had the opportunity to test drive the new Kobo Aura, a follow-on eBook reader to the more expensive Kobo Aura HD, and it looks like Kobo has made significant improvements to the overall reading experience in the process.
PROS: Excellent display; rich feature set; great battery life.
CONS: Awkward form factor; steep price tag.
Over the course of the past few years, I’ve warmed up quite a bit to eBook reading. Part of this was because it seems that eBooks have finally, after years of missteps, finally found a foothold as a viable product. Another reason is because eBook readers have come a long way and, well, I’m a bit of a gadget hound. So when kobo offered to send along the new Kobo Auara HD eBook Reader for review purposes, I jumped at the chance.
I work for an eBook publishing company based in the Philippines, so last week’s announcements regarding eBooks piqued my curiosity.
Everyone is probably concerned about the iPad Mini, but I first want to talk about iBooks 3. Or rather, the ecosystem that surrounds it. Many Americans take for granted that they can purchase eBooks from most major online retailers; people outside of the US and the UK, however, don’t have that luxury; Kobo’s the most reasonable alternative (and supports PayPal), while Amazon charges $2.00 extra in a lot of countries. Purchasing eBooks in iTunes can be a farce depending on which country you’re in. In the Philippines for example, only Public Domain books are available. If you want to buy eBooks in iTunes, you need to be in one of the 50 countries (previously 32) being supported by Apple. The announcement that eBooks can now be purchased in Latin America expands the readership outside of the typical US/UK sphere (assuming, of course, the publisher allows their eBooks to be sold in those territories).
Jeff Carlson is the author of Plague Year, Plague War (a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award), and Plague Zone. To date, his work has been translated into fifteen languages worldwide. His short stories and nonfiction have appeared in a number of top venues such as Asimov’s, Boys’ Life, Strange Horizons and the Fast Forward 2 anthology. His latest book, The Frozen Sky, is available in paperback and as an eBook.
Adventures in Self-Publishing: What I’ve Learned So Far
Self-publishing is five jobs and a half. By comparison, writing the book was easy. It was also waaaaay more enjoyable.