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Kobo Libra now or wait for Kindle Oasis sale?
#1  saak 08-08-2020, 12:18 AM
So I've been getting back into reading and, while I enjoy having a physical book collection (that I don't read! a vice of mine), I have found that I prefer to read on my iPad Pro.

A couple of issues with that: Low battery life, straining on the eyes, and no e-ink means no real ability to read outside or in bright lighting conditions. Also, the large size of the iPad Pro means that it isn't particularly convenient to take with me and read on-the-go. I had a nook long ago in middle school, but it's now been nearly a decade and, though I found my trusty old nook, it no longer functions at all.

After doing some research, I've decided I want a 7" (or 8") e-reader with a relatively solid build and battery life, physical buttons, the ability for warm backlighting for night-reads, and a nice balance in weight such that I can effortlessly hold it in one hand and read. I would prefer an e-reader that I can easily get good customer service for in the case of any problems. Lastly, I certainly do not want to support Onyx, as they refuse to release their Linux kernel information, which means there are (quite possibly) CCP backdoors in all their products.

I believe the Kobo Libra H2O and the Kindle Oasis 3 are the best e-readers for my purposes, but am caught between deciding to purchase a Kobo Libra now from Walmart for $170 or waiting (possibly for a while, as Amazon has delayed their Prime day to ~October) for the Kindle Oasis to drop to $175, as it did the previous Prime day.

Of course, having an e-reader now would be extremely nice, but I am willing to wait a few months and tough it out (woe is me) for the Oasis. I expect to use whichever e-reader I purchase for at minimum a few years.

The key flaws of each I am aware of:

Kobo Libra H2O:
  1. poor backlighting that is not consistent across the screen
  2. relatively worse build quality as it is plastic
  3. no option to get above 8 GB of storage
  4. no support for audiobooks
  5. significantly inferior libraries and lookup

Kindle Oasis:
  1. locked into bs Amazon ecosystem, where they can literally delete your books (see what happened to people's copies of 1984 after a publisher dispute with Amazon),
  2. do not support epubs so have to convert my own to mobi, though I have Calibre and this isn't a huge problem
  3. lower battery life (?)
  4. no Overdrive support (also not sure about this one)
  5. have to pay Amazon just to remove ads (seriously? on such a pricy product?)


I'm not sure if I've weighed the two accurately and, to be frank, I have no idea which to choose. If the Oasis were $175 now, I would certainly spring for it, but as-is I can't seem to come to a decision. I worry about lower build quality and screen lighting inconsistency with the Kobo, but have entirely different concerns with the ecosystem and potential low battery life of the Kindle.

I would appreciate any input to help decide which is better, both for me and other users considering a purchase in this price range!
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#2  Sirtel 08-08-2020, 06:14 PM
First, if you know how to convert your ebooks with Calibre and sideload (like it seems you do), you're not locked to any ecosystem. You don't have to buy anything from Amazon if you don't want to. Also, you don't have to pay Amazon to remove the ads. You can buy an ad-free Kindle to begin with.

Second, you've not said where you live. Kindles support Overdrive in the US. If you live elsewhere and want Overdrive support, Kobo is better for you.

I have both the Oasis and the Libra and like both. If I could only afford one, I would be happy with either one of them (I don't use Overdrive). So, if you can live with 8GB instead of 32GB, I'd suggest to try the Libra. You can always return it, should you find it not to your liking, and wait for the Oasis sale.
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#3  Dr. Drib 08-08-2020, 09:19 PM
I have both Kindles and Kobos - but not the Libra.

I do own the newest Kindle Oasis, one that I paid only $175 last year when Amazon was running a sale. I LOVE mine and the screen is beautiful. It's an absolute joy to read on.

If you've never owned an ebook reader, and if you're able to try both the Libra and the Oasis for comparison, then I would suggest you do so.
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#4  ZodWallop 08-08-2020, 10:45 PM
A couple of things to consider:

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Kobo Libra H2O:
*relatively worse build quality as it is plastic
The Libra is plastic, but I don't know that it is inferior. Lots of people find the metal cold to the touch.
Quote
*no support for audiobooks
I don't understand the fascination with using an e-ink device for audiobooks. A phone seems so much handier for that.

Quote
Kindle Oasis:
*locked into bs Amazon ecosystem, where they can literally delete your books (see what happened to people's copies of 1984 after a publisher dispute with Amazon),
Why is Amazon's ecosystem bs? Everyone goes to that 1984 example. But that was a one off. And it was a book that was sold illegally. I don't blame Amazon for deleting those copies.

Anyway, if you want good customer service, Amazon is it. I love my Kobos, but I haven't yet had to ever interact with their customer service. From what I heard, repeatedly, it is no good. If you consider customer service as part of the ecosystem, it is no longer BS.
Quote
*no Overdrive support (also not sure about this one)
Not sure where you live, since you don't list a location. But Kindles can borrow books through Overdrive. Not as easy as on a Kobo, but not too bad.
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*have to pay Amazon just to remove ads (seriously? on such a pricy product?)
That is tacky. The ads are Kindle's worst sin, in my opinion.
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#5  ZodWallop 08-08-2020, 10:46 PM
Quote Sirtel
You don't have to buy anything from Amazon if you don't want to. Also, you don't have to pay Amazon to remove the ads. You can buy an ad-free Kindle to begin with.
Either way, you have to cough up the same $20 if you don't want ads.
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#6  haydnfan 08-09-2020, 08:34 AM
Quote saak
poor backlighting that is not consistent across the screen
The gradient is so subtle that unless you look for it, it is very hard to spot. I never see it.

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relatively worse build quality as it is plastic
I've found it easier to scratch my Oasis than my Libra.

Quote
significantly inferior libraries and lookup
There is no difference in the libraries in relation to traditionally published books, the only difference is when it comes to indies. I don't know what you mean by "lookup."

Quote
locked into bs Amazon ecosystem, where they can literally delete your books (see what happened to people's copies of 1984 after a publisher dispute with Amazon),
Seriously that only happened once and I doubt it will ever ever happen again. Now they just simply stop selling the ebook without pulling it out of libraries.

And since you can always sideload onto a Kindle (or a Kobo) I disagree here.

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do not support epubs so have to convert my own to mobi, though I have Calibre and this isn't a huge problem
You can also email your files and they will be converted, I see this as a non-issue.

Quote
lower battery life (?)
No this came from negative reviews from people that do not understand how indexing work and initially kept draining their battery after they downloaded their entire library. Over time the Oasis has pretty much the same battery life as any other modern Kindle.

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no Overdrive support (also not sure about this one)
That is both correct and incorrect. It doesn't have overdrive built into the ereader like it is on Kobo but it is still easy to check out library books. I just open up Libby on my phone to find a book and check it out and it shows up on my Kindle. If checking out library books is most of what you'll be doing, it still makes more sense to buy a Kobo however.

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have to pay Amazon just to remove ads (seriously? on such a pricy product?)
Agreed. I have a feeling that if Kobo and Nook were more competitive Amazon would have done away these slimy ads, at least on premium products.

I bought my Oasis 3 on Black Friday for under $200. I could see that sale happening on Prime Day. If you can wait I do consider it to be the better ereader because the screen uniformity is perfect and the adjustable color temp is perfect. It just feels more polished than the Libra.

If you're looking to buy now just get the Libra. It doesn't make sense to pay SO MUCH MORE for the Oasis unless you're already tied to the Amazon ecosystem.
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#7  Sirtel 08-09-2020, 08:49 AM
Quote haydnfan
That is both correct and incorrect. It doesn't have overdrive built into the ereader like it is on Kobo but it is still easy to check out library books. I just open up Libby on my phone to find a book and check it out and it shows up on my Kindle.
You can only do that if you live in the US. We don't know where the OP lives.
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#8  DNSB 08-09-2020, 01:58 PM
Quote ZodWallop
Not sure where you live, since you don't list a location. But Kindles can borrow books through Overdrive. Not as easy as on a Kobo, but not too bad.
Kindles can borrow books through Overdrive IF you are in the USA and your library supports Kindle lending.

Quote ZodWallop
That is tacky. The ads are Kindle's worst sin, in my opinion.
I did pay for removing ads from my used Kindle after I purchased it. Somehow, it left me feeling unclean.
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#9  HLS 08-09-2020, 02:35 PM
I been threw a bizillion oasis and they all have bad battery life. Kobo libra definately has a better battrery KOBO also has an awards program earning vip discounts and points towards a free book
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#10  JSWolf 08-09-2020, 02:51 PM
My recommendation is to go for the Kobo Libra now. It's got much nicer software on board.
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