I’m bringing this over from my post in the the Pithy Quotes thread:
I have Kobo Aura One (discontinued) that’s about 5 years old. It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to get, but I really needed something that would allow seriously large print that you can’t find in paper. I chose this one particularly because of the relatively large screen size (7 11/16" with my desk ruler) and epub format. I have a subscription to Bookshare that provides many common file formats that print-impaired readers need, including epub. It doesn’t deal with .mobi.
When I bought the reader, I didn’t realize what great features the built in Overdrive (needed for borrowing library ebooks directly from the ereader) and Pocket (save, store and reformat articles across devices) would be. I use Pocket all the time and have it sync across my desktop, ipad, phone and Kobo.
The single thing I dislike the most about my Kobo is how sluggish the OS is (or maybe has become). It boots slowly, and moving between books is slow going. My Kindle is much peppier. As a church librarian, I worked with the library’s Kindles often, and they maintained their vim and vigor over the years. I think Amazon has just done a better job with the software side of things.
The second thing I dislike is how fritzy the underlining capability has become. It’s unreliable.
I recently got a Kindle mostly for the screen reader feature. I use Voice Dream on my ipad and Dolphin Easy Reader on my phone. I’m used to using a computerized voice (always makes me feel like I’m listening to NOAA Weather Radio with my dad) and can speed it up a bit, when careful listening is not necessary.
That being said, having developed my brain’s information gathering abilities in a visual/print mode, developing the listening skills for serious information gathering has been more than challenging. I think I need to develop these skills much like I developed print literacy skills, because there are distinct and challenging differences.
The single thing I dislike the most about Kindles is that they only use Amazon’s proprietary .mobi file format and PDFS. This means that .epub files, the most common and flexible, cannot be used on Kindles, unless you convert them using software like Calibre. .Epub is the standard ebook file format that is available in Bookshare, unless one is using special equipment like a braille display.
Lastly, for now at least, last summer I downloaded Calibre software for converting ebooks for my daughter from her Bookshare account to .mobi to use on her Kindle we got her for camp. An ipad is way too dear to send off into the woods with a bunch of kids. I’ve been playing around a bit with Calibre lately, and it’s going to be an important tool with 3 different ereader brands in our house. The GUI is not pretty, but the software does some really nice things and gives you as much control over the conversion process and editing as you want. Or you can simply use it as your ebook library management software.