In 2013 I purchased a Kobo e-reader so that I had something to read on the train when I went to work. I had originally considered a Kindle but the Kobo was not tied into Amazon and seemed like a nice device at a good price (£30). It was. Until today.
Usually when I connect it to my computer it goes and updates itself and synchs and whatever. After I had made my purchase (4 books) I then went to upload them to the device only to be faced with a new screen that demanded I log into their desktop. I usually keep the wifi disabled on the device but could not even access any screen inside the device to enable the wifi or do anything else with. It wanted that damn user name and password!
I then tried to connect via the computer and it asked me to log into their desktop that I was still logged into and connected to. Eventually I gave up and added in my user name and password only to be shown a captcha that had 9 blocks with a vague and out of focus picture on it where I had to select all pictures with a car. I swear those pics were 640×480 versions of what may have been cars or smears or trees. I reloaded to try a new picture and now had to choose fire hydrants and crosswalks. for crying out loud I could barely make out what the picture was and even if I did nothing happened when I hit the verify button, I could not get past that really bad captcha screen (please note: I am not a robot!!!)
I was not going to get anywhere like this so went back to the wifi setup on the device. Once again it displayed the login screen but this time would not let me type in the details or do anything. That was the last straw and I sent the kobo to digital hell. What in the fcuk are they trying to do? it is because every company wants to use and sell your details to its dodgy “partners” who spam you with crap? I have had this device for many years, why is it suddenly wanting all this info? Or just maybe they want you to login with social media so that they can get you to tag your fricking friends or press “like”. The owner of the Kobo brand is in it for the money and they have effectively lost a customer. I do not need this crap in my life. All I want to do is read my books in peace and nothing else but they have effectively removed me from that pleasure. That captcha thing is illogical, it does not work. Why inflict that crap on us I do not know. Actually I do know, but if you are going to create/use a captcha make one that is legible, logical and that actually works!
So I am now koboless, angry, and ready to fire off letters to everybody and their ilk. Kindle, here I come!
Update: I have placed an order for a Kindle, I am unable to get any response out of the Kobo and will take it apart when I am bored. The one nagging feeling I have always had about the Kobo was that there was not a huge selection of books for me to read at their store. If I was only reading women’s fiction then I would have had lots to read but it appears as if they are not really interested in catering for male readers. I liked my Kobo, it was easy to use, did the job and had a great battery life although I have been noticing that the battery was needing to be charged more often lately. In my quest for a replacement there was only one that seemed to be popular (besides the Kindle) and that unfortunately is the Kobo and I am not going to touch them ever again. Where did all of the e-reader devices go to? or were they killed off by the tablet and smartphone?
Kindle vs Kobo.
I bought the 10th generation Kindle and have now been using it for a while. My verdict? I will be honest and say that I preferred the Kobo from a hardware perspective. The Kindle feels plasticky and I think if dropped it will crack or shatter. The battery life does not seem as good as that on the Kobo either. From a content perspective there is much more available though, but unfortunately you still end up being tied to connecting to Amazon. The Kobo also had a slot for expanded memory whereas the Kindle I have only has 4GB available and no options for expanded memory and there is no way this can hold “thousands of books” as advertised. I have less than 100 and already the memory space has been reduced. What does seem to happen is that the Kindle stores the cover and a link to the content that lives on “the cloud”, and that comes down when you want to read the book. I have also hit the situation where I have finished a book only to be taken to a screen that wants me to rate and review the book. I am not connected to wifi as a rule so it is not going to happen; but I am unable to actually finish a book because of this and that last page can only be overcome by going 1 page backwards and then exiting the book. So far that is my theory based on my observations of the device. But, I may be wrong. Overall the Kobo was the better device although from the content side it was not. The jury is out, but I am still more biased towards the Kobo.
I am still interested in fixing my old device so rooted around ebay for spares. There is a huge market for 2nd hand Kobo’s (especially the “Touch” model like I had. A good working device is heavily bid on and even broken ones sell like hotcakes. I may need to rethink my strategy here.
DRW 2020 The last Kobo user has left the building on 10/05/2020