Borders Kobo vs. Amazon Kindle 2

The Kobo can best be thought of as an entry-level version of the Amazon Kindle 2, providing a largely indistinguishable reading experience but lacking some of the higher-end features of the Kindle such as a web browser, music player, keyboard and 3G wireless.  If all you're after is a device that will let you bring your digital reading library with you go and read comfortably, the Kobo may be the way to go.  If you're looking for a higher-end device with the added frills, the Kindle 2 may be your best pick.

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Key Differences

  • Web browser: One of those advanced goodies that is available on the Kindle 2 is a web browser. User of the Kindle 2 can use the device's basic but functional internet browser to check email, post tweets and even visit favorite website for free wherever they have Sprint or AT&T (depending on Kindle 2 version) 3G service. The Kobo is not equipped with a web browser.
  • Wireless: The Amazon Kindle 2 (latest edition) has AT&T 3G and can download content wirelessly without monthly fees or usage charges while on the go and even when traveling abroad in certain countries (the first version of the Kindle 2 only has Sprint 3G just like the Kindle 1).  The Kobo does not offer 3G wireless, and is limited to syncing content using a USB cable.  The Kobo can, however, use Bluetooth connectivity to wireless download content when connected to supported smartphones.
  • Expandable memory: Right out of the box, the Kindle 2 has 2GB of memory. The Kobo has only 1 GB of on-board memory, but also supports microSD cards up to 4GB, making the Kobo capable of traveling with much more content.  Of course, 2GBs of storage space is well beyond enough for the vast majority of users when it comes to storing only reading material.  The Kindle 2 does not support expandable memory.
  • Audio player: The Kindle has the ability to play music -- either through an external speaker or by plugging in a pair of headphones.  The Kobo does not have an on-bord music play.
  • Keyboard: The Kindle2 has a full QWERTY keyboard which comes in handy for taking notes and quickly finding content.  The Kobo, on the other hand, does not have a keyboard and lacks the ability to be used for note taking.

Comparison Chart: Borders Kobo vs. Kindle

Amazon Kindle 2
Borders Kobo
Amazon Kindle 2
Borders Kobo
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Resources
Review
Device
Dimensions
8" x 5.3" x .36"
7.4" x 4.7" x .4"
Weight
10.2 oz.
8 oz.
Screen(s)
6" e-ink display; 16 shades of gray; 600 x 800 pixels
6" e-ink display
Battery life
Up to 4 days (wireless on); up to 2 weeks (wireless off)
Up to two weeks (8000 page turns)
Input
Physical keyboard, buttons, joystick
Physical buttons, 4-way soft-touch directional pad w/ select button
Memory
2GB (1.4GB available)
1 GB
Expandable memory
No
Yes (up to 4GB microSD card)
Books & Content
Available sources
Amazon Kindle Store (400,000+ books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs available)
Borders eBook store; ePub & PDF format providers
Connectivity
3G
Yes (Latest edition AT&T 3G w/ international roaming; previous edition Sprint 3G); Free
No
WiFi
No
No
USB
Yes
Yes (plus Bluetooth connectivity)
Features
Built-in dictionary
Yes
No
Web browser
Yes
No
Audio player
Yes
No
Other highlights
Text-to-speech capabilities; built-in speaker
Connects to select smartphones via Bluetooth to download content wirelessly; comes pre-installed with 100 free books
Supported Formats
ePub open format
No
Yes
Adobe PDF
Yes (conversion to Kindle format required)
Yes
Microsoft DOC
Yes (conversion to Kindle format required)
No
Other
Proprietary Kindle format (AZW)
Adobe DRM

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