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Kobo vs. Kindle

Kobo vs. Kindle

At a Glance

Rakuten’s Kobo has recently emerged as a potential competitor for Amazon’s Kindle. When considering the Kobo vs. Kindle, the expandable storage and low price of the Kobo must be taken into account against the Kindle’s superior performance and selection of content.

Since its launch, the Amazon Kindle has been one of the world’s most popular eBook readers. Backed by Amazon’s marketing muscle and huge selection of content, it’s difficult for other companies to compete with Amazon’s offering. However, that doesn’t stop other companies from trying. Japanese online commerce giant Rakuten has come forward with a competing eBook reader called the Kobo. With its low price and selection of millions of books, it may be a compelling alternative if you aren’t sure about buying the Kindle.

Amazon has released several versions of its popular eBook reader with models ranging from no-frill readers to illuminated and touch screen models. Depending on what exactly you are looking for in a reader, both offer viable options. However for one to make an informed choice while pitting the Kobo vs. Kindle, a number of considerable factors might come in handy.


Pictured at top: Kindle Paperwhite

The cost of any item you are going to purchase is obviously a very big factor to consider. Therefore without a doubt, price has to be considered when comparing Kobo vs. Kindle. The newest Kindle from Amazon, the wifi model, goes for about 145 dollars but can be found for slightly less from megastores. The Kobo wifi on the other hand goes for a standard cost of about 110-115 dollars. Considering the costs therefore, the Kobo is clearly a favorite unless you are looking to get the more expensive option. However, both companies offer more basic models, such as the $69 ad-supported Kindle, as well as more expensive offerings such as the $269 Kindle Fire HD.


Both gadgets have massive space for book storage. The Kindle can store about 1,400 books whereas the Kobo has space for 1,000 books. Considering one can read only so many books at any one time, the space on both gadgets is more than enough. The Kobo comes with an SD card slot that can expand the gadget’s memory up to 32 GB enabling it to hold up to 10000 books. Kindle does not have this feature. EBooks are available on both brands’ websites, and both devices have a wide selection of free content. The Kobo has 100 classic novels pre-loaded at purchase. The Kobo is also better than Kindle in that it accepts more eBook formats including ePub whereas these must be converted into a proprietary format on the Kindle.


For travelers using e-readers, size is a very important factor. The smallest Kobo and Kindle both boast six-inch screens, making them smaller and lighter than many books. Putting weight into consideration, the kindle is much lighter at 170g whereas the kobo is also not that heavy weighing only 221g. The body of the Kindle is also smaller than that of the Kobo. Neither of the two is waterproof and therefore cannot be used in a pool.

Look and Feel

Considering the look and feel of the gadgets some might find the Kobo better with its soft rubber finish which allows for a firmer grasp. Its finish also makes it comfortable to hold just like an actual paperback. The Kindle also has several page turn buttons which make it cumbersome to use. Another factor is the slow speed of its online keyboard. The Kobo is quite simpler in this section. considering page turning, the Kobo has been found to be slower than the Kindle, although page turning speed seems to be an issue with all eBook readers.