by Jason Snell
Scott doesn’t like the Kobo Sage
I’m a big fan of the Kobo e-reader line, but it’s only fair that I post a link to a negative review of the Kobo Sage by my pal Scott McNulty:
If you’re looking for a premium ereader get a Kindle Oasis. The Kobo Sage feels cheap (things that cost $300 should never produce that “creaky plastic” sound under normal use) and worst of all: the page turn buttons sometimes just don’t work. Given the whole point of the device is to turn pages, that’s a dealbreaker. Don’t get this thing.
Furthermore, the official case, which can be used as a stand whilst reading, is an abomination that Kobo should just stop selling.
I will say, however, that it charges via USB-C which is nice and I look forward to getting a Kindle that does the same (I’m not getting another Kobo, you see).
Some quick responses:
- Yes, the Sage’s case not having a power button cut-out is a real head-scratcher.
Scott’s right that the Kobo hardware is a cut below Amazon’s in terms of fit and finish. The Kindle Oasis, while smaller than the Sage, has a metal back and doesn’t do the creaky-plastic thing.
As Scott writes, the gap between Kindle and Kobo software has closed substantially. Kobo had a huge lead over Kindle, but Amazon has closed the gap quite a bit. And while I enjoy the fact that the Kobo software is better integrated with Overdrive for library books, I do most of my library searching and checking out on an iOS device with the Libby app, making Kobo’s advantage less relevant.
I’m mystified at Scott’s story about the Sage’s buttons not working. I’ve never had an issue with nonworking buttons on any of my Kobos and if I were Scott, I’d probably send the Sage back and get a refund or a replacement.
Anyway, my preferred e-reader of the moment is still the Kobo Libra 2, which is $120 less than the Kindle Oasis, but is the same size and also offers physical page-turn buttons. The Oasis is much nicer hardware—the Libra 2 is all plastic and has a recessed screen—but it’s also $120 cheaper, so…