Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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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…

—Linked by Jason Snell

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