Thursday, 2 April 2020

Kobo Forma Vs.7.8-inches Android e-readers (2)

I previously posted on the different use-cases that justify choosing the Kobo Forma over Android e-readers. In this post, I’ll argue the opposite case for 7.8-inches e-readers. Below are some factors that might make Android e-readers a better choice:

Handling larger PDF files 

Kindle and Kobo e-readers run on weaker processors that are adequate for e-books. The Kobo Forma does render smaller to mid-sized PDF documents adequately, but there is a slow down with larger documents like graphic novels.

Most Android e-readers run on more powerful quad-core processors. Hence, even big PDF documents are smoothly rendered and navigated.

Android applications 

I don’t see a significant advantage in installing Android apps on an E-Ink device. Nevertheless, there are a small number of genuinely useful applications. For a list of helpful apps, click here.

Stylus input 

The need for powerful processing and stylus input are the two factors, in my view, that makes Android e-readers attractive to many users. Boyue and Onyx Boox have released 7.8-inches e-readers with stylus input support. The latest model available from Boyue is the Likebook Ares. Onyx also recently released the Onyx Boox Nova 2.

Stylus input is particularly useful when annotating scanned PDF documents. It also turns an e-reader into a digital notebook.

Larger storage & memory 

If you want the 32GB Kobo Forma, the cost jumps to £250. By default, Onyx and Boyue e-readers are configured with 32GB storage (the Likebook Mars has only 16GB storage but does allow further expansion via SD Card).

Regarding memory, the Kobo Forma has 512MB RAM. The Forma’s RAM is not an issue for reading one document. Nonetheless, this does not make the Forma ideal for multi-tasking and moving between applications (the software is also not designed to allow for moving between multiple documents). If you intend to open and navigate between multiple documents, then choosing an Android e-reader is the best option. Both software and hardware (2GB RAM) make Android e-readers versatile for multi-tasking. Onyx and Boyue e-readers, for example, allow the user to open multiple documents and move between them. It is also possible to multi-task between numerous opened applications.

While multi-tasking with Android e-readers is more advanced than the Kobo Forma, they shouldn't be compared to tablets. At most, the noted versatility relates to reading and working between e-books and PDF documents. I wouldn't even consider any e-reader suitable for browsing the internet (if you nonchalantly keep your browser's tabs open then stick to a smartphone or tablet!).

Syncing between devices 

The Kobo Forma recently supported Dropbox support to sync and then download personal e-books. The syncing, however, is restricted to accessing documents stored in the Dropbox cloud. It is not possible to sync inside a particular e-book (reading location and annotations). Further, there is no Dropbox integration in the Kobo application to access personal e-books on a tablet or smartphone.

In contrast, with Android e-readers, due to the possibility of installing third-party applications, there are workarounds to sync between multiple devices with the right app. For further information, click here.

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