Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

The Morning Coffee – 15 September 2014

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 08:11 PM PDT

My reading list this fine Monday morning begins with a trio of photo tools for authors, a detailed history of the trainwreck which is Ellora’s Cave, a plea to digitize not paper but works in greater risk of loss or destruction. 

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Amazon Expands No-Rush Shipping Credit to Include eBooks, Books

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 08:08 PM PDT

amazon-logo3Amazon has long offered an incentive to Prime members to choose a slower shipping method, and earlier this week they changed the incentive to include a $1 credit which can be applied to buy books or ebooks.

A couple days ago one member of MobileRead Forums noticed that Amazon had changed the description for this program.

It now reads:

About FREE No-Rush Shipping

Choose FREE No-Rush Shipping and we'll automatically apply a $1 books and ebooks credit to your account once your order ships.

You can use this credit by logging on to or browsing your Kindle device. You can find the book or ebook you want to purchase and we'll automatically apply the credit at checkout.

Your order with No-Rush Shipping will arrive in 5 – 7 business days. This No-Rush credit expires on December 31, 2014. Terms and Conditions apply.

Have you ever taken Amazon up on their offer?

I have not;  I can’t in recall ever having been offered the credit (selective blindness, perhaps). But if I had been offered I would probably have turned it down. Before it switched to books the dollar credit used to be good for instant video. That would not appeal to me for the simple reason that I don’t buy DRMed video.

And now that the credit can be applied to ebooks, I will still probably turn it down.  I’m too impatient of a person to wait extra days and only get a dollar for my troubles.

Do you think it’s worth it?

The post Amazon Expands No-Rush Shipping Credit to Include eBooks, Books appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Comparison: Kobo Aura HD vs Aura H2O, Frontlight and Screen Quality

Posted: 14 Sep 2014 03:07 PM PDT

aurah2o_blk_headon_single_home_ukKobo’s amazing new ereader is in many ways an improvement on its predecessor and on competing devices like the Kindle PW2, but it’s not always easy to quantify how much better.

While working on my review (which is unfortunately delayed), I have put together a couple galleries which show just how much the screen on the new Aura H2O is over the screen on the Aura HD.

To start, here is a set of photos that show the Aura HD next to the Aura H2O. As you can see, there’s an obvious difference between the screens; the Aura H2O has a much whiter screen.

There are 4 images, with the last one being a composite image made from a sample of white from each of the two screens.

Both ereaders have the same touchscreen tech, but not quite the same frontlight tech. I’ve been comparing them, and I can tell you that they are equally responsive and turn the page at the same speed (which is slightly slower than the Kindle PW2).

Given that they have identical CPU specs, and that I had updated both firmwares to v3.8, this makes sense. But when it comes to the frontlight, I can see an obvious difference.

Both devices have a 1% setting, but the Aura H2O is much dimmer at that setting (yay!). This means it is throwing less light in your face, which is IMO a good thing.

Here are 6 shots, from full brightness down to 1%. In case you were wondering, the Aura H2O looks fuzzy in the last shot due to the dimmer frontlight. I can confirm first hand that it was still very readable. The Aura HD is on the left.

And it’s not just the screens that are different; there are also some obvious and not obvious differences. For example, the Aura H2O doesn’t like any of the USB cables other than its own: the Aura HD is less picky and will work with any cable that has the correct-sized plug.

The Aura H2O is also thinner, has a rubberized rear shell, and is waterproof. It meets the IP67 standard for dust and water proofing.

kobo aura h2o underwater 2 kobo aura h2o underwater 1

I’m still working on the review, and while I am not ready to give a final opinion I can make a couple recommendation about the Aura H2O vs its immediate competitors.

With a retail of $180, this is a premium ereader and it really only has a couple direct competitors that are readily available. One is the Kobo Aura HD, and the other is the Onyx Boox T68.

First, if you’re trying to decide between the Aura HD and the Aura H2O, I would get the latter model. It is absolutely the better device in many ways, even if you don’t care about the waterproofing. It’s worth the extra $10 on the retail price (but if you can get the Aura HD as a cheap refurb, that is a different case ).

As for the Onyx Boox T68, I can’t offer a definitive answer for which one you should get. They have the same screen size, but the T68 has the older Pearl E-ink screen tech. I liked the open Android on the T68 when I reviewed it in June, including the way it lets me install many different reading apps, but the Aura H2O has a nicer design and better frontlight controls.

If you want to do more with your premium ereader than just read ebooks, get the T68. But if you want the best Epub ebook reader, get the Aura H2O.

It is up for pre-order for $180, and is scheduled to ship at the end of the month.

The post Comparison: Kobo Aura HD vs Aura H2O, Frontlight and Screen Quality appeared first on The Digital Reader.

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