Kindle vs Kobo | Which One is Better

When it comes e-Readers, it is easy for those living in the US to conveniently order a Kindle. It is not the same for Canadians who are likely to compare Kindle vs Kobo before parting with their C$$$.

Well, the reason is not because Canadian’s have any doubts about Kindle, it is the hassle of figuring out exchange rates, shipping charges, import duties that puts them off from ordering a Kindle from Amazon.


In this first part of Kindle vs Kobo comparison we are focusing on the basic WiFi models of the two brands. In the second part we are comparing the touch screen models (Kindle vs Kobo Touch).

Kindle vs Kobo | Size & Weight

  • Kindle  – 166 x 114 x 8.7mm, 170 grams
  • Kobo WiFi – 184 x 120 x 10mm, 221 grams

The latest WiFi model of Kindle is smaller and lighter than Kobo while having the same 6-inch screen size as Kobo WiFi. Amazon has really made the fourth generation Kindle stylish, ultra-portable and handy.

However, when it comes to hold-ability(!), you might actually like holding Kobo due to its soft quilted pattern on the back.

Kindle vs Kobo | Display

  • Kindle  – E Ink Pearl
  • Kobo WiFi – E Ink

Both Kindle and Kobo offer similarly sized 6-inch E ink displays. E-ink is considered to be the most ideal for reading books with ‘E-ink Pearl’ being the highest in quality.

Going by Kobo’s website, the display on Kobo Wifi model is listed as ‘E ink’ while that on the higher priced Kobo Touch is clearly listed as E-ink Pearl. In Comparison Amazon offers E-ink Pearl in all models of Kindle including the cheapest fourth Generation Kindle.

Kindle vs Kobo | Storage

  • Kindle  – 1,400 books, Free Cloud storage
  • Kobo WiFi – 1,000 books, SD Card

Both Kobo and Kindle offers plenty of storage, Kobo can store about 1,000 books and also offers the option to add extended storage (up to 32 GB) via an SD card. In comparison, Kindle has a slightly higher basic storage capacity but does not offer the option for extended storage.

We believe that storage is not an issue in this basic model of eReader which is only meant for reading books and does not support MP3 Files.

However, those who are likely to download more than 1,000 books can add another 9,000 by going for extended storage that Kobo offers.  While Kindle gets around the storage issue by offering Free and unlimited Cloud Storage for all your books (as long as you buy them from Amazon).

Kindle vs Kobo | Battery Life

  • Kindle – 1 month
  • Kobo WiFi – 10 days

The battery on Kindle is rated to last a month with WIFI turned off and considering an average of 30 minutes reading per day. In comparison, the battery on Kobo is rated to last for 10 days.

Supported File Formats

  • Kindle – AZW, MOBI, PDF, TXT
  • Kobo WiFi – EPUB, PDF

Kindle’s lack of support for the widely available EPUB format can be a problem in case you are thinking of borrowing books in Canada. UK and Australia. Most libraries in these regions lend in EPUB format and Amazon does not support this open file format.

Kindle vs Kobo | Ecosystem

When it comes to books both Amazon and Chapters have millions of titles available. In general you might find Amazon being more competitive in pricing while Kobo has these offers going where you can really get good discounts.

Both Kindle and Kobo have lots of free books, Kobo even comes pre-loaded with 100 classic novels.

Finally, here is Kindle vs Kobo comparison in a side by side tabular format which you may find useful as a summary.

Kindle vs Kobo Comparison

Size166 x 114 mm184 x 120 mm
Thickness8.7 mm10 mm
Weight170 grams221 grams
DisplayE-ink PearlE-ink
Storage1400 Books1000 Books
Battery Life1 Month10 days
Expandable MemoryNoUp to 32GB
Cloud StorageYesNo
Audio SupportNoNo


Budget conscious consumers in Canada, UK & Australia might prefer Kobo WiFi due to its cheaper price ($79 in Canada) compared to Kindle which is available for $109 .

However, for $30 more you can go for the fourth generation Kindle which is lighter, better built and offers better display and battery life.

  • e-Reader for Less – Kobo Wifi
  • Recommended e-Reader in this class – Kindle