3-way eBook Reader Shootout

While I’m an absolute gadget geek, when it comes to books (and magazines) I’m a bit old fashioned. I love the feeling of a book in my hand. But I’ve slowly come to the realisation that there is a place for eBook readers both for business and pleasure.

So I’m taking a look at three of the most popular eBook readers on the market today – Kobo Aura, Kindle Paperwhite and iPad Mini.

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Kobo Aura

Aura - UK, Australia, New Zealand - Home Screen

Price: $189

Lightweight or Heavyweight? – how portable/heavy is it?

  • Super lightweight and easy to handle – the lightest of the three
  • Size: 150 x 114 x 8.1 mm
  • Weight: 174 g

Readability – how easy is it to read with?

Readability is fabulous. The pages literally look like book pages with a warmish tinge to them just like the pages of a book, as opposed to stark white. The screen itself is matte, which means no ‘keep-me-up-all-night- brightness at nighttime and also no glare in the sun.

The screen takes up the entire space so there is lots of text ‘real estate’. You can also toggle the font and font size so if you really want super sized fonts it’s at your fingertips, literally.

Usability – how user friendly is it?

The set-up was a cinch. The instruction manual was just four lines. It’s an out of the box solution that is up and running in seconds. Turn it on, and you’re ready to read with a few pre loaded books.

To add books you just need to logon to a Wi-Fi network (or for those of you on the move you can upgrade to the 3G model). Adding other documents was as simple as plugging into your computer and drag and drop.

If I was to nitpick, the responsiveness of the touchscreen is a little lacking sometimes.

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Business or Pleasure? – how suited is the model in a business environment?

If you want to load your PDFs, text files, jpegs or a host of other files you just plug it into your computer and drag onto the Kobo folder. Easy!

This is very much a dedicated reader so for the businessperson who needs to digest lots of info or just like to read on the go this product is great.

Sex Factor!

This looks more functional than sexy, but it’s certainly not unsexy. If you go for the black model (the one I tested) it is sleek and chic, while the pink model is a bit of fun.

Other features

Beyond the Book is a fabulous feature that basically delves into all aspects of the book you’re reading. Just tap on the Beyond the Book icon at the base of the reader and you’ll get a whole host of extra information about the book.


The difference between this and the Kindle is minimal. If you have smaller hands and want something both cheap and lightweight then this is for you.

Buy From: http://www.kobo.com/kobo-aura.html

Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi (2013)


Price: $239

Lightweight or Heavyweight? – how portable/heavy is it?

  • Slightly heavier than the Kobo and also slightly bigger, but less than the iPad Mini
  • Size: 169 mm x 117 mm x 9.1 mm
  • Weight: 206grams

Readability – how easy is it to read with?

Very similar to the Kobo– great readability without any glare and a soft white background.

Usability – how user friendly is it?

Another out of the box solution – just start it up and go. You do have to be able to navigate Amazon (and have an Amazon account), as that is where you’ll get the bulk of your content. I also found the touch screen more sensitive and responsive than the Kobo which was a plus.

Business or Pleasure? – how suited is the model in a business environment?

If the business you need to do is limited to what is on Amazon than this is fine. And Amazon has pretty much every book under the sun. You can also read PDFs, etc. on it, thoughit’s not quite a simple as the Kobo to load. The same limitations of the Kobo apply to the Kindle as well – it’s not great for display purposes.

Sex Factor!

Sleek design that’s neck and neck with the Kobo. The Kindle has the slightest edge for me with a nicer interface but others may prefer the Kobo.

Other features

X-Ray is a feature that allows you to delve further into the book much like the Kobo Beyond the Book feature. I found it easier to use than the Kobo version though perhaps not quite as in-depth

You also get a dedicated email address so clients can email you documents and you can get them on your Kindle (though file types are limited so no Microsoft Office docs).


A great dedicated e-reader for business or pleasure and perfect for those who already use Amazon.

Buy From: http://www.readershop.com.au

iPad Mini

Note: The iPad Mini is obviously not strictly an ereader – it’s a tablet. But it’s included in this review as there are definitely going to be those of you out there who may be looking to add or upgrade an iPad and are wondering how the Mini fares as both a tablet and an e-reader.


Price: From $479

Lightweight or Heavyweight? – how portable/heavy is it?

  • Size: 200 mm x 134.7 mm x 7.5 mm
  • Weight: 331 grams

In the e-reader category this one’s a heavyweight. Though compared with the standard iPad it’s much better suited to reading

Readability – how easy is it to read with?

While great as a computer, the iPad Mini suffers from glare like all tablets– something that has always put me off using them as book readers. This area is one of the reasons dedicated eBook readers really do have a place in the market.

Usability – how user friendly is it?

Setting up the iPad Mini could not be simpler, and as with all Apple products, step-by-step instructions are displayed on the screen. As for iBooks (the Apple e-reader app) it’s easy to download books and magazines, and upload your own PDFs or Ebooks.

Business or Pleasure? – how suited is the model in a business environment?

The iPad Mini has all the features of a tablet – email, internet, apps galore, Dropbox access, etc. In terms of e-readers, it’s the most flexible by far.

Sex Factor!

Apple put the sex into home computing. Of course, the iPad Mini wins this section.

Other features

iBook is actually the most basic software of all three readers. You can bookmark, scroll, and so on,but beyond that it’s a pretty basic reading app. It does, however, offer the benefit of colour.


I wouldn’t recommend the iPad Mini as a stand-alone e-book reader. For the price and the reading experience you’re better off with either the Kobo or the Kindle, plus the battery life can’t hold a candle to either.

However if you’re looking to get a tablet and an e-reader, this may be your best option. Just keep in mind the iPad Mini does compromise on size compared to most other full-size tablets

Buy From: http://store.apple.com/au

Featured Image: susivinh

Sara Yared

Sara is the founder and CEO of Yaya and Sky Pty Ltd. Established in 2009 Yaya and Sky specialise in distributing, developing and marketing unique lifestyle products to solve common fashion and beauty problems in women, combining fashion with function. Yaya and Sky trade as All Day Heels™ and are the exclusive Australia and New Zealand partner and distributor for Insolia® Products, Spinnacles hairpins and shoohoos elastic laces via bricks and mortar retailers and direct to consumer via e-commerce website www.alldayheels.com.au.

Prior to launching Yaya and Sky, Sara worked in the marketing and advertising sector for over fifteen years working with a wide mix of clients. She has also worked in PR, product development and project management, writing and corporate training of small to medium business to manage their marketing in house.