I ended up getting a Kobo Touch last week as per my itch. It was $100 – $15 coupon from Staples so a total of $85 + tax, or $50 less than my Kindle. Not only is it cheaper, I think it is superior:

  1. The design is better
    I can attribute this mainly to one reason – it uses book covers to represent books! I’m not sure why the Kindle doesn’t do this because they are perfectly capable of displaying pictures. This is a much natural and attractive way to browse through your books – it feels like you’re in a book store. The Kobo Touch is also (obviously) touch screen, but I don’t count that as an advantage because that technology wasn’t available when the Kindle was released.
  2. Form factor
    The Kobo is slighty less wide, much shorter but a little bit thicker. But aside from that, the details are better – the bezel is thinner and it fits better in my pocket because it’s shorter. I don’t notice that it’s thicker though. The lack of a keyboard makes a huge difference in terms of size.
  3. It tracks stats
    I like the Reading Life concept which tracks your reading progress because I’m a data freak. The Awards are ok (i.e., badges) but I hope that new ones are added automatically in the future.

It’s not a perfect device (maybe more on that later), and it loses several features that a Kindle has:

  • Keyboard (this device is for consumption, not creation)
  • mp3 support
  • Text-to-speech support
  • Amazon store (or any store really) integration
  • .mobi support
  • Twitter integration

But I don’t mind as none of these are must-have features; the advantage in size and price trumps them all!