Kindle Oasis 3 vs Kobo Libra H2O Comparison Review (Video)


Kindle Oasis vs Kobo Libra

When Kobo first announced the new Kobo Libra, I thought it could be a threat to the Kindle Oasis considering the $80 price difference, but ultimately the price difference makes sense.

Starting at $249, the Kindle Oasis is a premium ereader and it feels and looks like one.

At $169, the Kobo Libra is more of a mid-level device with a plastic housing, indented screen, and a clearly inferior frontlight.

On the surface both share a lot of the same features.

Both have the same 7-inch 300 ppi E Ink screen and a shamelessly similar design.

Both are waterproof and both come with 8GB of storage space, although the Oasis has the option for 32GB. The Kindle Oasis also has the option to add cellular connectivity, albeit at a ridiculously high price of $350.

The Kindle adds some additional features, like Bluetooth support for listening to Audible audiobooks and using a screen reader for text-to-speech. There’s also a vocabulary builder and more learning tools, plus notes and highlights can easily be exported.

Kobo has some unique features as well, like having OverDrive support built-in for library ebooks, and Pocket for web articles. Kobo’s are also more opening to installing customized patches and software tweaks.

Conclusion

The frontlight on the Kobo Libra that I got just isn’t very good at all, so it makes doing a comparison review rather difficult because I have no way of knowing how common the issue is, especially when the frontlight on the Kindle Oasis is the best one I’ve seen yet.

Frontlights can vary from one to the next so it’s hard to tell what you’re going to get. But at this point I’ve consistently seen more flawed frontlights on Kobos than Kindles so I’m no longer giving Kobo the benefit of the doubt. If you want a superior frontlight, get a Kindle. The video evidence leaves no doubt.

The Kobo Libra is fine device otherwise, and the lower price and support for ePub are some of its main advantages, but ultimately it falls short against the Kindle Oasis, and that’s okay. The Kobo Forma is Kobo’s premium device anyway, not the Libra. Having the same screen and a very similar design as the Oasis is naturally going to draw some comparisons, but they are not on the same level.

Kobo Libra vs Kindle Oasis Video Review

12 Responses to “Kindle Oasis 3 vs Kobo Libra H2O Comparison Review (Video)”

  1. It’s true, unfortunately, that the ruler of this market also makes demonstrably superior hardware, with a much faster/easier OS. Sony needs to jump back in at the mainstream level to give us some better choices. But Amazon owns the store…

    • I wish Sony was still around too. They had such nice hardware, and still do with the DPT line. The dedicated ebook reader market hasn’t been the same since Sony left. I still use the PRS-350 once in awhile. I don’t know why Amazon and Kobo can’t release an ereader with buttons below the screen like Sony’s ereaders. That way you keep the smaller size without losing the buttons, and if you don’t want to use them you don’t have to. These designs force you to use the page buttons—with Sony’s design you had a choice, with a smaller overall size for easier portability.

    • I don’t see why a company would not be able to get by selling just hardware. That seems to be what Onyx and Boyue do. Actually, that’s what Sony’s doing now with their processional devices.

  2. I think Kindle Oasis have the best buttons. They are very comfortable to press. But I don’t like the e-reader’s shape. I have the sony prs T2, but I don’t like the buttons bellow. I preffer side buttons. The buttons of The Nook Glowlight 3 are a bit hard do press. I don’t like the press sensors of the kindle voyage. I like the buttons of the boyue T62 too.

  3. Any plans on doing a standalone reivew of the Libra without comparing it to the Oasis?

    • Of course. I should have had it done a couple weeks ago but the crappy frontlight has taken all the fun out of it, this being the 3rd Kobo in a row I’ve reviewed with frontlight issues, and it gets boring saying the same things over and over again.

  4. I’m actually very happy with my Libra. The light is excellent on mine – but it’s true that more often than not the Kobos are hit and miss. Being in Canada, I’m still hesitant to buy a Kindle because with the Kobo I just can do more here…

  5. My Libra has a flawless screen. I ordered a white one directly from Kobo and really like the size and screen much more than the Forma. I have the Kindle Oasis. I rarely read on it switching to my ipad mini when I want to read a Kindle book. The form factors are close but I think Kobo did a much better job at device execution than Amazon did.

  6. I used to have the Kindle Oasis 2…battery life was horrible. Then I got the Kindle Paperwhite 2018. That was ok but I never lined the Paperwhites. Sold that and got the Nook Glowlight Plus 2019.

    That was almost perfect. Then it was too heavy and battery issues and found out I couldn’t convert Nook books anymore. I had a Clara for a year so I upgraded to the Libra and I’ve had no issues with any Kobo device yet.

    I’m really picky with devices. The battery life is great on the Libra and I read an hour or two per day usually. I think the screen is good too except by the battery but I read with the light off or on night time mode at night and it rarely is an issue for me. I’ve finally found my one device after searching high and low…LOL.

  7. I have both the Libra and the Oasis 3. Yes, the frontlight on the Oasis is better, but it’s really very noticeable only when you read in a totally dark room. I usually have some light at least, so I’m quite satisfied with my Libra. Its screen is good enough for me. Imho it’s easier to hold than the Oasis, due to the plastic body vs the metallic back of the Oasis. All in all, I’m keeping both of them. They’re both excellent readers. I don’t have a Forma, it’s a bit too big for my taste, so can’t compare my Oasis to it.

  8. I bought the Libra after having a Glo HD for several years and I’m very happy with it. I haven’t tried Kindle so can’t compare but there are no problems with my frontlight, although like above, i don’t tend to read in a completely pitch dark room. I thought I would dislike the assymetrical designs but so far the only issue with it is finding a good cover