If you would have been looking at my Youtube and Reddit stats it might have become clear very quickly: Yes! Knightwise is on a gadget hunt again. For some strange reason I have found myself fascinated by the new larger E-ink devices out there and I have waded into the world of over-enthusiastic Youtubers and venom spitting Reddit users, each with their own take on the story.

The reason? Well if I am honest, maybe just the quest for novelty. Because quite frankly I HAVE a perfectly functioning E-ink device. My Onyx Boox is an 8 inch E-reader that runs android and is pretty much one of the most advanced E-reader platforms out there. It shirks at any form of proprietary bookstores and happily runs any e-reader app you throw at it , as long as it is available on the Play store.

I had been playing around with it for a while now and had setup the perfect reading system where I would load up my books into Google play Books (silly name) which would then get magically synced over to both my Onyx and my iPad. Whatever “slate” I picked up, i could just “pick up where i left off” and continue to read.

So I don’t really know what came over me when I went for the Kobo Elipsa 2e. Me and Kobo do not have a good track record. After one flaked on me on my holiday, demanding a (then elusive) internet connection to even start up again, i said: No more! I hate their clunky software, proprietary lock in store AND the fact they only offer me books in French. But the Elipsa was enticing. A big 10 inch screen, VERY good screen quality (Kobo is exceptional at this) and the ability to take notes on pdf’s, epubs and their notetaking app. I would “break” book continuity and no longer be able to “pick up” the book on my iPad but … erm .. yeah. But why. ?

Novelty me won out and I”ve been using the Elipsa2e for a couple of days. Loaded up some books and started testing. Immediately I was confronted with the one thing Kobo is known for. Buggy software. The pen would have ghost touches while writing in the notes app. The performance of the ePubs would be unreliable. When taking notes in PDFs it feels like the kobo is having a seizure and text locks up. All fixed with a “open and close the app again” but not a seamless experience.

And its a petty. Because having this big 10 inch “disconnected” device in front of me that lacked all the interoperable stuff the Onyx Boox / iPad combo had was refreshing. The device was dumb. It only did what paper did. It was simple and nice to read on … it was like a book really. A real dumb one but … hey.

So I’m at the crossroads: Do I send the device back and rack it up to a failed experiment and get my money back. Do I ask for a replacement and once again go through the entire “testing cycle” or … do I just go back to what I had before. The point is that once again the quest for simple technology has taken me down the path of hours of research, testing and figuring things out while I actually just wanted to READ. Meanwhile my wife (after 2 decades) picked up my old Kindle Oasis and is ravaging through her books. She reads and doesn’t have a care in the world.

I’ve been looking at alternatives: The Kindle scribe (bad at notetaking, basically just a big ereader) and the Onyx tab (expensive) and come to see that there is not a lot in the market that really fits my need. In the end I just want to read and be “left alone” by distractions (and the urge to do something else instead of turning the page”. We will see where this goes. I’ll spend another evening on Hard resetting the Elipsa, changing out pen tips and swinging the rubber chicken.. Meanwhile the book is want to read is still lying there.. Untouched 🙂

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