This is very odd.  If you look at the article below you will see that the Kobo Touch wins Tim Carmody’s Editor’s Pick as the best ereader.  (Congrats to Kobo, by the way!  A great company!)

Now let’s look that the other ereaders Carmody chose to compare:

Sony PRS-T1 – a touch-enabled ereader that has no ads

Barnes & Noble Simple Touch: a touch-enabled ereader that has no ads

Kindle: low end, non-touch, ad enabled version.

What’s going on here? Carmody is taking a completely different category non-touch Kindle and comparing it to three higher-end touch ereaders.  In addition, one of the “Cons” he lists of the low end Kindle is that it has ads.  This same version of the Kindle is available without ads, but he chose not to mention this and then decides to use the ad version and list it as a con.

Finally, he says that the Kindle has the “worst in-test screen, dim and blurry, with horrible artifacts”.  Doesn’t he know that all these ereaders use the same Pearl screen?  Possibly he got a defective unit, but he didn’t check for that.

I don’t know what’s going on here, but I think that anyone who is going to buy an ereader had better steer clear of Carmody’s recommendations. There are plenty of unbiased reviews out there on the net.

Shame on you, Wired.


  1. The problem that we had doing the roundup was that Amazon couldn’t get us a Kindle Touch unit before our editorial deadline. Review units for the Touch weren’t available until mid-November; we barely got the Kindle 4 in under the wire.

    We do text, pics, design, multiple rounds of editorial, fact-checking, printing… As a web guy, it’s AMAZING how time-and-labor-intensive the print process is. It makes for a beautiful, thorough, exact product.

    Ultimately, we thought it was better to get the “big four” e-reading companies’ entry-level devices all together and get the review out before Christmas.

    I’m a happy owner of the Kindle 3/Kindle Keyboard. I was seriously disappointed in the Kindle 4. Amazon reduced the flash rate between page turns. The problem is that the flashes serve a function: they reset the screen. Without flashes, you get screen artifacts and muddled text. This makes the Kindle 4’s screen noticeably dimmer and blurrier than the Kobo, the Nook, or the Kindle 3. (The Pearl screen here doesn’t make a difference. And other readers have agreed with me.)

    Finally, text entry, which was never easy on the Kindle 3 and still isn’t fantastic on any e-reader’s touchscreen keyboard (I think Kobo’s is the best) is a positive disaster on the Kindle 4. You can’t get rid of the physical keyboard and not have a touchscreen. I would have preferred a nine-button keyboard, like texting on a feature phone, to the abcd keyboard and the little five-way noodle. Or a click wheel. Anything.

    And it turns out, you use text entry to do a lot on e-readers. Notes. Sharing. Search. Purchases! This is a substantial part of the experience of using an e-reader. And it’s seriously handicapped in the Kindle 4.

    And you know what? A month later, I still would probably give the Kobo the slightest of edges over both the Nook and Kindle Touch devices. With the new Nook firmware, they’re all 8s. Each has strengths and drawbacks, but as a pure device, I really just liked the Kobo the best. (I was as surprised as anyone.)

  2. I read the review in question. Didn’t seem all that unfair to me. They can only review what they have in hand, and it would be irresponsible for Mr. Carmody to base his conclusions on promised features or forthcoming products. Being a fan of ereaders, I now own a Sony PRS505, a Kindle 2, an iPad and a Kobo Vox. Personally, I give the edge to Kindle for its software, which was the first thing I installed on my Vox, but what will make me happiest is if all of them succeed.

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