As cheap eBook Reader goes Kobo is the King, but should you buy one?

The concept of what makes a cheap eBook reader largely depends on the person. Usually, it refers to price, and there are times when other features count.


Now, if we’re going to talk about price and features in that order, we’ll come up with a more definite answer: Kobo E-reader.

It is owned by Kobo Incorporated, a company operating in Toronto, Canada. It’s not the earliest e-book reader in the market, but it has been around since 2010, and is available in three different versions.

Kobo is an anagram for “book,” which, suffice to say, is self-explanatory. It’s dedicated to thousands of titles.

However, its main selling point isn’t actually the number of books it offers or its screen, but it’s the price. It seems like it has been created to beat Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble the Nook, for example, by bringing Kobo’s prices down to as much as $100 off from those of its competitors.

The cheapest Kobo e-reader has broken the $100 barrier (the psychological and affordable barrier that will make e-readers a common household item), which doesn’t fail to leave a feeling of awe from e-book users. And just like them, you’re also interested to know how Kobo was able to achieve this. 

Why Is It a Cheap eBook Reader?

At first glance, Kobo e-reader almost looks like the Amazon Kindle reader, its strongest competitor. In fact, you may say that it’s inspired by Kindle’s very sleek look. The first edition has a dimension of 7.2 inches by 4.7 inches by 0.4 inches. It weighs 7.80 ounces (221g). Like most e-book readers, this one uses the E ink® display. This means that the letters are black against a white background—very similar to how printed books look like.

Nevertheless, it is different because it has an internal storage of 1GB, which can be easily expanded to 32GB by adding a microSD card. Kindle, despite its decent internal storage, it doesn’t have an expansion slot, limiting your expansion options. Kobo ereader comes with a rechargeable battery, as most eReaders do.

This cheap eBook reader is also neat and very basic to look at. To navigate across the pages, you simply have to press the directional buttons. There are only very few buttons to operate, and they are found on the side (though this may not sit well for the leftists as they are uncomfortable and sometimes awkward to press). And most definitely one of the main reasons why it’s cheap is it doesn’t offer any Internet connectivity option. There’s no Wi-Fi or 3G, which increases the cost.

However, this can also work to its advantage, as it’s going to be a bit more difficult to get the eBooks onto your device. Though you can enjoy hundreds of public domain titles, you cannot read them unless you download the app in your PC—Kobo provides the software for both Mac and Windows—save them in the microSD slot, and transfer them to your e-book reader. You can download the books from Borders, its partner bookstore, and Kobo. A lot of those who get frustrated with the procedure, though, sometimes ditch the cheap e-book reader and simply download the appropriate app and use their PCs to read eBooks. The only downside is you lose the sense of portability. 

Kobo Wireless eReader

Kobo, Kobo eBook Reader, Kobo eReader WiFi

Kobo may have been affected by the negative criticisms from experts and users alike they decided to create an improved version. Enter the Kobo Wireless eReader, which was introduced in October 2010. This cheap eBook reader still sports the same dimension and weight of the first one, but Wi-Fi capability was added. The processor has also been enhanced to allow faster turning of pages. The internal storage is the same at 1GB. It now also includes an app, but don’t get too excited. Kobo was still able to create a very cheap eBook reader by limiting the option to only one: a dictionary. So you don’t get to spend a lot of money and put a much higher premium for their products and services in exchange, Kobo includes 100 public domain titles in their cheap eBook reader. 

Kobo eReader Touch Edition

Kobo Touch, Kobo eBook Reader Touch, Kobo eReader Touch edition

The last instalment—and the most recent one—is the eReader Touch Edition, which, as its name suggests, possesses a touch-screen display. The technology is supposed to reduce the time spent moving from one page to another or perhaps one book to another title. Though it’s still responsive, you’ll find the other touch screen versions a lot better. This cheap eBook reader can pan PDFs smoothly, but there’s nothing much you can do but read them. The device does come with 2 font styles and 15 type sizes. The battery lasts 2 weeks again decent but not impressive. For example the Nook Simple touch lasts 2 months and the Kindle 3 can last up to a month. 


The Kobo cheap eBook reader line is able to reduce its price by getting rid of the things you enjoy so much with its competitors: it lacks applications, it doesn’t have a very stellar screen display, and the contrast still leaves something to be desired. By doing so, they’re able to avoid letting you pay for their premium services such as a subscription fee to websites (unless you subscribe to newspapers if you’re using the wireless version), just like when you use a Kindle. Needless to say, unless you simply want to be limited to reading only, it’s time to think about your other choices. There are many different eBook readers available that offer much more.