The Kobo ereader devices such as the Kobo Touch edition are one of the cheapest eReaders available, but are they worth it?
The Kobo ereader achieves recognition for a lot of reasons. First, it’s known to be the cheapest eBook reader, perhaps because of the lack of apps and features that jack up the price of its competitors.
Second, it is dedicated to offering a pleasurable reading experience.
Besides reading books, periodicals, magazines, and comics (compatible with Touch), you cannot do anything else.
The ereader is the brainchild of Kobo, which is based in Toronto, Canada. It is owned by Indigo, though it has a partnership with Borders.
A number of experts say that its conception has something to do with Kindle, which has been dominating the ereader market for awhile. The company came up with a much-cheaper alternative.
Since the release of the first, two more were launched, the Kobo Wireless eReader and Kobo Touch.
Perhaps it’s safe to say that this Kobo ereader, the first one released in the market, is greatly inspired by Amazon’s Kindle. It shares quite a number of similarities. For example, they have the same diagonal screen size of 6 inches. Though Kobo weighs less than Kindle at 7.80 ounces, the latter doesn’t really trail far behind. Both, like most eBook readers, use the E ink® display in order to imitate the look and feel of a printed books and minimize the glare. If titles are being talked about, both Kobo and Amazon have extensive eBook libraries. However, it seems like their differences end there. For one thing, the Kobo ereader is a lot cheaper than Kindle. The latter doesn’t have a microSD slot, which can increase the internal storage up to 32GB. Most important, the Kobo device doesn’t have Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity. Because of this, if you wish to obtain new titles, you have to download the eBook from the store, store it in the microSD, and move it to ereader. Not having at least a wireless connection is the biggest flaw, who wants to take extra steps to get the eBook onto their device.
Kobo Wireless eReader
This Kobo ereader is perhaps the correction for the first edition. As its name suggests, the device now allows for Internet connectivity through Wi-Fi. Though an addition of 3G is definitely welcoming, Wi-Fi suffices, if you want to purchase books directly from Kobo website or from Borders and Indigo. There’s no longer a need to download titles to your PC first, store them in microSD, and transfer them to your eBook reader. It possesses similar dimensions to the previous version, but it has a higher greyscale level at 16. This means that the contrast of the wireless edition is a lot better. You can see the letters better, even if there’s considerable glare in the surroundings. The screen resolution is 600 x 800—certainly not the best, if you’re going to compare it to other e-book readers, but it’s decent. The screen is large enough at 6 inches. Another big difference between the first and this Kobo ereader is the faster page turning. Unlike other e-book readers, those of Kobo process more than one page at one time. Thus, there’s a waiting period of around 8 seconds. The wireless reader still has a short moment of pause, but it’s twice as fast as the original Kobo. The internal storage is pegged at 1GB, which can be expanded through an SD slot. The eBook reader also permits you to subscribe to your local newspapers, which costs $15. Subscription is, of course, optional and comes with a free trial version. The device also has a dictionary installed now.
Kobo Touch eReader
The most well-planned of all Kobo ereaders is the latest one, the Kobo Touch edition. As you can derive from the name, it offers a touch interface. There’s no physical keyboard unlike the Kindle. Further, there are only two main buttons, one at the center and the other at the top. It doesn’t boost an impressive internal storage at 2GB, but with its expandable microSD, you can boost it to 32GB. It also sports the new E ink® Pearl technology, making text appear sharper on the screen. The Touch Kobo ereader also tries to be a bit more sophisticated and stylish, as it’s available in a variety of vibrant colors such as lilac, black, and silver. The back also features a cushioned lattice pattern for firmer grip, especially since the eBook reader is thin.
This Kobo Touch eBook reader supports PDF, which can be panned out. There are only 2 font styles available, but you have several options for sizes. The Reading Life service adds motivation to read more books through awards such as Mark Twain and Juggernaut. You can also keep track of your reading progress and sync the service to other portable devices.
If you desire to do more than just read books, a Kobo ereader is certainly not for you. It doesn’t have plenty of apps and doesn’t play music or store pictures. The latest two devices may be able to connect to the Internet, but it offers only very limited activity. Therefore, you buy it for only one good reason: you want to read eBooks and nothing else.