Early review of Kobo ebook reader gives it thumbs up

This ZDNet article is the first review of Kobo’s forthcoming ebook reader I’ve read. We should see it in New Zealand and Australia when the Kobo store launches here in a few weeks.

Here’s a the reviewer’s conclusions.

I only spent about 15 minutes using the Kobo eReader, but was very impressed with the form factor, feel of the device in my hand, clarity of the display, and simplicity of the device. If I did not already have a more powerful Nook that can read Kobo content then I would probably get the Kobo eReader to enjoy books on a 6 inch eInk display that is more enjoyable to use than the iPad. There may be a couple of these under the Christmas tree this year as my daughters enjoy reading and could check out local library books for free to enjoy on the Kobo eReader.

The [C$149] price point is one of the lowest around for an ebook reader and compared to a couple of others I have tried lately I think the hardware on the Kobo eReader is better than most of these other devices.

Read the full ZDNet review.

Despite all the hype surrounding the iPad, I still think the e-Ink devices will have a place and what I’m especially pleased to see with Kobo’s offering is that they’ve avoided the frills and gone for a package that will make a comfortable reader at a great price point. Even if you’d love an iPad, many people will still figure a couple of hundred Kiwi dollars for a Kobo reader offers better value than upwards of  a thousand bucks for an iPad. No price yet for the ANZ market but C$149 works out at about NZ$235 or A$175 (incl GST).

After my own 15 minutes playing with an iPad, I agree with the reviewer’s point that this is going to be more enjoyable for book reading than the iPad — at least as far as long-form narrative reading goes. Illustrated books and magazines will finally have a showcase with the iPad but from my limited use of it, it was too heavy to be comfortable for long periods of reading and the LED screen, while better for colour, video, etc,  doesn’t match e-Ink for text legibility. I’ll be buying an iPad but I can see I won’t be retiring my own trusty BeBook any time soon.

Comments (5)

  1. Paul Biba

    You might be interested in our full review of the Kobo Reader done on April 15. We had one of the only loaners available.


  2. Pingback: Ebook Reader Price

  3. Martin Taylor (Post author)

    Thanks for pointing out this review, Paul. I’d missed this one.

  4. Keith Mockett

    This looks like a great device, hopefully we will see it here soon. I particularly like the look of the readability with e-ink and font (up)sizing. I find that later in the day, after looking at a computer screen all day, that some books, particularly paperbacks with small print, are hard to read. So improved readability will be very useful. For me, I don’t need the bells and whistles as I have good access to computers.

  5. Geni Johnston

    I agree with all the comments – I thought I would be the last person to give up old fashioned books – but I love my Kobo – perfect for reading in bed! Just like a real book, but you don’t have to rearrange yourself every time you turn a page. It’s especially good for big books!
    Love it!!

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