Not that long ago I posted some exciting news that another device supports DRM-protected EPUB and PDF eBooks from the library. That device was the Kobo eReader.
In a world where most people want ‘toys’ that can do everything–make phone calls, play games, provide Internet connectivity, and even open canned goods (okay, maybe not that last one)–the Kobo eReader is doing something dramatically different. It’s offering simplicity. The Kobo brings eBook reading devices back to what they were originally meant to do – allow you to SIMPLY read an eBook on the go.
What I really like about the Kobo is that it’s intuitive. The interface is simple (there’s that word again). I can’t get over how easy it was to figure out. There aren’t an overwhelming number of options like on other eBook readers, and for some people, this is Kobo’s main draw. The overall look of the device is fairly standard, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I like the rubbery blue button, which provides selection and navigation. In addition there are only five other easy to use buttons.
There are things I don’t like about the Kobo but they are fairly minor. Although the interface is easy to use, it isn’t quick. The delay as it boots up or loads a book is almost obnoxious. There is a slight glare on the screen depending on how it’s angled. However, the E Ink is still visible. Four of the buttons are awkwardly placed on the side of the unit. Lastly, you need to connect to the computer using a USB to transfer books to the device. Mostly, I’m just being nitpicky.
This would be an extremely compelling device based solely on price if Sony and Barnes & Noble hadn’t recently dropped pricing on their respective ebook readers. At $149.99, it is considerably less than what I paid for my iPod Touch a couple months ago. Kobo may need to drop its price, even with a $20 gift card offer from Borders.
It may not have the fastest processor, it also isn’t the coolest looking, and it may not open a can of whole tomatoes, but the Kobo will give you the ability to read an eBook anywhere. If you are looking for simplicity, the Kobo should leave you fairly satisfied.
The Kobo eReader can be found at several retail stores around the world:
*Pricing mentioned above is in USD.