Kobo eReader Touch Edition E-Book Reader Review

Sun, Dec 25, 2011

Hardware Reviews

Kobo eReader Touch Edition E-Book Reader Review

Among the four of the biggest e-book reader manufacturers, Kobo is the only company that prides itself as a solely e-book reader manufacturer. Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Sony, the other three, are already giants in their other businesses. Yet, Kobo has positioned itself as the kid trying to enter the big leagues with its products. But despite being the smallest among the four leaders of the e-reader manufacturers, Kobo has managed to carve its niche in the market, and has made its presence known. But then, when Kobo announced its new product, the eReader Touch, Barnes & Noble also called attention to its new gadget only one day after. To make matters more interesting, the eReader Touch Edition that Kobo presented looks much like the new generation Nook that Barnes & Noble launched. The two devices bear so much resemblance that it is almost impossible to read a Kobo eReader Touch Edition E-Book Reader review without it being compared to the second generation Nook.

Alas, full-on war was declared as the Nook also beat Kobo’s new gadget in market availability, which made the Nook compete directly with the reigning favorite, the Amazon Kindle. What is important then, was for Kobo to set its new device apart from the new Nook. The question is, did Kobo do it?

Kobo’s eReader is noticeably smaller than the newer generation of Kindles and Nooks because it does not have a built-in keypad. The Nook and the eReader are almost the same in height, although, the Nook is wider by half an inch and 7/10 of an inch thicker. This makes the promise of Kobo that their new product will really easily slip into a pocket all the more believable.

There are two buttons in the Kobo eReader Touch Edition – the power button at the top of the unit and the single Home button in the center of the face’s bottom portion. As for storage, the unit has 2 GB, half of which is dedicated to the storage of e-books. This can be expanded to as high as 32 GB through microSD. Its batter could last for 30 days, which although is no slouch, is just half of the claims made by Kindle and Nook.

This e-reader uses Pearl E Ink, which Kobo eReader Touch Edition E-Book Reader reviews have lauded as the industry standard. This of course means that the screen can only show black and white text and illustrations. The Home screen shows icons for the user’s library, the Reading Life reading app and the Kobo store.

Highlighting selections can be done by holding it down in the text. The highlighted text can be saved or can be looked up in the built-in Merriam-Webster dictionary. Lastly, the Touch’s "hidden" Web browser is still in beta, so it is still not that polished. But it is nonetheless a nice addition.

The Kobo eReader Touch Edition is certainly a welcome option for people in search of a strictly reading device. The size is very competitive and comparable with other e-readers. Its solid PDF support allows for the device to do more with files of this type. Its price is also noticeably more affordable compared to the Kindle and Nook. The affordability may be traced to the fact that unlike the latest Kindles, it still only has WiFi. But then, it is not a deal breaker.

What can be the biggest difference between the eReader Touch Edition and the newest Nook according to Kobo eReader Touch Edition E-Book Reader reviews is the software speed. Although the page flipping is more fluid in the Kobo device at first, its software can go slower and get wayward with extended use. It is unfortunate the Kobo introduced this product later than Barnes & Noble, or it could have been a serious contender. As of now, the Kindle and the Nook are still battling it out, with Kobo and Sony coming in and out.

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