Product Type: Kobo Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... feeling of exciting when turning a page. If you are split between a Kindle and a Kobo....Kobo without a doubt! Cheaper price tag that do... more
I Love My Kobo!!!
Member Name: Abski2001
Date: 28/04/12, updated on 28/04/12 (157 review reads)
Advantages: 30,000 eBooks, great memory, change your reading to suit you
Disadvantages: Feels quite fragile!
eReaders In General
I think people either love or hate the idea of eReaders, I wasn't particularly fond of the thought of them at first, but one of the chief selling points and a winner for me is the space issue. I have bookshelves and bookshelves of unnecessary books from uni and general purchases that i just can't bear to get rid of, but will likely never read again. These basically eliminate the need for books to be taking up space in your home, but with no restrictions.
Anything that can display text can be an eReader, many phone devices have the applications available, but these are intended to be reminiscent of reading a book. eBooks, periodicals and newspapers and magazines can be downloaded directly to the eReader device and read. They have become a lot more popular since the launch of the Amazon Kindle and sales of eReaders have risen sharply in the last couple of years.
The Kobo Touch eReader in my opinion on first glance looks like a toy, it is so lightweight and the e ink screen is just not what I am used to seeing when I look at a piece of electrical equipment. The device is rectangular and very thin to hold with dimensions of 165 mm height x 114 mm width and just 10 mm depth, it weighs just 185g, It is supposed to fit in your pocket, though you'd have to have quite big ones in reality! The design is supposed to be alike to a book in every way though with modern technology thrown in.
The Kobo Touch is very sleek and minimalist looking with the screen almost the size of the whole device, with a bordered frame about 1 cm width which is where you hold the device. There is only one button on the eReader, this is at the bottom of the reader and is a simply silver rectangle that acts as the 'Home Screen' button. The kobo branding is written on the top of the device, in simply black and doesn't distract or ruin the appearance of the eReader st all. The back of the kobo touch device is very special, I think it is made of a soft plastic material, which is set as a quilted pattern and is soft-touch. It is quite strange to get used to at first, but oozes quality and design and most of all is lightweight and comfortable to hold for prolonged reading periods.
The main screen is obviously where the reading takes place, this is on a 6" Pearl e Ink screen that is designed to look like reading a book and it really does do it justice. This is a grey scale type screen that has no lighting facilities, this is designed to be like actually reading a book and because of the screen design there is no problems with light glare that you might get with reading on a phone or colour screen. This version is a touch screen that is very sensitive and easy to use.
The Kobo Touch is very simple to use, there is an On/Off button located subtly on the top of the kobo, this is a slide button. You slide it once to turn the device on and when you have finished reading you slide it quickly to set the device to 'sleep' mode or slide and hold for a second to turn it completely off. Sleep mode obviously uses up more battery life. What I really like about the Kobo Touch is the screen when the device is either in sleep mode or off. It keeps the cover of the book you are reading on the screen, again alike to having a real book on your coffee table so everyone can see what you are reading.
To get books onto your device you install the Kobo software on your PC/laptop, you then create an account which is where you store and buy your books and create your library. The software again is designed to be simple to use and has lots of recommendations for your personal reading habits. From here you can buy ebooks and the like, as well as downloading a huge range of free books (1 million according to the website). These are kept both in your online library and on your Kobo. You can plug the Kobo into your PC with the USB connection to update or just simply turn on the Wifi feature and your device automatically syncs the new books. You can also buy and download new books through the Kobo itself if your Wifi is on.
Most online bookstores now sell eBooks and if you are so inclined you can also stream books off torrent sites. So you are not confined to the Kobo store itself and can compare prices and availability,
On turning the Kobo Touch on from being off you get a little warming up book-man image while the device is loading, then you are on the home screen. The Home screen has displayed your most recent read which you can simply press to continue reading, as well as four other books in your library. The bottom of the page has recommended reads displayed that are supposed to be ones that you would like to buy, though mine are currently showing 'American Tattoos' and 'Rosemary Conley' as choices!? Very bizarre considering most of my books are vampire fiction at the moment!
The battery life symbol is in the top left showing you what battery you have remaining. The top right has a sync option for installing updates and anything you have bought online and a clock for the time. Your Wifi connection strength is also displayed.
There is a 'Home' touch menu that then displays six options:
Store - Takes you to your online store via the wireless internet connection, here you can then search for books and buy them as well as get snippets of new reads. This is very simple to use and in fact probably too easy to quickly buy a book in seconds via Paypal! There is a virtual keyboard that appears for typing your selection and a clever predictive search that saves you typing long titles. You can search these by categories, free eBooks, recommended and simply search.
Library - Takes you to your virtual bookcase. here you can choose which book to read and keep track of how far along you are with each as it displays your percentage complete record. You can choose how to store you books, by title/author/year and again use the simple search option if you have a big collection. You can choose how they are displayed (covers, list etc) and how many you want on each page. I currently have 93 pages worth of 5 books per page! So being able to find them quickly and simply is a must. The bottom of the screen lets you scroll through the pages with a slide page option.
Reading Life - Here is a very clever section and quite geeky, you can retrieve your reading stats! It tells you you current book progress along with session reading times, how much reading you have done in total, how many pages you have turned! There are also fun little rewards that you earn whilst reading and are stored in here that you get the more you use and utilise the features of the Kobo, such as 'You've finished a book'!
Settings - This has lots of setting that you can change to make the Kobo personal to you and your reading habits including accounts, sleep and power, date and time, language, reading life, wireless connection, device information and about Kobo Touch. There is also an extras option that has included a sketchbook that lets you note and draw on the screen, a Sudoku games section and a web browser that lets you surf the internet, a great little added feature in my opinion.
Help - A help library with everything from getting your device started to warranty and legal advice!
Sync - lets you sync with your online account and gives the device any updates that it needs. As with most technology these days there are updates and new features regularly available to improve your device.
Reading A Book
Once you have tapped the book you wish you read you are taken inside the book where you have left it. The type is set as it would be in the real book, but the special thing about the Kobo eReader is that you can change it to suit you. There are 7 font styles, 17 font sizes, adjustable line spacing and margins and justification setting that are all changeable to suit your preferences. This is obviously really good for people with poor eyesight who struggle with and are put off buying certain books. This is all controlled by the touch screen and very easy to change.
To turn the page you simply tap the left to go back, or the right to go forward, you can also slide your finger across to turn too. If you touch the centre of the screen you get the options for the above features, along with a 'Home' option and another settings option that allows you to remove the book from the shortlist, mark as finished and even more advanced settings!
A great feature for people like me in book groups is you can select sentences in the text and leave markers that the Kobo stores and you can easily find them again, you obviously can't just flip back to pages as you would a normal book and skim through so this is a great feature. The eReader is a brilliant reading experience! It is so fun and easy to use and really does look like a book with the font and screen. I love the touch screen feature and think it will definitely encourage more people to read, as well as help people who have certain issues with books.
I have found that the more books I have stored in my Kobo the slower the touch response can be, this isn't a problem when reading a book at all, but more for the higher memory uses such as the menu options. I have a protective screen cover that I put on my Kobo recently which has affected the touch screen sensitivity to the point I think I will remove it. However there are the obvious worry's with this kind of device such as dropping it and damaging the screen, water damage, dust etc. thatyouwouldn'thave with a real book. I think the pros definitely out-weigh the cons with this though!
The battery life is stated as being 1 month, this is obviously dependent on what you do with your Kobo, if you are constantly on the internet browsing or updating the device you will use up more battery. Likewise if you always put it to 'Sleep' rather than off you will find the device's battery being drained more than usual. In my opinion the battery is epic when you think of how often you have to charge other electrical items you use.
Other Tech Spec
Available Colours: Lilac, Blue, Silver and Black
Processor: Freescale 508 Processor
Device Size: 114mm X 165mm (4.5 in. X 6.5 in.)
Device Depth: 10mm (0.4 in.)
Weight: 185g (6.5 oz.)
Diagonal Display Size:6" Pearl high contrast E Ink display
Screen Grey-Scale: 16 Level
Memory Expansion: Up to 30,000 eBooks with a 32 GB SD Memory Card
Connectivity: USB, Wi Fi
Battery Life: 1 month**
Supported File Formats:Books: EPUB, PDF and MOBI
Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF
Text: TXT, HTML and RTF
Comic Books: CBZ and CBR
Pre-Loaded eBooks:15 Hand-Selected Free Previews
Fonts: 7 Font Styles, 17 Available Sizes
Software: New & Improved Free Kobo Desktop Software
My Kobo Touch cost £79 from John Lewis with a free 1 year warranty, I personally think this is great value for such a diverse and modern piece of technology. It has definitely encouraged me to read a lot more than I did previously and I now have no excuse to not finish one of my book club books! Overall I think it is one of the more attractive models of eReader's and the features outweigh its rivals.
Summary: Very Highly Recommended! I love my KOBO!
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