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
"Touch too much" and you'll go all flat!
Member Name: Emma1973
Advantages: Stores a lot of book in a very small space.
Disadvantages: Can have problems and claims of an extensive battery life is just rubbish.
10 points to the person who can name the song!
I do rather enjoy my books, actually rather to the point of obsession, my lovely partner bought me a bar code scanner for Christmas 2 years ago, bizarre I know but i suppose it was helpful. Along with a PC programme I've been able to scan and catalogue my books and even I was shocked to find that there was well over 1400 and that doesn't include the books I've bought in the past year! In despair at the avalanche of books threatening to take over the house he decided to try and find me an ereader. After lots of research (he's like that!) I ended up with a Kobo Touch for last Christmas for which he forked out £89.99.
This particular Kobo has a 6 inch screen which has anti-glare on it, it is indeed touch screen, the only buttons on it are one to switch it on and off, and one to return to the main front page, everything else is done by touch.
It has 1 GB storage which is a fair old bit, that means a quite substantial 1000 books. you can also add Micro SD Cards to expand the memory to 32,000 books. I cant even think of 32,000 books I would want! Actually I've had trouble finding a 1000!
It also looks like pretty, granted it is white plastic rather than the black shown which I'm not too fond of but the back looks quilted and comes in white, silver, light blue and lilac, I like my purple so I have the lilac one. I still don't like the white plastic look and it feels slightly insubstantial so I have bought a cover and I recommend everyone does. You can buy them cheap on Amazon, Ebay and the like but be slightly wary, my daughter has a cover that looks just like the cover of Alice in Wonderland, it was advertised as being suitable by the Kobo but it's actually too big. I've bought a leather one from WH Smiths (purple of course!) and it was priced at nearly £30. Luckily at that point Wh Smith were giving money off vouchers for other Kobo products after buying the Kobo.
So now I've got my Kobo, I've charged it which didnt take very long and I'm ready to go. On the front screen you'll see the last 4 books you've been reading and a list of recommended books based on what you have on the Kobo. You also have the battery indicator. There's also the Home ,option, touch this and you'll get a drop down menu which includes Books, Settings, etc. These are the two most important options you will use.
Kobo uses a few different programmes like MOBI, PDF or TEXT, the vast majority of the time it will use ePub files, that's also the ones that works best, I personally use another programme to convert the other files to ePub ones. It also supports Adobe DRM, RTF, HTML, TXT, Comic Book archive file, JPEG, PNG, BNP, GIF and Tiff.
Once you've got some books on there you'll be able to put them on a shortlist and view the list how you prefer. Tap on the book and You'll start reading, tap at the right side and the page will turn, tap on the left and the page will return to the previous page. Tap on the bottom and there's options where you can change the font and size which you can read it with, you'll also be able to bring up a list of the chapters and jump to them. Put your finger on a particular word and the option will come up to look at the meaning in the Kobo dictionary. And there you go, you're away and reading the free previews already on the Kobo. Great stuff eh? But of course the actually using is not always the same as what the ad says. You can also get little awards for your reading and reading style.
Time to log on and find those million free books on the Kobo website, well good luck! They are extremely difficult to find and takes a different search option. But that's a problem with the Kobo website and perhaps I'll review that separately. If you do find free books, easily found on the internet, you'll find it mostly all the old classics, these are actually supplied by Project Gothenburg who publish the books online, you will find some free books but by unknown authors who want to get their work out there, oh and all the Star Wars novels! If its modern novels you are looking for then prepare to pay, if you can pay you'll find plenty of books on lots of sites such as Waterstones and WH Smiths. The biggest problem is that they are expensive, and more expensive than hard copies. I am still more likely to go and buy it for £3.97 in Asda then pay £8.99 to have it on my Kobo. You can also get them from the local library but thats not an option I've tried.
Putting the books on the Kobo is also easy if you get the books from Kobo, when you bring up the Kobo desktop they'll automatically be in the library that's on there, connect the Kobo to the PC, synchronize and they'll end up the Kobo. I however have huge problems when I've got them from elsewhere and have to put them on the Kobo manually. What I usually do is plug the Kobo in, then drag the files from my PC onto my Kobo which will come up on my E drive. The problem is that when I plug the Kobo in it doesn't show the Kobo, or it shows that there is nothing on it. I do have a programme called Calibre which helps me convert non Kobo ereader files into ePub and then you synchronize it to the Kobo and those files end up on your Kobo, this doesn't work now though. Sometimes it just drives me crazy, so its drag and drop when I can.
If that hasn't annoyed me too much when I'm in the middle of reading those books the thing will just die and demand to be charged. This is a personal gripe, there is no indication that the battery is about to go, you have the last bar showing but there's no telling how long it will last. And the claim is that the Kobo battery lasts for a month. I call this absolute nonsense, its never lasted a month, and for some reason over the past month I've had to charge it every week. I suppose its no real problem, but it would be annoying if you've taken it on holiday for 2 weeks and the battery goes after 6 days! I did put this down to always playing with the optional extras but since I've stopped doing that it still continues.
These optional extras happen to be Wi-Fi which allows you to automatically connect to your reading 'life' which gives you 'awards' you for your reading hours, etc. It also accesses Facebook but its quite frankly rubbish and doesn't show properly, presumably you will have a PC so I'd stick to that. I do love the Sudoko though which I went through a slight obsession with. It's these two things that really drain the battery, its always better to put the Kobo on airplane mode when not using the Wi-Fi. You can also have a bit of a scribble on their blank pages which also get saved.
The other problem I've started to have with my Kobo is the touchscreen itself., particularly the bottom right hand corner which is needed to close the dictionary option, it can take a couple of presses to do so. I've also found that sometimes it can also 'crash' my Kobo and its stuck on one page and means that I either have to return it to the home screen or turn it off completely. Swiping the page to turn it can also be bothersome so I tend to just tap it. It doesn't always automatically do it so I end up tapping it again only for it to jump 2 pages. This could of course just be my technique though! My daughter has had none of these problems at all
I don't like the button you use to put the Kobo to 'sleep' I'm always afraid of pinging it too hard and breaking it, its highly unlikely though!
I love my Kobo though, these problems have slowly crept up and I've managed to learn to live with them, if it gets worse then I will think about returning it though I'll have to wipe the files first though as some of them are from dubious sources! I go on several long journeys a year and have several trips as well and I love the fact that I don't have to take a pile of books. And of course they can take up quite a bit of space so the fact that in a very small space I can have several hundred books is fabulous. It's very lightweight and I can manage to operate it with one hand so I'm always wandering around with it. I can be found cooking whilst holding it in one hand, just walking from one room to the other and I'll even have it propped next to my PC to have a read whilst waiting for pages to load. I also took it to Download so I could entertain myself instead of sitting through Black Sabbath!
My daughters though has suffered a problem that seems to happen to quite a few of them, the front screen has just crashed and the picture has massive lines through it and it just doesnt work. Thankfully Kobo are quite good with their customer service, where she bought it from were being quite difficult about refunding for it, so it got packaged up and sent off to Holland and now we're waiting for a new one to be sent back.
I feel I've done it a disservice with these problems though and I do think they are particular to my machine though and I know Kobo services can be good and will just send you a replacement if it's broken. It is consistently reckoned to be better than the Kindle and gawd knows we've done enough research! The Kindle is also more expensive and it's also difficult to get books unless you get them from Amazon.
My advice is to buy a Kobo and if you think there's a single problem then return it! Just remember to turn the Wi-Fi off, don't play Sudoko, and set the Kobo to go to sleep after 5 minutes!
Summary: A touch screen e-reader.
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