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
Easily the best purchase I have ever made!
Member Name: thehonesttruth
Advantages: An easy to use e-reader that performs excellently.
Disadvantages: I honestly can't think of a single one!
As an avid reader, my home has always resembled something of a second hand bookshop, with bookcases groaning under the weight, and that slightly reassuring smell of aged yellowing paper. However, when one of my bookcases actually decided to collapse under the pressure, I decided the time was ripe for a good old clear out. Knowing however that , given my past behaviour, I'd only start hoarding more books, I decided the time was right to buy some kind of e-reader.
Having heard a few terrifying stories of people having their kindle libraries deleted for no reason by Amazon, one of the few things I was absolutely sure of was that I didn't want a kindle. I also knew that I wanted an e-reader with a built in light, as the positioning of the bulb in my room actually makes reading in bed something of a strain on the eyes, and that I needed a device capable of reading a variety of formats, as I didn't want to be tied to purchasing books from only one site.
Enter the Kobo Glo. At 99.99, it seemed like a lot to pay out all in one go, but I justified the expense by bearing in mind that I would have immediate access to over 1 million free titles to read, and I was fairly sure that, although I wouldn't read all million of them, I would find enough books to read in that selection to more than pay back the cost of the Kobo itself.
There were four colour options for the Kobo Glo, and in a rare fit of girlishness, I opted for a pink one. It's not actually pink all over - the frame around the front reading screen (which is 6" corner to corner) is white, with the Kobo logo ever so subtly written in silver on the bottom centre. The back of the device however is a vibrant pink, criss crossed in a diamond pattern, giving it an almost quilter effect. At the top of the device is the on/off button (with a small led power indicator) and the light switch, the side holds a slot for a micro sd card (I've never used one with the device myself) and the bottom contains the charger socket and the reset hold.
The device comes with a USB charger, though mains chargers are available at additional cost. I was rather delighted to see that the charger was exactly the same as my phone charger, which was an unexpected bonus. Covers and screen protectors were also available, although I chose not to purchase any additional accessories at the time.
The Kobo didn't come with any detailed manual, which as someone who instinctively fears and mistrust new technology, scared me a little. It did tell me how to turn it on though, and once I'd done that the device itself talked me through the set up instructions. It took only a minute or two to tie it in with my Facebook account, set up the kobo desktop library on my pc, and have my first few books downloaded.
The Kobo is very easy to use, though there are a couple of controls you may want to fiddle with before you get going. You can, for example, adjust the touch screen sensitivity to suit yourself. I found that I needed to turn the sensitivity quite a way down as my clumsy fingers would accidentally fumble and turn the page quite often. You may also wish to adjust the font size, and the brightness of the light for night-time reading. I do like that the light is adjustable, as I can turn it down to a comfortable level with no glare, which makes reading in bed an absolute joy. You can also adjust the font on the ereader - and I was pleased to note there was a font there designed for dyslexics, which my boyfriend has said makes reading a little easier for him.
With the light off in the daytime, the screen doesn't glare at all, but has a kind of matte finish, which is very easy and comfortable to read, even in direct sunlight. The Kobo is only 185g in weight, and is of a size where it can comfortably be read one handed without causing any kind of discomfort. With dimensions of 114 x 157 x 10 mm is can easily fit into a back jeans pocket, although with me being incredibly clumsy and accident prone, I elected to keep my in my handbag for travel purposes.
A charge lasts a good long time on here. I couldn't tell you exactly how long a single charge lasts, as the Kobo automatically charges when you plug it into the pc to update or sync your library, and I've never not done that for long enough for it to actually run out. I can tell you though that a full charge will last you at least a good week if, like me, you read for three or four hours each night using the light, as I have been on holiday for a week minus the charger and had no issues.
The menus are very straightforward and easy to navigate, and I did like the option to sort my library into genres - very useful as I do read several different series and it is wonderful to be able to keep them separate and be able to easily find exactly what I want when I want it. I also very much like that this reader bookmarks my last read page, and goes into sleep mode automatically when not touched in a while - no more lost pages when I let go of the book upon falling asleep.
I have read several of the free books available through the Kobo shop. Some of the books available for purchase in the Kobo shop are heavily discounted, whilst some are priced inline with the price of buying the actual book. Purchasing a book through the Kobo shop is a very quick uncomplicated process, and syncing your desktop library to the kindle library itself is very easy to do, with the device itself guiding you through the process. One of the wonderful things with the Kobo is that, as well as it's own format, KPUB, it can also read Epub, MOBI, HTML,XHTML and PDF files, and can read Kindle editions if run through a free converter programme.
Other features the Kobo Glo has that I like are a built in dictionary that can be accessed by pressing an holding down a word. This I've found particularly useful when reading older texts, such as Thomas More's Utopia, as I don't have to put down the book and go over to the PC to google a words meaning. You're also able to highlight passages you wish to return to, and the 16 level grey scale means that images are presented in great clear detail, though sadly not in colour. As an occasional reader of anime and manga novels, this is a nice feature, although one I don't use as much as the others.
So, are there any downsides to the Kobo? I have to be honest and say that I really can't think of any. I've had mine now for four months and I've never had a single problem with it. It still looks as good as new, having not sustained a single scratch despite a couple of small drops. It's saved me an absolute fortune in books, not only with the free classics but also with the discounts in the Kobo store and the ability to shop around for cheaper sources in another format. It's simple enough to use that even my daughter now uses it for reading on a regular basis, and it has all the features I wanted when I set out to make my purchase.
Available at WHSmith, Dixons, and Argos, I recommend WHSmith as they usually have a demo model they will let you try a little before purchase.
I can't recommend the Kobo Glo highly enough, and it gets the full 5 stars from me.
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