Technology

Kobo Wireless eReader Review

Overview 

The Kobo e-reader Wireless is a vast improvement over the company’s Original Kobo eReader that became available earlier this year. Wireless Internet access is available on the new model, permitting you to shop at the Kobo eBook store; it also comes with new features, like a built-in Webster’s Dictionary.

Positives 
Affordable lightweight , Compact e-book reader that includes a Wi-Fi built-in; integration with the Borders e-book store (which is powered by Kobo); extra memory provided for by an expansion slot ; satisfactory battery life (as much as two weeks); has EPUB file format compatibility.

Negatives 
The device seems somewhat generic; it’s much slower than the Kindle; mediocre screen contrast.

Bottom Line 
The Kindle 3 and the new Sony Readers have more cutting edge screen technology than the Kobo Wireless eReader. However, if you are interested in a stable e-reader that provides you with access to library books or various eBookstores, you can now purchase the new Kobo device. The cost of the Kindle is $139.

In Depth Review 
There are some subtle differences on the new Kobo, the first of which is that it comes in 4 colors: Onyx, Silver, White and Lilac. The logo that appears on the Kobo Wireless eReader has been modified so that now it is one solid color; the DPAD and power button colors have also been changed so that now they match the color of the e-reader you buy. The diamond grip on the back of the device is still there, so it has more traction when you hold it.

The book’s page turn speed quite impressed us! The pages do turn much quicker than the original Kobo, which we have previously used. This is extremely important because when you are engrossed in a book, slow page turns can be distracting and cause a great deal of frustration.

Having the ability to buy things on this devise, is one of the ultimate reasons for upgrading to the Kobo Wireless eReader. Kobo has a library that contains more than 2.2 million ebooks; it is critical that a manufacturer provide a method for direct purchase of ebooks from the manufacturer on their e-reader, to the exclusion of other purchase methods. For instance, the Sony PRS-350 and PRS-650 do not offer the option to purchase ebooks on the ebook readers themselves. You must use the Internet to buy ebooks from Sony, and once you are online, other stores are available where you can purchase discounted books.

In what seems like no time at all, Kobo has become quite a strong up-and-coming brand. Actually, they appeared from thin air, offering two new e-readers as well as an enormous ebook store that is affiliated with the Borders database of ebooks. In spite of this, they have quite a few Apps available for the iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, PC and more!

The one problem with this ereader is that it feels unresponsive and sluggish during navigation of the store and menus. When you scroll down, it will not refresh the screen for at least eight seconds. This could cause you to double click, making the e-reader jump from one menu or screen to another. This is one of the most frustrating issues on both Kobo offerings. This makes other eReaders much more desirable.

When considering the price, the new Amazon Kindle Graphite WIFI and the Barnes and Noble Nook WIFI provide stiff competition for the Kobo. The Kindle and Nook outpace the competition in both their features, and their responsiveness.

If you owned the original Kobo e-Reader and experienced frustration with it, the new version has rectified some of the more frustrating issues. It is a good e-reader, the price is good ($159 to $199), and they provide an extensive inventory of ebooks to choose from.

The Hardware 
Featuring 16 levels of grayscale as well as a 600 x 800 pixel screen resolution, the Kobo Wireless eReader also includes a 6-inch e-ink screen. Only 8 levels of grayscale are available on the Kobo.

This means that cover art will be displayed with more contrast and higher resolution and eBooks will be more vibrant. Approximately 1 GB of internal storage is included and it is possible to increase it to approximately 4 GB using an SD card.

Wireless connectivity with WiFi 802.11 b/g is one of the best new hardware features. This permits you to shop or update their library while on the go; you can also receive wireless newspaper delivery. Wireless support is included by Kobo for use in home networks, free networks and commercial hotspots, such as those in public areas or coffee shops. The on-screen keyboard lets you enter numbers and letters for wireless networks encrypted in WEP.

Lastly, let’s investigate how long the battery lasts. With Wireless set to off, the battery can last about 2 weeks or more than 10,000 page turns.

eBooks and delivery of media 
The Kobo Wireless eReader makes a great stride in integrating Kobo’s existing eBook store with their e-reader. You have to sign up for an account before you can begin to buy eBooks from Kobo. You’ll have to register your account on a separate computer, as you cannot do so on the device itself.

ePub is currently the best Kobo ebook format, so it is not imperative that you buy your ebooks from Kobo. It is possible to utilize Adobe Digital Editions for DRM content or use Windows Explorer to copy non-DRM books to your device. There are five font settings for eBooks, so you can make words appear larger or smaller.

Webster’s Dictionary is integrated into the Kobo Wireless eReader. In order to access the Dictionary, you must open an ebook and then click on the MENU function. Then you can utilize your D-PAD to click on any word shown on the current page and you will receive a full description of it.