With 8 levels of grayscale, the 6-inch screen of the Kobo displays with 600 x 800 pixels. This provides a very impressive display pixel concentration of 170 dots per inch (dpi).
The only two fonts available on this unit are Georgia (serif) and Trebuchet (sans serif). Each font is available in five sizes. It’s a good idea to use the smaller font size because using a larger font size increases page turn requirements. Using bigger font size is not an advantage for this unit unless the user suffers from sight problems. This device literally does not support sound. This means that there is no text- to-voice option available on in this eReader.
The Kobo Reader has a search functionality which provides the option to find by Title, by Author, or even by time last read. You can view your books either as a virtual bookshelf or as a simple list. The battery is good for turning 8000 pages. At a 5-second average, the page opening time is fast and brisk.
Lacking backlight, the unit avoids the resultant complication of eye strain. The repercussion, though, is that darkness or insufficient lighting will make the text unreadable.
The display on its own leaves much to be desired. The gray background does not change and does’nt provide a clean clear backdrop. However, reading with this device is quite pleasant, due to the Vizplex eInk display with 8 level grayscale. Nothing special happens from page transitions. The effect is somewhat awkward as the display shows the content in white text on a black background before resolving into the proceeding page.
There is no scrolling feature on this device; you must push a button to turn the page. There is no way provided to jump to a certain chapter or page unless you jump through each chapter without opening its page contents up for reading.
• Satisfactory battery life
• Outstanding paper-like display quality
• Compact dimensions, light weight and affordably priced
• Easy on the pocket, both in regards to price and weight
• Quality materials utilized
• 100 eBooks come pre-loaded
• Bluetooth wireless radio
• Only compatible with the Blackberry at this time
• Lack of 3G or Wi-Fi capability
• Best suited for right hand users
Thus, in a nutshell, the Kobo Reader is a barebones eReader that is hoping simplicity will distinguish it in the already crowded eReader market.
In comparison to the Sony Pocket Edition, the other low cost eReader on the market, you receive a device with a larger screen, more memory that translates into more book storage capacity, and a decent battery life, and all this costs $50 less than the Sony device. So the Kobo is an excellent choice for those who enjoy reading and are interested in a no frills eReader that is affordably priced.
The Kobo Reader is powered by the ARM9 (920T) core. It runs at 400 MHz and has an SDRAM that behaves as the standard memory. Kobo is compatible with Mac OS X and higher and with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. In addition, it is compatible with the BlackBerry.
The Kobo features a 1GB onboard memory, allowing you to store almost a thousand eBooks; plus, an SD card slot is available so that the memory can be expanded to 4 GB.
The Kobo Reader features a 1,000 mAH Li-Polymer battery. Theoretically and logically speaking, the reader should have a fairly long battery life because its eInk display does not need any power once the page has been resolved. As specified by the firm, 8000 page turns can be performed on the Kobo after one full charge.
A real life test was performed in which the Kobo was utilized for reading for periods of time ranging from a couple of minutes to a few hours while the device remained ‘on’ each day; under these circumstances, the battery lasted almost an entire week. It is possible to leave the reader on for days, but the power will only be drawn from the battery when the e reader is actually being used.
Keep it untouched and the power will not be drained. All the while, the present power condition of the unit is indicated by an icon on the main menu.
The Kobo Reader is not self reliant for downloading eBooks, as it does not have any 3G or Wi-Fi capabilities. A computer or a Smartphone is required to connect to the Internet and download eBooks from the company’s website. They can then be moved to the Kobo for reading, via Bluetooth or a USB cable. This is not the most convenient option for people who do a lot of reading of eBooks, but each additional feature comes at a price on other eReaders.
It is quite easy and quick to use the sync button to transfer eBooks. Kobo accomplishes this transfer utilizing custom software, but at this point, the Blackberry is the only Smartphone device that the Kobo supports for sync transfer. Kobo has pledged to offer sync facility with other brand smart phones before the summer is over.
Those who buy the Kobo Reader are able to access one hundred books by authors including: Austen, Dickens, Homer and Kafka. These books are available at no charge because they are all in the public domain.
Adobe DRM, ePub and PDF formats all work on the Kobo. However, the device is not well-suited for reading eBooks in PDF format. Text in PDF format is restricted due to the screen size, and magnification or reduction do not fix the problem. The issue is not serious because Kobo eBooks are provided in ePub format.