The main great thing about this e-reader is the cost $169.00, which is a cost effective alternative to more expensive electronic readers. The principle behind Kobo is allowing e-reading anytime on whatever device the consumer wants, as the platform is compatible with Research In Motion, BlackBerry, Apple Inc.’s iPhone, and others. When an e-book is downloaded onto an e-reader or Smartphone using the Kobo app, it remains in the user’s “online library,” meaning the e-book can be read on multitude of devices. The Kobo also takes home the prize for dedication of purpose. You can read books on it, and that’s it. No monochrome photo browsing, no music player, none of the extraneous features found on other devices that people end up never using. It’s for reading, plain and simple. The Kobo book store is compatible with most major Smartphone’s, computers, Netbooks and e-readers.
The device itself features four buttons on the left edge: one that takes you to the home screen, one that calls up a menu of options for the book you’re currently reading, another that brings up display preferences (typeface, magnification, and the like), and a “back” button that takes you to previous screens. An on/off switch is located on the top, and a big blue membrane navigation button found on the bottom right of the face lets you flip pages and surf menus. That’s all there is to the interface.
The process of transferring books from your computer to the Kobo is a breeze. You can either drag-and-drop (it supports PDF and ePub files) or use Adobe’s Digital Editions software to manage and sync your library. It also has built-in Bluetooth, allowing users to purchase books via smart phone and send them straight to their Kobo.
Kevin Restivo, analyst at IDC, sees Indigo “hedging its bets” with Kobo. On the one hand it has an e-reading operating system that works on multiple devices, and on the other it’s introducing a single-purpose device when the market is hot for e-readers.
The Kobo eReader is likely to go on sale in New Zealand next month at the same time as Whitcoulls and Borders launch the country’s first eBook store.
A spokesperson for REDgroup, which owns Whitcoulls and Borders, said more than a million eBooks would be available for purchase on the two retailers’ websites when the store launched in May.
Kobo will then be soon launched in Australia at the end of the month.R REDgroup had partnered with Canadian eBook firm Kobo to provide the service and it was likely that the company’s upcoming Kobo eReader would also go on sale locally when the stores launched, she said.
Managing director Dave Fenlon said the company had completed the integration of its three bookstore brands and was now looking for growth opportunities, with the Kobo electronic book platform to be launched next month in league with Canadian bookseller Indigo.
In addition to Kobo-branded readers to be sold in Redgroup’s stores, the company’s e-books will be accessible on other devices, including Smartphone’s, computers and iPad’s.
REDgroup was now Australia’s largest online bookstore, with more than 2.5 million titles available.
We have a comprehensive review of the KOBO in our latest MAY edition of the Good E-Reader Magazine! If you are interested in Kobo, E-Readers, or Slates this is the must buy for you! It is only $1.99 for the first issue.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.