Fancy giving your dad a new shiny gizmo? Look no further than the Kobo Touch e-reader, which will be made available in Canada at Indigo and Chapters locations. The pre-orders are available right now on the Chapters website, so you can choose between four colors and place your order.
The Kobo Touch is the follow up to the successful Kobo Wireless e-reader that came out last year. We first saw the Kobo Touch at Book Expo 2011 and got some excellent hands on video of the unit in action. We were then privy to Kobo’s entire game plan for 2011 via our interview with the CEO of Kobo Michael Serbinis.
The Kobo Touch is making the company relevant in 2011, giving a full touchscreen e-ink based e-reader that has everything you need in order to enjoy your new toy. You can buy newspapers, magazines, and ebooks via the Kobo ecosystem that has close to 2.4 million books in stock. There is the formally Apple iPad exclusive “Readers Life” application that rewards you for reading, sharing, and discovering new authors. You can earn achievements and rewards for doing a myriad of things, and it even gives you statistics on your reading habits.
The Kobo Touch is six inch e-reader and has a virtual keyboard for typing. It will be able to display around 16 levels of greyscale and has 1 GB of internal memory. You will be able to further enhance the memory up to 32 GB via an SD card. The unit is basically as small as a paperback novel and noticeably smaller then the latest generation Kindle. It is based on the Pearl e-Ink technology and is somewhat comparable to the Sony PRS-650 Touch. You will be able to read books by tapping or swiping like you would on the Apple iPad and many other tablet devices. The device is powered by a Freescale i.MX507 processor. You will be able to connect up to the internet via the built in WI FI adapter. Kobo has re-designed the e-reader from previous iterations; instead of a D-Pad with 4 buttons it simply now just has a home button. One of the cool aspects of the Kobo Touch Edition is that it uses Neonode’s new zForce infrared touch technology to make reading on Kobo just like reading a real book. The Kobo Touch also features a built in dictionary to look up words and will feature an international dictionary for localized versions of the e-reader.
You can currently pre-order this fancy device through Chapters, Indigo, Bestbuy, and many other locations for around $129 – $139 dollars and it is expected to ship by Fathers Day. Our experience shows that it’s better to take your chances and actually hit the stores on that date, seeing as the units are physically in the store on the 18th, but often ore-orders get to you significantly later then that.
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 CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.