Yesterday we broke the news that Kobo had a new e-readerand today they company officially announced the Kobo Glo HD. This device is primarily competing against the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and is considered a mid-range digital reader. In order to get the Glo HD price down, the Canadian based company had to make some sacrifices.
For the first time ever, Kobo has made the decision not to include an SD card on their new e-reader. This will effectively lock customers into only having 4 GB of internal memory with no option to expand it. Kobo is betting that more people will buy e-books from their own bookstore, in order to safely store them in the cloud. If your reader gets too full, you can delete the books and download them again at any time.
The Kobo Aura was the first e-reader that had the screen entirely flush with the bezel, much akin to your standard smartphone or tablet. The Glo HD is a bit of a downgrade in this regard because it employs a sunken screen. It feels very 2011.
I think the Kobo Glo HD is a step backwards for e-reader development. It seems the company just wants to have the cheapest device possible and will likely discount it to $99 by the end of the year. In order to lower the manufacturing costs, they had to remove a lot of key features that have been a fixture of the Kobo brand for the last two years.
My advice is if you are looking for a top of the line e-reader with all the bells and whistles, consider the Kobo Aura, which is a bit long in the tooth, or the waterproof H2O e-reader.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.