Kobo is the global number two player in the e-reader space, behind the Amazon Kindle. Kobo is sold in over one hundred countries worldwide through authorized retailers, electronics chains and bookstores. The company has been involved in this space since 2009 and continuously releases at least one or two models yearly. The e-readers do have some drawbacks. Some freeze and are utterly unresponsive; some have staining on the screen and become nothing more than paperweights. Some Kobo devices have such poor batteries that they only last a week instead of a month. Kobo’s customer service is also lacking; their call centre staff lack training and cannot resolve the most straightforward issues.
There are some benefits to owning a Kobo. They are the only e-reader brand in the world to integrate with Overdrive. This company powers the audiobook and ebook collections of most public libraries in North America and Europe. Kobo users can enter their local branch library card number, browse their collection, borrow books, and read them right on the Kobo. Pocket is a read-it-later service, and users can use a Pocket plugin for major internet browsers and send web articles directly to their Kobo. Once on the Kobo, all articles are converted to a small ebook, making it easy to read. When Kobo develops new firmware updates, they are the only company that supports not only their latest devices but also their oldest ones, which is refreshing.
What aspects of Kobo do you not like? Did you buy a Kobo e-reader and regret it due to performance issues, battery life or something else?
Michael Kozlowski is the editor-in-chief at Good e-Reader and has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past fifteen 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.