The Kobo Nia is a new 6 inch e-reader that will be out on July 21st. This device brings a lot to the table and has some very compelling features. It has Overdrive integration, so you can browse your local branches collection, checkout and read the ebook, right on your Nia. Pocket is a read it later service, where you can send blog articles from your browser, directly to the Nia. It also costs $99, which is a solid price point.
The Kobo Nia features a six inch E INK Carta HD touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024×758 and 212 PPI. It has a frontlit display with white LED lights and a color temperature system with with amber LED lights. Underneath the hood is a NXP i.MX 6ULL 1 GHZ processor, 256MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. The internal storage is housed on an SD card that is soldered onto the motherboard, there is no user accessible SD card slot. The Nia is also not waterproof, so you can’t use it in the bathtub or at the beach. You can access the internet via WiFi 802.11b/g/n and power it via the Micro USB port. It is powered by a paltry 1,000 mAh battery. The dimensions are 112.4 x 159.3 x 9.2 mm and it weighs 172g.
Kobo always has excellent retail packaging. This is because it is sold in thousands of bookstores and big box chains all over the world, and not just online. The front of the box has a massive picture of the Nia e-reader and also the model name right under it. The rest of the art is devoted to a kaleidoscope of colors, primarily red, orange and pink hues. The color scheme continues along the sides and top of the box. On the back of the box it shows a list of key features, such the screen size, frontlit display system and WIFI enabled. It also shows a visual indicator of everything that is inside of the box. This includes the device, information card and a USB cable.
Most boxes have a tray, where everything rests comfortably inside. The Nia, seems to be haphazardly thrown in the box and you basically have to shake everything out. There is a quickstart guide, warranty information and a small box that houses the USB cable, the color scheme is the same as the retail box art. The Nia is stored in a black, static proof, bag and has a plastic film on the screen, so it doesn’t get damaged inside the box, during shipping.
The Kobo Nia is only available in Black and looks like a typical e-reader. It has a sunken screen and is not flush with the bezel. Right below the screen is an embossed Kobo logo, also in black, so there is little contrast between the overall color scheme and the logo. On the back of the device is another Kobo logo, but the font is piano black. There are perforations on 3/4 of the back, basically where you would hold it with two hands, while reading. These little grooves make it easier to hold and to ensure it will not slip out of your grasp. It also provides the added benefit of not leaving fingerprints on the back.
The top of the e-reader and sides are devoid of all buttons, everything is on the bottom. This includes the power button, status indicator light and Micro USB port.
Stay tuned for our comprehensive hands on review in the next few days.
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.