The timing of the first Kobo release was unfortunate, what with the Kindle and Sony’s Reader both boasting internet connectivity and with whispers of tablet fever already sprouting. But Kobo’s back, now with full-on Wi-Fi, a faster processor and more user-friendly library, all of this at a very attainable price—$149.
The interface is still the same. Menu buttons tucked away on the side, which I actually like (to avoid accidental presses), though there has been some scrutiny; apparently it is bothersome for lefties. And the functionality—multiple font sizes, clear chapter lists and a 16-level grey scale for easy reading—is super simple, to the point that even grandma may be reconsidering her paperbacks.
The library, which in the predecessor had also received some heat, can now be sorted and organized. Their eBookstore has reached 2.2 million books, plus 100 classics are already preloaded on the device and Kobo users can also borrow ebooks from the local library. Readers can store about 1,000 titles on the device.
There’s no doubt that other eReaders have a few more bells and whistles, such as the ability to play audio books, use search engines and bigger storage capacity, and the Kobo still has some fierce competition (most notably from the latest version of the Kindle, which is improved and sits at only $139 for a Wi-Fi version) but if you’re looking for something where reading is the first priority then the Kobo may be a good fit for you.
– Shannon, CF‘s Style Editor