Kobo Touch Edition review

Kobo Touch Edition review

T3 4

You need Javascript to play this video.

  • Kobo has just created the best UK alternative to Amazon's all-powerful Kindle thanks to its brilliant Kobo Touch Edition

    Kobo Touch Edition review

    Love

    • e-ink touchscreen
    • Built in wi-fi
    • Great hardware

    Hate

    • 80's cultural references
    • Best sellers more expensive
    • Kid-friendly featues

    The Kobo has been released in time to compete with the all-new £89 Amazon Kindle for a place under your Christmas tree. T3 has already weighed these up in an Amazon Kindle versus Kobo Touch Edition video but the Kobo does have a killer feature that might sway you? It has a touchscreen, an e-ink touchscreen at that. You won't find that on a Kindle, unless you head to the States in order to snap up an Amazon Kindle Touch. That's not the only thing the Kobo has to boast about, though…



    Kobo Touch Edition: Design and build
     


    Perfectly pocket-sized and dressed with a distinctive quilted back, the Kobo comes in five colours – black, white, pink, blue and silver. It's incredibly lightweight at 186g, yet feels sturdy enough to survive all day in your bag. because of the touchscreen, the body is sparse on buttons. You'll find a power slider at the top and a large Home button underneath the screen. It's all you need.



    Kobo Touch Edition: Screen
     


    The six-inch Pearl e-ink display is both easy on the eye and the prodding finger, with reasonably fast reaction times – page turns do seem to be the slightest bit slower than on the Kindle, but you'll barely notice it. The view of the screen can be adjusted; choose the style of your library home page and tap the centre of the screen when reading an ebook to adjust the size and style of font, breadth of margins and line spacing. It's a handy feature for those with poor eyesight.
     


    Kobo Touch Edition: Features and performance




    The key feature of any ebook reader is the availability of quality content. Here Kobo claims to trump Amazon with 2.4 million ebooks on the Kobo store. The numbers are impressive, with one million of those being free. On closer inspection, however, the ebooks that you do have to pay for are consistently more expensive that their counterparts on the Amazon store – we performed a random test of three titles, Julian Barnes Sense of and Ending was £1 dearer on the Kobo Store, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was £2 more expensive and the Twilight saga was the same price on both. This is indicative of the Kobo Store, the more mainstream the tome the more likely you are to find a reasonable price. Steer away from the bestseller lists and your wallet will suffer. The Kobo also supports the ePUB ebook format, meaning you can also choose from online open-source libraries, like Project Gutenburg.

    With built-in Wi-Fi you can browse the store anywhere with a connection. If your local library is particularly tech-savvy you can also lend ebooks using Wi-Fi. Just be sure not to rack up this late fees, now.



    Kobo Touch Edition: The rest




    A quirky addition to the Kobo is a feature called Reading Life, this provides stats on the amount of reading you do. The Kobo also awards you with Reading Awards from time to time. We received a NIght Rider award for late-night reading, where the Kobo called us Michael and congratulated us on behalf of KITT – yes, the car from Knight Rider, it's cultural references are a bit dated. This seems like a feature aimed more at kids than adults, with the ability to post your awards to Facebook. Hey, anything that gets kids involved in reading is fine by us, but we won't be getting involved.You also get unbeatable storage, thanks to an added microSD slot giving you the potectial to pack in 30,000 ebooks.

    Additional "experimental" features can be found in the Settings menu, filed under Extras. There's a Sketchbook that allows you to draw on the touchscreen and scrawl illegible notes, a selection of sudoku puzzles to solve and a web browser – much like the Kindle's it's slow and clunky, with the e-ink screen not ideal for rendering web pages. Keep the Kobo for reading and leave the web browsing to your smartphone.
     


    Kobo Touch Edition: The verdict




    We're pleasantly surprised by the Kobo. From a purely hardware perspective it gives the Kindle a real run for its money. That said, it does feel as if its aimed at children, from the hook-up with libraries to the encouraging Reading Awards, it's all very worthy. The crux of this review is content, though. An ereader sinks or swims based on not just the breadth, but the affordability, of its content. Until Kobo can find a way to compete with Amazon's pricing structure it will remain in its shadow.


    Kobo Touch Edition availabilty: Out now from WHSmiths


    Kobo Touch Edition price: £109.99

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now