A new ebook reader
The Kobo eReader Touch has been launched on a market where Amazon, Barnes&Noble and Sony have already taken the field. The struggle between these market leaders is tight and we must admit they have powerful devices to fight for. There is no need to bring up a subject on innovations needed, because users have now almost everything they could wish for. But the Kobo eReader Touch doesn’t interfere with that on a large scale, the innovations it brings refer to it only and they are to be taken into consideration.
6 inch display
The Kobo Touch differs a great deal in design from the previous Kobo Wireless, While the technical specifications remain almost the same. This eReader is a bit lighter with only 185gr than the Wireless which has 221gr. Also, the battery is more powerful on the Touch, said to last up to one month, depending on the user.
As I said, the major difference is in design. But while it doesn’t take much from its sibling, it looks very much like the Nook, almost that you can confuse the two. They are almost the same height, only that the Touch has a 6 inch display and is easier to slip into a pocket.
The Kobo eReader Touch is easy to hold because thanks to its latticed back give a good hand grip. However, the bad part is that it doesn’t have any physical page turning buttons, which, apart from giving some extra space on the sides, it will cause holding the eReader with both hands eventually. There are only two buttons on the Touch, a silver Home button on the front, under the screen, and a power one right on top.
The E-Ink screen is equipped with Pearl Technology and is supposed to accurately respond to your moves. However, we can’t really confirm that it really happened when we tested it for this review. The screen is responsive, but sometimes it turned pages in the opposite direction. You can turn pages either by tapping or by swiping, so we guess that each of you will choose what suits best.
2GB internal storage memory
The Touch has 2GB of storage memory, out of which is already occupied by the store content, meaning about 1,000 ebooks. That’s a lot of book, but if you still need more, you can store up to 30,000 ebooks with a 32GB SD memory card. The expandable memory is always welcomed; however the Kindle Fire doesn’t have this feature.
We liked that the page refresh rate is customizable. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it means that there isn’t a page refresh every time you turn a page. The full screen refresh can happen every six pages, by default, but you can change this if you like, even to each page turn.
800MHz Freescale 508 processor
The eReader Touch has a 800MHz Freescale 508 processor which makes it run very fast, or anyway, faster than the Kindle which sports a 532MHz one. The interface is nice and simple, only that we sometime felt the need of a “Back” button. The “Home” button takes you, of course to the home page, where you can see all your latest purchases. On the bottom of the screen there are buttons for settings, help and a cloud icon, while on the top there are buttons for your library, Kobo store and the Reading Life app. The Reading Life app is very nice and it encourages reading a lot. What is does is tell you how much time you’ve spent reading, what book you have to finish and has a set of Xbox Live- style awards given when you complete some tasks.
We think that you’ll be very happy to know that the Kobo doesn’t restrict your book access to Amazon retailers. It supports many formats, like ePub, Adobe DRMed, TXT, HTML, RTF, MOBI, PDF and also CBZ and CBR.
As a conclusion of this review, at the end of out tests we were satisfied with the battery life and interface and the whole reading experience, but sometimes we felt the need for some extra physical buttons. The Kobo Touch doesn’t have 3G and this may be a drawback for some, but it has WiFi and an USB port plus a very good book catalog. Also, it looks nice and is very portable.
|Processor||Freescale 508 Processor|
|Diagonal Display Size||6″ Pearl high contrast E Ink display|
|Connectivity||USB, Wi Fi|
|Memory Expansion||Up to 30,000 eBooks with a 32 GB SD Memory Card|
|Screen Grey-Scale||16 Level|
|Supported File Formats||Books: EPUB, PDF and MOBI|
|Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF|
|Comic Books: CBZ and CBR|
|Text: TXT, HTML and RTF|
|Battery Life||1 month**|
|Fonts||7 Font Styles, 17 Available Sizes|
|Software||New & Improved Free Kobo Desktop Software|
|Pre-Loaded eBooks||15 Hand-Selected Free Previews|
|External Size||114mm X 165mm (4.5 in. X 6.5 in.)|
|External Depth||10mm (0.4 in.)|
|Total weight||185g (6.5 oz.)|
|Available Colors||Lilac, Blue, Silver and Black|