Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kobo E-reader: My new best friend

I have wanted an E-reading device since I first was introduced to the Kindle in December of 2009 while watching the Ellen show. Yes I was watching daytime tv, I am pretty sure that I was breastfeeding Ladybug and reading Sweetpea stories at the same time. I researched for the better part of this year and finally decided on the Canadian Kobo E-reader because it was important to me to be able to use my E-reader for library books (a function that the Kindle does not currently allow). I am an avid reader but cannot always get to the library, nor do I have the room in my house (or purse) for any more books so really the Kobo was a great solution.
Here are the facts:

The Kobo uses e-ink technology which basically means that you can read without glare, or the eye strain that is caused by reading from a back-lit computer screen. You can also choose from 5 different font sizes and 2 font styles.

The Kobo comes pre-loaded with 100 free, classic, out of copyright books. This for me was great as I love the classics, and was excited to have Jane Eyre, Little Women, and so many others at my fingertips. It can hold about 1000 e-books on it, but you can also expand the memory up to 10 000 books using a 32GB SD card (love that!)
The newest Kobo features USB and Wifi connectivity (however in my opinion it takes too long to search for books using the Kobo due to the fact that you can only navigate the on screen qwerty key pad using the 4 way directional button. I would rather wait and purchase my books from my computer).

The Kobo supports DRM Epub, PDF, and Adobe DRM files (which is why it is compatible with library books).
Battery life is 10 days or 10 000 page turns (according to the Kobo website)
No shipping/customs fees!!! (If you are in Canada)
The great:

Have I mentioned that I can take out library books??? I love that my Kobo does not limit me to either reading only free, out of copyright books, or purchased books.

Light weight and easy to travel with. I can toss my Kobo in my purse and have all of my books with me so I can read whatever I am in the mood for as opposed to what I brought with me. The convenience of the light weight design also means that I can comfortably read with a baby sleeping in my arms or hands free when I am eating or drinking a tea (without having to creatively prop open the pages of a book).

I love the e-ink technology, I can read for hours (after the girls are in bed for the night of course!) without eye strain, and if my eyes do get tired I can simply enlarge the font size. I can also read in sunlight (outside or in my favourite seat by the window) without a glare.
The not so great:

The Kobo website could use some improvement. I have often been frustrated with slowly loading pages, glitchy sales transactions etc. but all in all it does work - eventually.

I don't know if I really believe the stats on the battery life. In the first 2 weeks I had to charge my Kobo twice, but was around 800 page turns, not 10 000. Perhaps this was because I often left the device in sleep mode (however battery power is only supposed to be required when actually turning pages, or navigating through menus - I also have the wifi turned off). All in all the battery life is good, but I have to keep my eye on it.

My vote:
I love it! Really, I am so happy with my Kobo, the product is great, the customer service has been great and I am pleased with the selection of ebooks. I am confidant that the small glitches with battery life and the website will be resolved soon enough via. upgrades and new firmware downloads and certainly are not enough to make me even consider returning this product!

** please note that this is a non-solicited product review based on my experiences with a Kobo E-reader that I myself purchased in full. This review is based on only my own personal experiences*


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