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The Kobo

Category E-reader
I have been toying with the purchase of an e-reader for some time. I was very tempted to buy the kindle when it first came out, but passed because it only worked at the time in the US. By the time the Canadian version was released there were enough competitors that I put the decision off for a while. Then, I saw that Kobo had released a reader for $149 that was initially only available in Canada (but will shortly be available at Borders). $150 seems to be a magic price point (at least for me) so I ordered one and have now been using it for a couple of weeks.

For the most part I am very pleased with the device but it has one fatal flaw. It's a basic unit, no wireless, no downloading books directly to the device, no playing of MP3s, no adding notes as I read. In short, it is used for one thing - reading a book. I really don't think the lack of wireless is much of a issue. Maybe if I had more leisure time it would be different, but at the moment I rarely read more than 1 book a week. I don't make book purchases at the spur of the moment. In a traditional bookstore, I typically have a couple of titles in mind that I want, and then I browse around and find a few other interesting titles, ultimately purchasing 6 or 7 books. So far I am seeing similar behavior with the Kobo. I have hooked up to the on-line store and purchased a 3 or 4 books that I am now reading somewhat serially.

There are many detailed reviews of the e-ink technology and the reading experience, but in short, I find the books easy to read - the page turning speeds acceptable and the reading experience enjoyable. I am a fast reader, so I find the need to turn the pages constantly to be a bit annoying. A large display that could show two pages at a time would be an improvement but the larger size would result in other difficulties. I have had the device hang on me a few times when leaving it powered up overnight, but this is to be expected with a version 1.0 product and I suspect a few software updates will resolve this.

There is, in my opinion, a serious flaw with the device that distracts from the overall reading experience. I like to sit in bed at night and read I usually try to get in 30 minutes or more of reading at the end of the night. However, turning pages results in a very audible click which when reading fast can occur every couple of seconds. Maggie finds this clicking quite annoying when she is reading or sleeping, and there is no way of turning it off. As a result, one of us eventually ends up sitting in another room to read. (I've actually gotten pretty quick at sticking the device under the bed covers and pushing the button so the click is quite muted, but this seriously distracts from my reading experience.) I have read reviews on other devices and it seems this might be a common "feature". This isn't something that is going to be fixed with a software update since it is a mechanical click. So, the Kobo is a good reader but it is not the ideal reader - I'm still looking for that - but when I find it, I'll bet it will have reached the $99 price point.

Comments

Gravatar Image1 - I love reading,but i don't like reading on the computer ,i just like reading on the book which is really wonderful.

Gravatar Image2 - Yes, the reader of Kobo is very well,i have used for a long time.It is really convenient.

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