Kobo eReader Touch review
A superb ebook reader, with a top-notch screen and excellent store
Review Date: 27 Dec 2011
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £83 (£100 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
For a long time in the UK, Sony and Amazon have ruled the ebook reader roost. Now, though, there’s a new player – Kobo – and its eReader Touch is a real eye-opener.
It’s a lovely piece of hardware. Its E Ink screen is framed in bright, matte-white plastic and the rear is coated in a soft-to-the-touch “quilted” finish, which comes in a number of different colours.
It’s a minimalist design, and although not quite as light as the new Kindle or Sony reader, its 185g weight is hardly hefty. Inside, there’s 2GB storage, and a microSD slot provides expansion.
In terms of features it’s far from bare bones. It has a touchscreen and uses the same infrared technology as the Sony Reader Wi-Fi, so page turns are achieved with a light sweep of a digit. And it’s sensitive enough to make typing on the onscreen keyboard a relatively grumble-free experience.
There’s Wi-Fi support, which allows you to buy direct from the Kobo store. The screen is excellent: a 600 x 800 E Ink Pearl panel provides a contrast ratio that’s only a fraction behind the Kindle readers and makes it just as readable.
Text can be displayed in seven different fonts, and in 30 sizes; line spacing, margins and justification are all adjustable. Page-turn speed is also good, at one second per page.
And it’s good at handling more complex documents. Multitouch isn’t supported, but heavy-duty PDF pages can be zoomed in and out with a slider control, and panning around with one finger works well. Its major weaknesses are its note-taking and highlighting facilities, which are basic.
Other than this gripe, the Kobo Touch is outstanding. The hardware and store integration are excellent, as is the screen, and the price is very reasonable. Sony's new reader offers superior PDF handling and a better web browser, but the Kobo’s strong all-round showing still makes it worthy of a recommendation.
Author: Jonathan Bray
What no patent fights?
Its notable that we see no wasted time over patents from Amazon. They just get on with it.
If this was Apple their lawyers would already be rubbing their hands with glee.
By curiousclive on 27 Dec 2011
no uk spec
the magazine daily paper add on is not available in uk, also the cataloge of titles does not include very much uk inhouse reading matter.
By skt159 on 30 Dec 2011
ePUB support = library books
I just bought a Kobo Touch, and I am very impressed. My experience matches your review, it's a great device.
I looked at the Kindle, but it doesn't support the ePUB format, which means I couldn't load e-books which are borrowed from the library.
With the Kobo that isn't a problem, you just have to install the Adobe ADE application on your PC, then you can drag and drop the library book file to the Kobo.
The Kobo doesn't tie you to the Kobo store either, so shopping around WH Smith, Waterstones and the Google e-book store is possible. I don't think you can do that with the Kindle either.
By kevindanks on 5 Jan 2012
Book source for Kindle
@kevindanks - you can get books for the Kindle from any source you like. The limitations are that it needs to be in .mobi format (not strictly true as you can convert from ePub to mobi using software like the free Calibre program) and you have to download it to your PC and transfer using a cable, or use the Kindle browser which I have to admit is rather clunky.
By RogerSpencelayh on 5 Jan 2012
Book sources - Calibre
Calibre can access lots of ebooks (from Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles and a host of other sellers) and newspapers and transfer the content to Kindles and Kobos.
For the Kindle you can just email the book/newpaper etc to your registered Kindle email and receive it over WiFi if you don't want to use the cable connection. If you leave Calibre (and your PC) running it will email a regular newspaper automatically to your Kindle (I have tested this) I don't know about other devices.
The only problem I have come across is that the Kindle reading software can't read the newspapers aloud that have been loaded from Calibre.
By goldgraham on 5 Jan 2012
Kindle or E-reader
I live in Spain and I´m being told that I can´t buy books for Kindle from Amazon.co.uk. If I buy an e-reader will it be easier to download books. Sorry if I´m vague I don´t really know a lot about this subject
By bern2 on 7 Jan 2012
Don't forget Gutenburg
The Gutenburg Project has a huge number of free books, mostly, if not all, in ePub as well as other formats.
Firefox has an eBook reader plug-in (free), which is useful too.
By KMJones1 on 8 Jan 2012
So is it the norm for ebooks to be able to browse the web?
Even the monochrome ones?
Can they handle Flash?
By dajfiel on 18 Jan 2012
- Windows 9: release date, features, free update and cloud version
- Chromebooks get streaming version of Adobe Photoshop
- Retina display iMacs "coming soon"
- Apple patches ShellShock Bash bug
- Should the UK be a sharing economy?
- Want free Wi-Fi? It'll cost your first-born child
- Man jailed over Twitter threats to MP, campaigner
- Will Windows 9 be a free upgrade?
- Ello knocked offline by DDoS attack
- iPhone 6 Plus "less likely to bend than HTC One"
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Smartphone benchmarks 2014: what's the fastest smartphone?
- What is Kindle Unlimited and how does it work?
- BlackBerry Passport release date, UK price and specs
- OS X Yosemite release date, price and key new features
- How to change keyboard in iOS 8: customise the iPhone 6 keyboard
- The 7 best Chromebooks of 2014
- Apple iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: is the new iPhone 6 better than the Galaxy S5?
- How to install iOS 8 without deleting apps and data
- The best smartwatches of 2014: what's the best smartwatch?
- Nexus 6/X release date, specs and rumoured UK price
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office