Kobo Wireless eReader review
Lightweight with a smart interface and store, but has too many flaws to trouble the award-winners
Review Date: 3 Jan 2012
Reviewed By: Barry Collins
Price when reviewed: £58 (£70 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
You shouldn’t judge an ebook reader by its cover, but first impressions of the Kobo Wireless eReader aren’t great. The off-white/grey colour scheme was last in fashion when the Berlin Wall collapsed, and the device itself feels cheap. But after a while it begins to grow on you.
Plasticky it may be, but the device weighs only 221g and is effortless to hold. The screen has poor contrast, but once you’ve got the font right it’s readable.
The interface is smartly designed. The “I’m Reading” section contains all the books you’re currently ploughing through, with an archive of Documents and Books including the 100 classics preloaded on the device. There’s also a News & Magazines section, although the Kobo store doesn’t currently offer periodicals in the UK.
That’s the store’s only real weakness, though. The Kobo store claims to hold more than two million titles, and contained around three-quarters of the bestsellers when we tested it, at prices only a little more expensive than the Kindle store.
As with the Kindle, books can be bought directly from the device. The PC/Mac desktop software also allows you to manage books on the device and read them on your PC.
Performance is lacklustre, though. Page turns feel sluggish, leaving you hanging for a second or so as you wait for the page to redraw. Although it’s only a fifth of a second slower than the Kindle Keyboard, it makes a difference.Panning through PDFs is even more tiresome.
The device's D-pad is the Kobo Wireless’ Achilles heel, however. Pages can only be flipped by pressing right on the pad; accidentally press down or up, and the font size changes. After only ten minutes we were hankering after the Kindle’s large buttons on either side of the display.
That doesn’t make the Kobo Wireless a terrible product, and the price isn’t bad either. But it’s no match for the best on the market.
Author: Barry Collins
- Google suggests legal alternatives to dodgy downloads
- Trolls face two years in jail under new laws
- Nexus Player pre-sales halted after certification troubles
- Microsoft smartwatch coming "within weeks"
- ISPs ordered to block six websites for trademark infringement
- Free voice and video calling coming to Firefox
- Police take aim at child abuse with image database
- New iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 and 5K iMac specs (at a glance)
- Citrix lets you conference call on your Android Wear watch
- PC Pro Awards: products of the year
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- 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
- Five things that are actually new in the iPad Air 2
- Bendgate, Antennagate, and why Apple doesn’t care about bad news
- iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 release date, specs and UK price rumours
- Office Online vs Google Docs: which free online office suite is best?
- iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6 design comparison
- How to speed up an Android smartphone
- Nexus 6 release date, specs, UK price and leaked images
- iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus screen comparison
- Mac OS X Yosemite release date, price and new features
- Smartphone benchmarks 2014: what's the fastest smartphone?
- 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