Borders is now taking pre-orders for the Kobo e-Reader, the newest entry into the eReader market. It’s just like every eReader you’ve admired so far — except this one costs only $149.
To reach that point, Kobo has cut (or changed) a few features. Unlike the Kindle, it doesn’t have 3G Wireless. Instead, you have to transfer books via good old-fashioned (ahem) USB cable or via bluetooth. It also has less storage (1GB) than the lowest priced Kindle (2GB).
That, however, is the end of the cons. The Kobo is 7″ tall and 4″ wide, slightly larger than a standard paperback, and weighs 8 ounces.
|Kindle||10.3 oz./8″ x 5.3″ x 0.36″||1,500 books/2GB||3G Wireless||$259||Amazon|
|Nook||12.1 oz./7.7″ x 4.9″ x 0.5″||1,500 books/2GB||3G Wireless||$259||Barnes & Noble|
|Kobo||8 oz./7.2″ x 4.7″ x 0.4″||750 books/1GB||USB/Bluetooth||$149||Borders|
|Sony||7.76 oz./6.25″ x 4.25″ x 0.4″||350 books/.5 GB||USB||$149||Various|
Like its closest competitors (the Kindle, the Nook) the Kobo uses e-Ink technology to display books in black-and-white. It’s white (like the Kindle and the Nook — catch on, folks, even Apple isn’t making little white gadgets anymore) and it holds hundreds of books without blinking. It has days and days of battery life.
Unlike the Kindle and the Nook, the Kobo is an eReader and an eReader only. It doesn’t promise wifi access, games, or quick updates of blogs and newspapers. It is a portable electronic book reader. No more, no less.
I’m in favor. The additional features of the Kindle and Nook have never called to me — in part because I already have a laptop and a Smartphone, neither of which I’m looking to replace, particularly with an interface as clunky as those. What I am tempted by is the possibility of having an easy-to-read, easy-to-tote electronic reader, for less than an arm and a leg (just an arm, I guess, is my price point on this one). I know it’s strange to crave single-purpose devices, but in this case, I see the logic. Sometimes, you just want to read.