Monday, June 17, 2013

Kobo Mini vs Kindle

I have been using the Kindle Keyboard e-reader for some time. I simply love it. So I found it hard to justify buying the Kobo Mini, but the sale price of $48 (down from $109) was too good to resist. I caved in to this temptation. So what if it doesn't have the latest "glo" to illuminate the screen in the dark. (Oh, I might be tempted by that someday and buy my 3rd e-reader and become a collector)

Anyway, now that I have used the Kobo Mini for a few days, here is what I think of it. First, the physical size. One official review I read says the 5" touchscreen is neither big enough for reading at home, nor small enough for carrying around. Hence, it will not be very popular. I beg to differ. I love the size. I wouldn't want it any other way. Plus I love the aspect ratio.

Overall appearance. I think it looks really great. There is only one button, which is the power button. Everything else is touch screen. This gives it a charming simplicity. I chose white over the alternative black because it seems to go better with the simplicity theme. The silver backing on the white model is really nice.

The built-in 2GB of memory can store about 2000 books; much more than I can ever read. It has a built-in dictionary. I just need to tap on a word to see its meaning. The page turn is fast enough for me. The fonts are as crisp and clear as I can tell. Font, font size and line spacing are customizable. This e-reader is capable enough to satisfy almost anyone's reading needs, providing even annotation and bookmark capability. Page turn can be customize to touch on left edge or right edge to flip pages right or left.

Adding epub books to the Kobo is simply a matter of dragging from the PC to the Kobo when attached through USB cable. There is built-in wifi to sync my Kobo to other Kobo readers on the PC or a tablet. I don't really care about the wi-fi synching bit. I am not in the habit of reading any one book on several devices.

What I really like about the Kobo Mini over my Kindle is that the touch screen makes no clicking sound when I read in bed. Of course, the better featured Kindle has other bells and whistles, but for pure reading enjoyment, the Kobo pretty much has it all (save for LED illumination). I am sure the sale price I got indicates this model will soon be supplanted. Oh well! It is still a marvelous gadget.

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