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3.9 out of 5 stars34
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 17 May 2013
I just got a Kobo mini for my birthday, and I'm very pleased.

The raison d'etre of the eReader is to read books, and it's perfect for my needs at that. The e-ink screen is very clear, high contrast so easily visible in direct sunlight (and fine reading by lamplight too). There is no backlight or screen glow - higher end models include this but they are larger and cost much more.

Set up was straightforward - the touch screen is responsive enough, and I signed in to the Kobo with my facebook account. Within a couple of minutes I'd found free books and downloaded Bram Stoker's Dracula and was ready to start reading. The Kobo store is easy enough to navigate, or you can buy epub books from pretty much any store in the world except amazon and copy them onto the Kobo from a computer using the included USB cable (which can also be used to charge the Kobo); this made it easy for me to get some eBooks from a Spanish online book store so I can practice my Spanish reading.

The reading experience is very good. The Kobo mini is extremely light and easy to hold with one hand. While reading, the interface is easy - tap the left third of the screen to go back a page, the right third of the screen to go forward a page, or the middle third of the screen to bring up the menu. I have big hands, and can tap to go on a page with the thumb of my right hand, making one-handed reading easy. By default, the font and page margins used are on the large side, so with such a small screen, almost certainly you'll want to change the font size (apparently there are 24 different sizes), line spacing and margins to fit as much on the screen as you can comfortably read. Fortunately this is easy to do, and sliders for adjusting these allow you to suit your preference exactly. There are also eight different fonts you can choose. Of course, when you exit a book and open it again, it returns you to where you last got to.

The Kobo can be powered off completely (takes a few seconds to start back up and go into your book), or put into Sleep Mode (goes back to where you were instantly). I understand with the latter, the battery life is poorer, but the instant-on from Sleep Mode is very handy if you're on the go and doing your reading in short bursts.

I spent a long time debating whether to go for a five-inch reader instead of the almost ubiquitous six-inch. I'm happy with my choice. You can't fit quite as much on the screen, but the portability (the reader will fit easily in a jacket pocket) makes it worthwhile for me. I haven't yet run the battery down, so battery life certainly isn't bad.

While I bought this purely for reading (for other tasks, I have a smartphone), it does have some Extras - a basic web browser, Sudoku and Chess games, and a Sketch application that lets you save your drawings.
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on 26 November 2013
I bought this on the whim from WHsmith I saw how cute and small it was, and i just had to have it. Now having previously played about on a kindle and nook at PC world I knew it wasn't going to be super fast like those other products for the price of just £30, but I still bought it. I dont regret buying it at all, as its very small and compact. It does the job which is display me all the books I want and allows me to read easily. It took a while setting up but it was worth the wait. Its slower than a KIndle fire but it does navigate to where you would like to go. It connects easily with the internet and syncs the books wirelessly if needs be. By the way I am a 17 yr old who isn't very patient and so I believe that if I can put up with the kobo mini's speed then anyone can. The screen I believe it is very clear and also similar to a white washed paper and it doesn't hurt my eyes. I have also discovered on the internet a software which allows you to convert kindle books to mobi files that can be placed into the kobo-which i have just done today very easily.
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on 17 November 2013
I started with a kindle, then I got a Kindle Fire, then I got a Kindle Fire HD and then I got a Kobo. I love gadgets and each one has its place.

I love my Kobo because I do not get distracted by other features on it, it shows images black and white, it has a couple of games - Chess and Sudoku - and it has no sound.

It is an ideal ebook reader for people who have arthritis as it is really light and yet holds so many books you can carry all your favourites around with you as well as the ones you want to read next.

E-book readers are ideal for people who like/need to read large print books and the Kobo mini can show the tinyest or the largest, whichever you prefer, as well as allowing a choice of margin width and line spacing. As I get older, these things become more important.

The Kobo uses the epub file rather than the mobi file but can also show pdf documents but the epub books are readily available and there is a huge choice of bestsellers and classics, including all the free downloads available from Project Gutenberg.

I carry my little Kobo with me all the time because I find there are so many occasions during the day when I have a few minutes, waiting for a meal, sitting in the car etc, when I can press on with my current novel (at the moment it is the 800 page fantasy: Perdido Street Station) or maybe read a T S Eliot poem while I wait.

If you are not sure about e-readers, a Kobo mini is a good start as they are cheap, reliable and basic. You won't have to surrender your Library membership, you can still read paperbacks but a Kobo is so much smaller and more portable than a book. The Kobo mini seems to run on fresh air and seldom needs recharging (unlike my Kindle Fire that is a hungry little devil and needs feeding twice a day sometimes).

Give it a go, you know you want to.

(Just in case you hadn't noticed, "kobo" is an anagram of "book"!
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on 17 April 2014
An ebook reader that understands epubs (unlike the Kindle), works well with Calibre. The only thing I disliked is that it will not work unless signed into a Kobo account which I find intrusive - whenever it connects to wi-fi it syncs your library and, by default though you can turn it off, uploads a history of your reading.
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on 3 September 2013
This is a very handy reader it is ideal for holidays and travel as it's so light and fits anywhere its a bit slower than my kindle but good when you get used to the difference.
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on 20 August 2014
I have been a long-term sceptic, when it comes to e-readers, due to perceived issues with DRM-heavy devices. The KOBO suffers from none of these issues. It's easy to use, simple to manage, you're in complete control of what you put on it and what format you use (there are lots that are compatible). I don't use the software that comes with the device, but that doesn't tarnish my opinion of it at all.

My main concern when I bought it (as it was my first ereader) was that it wouldn't be big enough, but I find the screen to be the perfect size, and you can hold it in one hand.

This isn't an all singing / all dancing gadget, but a simple, reliable and affordable way for readers to read. You'll have loads of fun, raiding the project gutenburg site and finding all the great free books out there.

I found myself recently reading a paperback for the first time in a while, and I realised that I was trying to tap the page to turn it, a very strange feeling...

A great, easy way to enjoy reading without feeling like you are selling your soul.WHSmith apparantly have them on sale periodically too.

After I bought mine, I grabbed another two for family members, who use them all the time as well.
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on 26 December 2014
Staggeringly good little device; the easiest piece of electronics I've ever had to set up, brilliant screen, battery life seems almost indefinite- I can't recommend this too highly, wonderful piece of kit.

Takes various book formats so you're not trapped with Amazon or anyone else, and if you want to put Kindle books on, there's a stack of free converters.

The website is easy to use.

It appears to me ME proof, and that's a lot more difficult to achieve than being idiot proof, I promise you.
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on 26 November 2013
I bought this November 2013 at WHSmiths for £30. I was worried about the small screen. But, the small screen is great. I can read it in bed without straining my wrist. The text is very clear. It is so light you can read it anywhere. You can change the size of the text. It also has chess and Sudoku built in. It is so much easier to set up on the PC than the Kindle, which I found difficult. However, the e-books do cost more than the Kindle books. But I think it's worth it for less hassle.
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My first concern about the Kobo Mini is its size. Now this fact can be both a plus and a minus. A plus because it fits into a pocket or camera bag, a minus because perhaps it is just a little too small. I found that by persevering the size could be overlooked and at the end of the day it is the content of the books that is important. I found that my local library supported the Kobo with its e-books and so I use this almost exclusively for that purpose, whilst using my larger Kindle for bought books. The fact it fits almost into the palm of a hand does make it an intriguing little machine. Whilst I wouldn't advocate having this as your first and/or only e-reader I would recommend it as a back up or second reader.
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on 20 May 2015
I know this is an older Kobo version, but having been very disappointed in my new Kindle 7 Touch (October 2014) compared to my old Kindle Keyboard, I risked a second-hand Kobo Mini to replace my ancient original Kobo which I always found clunky and awkward. I know Kobo ebook and Amazon ebooks are incompatible, and cannot be read on the other's device (no Kobo on Kindle, no Kindle on Kobo). Though I don't find the finesse or the range on Kobo's readers and shop, still Kobo has an extensive library of all genres available. This Kobo mini I set up as quickly as could be expected, and easily loaded up my Kobo library. The page is of course small, but the print size and margins are adjustable. Turning the page necessitates a tap, not a swipe,you have to tap right or left sides, but you can adjust your preferences on where to tap. Granted I have used the old Kobo ereader and the Kobo desktop on my computer to read Kobo (and Amazon/Kindle books) but this experience transferred easily to the Kobo mini. I was impressed with the ease of simply turning a page and reading the ebook on the Kobo Mini. Exactly what I wanted. Delighted.
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