Top positive review
33 people found this helpful
Great little eBook Reader
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.