This past month, I went hands on with the Kobo Glo HD, one of the many competitors in the eReader space. Once dominated by the Kindle, Kobo represents the many brands trying to one-up their rival with a better UX, more attractive design and improved functionality.
Everything about the Kobo focuses on ease of use, which is essential for the market. When you first turn the device on, the process is as straight forward as you can get: A quick connection to wi-fi is made via touchscreen interface, then an automatic two (or less) minute download takes place to update the software. The system then restarts to update before set up commences.
It’s a one step set up from there – you just need to create a Kobo account. Though to expedite the process, you can sign in with Facebook, Google Plus or similar social media account, which will be welcome for many (myself included). Now it’s time to fill up the device! As you start to explore the catalogue of books available, the first thing of note is the device’s precise and responsive HD touch screen. You can press and hold a word to see its definition. You can also add notes to the work by highlighting – which makes it a great device for students and teachers.
Being HD (1448 x 1072 resolution at 300 pixels per inch), the image quality is fantastic as well, and the device becomes customisable in every respect. You can adjust brightness to assist day/night reading. You can so this by swiping up or down on the left side of the screen. If you have Kobo on other devices, it will remember your page number. There’s customizable fonts and text sizes. You can adjust line spacing and even the margins. And just in case you’re jumping between a physical copy and the digital, the contents page is linkable making it easy to jump through any book.
As with most of these devices, there is potential limitation of the system by which you buy the books – but they do promise some 4 million books available through their store. And should that not be enough, there is a built in web browser, which allows you to download PDFs which add automatically to the library. These proved easy to view or delete, just as any official Kobo book would be.
There’s also excellent battery life – I’ve charged it once and haven’t done so again. The product promises up to two months of battery life. Meanwhile, the built in 3232MB of storage is more than enough – promising this will hold some 3,000 books – but this is easily extended for anyone who can never have enough space on their device. For those downloading a lot of PDFs, which usually weigh heavier, this will come in handy.
What the Kobo Glo HD offers isn’t anything that re-invents the wheel – it’s black and white text will feel familiar (and welcome) for any reader – rather, it creates a product that gives you everything you should have in an eReader and does it really well. It’s easily one of the best on the market today.
The Kobo Glo HD retails for A$189.95 and is available HERE.