Let’s start the Kobo Glo Review. Often overlooked in the eReader marketplace, the Kobo is actually one of the major competitors. It may not have the fame of either Barnes and Noble’s Nook or Amazon’s Kindle, but it’s still going strong in the face of such adversity.
The Kobo Glo is one of Kobo’s recent new product range and has its sights set firmly on the Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Simple Touch GlowLight. With such heavyweight competitors, Kobo really needs to offer something special to make an impact.
Kobo Glo Review
So is this product up to the task? Or will this device go the way of the dodo? Read on to find out.
Kobo Glo: Key Specs
- Release Year: 2012
- Screen Size: 6 inches
- Screen Type: E-Ink with Glowlight
- Weight: 6.5 oz
- Storage Size: 2GB
- Internet: Wi-Fi
- Main eBook Format: ePub
No Buttons: Making full use of the touch screen, this device does away with buttons entirely (with the exception of the power button on the top of the unit). There are no buttons visible on the face of the device which gives it a really streamlined minimalist feel. This is a really nice touch, making the device feel more modern than older ones.
Screen and Resolution
Lit Up Screen: The real selling feature of the device has to be the screen light which has been developed to compete with those offered by Amazon Kindle or Barnes and Noble Nook. Not wanting to be left behind, the Glo device can be read in the dark too now, thanks to its own “ComfortLight” technology. This is a fantastic feature for those who want to buy a reader and love to read at night in the comfort of their bed – especially when their partner wants to get to sleep with the lights off.
In use, the Glo’s ComfortLight screen looks better in total darkness than the Nook’s GlowLight. That’s a major plus point for the Kobo and a setback for the Nook.
Resolution: The Glo ebook reader has one of the highest resolution screens on the market. This creates a high level of detail resulting in very crisp and clean image quality. It’s certainly on a par with the Kindle’s screen, as well as the Nook’s.
As is the current trend for eReaders, and in fact all personal devices, the Glo has a touch screen. It’s very responsive thanks to the powerful processor inside this device, meaning that at the touch of a finger you can zip around menu systems and flick through pages.
Touch screens are a great feature, not least because they appeal to the immense popularity of such technology. They’re also practical and efficient and create a very enjoyable user experience. The physical interaction offered in this way does go some way to alleviating the loss of holding a physical book in the hand. It certainly has a nice feel to it.
Touch User Interface: Anyone familiar with existing Kobo products will have experienced the custom user interface. The Kobo Glo continues with the same user interface which is great for those who own a previous model and don’t want to have to learn a new interface. Plus, the interface is great anyway, and those new to the system will find it pleasing to use.
Fast: Thanks to the speedy processor inside this device, page turn is very quick. That helps to ensure that the reading experience isn’t interrupted every time you flick the page. As well as this, the menu system is a real breeze to move around and doesn’t hold you up in any way. This is a marked improvement on the previous models.
Kobo Glo Battery Life
One of the main shortcomings of the Kobo Glo against both the Nook and Kindle is battery life. The Glo offers only 55 hours of continuous reading with the ComfortLight switched on. Without the light, the Kobo Glo lasts for up to a month of casual use. Both of these fall short of the battery life in the Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Simple Touch GlowLight.
Naturally, the Glo reader has access to the online Kobo book store. This store offers over 3 million eBooks, including a huge range of self-published material as well as all the classics, hits, and niche choices you’d expect.
Interchangeable Covers: A small but nice touch is the introduction of interchangeable covers for the Glo. These covers go on the back of the device and come in five different colors. More designs are likely to come from third-party developers adding further to the customization options.
Custom Reading Experience
One of its big selling points has always been a customizable reading experience. The device retains this feature, giving 12 font types, 24 font sizes, font darkening and lightening, and much more besides. You can really find a setup that suits you with the Glo.
Expandable Storage memory.
This device only offers 2GB of storage space. This is fairly standard for the lower-priced eReaders including the Kindle and Nook options but is still something of a disappointment.
However, a great feature that’s becoming increasingly common is the inclusion of a memory card slot. This lets you expand the storage space of your device by up to 32GB giving you as much space as you could ever want.
Reading Life And Pulse
One of the unique things about this device are Reading Life and Pulse, two social aspects of the user experience. Reading Life gives you a range of social media options that allows you to do things like automatically post highlighted sections of your book to Facebook, while Pulse gives you the chance to chat to other readers of the same book – with a special option that lets you avoid spoilers by only chatting with others who have read the same amount of the books.
Kobo Glo Pros and Cons
- Resolution. Crisp and clean image quality.
- Fast processor.
- The Book Store.
- Expandable Memory Space.
- Interchangeable Covers.
- Custom Reading Experience.
- Small Battery Life.
- On board storage space.
Is The Kobo Glo Worth Buying? Review Verdict
No Amazon Content. Although you can access the Kobo book store online, you’re unable to read books from Amazon on the device. Given that Amazon offers more eBooks than any of the competition, this is quite a drawback.
Other than that the Glo is a very nice eReader with plenty going for it, including a nice screen and the new ComfortGlow technology. It’s also fast and pretty sleek. However, it’s not perfect and does suffer from some drawbacks, especially against the Kindle Paperwhite. It does make for a good quality alternative to the big two competitors though, and you’re unlikely to be disappointed with this purchase,