In today’s article, we’ll review the Kobo Mini. Kobo is perhaps the least widely-known of the major eReader competitors, but that hasn’t stopped it from keeping pace and developing new products on a schedule that matches the industry’s big boys.
Kobo Mini ereader review
Aside from pretty names, they also each have their own distinct place in the market. The Kobo Mini’s place is in the ultraportable niche. So is it worth buying, or should you stick to one of the more mainstream reading devices?
Kobo Mini: Pros and Cons
- Small pocket-sized
- Weight and portability
- Touch Screen
- Interchangeable Back Covers
- Small storage space – not expandable
- No Sound
- Small Battery life
- Not E Ink Pearl Display
The Kobo Mini Key Specs
Screen Size: 5 inches
Screen Type: E-Ink
Weight: 4.73 oz
Storage Size: 2GB
Main eBook Format: ePub
Kobo Mini In-Depth Review
The display on this device is actually an older piece of technology than any of the rival eReaders use now. Instead of the standard E Ink Pearl display, the Mini uses a Vizplex V110. A display that generally doesn’t produce such great image quality. Kobo insists that at this screen size, the quality difference isn’t noticeable, and this looks to be true in reality, but those who are picky about details may pick up on some differences and feel dissatisfied.
Size and Weight
The most important feature of the Mini ereader is its size. Most eReaders are at least 6” in screen size – certainly, those among the Kindle and Nook ranges are. This is one part of the market which Kobo now has to itself more or less. The only rivals are much older eReader devices, which offer much less than this one.
Because the screen of the Mini is only 5”, it can truly be called pocket-sized. OK, it doesn’t fit completely into the palm of your hand like a cell phone, but it’s not far off, and can comfortably slip into a jeans pocket or coat pocket. That makes it much more portable than any of the other eReaders on the market – a massive selling point, especially for those who don’t have a bag to carry a larger eReader around in.
Along with the tiny size, the Kobo Mini device, it’s also one of the lightest eReaders on the market. Of the current generation of eReader products, it undercuts its nearest rival’s weight by around 20%. This makes a noticeable difference which adds greatly to the portability of the device.
If you’re the sort of person who really notices the weight of an eReader when carrying it with you, then you’ll be delighted by this product.
Even though it’s tiny, the Mini ebook-reader still offers a touch screen. This is a really nice feature that gives the device a really current feel which will appeal to all those fans of tablets and smartphones.
What is the Cost
Another major plus point for the Mini e-reader is the price. At around $80 it’s only $10 more than the Kindle with ads. The Mini ereader is an ad-free experience, however, and with the additional portability, it’s a serious rival to the basic Kindle device.
Interchangeable Back Covers
Nice touch with all the products in the new Kobo range are the interchangeable back covers. These covers come in several colors, with even more options expected at a later date. This allows you to give your device a personal touch. Also, is very useful for a family that owns more than one device as it helps to distinguish whose is whose without having to look on the device itself.
Customizable Reading Experience
One of the best things about the ebook reader has always been the ability to customize the reading experience. You can choose from 12 different font types and 24 different font sizes, as well as adjusting how dark or light the text appears to be and more besides. This allows you to make the experience of reading on the device just right for you.
Reading Life And Pulse
Reading Life and Pulse have been two of Kobo’s most unique features for a while now. Reading Life lets you automatically post highlighted passages in your books to Facebook as well as sharing your reading statistics with friends. Pulse is a feature that allows you to chat with other people reading the same book as you, and gives you the option to avoid spoilers by only chatting with others who are at the same point in the book as you are.
2GB of storage is fairly standard right now for entry-level eReaders, but it would still be nice to see this improved, especially as you really only have 1GB for personal storage with the other half devoted to the operating system.
No Expandable Storage: This is a real shortcoming for the Mini ereader. Not only does it have a limited on-board storage of 2GB, but it’s not possible to expand this either.
The battery life of the is shorter than all of the rival products on the market. It’ll last for around 2 weeks with Wi-Fi off, whereas alternatives last a minimum of 4 weeks. That’s a noticeable difference.
Because it’s such a small device there’s no room for any kind of speakers. Although the sound isn’t that important for most eReader users, it’s still a shame that it couldn’t be included. There are plenty of people who like having text to voice features, and they won’t be able to.
Is The Kobo Mini Worth Buying?
The Kobo Mini is definitely worth buying and you can get it at a good price, especially if you’re looking for a really portable eReader. There’s no other current generation eReader on the market right now that can match this on that front.
However, if you need lots of storage, or find the battery life to be a big factor in your buying decisions, then you might not be satisfied with this product. You may also prefer to have a larger screen if portability isn’t a major factor in your choice. However, this is a good product that shouldn’t be dismissed.