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Kobo Book Readers 

While almost everyone has heard the name Kindle there are other people who make book readers and one such name is Kobo. In fact they do a whole range of devices here I am looking at two the KoboGlo and the KoboMini.

kobo glo ereader
click image to enlarge

Either of these would qualify as the smallest dedicated book reader that I have seen so let's start with the larger.

Kobo Glo

The Kobo Glo measures 15.5x11.5x1cm and weighs 183grams. Mine was white with a pinkie red back. It has two buttons on the top a micro USB connection on the base and a micro USB slot near the base of the left side, that is all the connections.

The viewable screen is 12.2x9cm. While reading in daylight is fine it is also possible to read at night with little or no light by using the smaller button on the top which is described as the 'Comfort Light' but of course use of this will lessen the time between recharge. The other button is a slider for on or to return to standby.

I found a slide of the slider and three seconds later you have an illustration on the screen showing you are in sleep mode. As this uses virtually no power in sleep that is not a problem the only significant power is used to turn the page unless of course you are using the backlight. Another slide or the slider and you return to where you were in whatever you are reading however I found this took around 25 seconds to happen, maybe a little slow.

Sixteen lines of text and up to fifty characters a line, I found that comfortable to read at about 35cm away from my eyes.

Should you have more than one device then they can be linked so that whatever you are reading can be read on the other unit. To do this or to purchase extra books you need a secondary unit such as a PC for linking them.

The Kobo Glo is available from the link below for £99.99

http://www.kobo.com/koboglo

Kobo Mini

The Kobo Mini does not have a backlight so it can only be used in daylight or where there is reasonable lighting - so no reading under the bedclothes - and my old eyes needed to be around 25cm from the text for comfortable reading.

This unit measures 13x10x1cm less at the edges. The screen is 10x7.5cm and the weight is 128grams, it will fit into a small pocket.

A typical page has sixteen lines of text and up to forty four characters a line the type is however clear and easy to read.

It has just the on/off slider on the top and a micro USB lead for charging and transferring items to and from the unit. Startup is 16seconds and shutdown two seconds.

A small four point instruction sheet should be enough to get you started even if you are totally new to book readers. 1) Plug your eReader into your computer 2) Use browser to visit www.kobosetup.com 3) Download and Install Kobo Desktop. 4) Start Kobo Desktop to finish setup.

While both readers worked efficiently using a single swipe across the screen to turn the page, the Mini did seem to small to me but for a younger person it may be ideal. The Glo having a backlight means you can read in poor light. The whole thing seems however to rest on the quality and number of books available in the native format.

The Kobo Mini is available from the link below for £49.99

http://www.kobo.com/kobomini

Browse the links given on the Kobo site, but a book reader is a very personal choice and they are widely available in the high street - stockists shown on the link - but W H Smith give you a chance to see first.

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