Kobo Nia, hands on: A capable competitor for the entry-level Kindle Review

For numerous people today there’s only a single maker of e book readers in town. But that is not the situation, and Kobo has been in the industry for a when. The most current addition is the entry-level Nia, a 6-inch product that prices £89.99 (inc. VAT)/$99.ninety six. Top rated of Kobo’s reasonably substantial variety is the Forma, which prices £239.99/$249.99.

There is a committed Kobo e book keep which is not as perfectly populated as Amazon’s reserve keep. Continue to, if new titles and finest-sellers are your point, you will probably obtain what you need to have. Unlike its rival, a Kobo e book reader can also combine with your general public library’s e-financial loans technique, thanks to the partnership between Kobo and OverDrive, which is the company of general public library ebooks. It’s quick to established up, and opens a entire new world of reading through options — best proper now, as general public libraries keep on being largely shut.

if you need to have far more reading through choices, Kobo also dovetails with Pocket, a world-wide-web browser include-on that lets you mark content material for reading through at a later on day. Kobo can also share content material with Dropbox (when this write-up relates to the Kobo Forma, it applies to the Nia too). In all, the Nia — like other Kobo devices — can tackle 15 file formats: EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ and CBR.


The Kobo Nia has a 6-inch front-lit E-Ink screen with a resolution of 212ppi. The wi-fi-only product is run by a 1,000mAh battery and weighs 172g.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Kobo Nia is a neat little point. At just 112.4mm wide by 159.3mm deep by nine.2mm thick and weighing just 172g, it truly is tremendous-quick to fall it into your bag or backpack with no thought for sizing or excess weight troubles. It’s unashamedly plastic in build, but I have no dilemma with that. I’ve been using Kobo e book readers for years, along with the other major-brand devices, and I’ve not still cracked a casing or damaged a product. The stippling on the back may perhaps not appeal to everyone, but arguably it will help with grip.

The 6-inch E-Ink Carta exhibit has a resolution of 1,024 by 758 pixels (212ppi). By comparison, its entry-level rival the £69.99/$89.99 Kindle also has a 6-inch screen but only manages 167ppi (Amazon does not even mention the resolution in the Kindle’s spec sheet). Does that make any difference? Effectively, the increased pixel density of the Nia does necessarily mean text is that little bit sharper, though frankly if you don’t have the two devices facet by facet the comparison is just not that significant. Suffice to say, I was perfectly content reading through on the Nia.

There is a front-light-weight that permits you to read even in minimal ambient light-weight. Kobo calls it the ComfortLight, and you regulate it by managing your finger up and down the still left edge of the screen so there’s no need to have to lose your reading through movement when you need to have a little bit far more brightness. This is just an ordinary light-weight, not a blue light-weight filter, but I identified it good.


The Kogo Nia has an obtainable user interface and delivers a good deal of configuration solutions.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

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The Kindle user interface used to be quick to get all over, but above time it has grow to be complex and some obtain it puzzling and unfriendly to function with. By distinction, Kobo keeps factors easy, with the residence screen just showing your publications library divided from those in progress, and offering links to buying, your wishlist and other capabilities on a tap-to-open menu.

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (cost-free PDF) (TechRepublic)    

The variety of reading through capabilities on supply is in depth. You can adjust font and font sizing, there’s a dictionary, and a somewhat clever quick-forward/back technique that you use by very long urgent the bottom still left or proper of the screen. This, in conjunction with the potential to use a slider to go to any web page and preview it very first, research for words or phrases, go to certain web page numbers and established bookmarks, usually means there are a good deal of ways to navigate a text.


The MicroSD charging/relationship port is on the bottom, up coming to the energy button.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

With 8GB of storage on board, the Nia can tackle 6,000 ebooks at a time (the entry-level Kindle has 4GB). That’s a ridiculously massive variety of publications and much far more than any individual is most likely to want to carry all over with them. The simple advantage of this much storage is that you can maintain introducing content material to your library without having ever stressing about owning to need to have to make space for it. 

The 1,000mAh battery is rated for ‘weeks’ of everyday living. That’s not really precise, and what you get will be affected by how frequently you use the Kobo and irrespective of whether you have Wi-Fi on or not (there’s no SIM listed here). I turned Wi-Fi off when I did not need to have it to conserve energy, and the battery has run a minimum of an hour’s reading through a day for six days with the battery not still 20% depleted. So the battery is fairly very good for an extended spell. That’s very good information as the legacy Micro-USB demand cable could possibly be a stress to don’t forget to carry when you are away for a several days.

Kobo makes a protecting situation, the SleepCover, which arrives in blue, yellow and black and prices just £19.99/$19.99. It’s not exactly created of premium products, but it does the career of preserving the Nia’s screen and, as its identify implies, it immediately wakes the Nia up when opened, and puts it into rest mode when shut. 

If you are wanting for an substitute to the usual entry-level suspect, and you want a wide variety of file aid, including quick linking to general public library e book financial loans, the Kobo Nia is undoubtedly value thinking about.

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