Text and photos by Gadjo C. Sevilla
2012 is the year of big things in small packages. We've seen and loved the Google Nexus 7 tablet and there's news of something small coming from Apple in less than a week, it really is time to celebrate the more diminutive devices in consumer technology. Which brings us to the Kobo mini, at $75.99 it is the Mini Cooper of eReaders and a fun and capable device.
Kobo took the best aspects of the Kobo Touch including the WiFi synching, great no glare e-Ink touchscreen, one-month battery life (without WiFi), all the Kobo software features (Kobo Everywhere, Social Reading, built-in dictonary) and 2GB of storage.
The Kobo mini's biggest feature is its small size which makes it incredibly portable and consequently brings the eReader's price down to $79.99 which makes it a viable stocking stuffer come this holiday season and a nice impulse buy for anyone who may be curious about eReaders.
The device itself is Zen-like in its simplicity. It has a power button on top and a USB 2.0 port at the bottom for charging to connecting to computers. It is covered in rubber textured plastic with the signature Kobo quilt pattern at the rear for good grip.
While small in size, the Kobo mini doesn't feel like a compromise. Since users can change font sizes and types at will the smaller size won't mean smaller text (although you will get fewer words on a page). One area that might be a bit challenging, specially for eReader users who have used larger models is working the on screen keyboard which is naturally smaller.
Most users will not spend too much time typing on this device except when searching for books or texts to buy. The Kobo mini is really the new entry level eReader from Kobo and because it is so darn cute and portable, it is likely going to sell very well and will attract new users.
I think the Kobo mini is the biggest thing to happen to eReaders in Canada this year.
It takes all the best features of its predecessors and Kobo's access to 3 million books and puts it in a smaller package that's also priced just right.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5