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    Kobo eReader Touch review

    Kobo eReader Touch review


    While many of the Borders bookstores have closed, Kobo reportedly is still thriving.  This week, the eReader division of the former bookstore giant unleashed their latest Kobo eReader Touch.  As described in the name, this one now has the touchscreen feature.  

    Conveniently, and I’m sure not planned at all, the new Kobo eReader Touch is announced just one day ahead of Barnes & Nobles’s press event in New York City, where B & N is scheduled to launch its new black and white NOOK.

    The Kobo eReader Touch Edition, also a black and white reader, features a 6-inch “Real Touch” E Ink touchscreen display with 16 shades of grey, Wi-Fi connectivity and a library of over 2.3 million books, newspapers and magazines, including over a million free titles.

    Star Rating:
    Where to Buy:   Best Buy, Walmart, Borders, Indigo
    Price:  $129.99

    Kobo’s new Touch can stuff over 1,000 books on its internal memory, and another 30,000 on a removable SD card.  This sucker is also feather-light at just 200 grams.

    The Kobo eReader Touch Edition is available for pre-order immediately from Best Buy, Walmart, Borders and Indigo for $129.99, and it will begin shipping in July. Kobo’s previous-generation reader has dropped to $99.99 as of Monday. 

    I had a chance to check out the new Kobo Touch before it’s upcoming release.  It is much like the original Kobo eReader with its super clear “Real Touch” E Ink technology.  The touch screen is nice, but really is nothing more than a luxury that, frankly, I rarely use on an eReader.  It’s so much easier to navigate with the navigator pad.

    WiFi connection works great, and there are a few features Kobo has added to the homescreen that really add to the full Kobo library experience.

    The Kobo is very much like the $99 Wi-Fi Kindle, although I’d have to say, with a slightly better screen, and of course, Touch capabilities.  It doesn’t have a keyboard like the Kindle.  I’m a fan of the physical keyboard because it makes searching for titles so much easier. It does, however, have an onboard keyboard for the same function.

    All in all, I’d say Kobo might make it in this market.  They’ve certainly made it easy to use the Kobo on almost every smartphone, offering a Kobo App for Android, iPhone, even HP/Palm.

    Check out the official press release and the demonstration video below…..


    Introduces an Amazing New Real Touch™ Experience
    Beautiful New Design That Travels Easily Anywhere
    The Ultimate in Reading Comfort
    Access to Millions of Titles with Wi Fi
    Plus, Reading Life Social Experience
    First International eReader – Available in 6 Languages
    Available for Pre-Order Today, In Stores for Father’s Day, Summer Vacation Reading

    BOOK EXPO AMERICA, NEW YORK – May 23, 2011 – Kobo, a global leader in eReading with more than 3.6 million users in over 100 countries worldwide, today announced the launch of the all-new Kobo eReader Touch Edition.  With a revolutionary new touch screen experience, Kobo makes eReading easier than ever and makes it even more accessible to people around the world.  Created for readers by readers, the beautiful new design provides the ultimate in reading comfort and is the most portable eReader – thin and light, it travels easily anywhere.  The new device also includes Reading Life, Kobo’s social experience, that lets users earn awards just for reading.

    Starting today, the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition will be available for pre-order at leading retailers across North America including Indigo (, Best Buy (, Walmart ( and Borders ( for an MSRP of $129.99 USD and $139 CAD.  The new eReader will ship in early June, in time for Father’s Day and graduation gifting, and includes a $10 Gift Card*.  The new Kobo eReader Touch comes in an array of new colors and debuts with a line of stylish new accessories, making it the perfect gift.

    As of today, the first generation Kobo Wi Fi goes to a new everyday low price of $99.99 USD and $109 CAD. Kobo pioneered the affordable eReader in May 2010, and now after record sales, the company is introducing its newest edition to deliver an experience that is easy and enjoyable for everyone, everywhere, now more portable and comfortable, and available in 6 languages – it’s truly the first International eReader.

    Kobo’s Real Touch™ experience uses Neonode’s new zForce™ infrared touch technology to make reading on Kobo just like that of reading a real book.  With the latest Pearl E Ink™ technology, reading on the new Kobo eReader is just like reading print on paper – it’s easy on the eyes, even in bright sunlight.  The new eReader is powered by the new Freescale™ i.MX508 processor, a high-performance engine designed to enable fast page turning for electronic paper displays.   A reading lover’s dream, the new device boasts storage of up to 30,000 books with expandable memory.

    “The new Kobo eReader is a major advance for readers.  We started with a simple, yet powerful idea – to bring eReading to more people in more places, and inspire people around the world to spend more time reading.  At a time when technology is disrupting all media, Kobo’s focus on the importance of reading has resulted in a revolutionary new experience for readers,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo Inc.  “This is the first eReader you can put in your pocket, take with you anywhere and read for hours just like a real book, with ultimate comfort and no distraction.  The new Kobo eReader is designed for people who love to read.”

    Named one of the powerhouses in eReading by Time.com¹ in 2011, Kobo has experienced explosive growth since its founding in December 2009, with a catalog of more than 2.3 million books, newspapers and magazines.  Purely focused on eReading, Kobo has driven many industry firsts such as support for Android, eBook gifting and its social experience – Reading Life. Kobo has customers in over 100 countries, local stores in English speaking countries and recently announced local stores in Germany, Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands which will launch beginning this month.  Kobo has become the partner of choice for leading tablet OEM’s such as Samsung and RIM, and powers book retailers in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the UK.

    Visit the Kobo booth (#2102) at BookExpo America (May 24–26) in the Digital Zone, to learn about the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition.  Plus, visit Borders-Manhattan (Columbus Circle) on Tuesday, May 24 from 12 noon – 2pm to see a demonstration of the Kobo eReader Touch Edition. Customers who pre-order the Kobo eReader Touch will receive free priority shipping on their order. Readers can also purchase the Kobo Wireless eReader for the low price of $79.99 and receive a $10 Borders gift card with their purchase.  In addition, one customer will win a Kobo Wireless eReader during the demonstration event.

    * While quantities last.

    ¹  Harry McCracken, ‘Your Best eReader May Be No eReader,’ Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011, Technologizer


    Kobo eReader Touch Edition: Features Overview


    AMAZING NEW REAL TOUCH™ EXPERIENCE – Now with new Infrared Touch Technology, eReading just got easier!  You can swipe to turn pages, just like a real book!  With our intuitive new Real Touch™ interface, you can highlight a phrase, lookup a word, zoom into an image, increase the font size, or quickly navigate through a book as well as your entire library.  Finding your next read is also quick and easy with a virtual keyboard.  We’ve taken the buttons out, so you can focus on reading.

    ·         New zForce™ Infrared touch technology – Uses Neonode’s patented touch-screen technology, zForce, to deliver market-leading finger navigation including gestures, multi-touch, sweeps and much more

    ·         New Pearl 6”  E Ink Screen – Equipped with the newest E Ink Screen featuring 16 level grey scale, the Kobo eReader Touch is a highly responsive and intuitive experience designed to help you forget about the device and focus on reading

    ·         High Performance Engine – Powered by Freescale™ i.MX508 for ultra fast page turning and low power consumption

    ·         Tap or Swipe to Turn Pages – Easily read and turn pages by swiping or tapping the screen – it’s just like reading a real book

    ·         Beautiful Home Screen – A beautiful, geometric mosaic of your most recently opened and newly added reads lets you easily find and open what you’re looking for with just one touch

    ·         Long Press for Highlights and Look Up – Long press on a word to bring up the highlighting tool – save favorite passages or look up a word using the built-in Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    ·         New Search and Virtual Keyboard – The Kobo eReader Touch Edition virtual keyboard makes it easy to find the book you’re looking for. Plus, the new predictive search feature automatically offers suggestions that match your query – before you’re even done typing

    ·         New Browse Experience – Navigating the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition is an intuitive experience – use the book browser to easily navigate through an entire chapter in a book; use simple page controls to move quickly through your library of books

    ·         Customizable Fonts – 2 font styles and 12 font sizes allows you to enjoy a read that is suited to your preferences and easy on your eyes

    ·         Bookmark Where You Last Left Off – or book mark several places. Plus, read across devices and pick up from the last page read with Kobo’s synched bookmark technology

    ·         PDF Zoom and Landscape – Zoom in 200% on image-intensive PDFs with a simple double tap. Drag to pan around images or touch Rotate to change from portrait to landscape and back

    BEAUTIFUL NEW DESIGN – With design partner IDEO, Kobo spent months listening to users to build a truly advanced reader that delivers a ‘true to life’ experience.  With the Kobo-signature soft quilted back and travel friendly size, the new Kobo eReader Touch offers the ultimate reading experience.

    ·         Iconic, Striking New Design – Now with latest 6” Pearl E Ink screen, Kobo’s latest edition introduces a contemporary design that puts the focus on reading

    ·         Single Home Button –With our new touch experience, we’ve eliminated the clutter so you can focus on reading.  The Kobo eReader Touch Edition has just one button, making navigation easy.  Books don’t have keyboards – neither should your eReader

    ·         The Ultimate in Reading Comfort – With our signature quilted soft-touch back, you can read for hours, plus the Kobo eReader Touch Edition is lightweight and thinner than most paperbacks

    ·         The Perfect Size for Readers – Fits in your pocket easily, so you can take it with you everywhere

    ·         Read in Style – Comes in an assortment of stylish new colors for any occasion. Choose from Lilac, Blue, Silver and Black

    ACCESS MILLIONS of TITLES: Easily connect via Wi Fi or USB to access more than 2.3 million books, newspapers and magazines from the Kobo Store.  Also borrow and read books from your local library.

    ·         Get Free Book Previews – Comes pre-loaded with 15 hand-picked FREE previews of the hottest new books – browse and preview millions of other titles in the Kobo store

    ·         One of the Largest Stores Worldwide – More than 2.3 million eBooks, with titles ranging from the New York Times’ bestseller list, the hottest new releases, thrillers, romance, Oprah’s Picks and more – there is an eBook for everyone

    ·         Popular Newspapers and Magazines – Enjoy free 2-week trials of the most popular newspapers and magazines

    ·         Over 1 Million FREE Titles – Kobo offers over 1 million free and engaging classics from Anna Karenina, to Pride and Prejudice, to Dracula!

    ·         Visit Your Local Library – With the new Kobo eReader Touch you can easily borrow and read eBooks from your local public library

    ·         Supports the Most Content – In addition to reading eBooks from the Kobo bookstore, you can also read eBooks from other eBook stores that use the ePub format – plus read PDF documents, and books

    ·         Buy and Download in Minutes – With just a few quick taps, you can browse, buy and download eBooks to your Kobo eReader Touch over Wi Fi

    ·         Shop and Read on Any Device With Kobo: Visit, use the Kobo Desktop or use an AndroidÔ phone, iPhoneÒ, iPadÒ, Blackberry® Smartphone or Blackberry® PlayBook to browse and shop the Kobo store.  Your library will always be kept up to date with Kobo Sync

    EARN AWARDS JUST FOR READING:  Kobo extends Reading Life to the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition – Reading Life is the most comprehensive social eReading experience and an industry-first social platform.

    ·         Discover Your Reading Style – Gain insight into your unique eReading fingerprint with Reading Life Stats – you can track the minutes per reading session of your current read, the number of pages you’ve turned, plus see an overview of books completed in your library

    ·         Celebrate Reading with Awards – Earn fun and exciting awards!  Connect and share your Reading Life with friends on Facebook.  The Twain: read daily for 2 weeks; The Juggernaut: read over 10,000 pages; Kill the Commute:  read during your morning commute.  Coming soon – users can earn awards and rewards just for spending time reading!

    ·         Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android in addition to the Kobo eReader Touch

    Love Reading Life? You can sync with your Android-enabled phone, iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and experience your Reading Life across devices

    THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL EREADER: To bring eReading to people around the world in their own language, the Kobo eReader Touch Edition will be available in multiple languages:  English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.  Readers will enjoy a localized user experience, local content, recommendations and a local store.


    ·         Available for pre-order starting today at leading retailers across North America including Indigo (, Best Buy (, Walmart (, and Borders ( for MSRP of $129.99 USD and $139 CAD

    ·         Available for in-store purchase beginning early June

    ·         As of today, the first generation Kobo Wi Fi goes to a new everyday low price of $99.99 USD and $109 CAD while quantities last

    ·         The Kobo eReader Touch Edition will ship to retailers worldwide in July

    For more information, visit


    David Novak
    David Novak
    For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology. His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show. His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.

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