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

Nancy J. Delong

For numerous people you can find only 1 maker of book audience in town. But which is not the scenario, and Kobo has been in the current market for a whilst. The newest addition is the entry-amount Nia, a six-inch gadget that fees £89.99 (inc. VAT)/$99.96. Top of Kobo’s rather extensive array is the Forma, which fees £239.99/$249.99.

There is a focused Kobo book retailer which is not as very well populated as Amazon’s guide retailer. Nevertheless, if new titles and greatest-sellers are your issue, you can probably locate what you need to have. As opposed to its rival, a Kobo book reader can also combine with your public library’s e-loans method, many thanks to the romance amongst Kobo and OverDrive, which is the provider of public library ebooks. It can be simple to set up, and opens a whole new environment of reading choices — great proper now, as public libraries keep on being largely closed.

if you need to have much more reading options, Kobo also dovetails with Pocket, a internet browser insert-on that allows you mark articles for reading at a afterwards day. Kobo can also share articles with Dropbox (whilst this post relates to the Kobo Forma, it applies to the Nia way too). In all, the Nia — like other Kobo gadgets — can tackle fifteen file formats: EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ and CBR.


The Kobo Nia has a six-inch entrance-lit E-Ink display screen with a resolution of 212ppi. The wi-fi-only gadget is powered by a 1,000mAh battery and weighs 172g.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Kobo Nia is a neat minor issue. At just 112.4mm huge by 159.3mm deep by nine.2mm thick and weighing just 172g, it truly is super-simple to fall it into your bag or backpack with no thought for dimension or pounds difficulties. It can be unashamedly plastic in build, but I have no difficulty with that. I have been making use of Kobo book audience for decades, along with the other significant-brand gadgets, and I have not still cracked a casing or broken a gadget. The stippling on the again could not attractiveness to all people, but arguably it aids with grip.

The six-inch E-Ink Carta exhibit has a resolution of 1,024 by 758 pixels (212ppi). By comparison, its entry-amount rival the £69.99/$89.99 Kindle also has a six-inch display screen but only manages 167ppi (Amazon does not even mention the resolution in the Kindle’s spec sheet). Does that make any difference? Properly, the larger pixel density of the Nia does signify text is that bit sharper, although frankly if you never have the two gadgets side by side the comparison isn’t really that significant. Suffice to say, I was perfectly satisfied reading on the Nia.

There is a entrance-gentle that enables you to read through even in restricted ambient gentle. Kobo phone calls it the ComfortLight, and you change it by running your finger up and down the remaining edge of the display screen so you can find no need to have to reduce your reading stream when you need to have a bit much more brightness. This is just an ordinary gentle, not a blue gentle filter, but I observed it good.


The Kogo Nia has an accessible consumer interface and features loads of configuration solutions.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

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The Kindle consumer interface used to be simple to get all around, but more than time it has turn into intricate and some locate it complicated and unfriendly to operate with. By distinction, Kobo retains issues basic, with the household display screen just showing your textbooks library divided from individuals in development, and providing links to purchasing, your wishlist and other functions on a faucet-to-open menu.

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

The array of reading functions on provide is comprehensive. You can alter font and font dimension, you can find a dictionary, and a instead intelligent quickly-forward/again method that you use by very long urgent the bottom remaining or proper of the display screen. This, in conjunction with the capacity to use a slider to go to any website page and preview it initial, research for terms or phrases, go to distinct website page numbers and set bookmarks, means there are loads of means to navigate a text.


The MicroSD charging/link port is on the bottom, up coming to the electric power button.

Impression: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

With 8GB of storage on board, the Nia can tackle six,000 ebooks at a time (the entry-amount Kindle has 4GB). Which is a ridiculously big number of textbooks and substantially much more than anyone is likely to want to have all around with them. The simple edge of this substantially storage is that you can keep including articles to your library without at any time worrying about obtaining to need to have to make space for it. 

The 1,000mAh battery is rated for ‘weeks’ of existence. Which is not pretty specific, and what you get will be affected by how usually you use the Kobo and whether you have Wi-Fi on or not (you can find no SIM right here). I turned Wi-Fi off when I failed to need to have it to conserve electric power, and the battery has powered a least of an hour’s reading a working day for six times with the battery not still 20% depleted. So the battery is very great for an prolonged spell. Which is great information as the legacy Micro-USB demand cable could be a headache to bear in mind to have when you’re absent for a few times.

Kobo tends to make a protecting scenario, the SleepCover, which will come in blue, yellow and black and fees just £19.99/$19.99. It can be not exactly made of high quality materials, but it does the task of safeguarding the Nia’s display screen and, as its title implies, it instantly wakes the Nia up when opened, and puts it into snooze manner when closed. 

If you’re on the lookout for an choice to the regular entry-amount suspect, and you want a huge array of file help, which includes simple linking to public library book loans, the Kobo Nia is surely well worth looking at.

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