New Kobo family proves Kindle are not the only e-readers in town

By Dominic Smith,

It was announced late last week that eReading giants Kobo (10-million users in 190 countries with around 3 million books across 60 different languages) are set to unleash a pretty awesome series of eReaders for everyone – the Mini, Kobo Glo, and Kobo Arc. Starting at £59.99 the series will be available at the world’s largest network of booksellers and leading retailers including WHSmith. Good work.

Kobo Family

Arguably the most impressive (in our view, at least) is the new front-lit, Kobo Glo. It is billed as the next generation in comfortable eReading. It’s got nice soft, even and adjustable ComfortLight technology to enable consumers to read anytime – day or night. That’s nice, isn’t it? Its durable screen and customisable page-turning features make it very useful. To go a bit deeper into it all, the Kobo Glo uses E Ink technology, customisable fonts and a no-glare XGA high-resolution 6” E Ink screen that is just like reading print on paper, and connects easily to Wi Fi allowing users to explore and discover recommendations in the Kobo eBookstore. The Kobo Glo eReader comes in black or white and a selection of stylish colours like…err, Blue Moon and will be available starting October 1 for £99.99 MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price).

“Our focus has remained firmly on delivering a superior experience for booklovers around the world. With 11,000 booksellers and leading retail partners across five continents, we are bringing the new Kobo Family to booklovers everywhere,”
Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo.

This announcement follows last week’s one about Kobo’s slick partnership with the American Booksellers Association (working with 2,000 bookstores across America). US independent bookstores now join Kobo’s global network of leading booksellers including Indigo (Canada), WHSmith (UK), FNAC (France), Mondadori (Italy), Libris (Netherlands), Collins (Australia), Whitcoulls (New Zealand), Rakuten (Japan). Massive!

The Kobo Mini meanwhile, is the world’s smallest and lightest full-featured E Ink eReader available, offering the full Kobo experience at a very decent and accessible value. Proving that great things come in small packages (like me…ahem), the 5” Kobo Mini easily fits into the pocket Kobo with some excellent features. Just like reading print on paper, the no-glare 5” E Ink screen is pretty easy on the eyes (even in sunlight) and it comes in black or white and offers a selection of three Kobo SnapBacks in Teal, Ruby Red, and Purple. So peeps, basically, this one is best for people on-the-go, young adults, and easy for first-time readers to hold and read; it’ll hold 1,000 eBooks and like the Glo, it’ll be available from October 1 priced at £59.99 MSRP. Cool beans.

Neeext! We have the award-winning Kobo Touch, which is the industry’s first touch-screen eReader and is available in stores around the world. This one is now £79.99 and includes Kobo’s latest software with more ways to personalise the reading experience, get recommendations and discover new content. The Kobo Touch is available in seven languages including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Japanese. It’s as good as it sounds. Seriously.
On to the (very) impressive Arc now; this delightful beast offers booklovers a Android 4.0 multimedia tablet with a new way to discover content – books, movies, TV shows, music, web pages and more. With a Kobo-developed interface called Tapestries (…this is so cool!), Kobo Arc is giving consumers a more exciting way to engage with content.

Using an intelligent cross-media recommendations engine, Tapestries responds to the user’s “pinned” content to recommend related videos, movies, books, webpages and other related content. What’s also cool about Tapestries is that it makes it easy to discover new personal multimedia recommendations with little effort as the engine “learns” what users enjoy. The 7” high-definition display delivers crisp, sharp text and with 16-million colours to create the best photos. With front-facing speakers featuring SRS TruMedia, a built-in microphone and high-resolution 1.3 MP camera, the Kobo Arc offers up to 10 hours of continuous reading or video play (yeah!), and two weeks on standby. With Google Play, Kobo Arc users have access to more than 600,000 apps and pre-loaded ones like Facebook, Twitter and PressReader. The Kobo Arc is available in all the usual colours and interchangeable SnapBacks. This one will be available from November, starting at £159.99 (8G) MSRP and £189.99 (16G) MSR.

For more information visit the official Kobo website: http://www.kobobooks.com