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Kobo eReader Touch review

A real Kindle Touch rival - and this one's on sale in the UK

Our Verdict

For

  • Very portable
  • Attractive interface
  • Decent fonts and options
  • Excellent PDF support
  • Good catalogue of books

Against

  • No physical page-turn buttons
  • Awkward to use one-handed
  • Some gaps in the catalogue
  • Some fonts are a bit thin
  • No 3G

For a while it was looking as if Amazon had the UK ebook market to itself: while rival booksellers offered a range of ebook readers from the likes of Elonex and Sony, nobody offered the soup-to-nuts service of Amazon's Kindle, store and associated apps. Now, though, Amazon UK has a serious rival in the form of WHSmith and its new Canadian friend, Kobo.

Kobo isn't new to the ebook game - it's been doing decent business in the US for a few years now, and its UK ebook store has been open since February 2010 - but its ereaders are new to Britain. There are two models, starting at £89.99 for the Kobo Wireless eReader and rising to £109.99 for the newer touchscreen Kobo eReader Touch.

Given the choice, we'd pay the extra 20 quid - the Kobo eReader Touch makes its sibling look rather old-fashioned, and while it isn't quite a Kindle killer, it comes very close indeed. If you don't like Amazon's power, can't wait for the Kindle Touch to be offered over here or just think the redesigned Kindle mings, the Kobo eReader Touch is a genuine alternative to Amazon's offering.

Kobo ereader touch

It's an alternative that in some respects beats Amazon's device at its own game. It looks better, has a nicer user interface and has a better range of typefaces, and unlike Amazon's touch-screen device you can actually buy one in British shops.

Ebook readers aren't just about technology, of course - they're about content too, because nobody's going to shell out for an ebook reader they can't get any books for. Kobo's got that covered, too: while we found a few gaps in the catalogue, the big hitters were present, correct and no more expensive than Amazon.

Kobo ereader touch

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Text Reader
Flash Memory Capacity2 GB
TouchscreenYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card
Brand NameKobo
Screen Size15.2 cm (6")
Battery Built-inYes
Processor ManufacturerFreescale
Wireless LANYes
Display Screen TypeE Ink
Display Screen TechnologyElectronic Paper
Text FormatsMOB, ePub, PDF, TXT, HTML, RTF
Height208 mm
Width114 mm
Depth10 mm
ColourBlack
Image FormatsGIF, TIF, JPEG, BMP, PNG
FeaturesBookmark, Content Search
ManufacturerKobo, Inc
Product ModelTouch
Product NameTouch Digital Text Reader
Manufacturer Part NumberN905-KBO-B
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.koboereader.com
Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Limited Warranty1 Year
Host InterfaceUSB
Weight (Approximate)185 g