Kobo revamps e-reader line, intros mini model
Nippier Android tablet too
Amazon rival Kobo has revamped its e-book reader line ahead of an anticipated Kindle relaunch from the online retail giant.
Kobo's existing reader, the Touch, has been given a lower price, and its 7in Android tablet is now called the Arc not the Vox and features souped up internals and a 1280 x 800 display.
New to the line-up are the Glo, a 6in E Ink reader with a backlight, and the Mini, which sports a 5in E Ink display.
Local pricing isn't yet available, but in the US the Mini and Glo will come in at $80 (£50) and £130 (£82), respectively. The Touch's new price is $100 (£63) before sales tax. The Arc cost $200 (£126) for an 8GB model, or $250 (£157) for the 16GB version, again before taxes.
Mini and Arc
The Arc doesn't arrive until November, but the others go on sale in October.
Here in the UK, Kobo's main partner is WHSmith. It's not yet taking advance orders for the new readers, but its site is likely to be updated shortly. In Australia, it'll be available through Collins bookshops. ®
Errm, people who want to read books rather than play games, who want a daylight-readable screen, and vastly better battery life? There's definitely a market there, and the price of these devices is getting down to the "what the hell, let's just buy one" level. The biggest threat would be if they leave the numbers on the price stickers the same and just change the currency symbol. £1=$1 has always been the curse of gadgetry in the UK,
I have the older gen £50 kobo
I can easily read it outdoors in bright daylight and a button on the bottom means I don't have to put my grimy mitts on the reading area. And the battery lasts for ages. Unlike tablets and phones it does one thing well rather than 50 things really badly.
The next generation
On a side note, now that we've got tech for wireless charging, wireless data transfer and solid state touch control, how long do people think it will be before we see the first 100% sealed waterproof ereader for taking to the pool?
I predict it will be called something like the Kindle Splash.
Mini & Glo prices
WHSmith are listing both the Mini and Glo as pre-order items with prices. They cost £59.99 and £99.99 respectively - which isn't far removed from the US prices + 20% VAT!
If the prices are what is in $, UK £ will be the same and Kobo can kiss goodbye to UK market penetration.
With the plethora of £60 to £90 Android tablets, who will want just an e-reader for that price?