Feeds
75%
Kobo Mini

Kobo Mini 5in compact e-reader review

Pocket-friendly alternative to the mass-market paperback

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A small read

Fortunately, most of these are available directly from Kobo, which has no shortage of free e-books on offer, accessed on the device as well as the separate desktop library and device manager, which you’ll need to initialise the device after connecting it - it has a micro USB port. In this day and age, you really shouldn't be forced to connect a device to a computer before it will work - especially a gadget with wireless internet connectivity on board. Kobo loses points for that.

Kobo Mini

Small, but not skinny

Back the screen, though, and it suffers from the same level of insensitivity as other e-readers’ touch panels: there’s a lag between a touch and the UI being updated to reflect it. It’s not good for fast text-typists, but it’s not very much worse than other touch e-readers I’ve tried. Other than the power slider on top, there are no physical buttons on the Mini.

Tapping to turn pages isn’t so bad, though - it’s really only a pain when you’re keying in text for searches and Wi-Fi passwords, and adjusting settings controls.

Kobo Mini

Adjust the page's appearance to your heart's content

Quite apart from being physically small, the Mini is cheap too, just £60. That gets you 2GB of storage, though only 1GB is available for book storage. There’s no memory card slot, but you can still get a fair few books on it, not just ePubs but also PDFs, images, and CBZ and CBR files. That said comics aren’t much of a pleasure to read on a screen this size when, though there’s a zoom, panning around the page is such a slow process. And they’ll be in monochrome of course.

A small size means less of a battery too. Kobo separately claims a month's or two weeks' usage when the Mini's Wi-Fi pick-up is disabled. I'd suggest the latter, especially if you get the device to refresh the page on every turn, as I did. Still, it's way better than a tablet will give you, and a reasonable trade-off for the size of the device.

Kobo Mini

One final point: like other Kobo e-readers, the Mini includes and optional font intended to make life easier for dyslexia sufferers, OpenDyslexic to be precise. It looks odd for the rest of us, but it's said to help prevent the textual flipping and swapping dyslexic folk experience. Nice touch.

Verdict

The Kobo Mini’s strength is not its low price - the basic, touchless Kindle is only £9 more and has a larger display - but its size. It’s perhaps a niche product: one for folk who want an easily pocketable e-reader they can keep with them at all times, though they’ll probably use a phone instead. But it’s particularly apt for kids and if you want the e-reader you take to the beach to be a little more discreet. ®

More E-Reader Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Nook Simple Touch
Glowlight
Samsung
Galaxy Note 2
Google
Nexus 7
Bookeen
Cybook Odyssey
Amazon
Kindle 4

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

75%
Kobo Mini

Kobo Mini 5in compact e-reader review

Smaller-than-usual 5in e-reader that's much more pocket-friendly than its rivals yet delivers a comparable reading experience.
Price: £60 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?