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

For quite a few people today there is only just one maker of book audience in city. But that’s not the situation, and Kobo has been in the market for a while. The hottest addition is the entry-level Nia, a 6-inch product that expenses £89.ninety nine (inc. VAT)/$ninety nine.96. Top of Kobo’s fairly extensive vary is the Forma, which expenses £239.ninety nine/$249.ninety nine.

There is a dedicated Kobo book retail store which is not as very well populated as Amazon’s reserve retail store. Nevertheless, if new titles and finest-sellers are your issue, you are going to most likely discover what you need. Contrary to its rival, a Kobo book reader can also combine with your public library’s e-financial loans system, many thanks to the relationship amongst Kobo and OverDrive, which is the company of public library ebooks. It is really effortless to established up, and opens a whole new globe of studying options — great ideal now, as public libraries continue being mainly shut.

if you need much more studying choices, Kobo also dovetails with Pocket, a web browser include-on that allows you mark information for studying at a afterwards date. Kobo can also share information with Dropbox (while this posting relates to the Kobo Forma, it applies to the Nia as well). In all, the Nia — like other Kobo gadgets — can deal with 15 file formats: EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ and CBR.


The Kobo Nia has a 6-inch entrance-lit E-Ink display screen with a resolution of 212ppi. The wi-fi-only product is powered by a 1,000mAh battery and weighs 172g.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Kobo Nia is a neat minimal issue. At just 112.4mm extensive by 159.3mm deep by 9.2mm thick and weighing just 172g, it is super-effortless to fall it into your bag or backpack with no imagined for dimensions or fat issues. It is really unashamedly plastic in make, but I have no challenge with that. I have been working with Kobo book audience for decades, together with the other major-manufacturer gadgets, and I have not yet cracked a casing or damaged a product. The stippling on the back again could not attraction to absolutely everyone, but arguably it helps with grip.

The 6-inch E-Ink Carta display has a resolution of 1,024 by 758 pixels (212ppi). By comparison, its entry-level rival the £69.ninety nine/$89.ninety nine Kindle also has a 6-inch display screen but only manages 167ppi (Amazon isn’t going to even mention the resolution in the Kindle’s spec sheet). Does that make any difference? Very well, the larger pixel density of the Nia does signify textual content is that bit sharper, whilst frankly if you never have the two gadgets aspect by aspect the comparison isn’t really that significant. Suffice to say, I was correctly delighted studying on the Nia.

There is a entrance-light-weight that allows you to read through even in minimal ambient light-weight. Kobo calls it the ComfortLight, and you regulate it by jogging your finger up and down the left edge of the display screen so there is no need to reduce your studying stream when you need a bit much more brightness. This is just an ordinary light-weight, not a blue light-weight filter, but I observed it high-quality.


The Kogo Nia has an obtainable person interface and offers a good deal of configuration options.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

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The Kindle person interface used to be effortless to get around, but around time it has grow to be advanced and some discover it puzzling and unfriendly to do the job with. By contrast, Kobo keeps factors basic, with the household display screen just demonstrating your books library divided from these in development, and furnishing inbound links to purchasing, your wishlist and other options on a faucet-to-open up menu.

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

The vary of studying options on supply is complete. You can change font and font dimensions, there is a dictionary, and a alternatively clever rapid-ahead/back again system that you use by extensive pressing the base left or ideal of the display screen. This, in conjunction with the ability to use a slider to go to any web site and preview it first, look for for phrases or phrases, go to distinct web site numbers and established bookmarks, suggests there are a good deal of techniques to navigate a textual content.


The MicroSD charging/link port is on the base, subsequent to the electric power button.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

With 8GB of storage on board, the Nia can deal with 6,000 ebooks at a time (the entry-level Kindle has 4GB). Which is a ridiculously large range of books and a lot much more than anybody is probably to want to have around with them. The useful advantage of this a lot storage is that you can hold including information to your library with out at any time stressing about having to need to make space for it. 

The 1,000mAh battery is rated for ‘weeks’ of everyday living. Which is not pretty certain, and what you get will be impacted by how frequently you use the Kobo and whether you have Wi-Fi on or not (there is no SIM listed here). I turned Wi-Fi off when I did not need it to conserve electric power, and the battery has powered a minimal of an hour’s studying a working day for six days with the battery not yet twenty{d11068cee6a5c14bc1230e191cd2ec553067ecb641ed9b4e647acef6cc316fdd} depleted. So the battery is pretty fantastic for an extended spell. Which is fantastic news as the legacy Micro-USB charge cable could possibly be a inconvenience to remember to have when you might be away for a several days.

Kobo can make a protective situation, the SleepCover, which arrives in blue, yellow and black and expenses just £19.ninety nine/$19.ninety nine. It is really not accurately made of quality materials, but it does the occupation of preserving the Nia’s display screen and, as its identify indicates, it instantly wakes the Nia up when opened, and puts it into rest mode when shut. 

If you might be on the lookout for an choice to the standard entry-level suspect, and you want a extensive vary of file aid, including effortless linking to public library book financial loans, the Kobo Nia is definitely well worth thinking about.

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