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

For several men and women you will find only 1 maker of book viewers in city. But that is not the situation, and Kobo has been in the current market for a though. The most up-to-date addition is the entry-stage Nia, a six-inch machine that expenses £89.99 (inc. VAT)/$99.96. Major of Kobo’s quite substantial variety is the Forma, which expenses £239.99/$249.99.

There is a devoted Kobo book store which is not as effectively populated as Amazon’s book store. However, if new titles and greatest-sellers are your issue, you can expect to in all probability discover what you need. Contrary to its rival, a Kobo book reader can also integrate with your community library’s e-financial loans process, thanks to the romance among Kobo and OverDrive, which is the company of community library ebooks. It truly is quick to established up, and opens a full new world of looking at prospects — ideal proper now, as community libraries continue to be mainly closed.

if you need additional looking at alternatives, Kobo also dovetails with Pocket, a internet browser include-on that allows you mark content for looking at at a later on date. Kobo can also share content with Dropbox (though this short article relates to the Kobo Forma, it applies to the Nia also). In all, the Nia — like other Kobo gadgets — can cope with fifteen file formats: EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ and CBR.


The Kobo Nia has a six-inch entrance-lit E-Ink monitor with a resolution of 212ppi. The wi-fi-only machine is driven by a one,000mAh battery and weighs 172g.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The Kobo Nia is a neat minimal issue. At just 112.4mm large by 159.3mm deep by nine.2mm thick and weighing just 172g, it really is tremendous-quick to fall it into your bag or backpack with no considered for dimensions or pounds issues. It truly is unashamedly plastic in establish, but I have no dilemma with that. I’ve been utilizing Kobo book viewers for many years, along with the other huge-brand name gadgets, and I’ve not still cracked a casing or damaged a machine. The stippling on the back might not appeal to anyone, but arguably it helps with grip.

The six-inch E-Ink Carta display has a resolution of one,024 by 758 pixels (212ppi). By comparison, its entry-stage rival the £69.99/$89.99 Kindle also has a six-inch monitor but only manages 167ppi (Amazon doesn’t even mention the resolution in the Kindle’s spec sheet). Does that subject? Perfectly, the greater pixel density of the Nia does imply text is that little bit sharper, whilst frankly if you do not have the two gadgets facet by facet the comparison is just not that meaningful. Suffice to say, I was flawlessly happy looking at on the Nia.

There is a entrance-light-weight that permits you to examine even in confined ambient light-weight. Kobo phone calls it the ComfortLight, and you alter it by operating your finger up and down the left edge of the monitor so you will find no need to lose your looking at stream when you need a little bit additional brightness. This is just an ordinary light-weight, not a blue light-weight filter, but I identified it wonderful.


The Kogo Nia has an obtainable user interface and delivers a great deal of configuration options.

Photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Major ZDNET Opinions

The Kindle user interface employed to be quick to get all-around, but around time it has grow to be intricate and some discover it puzzling and unfriendly to perform with. By distinction, Kobo retains items basic, with the residence monitor just displaying your textbooks library separated from these in progress, and offering links to searching, your wishlist and other options on a faucet-to-open up menu.

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

The variety of looking at options on present is extensive. You can adjust font and font dimensions, you will find a dictionary, and a somewhat intelligent speedy-forward/back process that you use by very long urgent the bottom left or proper of the monitor. This, in conjunction with the means to use a slider to go to any website page and preview it 1st, lookup for text or phrases, go to specific website page quantities and established bookmarks, indicates there are a great deal of approaches to navigate a text.


The MicroSD charging/link port is on the bottom, future to the energy button.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

With 8GB of storage on board, the Nia can cope with six,000 ebooks at a time (the entry-stage Kindle has 4GB). That is a ridiculously massive amount of textbooks and considerably additional than any one is likely to want to have all-around with them. The sensible benefit of this considerably storage is that you can hold incorporating content to your library without ever stressing about acquiring to need to make area for it. 

The one,000mAh battery is rated for ‘weeks’ of existence. That is not very distinct, and what you get will be influenced by how frequently you use the Kobo and whether or not you have Wi-Fi on or not (you will find no SIM here). I turned Wi-Fi off when I did not need it to preserve energy, and the battery has driven a minimum of an hour’s looking at a working day for 6 days with the battery not still 20% depleted. So the battery is very fantastic for an prolonged spell. That is fantastic news as the legacy Micro-USB demand cable may well be a problem to keep in mind to have when you happen to be absent for a several days.

Kobo will make a protective situation, the SleepCover, which arrives in blue, yellow and black and expenses just £19.99/$19.99. It truly is not accurately manufactured of premium materials, but it does the job of preserving the Nia’s monitor and, as its title implies, it instantly wakes the Nia up when opened, and places it into slumber method when closed. 

If you happen to be looking for an alternative to the typical entry-stage suspect, and you want a large variety of file assistance, such as quick linking to community library book financial loans, the Kobo Nia is absolutely worthy of looking at.

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