Kobo Mini

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Kobo Mini
thumb
Manufacturer Kobo Inc.
Type E-book reader
Release date 6 September 2012 (2012-09-06)
Introductory price USD/CAD $79
Operating system Kobo Firmware 3.4.1
Power 3.7V 1000mAh
CPU ARM Cortex A8 800 MHz single-core Freescale MCIMX507CVM8B
Memory 256MB SAMSUNG DDR SDRAM
Storage 2 GB internal memory (internal microSD)
No SD card slot
Display 5 inch diagonal,
16-level grayscale
600 × 800
electronic paper
Input zForce Touchscreen
On-screen keyboard
Connectivity CyberTAN WC121 802.11b/g/n SDIO Module
Dimensions 102 X 133 x 10mm
Weight 4.7 oz (134 g)
Best-selling game Chess and Sudoku

The Kobo Mini is a miniature, touch-based e-book reader produced by Kobo Inc.[1]

Hardware[edit]

Kobo Mini was introduced on 6 September 2012, with the Kobo Glo and Kobo Arc. Marketed with the slogan "Small is a Big Deal", it was targeted to those who wanted a pocket-sized device.

Kobo Mini includes an e-ink screen for legibility in direct sunlight. It also included 2 GB of internal storage. A distinguishing feature included SnapBacks (removable back covers) available in three colours at launch (Teal, Ruby Red, and Purple) with the distinct Kobo quilt pattern.[2] Kobo Mini was available in two colours: black, and white.

The Kobo Mini was intended to compete with the basic Kindle and Nook Simple Touch, with a similar price point, identical screen resolution, and the same amount of storage. Advantages included the smaller dimensions and lighter weight.[3]

Kobo claims the battery lasts for a month, assuming 30 minutes of reading a day and Wi-Fi turned off. Charging the Kobo, as well as transferring documents, is accomplished with the micro-USB connecting port.[4]

Software[edit]

Kobo Mini runs on the Kobo Firmware, based on the Linux kernel. The software is available in 8 languages and 2 variants: English, French, Canadian French, Japanese, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Brazilian Portuguese.[5]

The main screen shows tiles that automatically update based on actions the user has performed. Tiles may appear for books, newspapers, magazines, store categories, or games the user has recently read, browsed, or played, respectively. The main screen is called "Reading Life".[6]

The main application used by the Kobo Mini is the digital reader for books, newspaper, magazines and any document in the ePub, Kobo ePub, HTML, CBZ, CBA, MOBI, or PDF file formats.[4] The reader may adjust the font size, weight, and sharpness with an included tool called TypeGenius to further enhance readability. Highlighting, adding notes, and looking up definitions by long tapping a word or section in a book is also possible.[7]

Many libraries, such as the Ottawa Public Library[8] and the Toronto Public Library,[9] offer a Kobo-compatible program for borrowing library books. ePub with DRM requires a separate sign-in to authenticate the use of the DRM materials at Adobe.

To buy books, the reader may open the Kobo Bookstore. Through the wireless connection available on the device, books will begin downloading automatically after purchase and are saved in the cloudfor redownloading if the user deletes the book from his/her device. The user may also use the desktop client (Kobo Desktop) or a third party app (Calibre) to sync books to Kobo Mini.[10]

By purchasing the ebook through the bookstore, the reader's highlights, bookmarks, and reading location are synced to every other device they own. For example, reading to 54% on Kobo Mini will allow the user to resume at 54% while reading on their Kobo Glo.

An achievement system is also built in; by reaching reading goals (such as reading for x hours a day), the user will gain badges. This also provides statistics about the book the user is currently reading; for example, average time spent reading, pages flipped, number of books finished, etc.

The Kobo Mini also includes integration with the read-it-later service Pocket. Once a user has signed in with their Pocket account, articles saved to Pocket can be read on the Kobo Mini.[11][12]

Four experimental apps are included, but Kobo does not provide technical support for them. This includes Chess and Sudoku games, a drawing app (SketchPad) and a web browser.

Reception[edit]

Kobo Mini was received with positive to mixed reactions. While reviewers praised the compact design of the device,[13] there were several complaints: a less responsive touchscreen,[13] a lack of a target audience,[14] the small screen,[13] and its pricing.[15] Many stated that it would be "great for kids" and "those looking for a less expensive alternative to the Kindle."[14][16]

Pricing[edit]

Kobo Mini was initially released at the price of $79.99 in North America, but a $30 discount was offered during the Black Friday season of 2012. Later promotions offered a free Kobo Mini when purchasing a Kobo Arc tablet. By May 2014, the price had dropped to $49.99.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]