Kobo eReader

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Kobo logo (2015).svg
Kobo Aura.jpg
Kobo Aura, Kobo's baseline e-reader
Manufacturer Kobo Inc.
Release date Kobo eReader Wireless:
10 May 2010
Kobo eReader Touch:
23 May 2011
Kobo Glo:
6 September 2012
Kobo Mini:
6 September 2012
Kobo Aura HD:
17 April 2013
Kobo Aura:
27 August 2013
Kobo Aura H2O:
1 October 2014
Kobo Glo HD:
1 May 2015
Introductory price Kobo eReader Wireless
Kobo eReader Touch:
Kobo Glo:
Kobo Mini:
Kobo Aura HD:
Kobo Aura:
Kobo Aura H2O:
Kobo Glo HD:
Operating system Kobo Firmware
CPU Kobo eReader Touch:
800MHz Freescale i.MX507
Kobo Glo:
Kobo Mini:
800MHZ Freescale i.MX507
Kobo Aura HD:
1GHz Freescale i.MX507
Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, Kobo Glo HD:
Storage Kobo eReader Wireless
1 GB of memory (or around 1,000 books) plus up to 32 GB SD card
Kobo eReader Touch, Kobo Glo:
2 GB of memory (1,500 books) plus up to 32 GB microSD card
Kobo Mini:
2 GB of memory (1,500 books)
Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura HD, Kobo Aura H2O, Kobo Glo HD:
4 GB of memory (3,000 books) plus up to 32 GB microSD card
Display Kobo eReader Wireless, Kobo eReader Touch, Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura:
6" E Ink
Kobo Mini:
5" E Ink
Kobo Aura HD:
6.8" E Ink
Input Kobo eReader Wireless:
Four directional d-pad
Kobo eReader Touch, Kobo Glo, Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura HD, Kobo Aura:
Connectivity USB
Bluetooth (original)
Wi-Fi (new models)
Power Internal li-ion rechargeable battery
Dimensions Kobo eReader Wireless:
184 × 120 × 10 mm
(7.2 × 4.7 × 0.4 in)
Kobo eReader Touch:
165 × 114 × 10 mm
(6.5 × 4.5 × 0.4 in)
Kobo Glo, Kobo Glo HD:
114 x 157 x 10 mm
(4.5 x 6.2 x 0.4 in)
Kobo Mini:
102 x 133 x 10 mm
(4 x 5.2 x 0.4 in)
Kobo Aura HD:
175.7 x 128.3 x 11.7 mm
(6.91 x 5.05 x 0.46 in)
Kobo Aura:
150 x 114 x 8.1 mm
(5.9 x 5.6 x 0.3 in)
Kobo Aura H2O:
179 x 129 x 9.7 mm
Weight Kobo eReader Wireless
221 g (7.80 oz)
Kobo eReader Touch
200 g (7.05 oz)
Kobo Glo:
185 g (6.5 oz)
Kobo Mini:
134 g (4.73 oz)
Kobo Aura HD:
240 g (8.5 oz)
Kobo Aura:
174 g (6.1 oz)
Kobo Aura H2O:
233 g (8.22 oz)
Kobo Glo HD:
180 g (6.3 oz)
Website store.kobobooks.com

The Kobo eReader is an e-reader produced by Toronto-based Kobo Inc. The company's name is an anagram of "book". The original version was released in May 2010 and was marketed as a minimalist alternative to the more expensive e-book readers available at the time. Like most e-readers, the Kobo uses an electronic ink screen.[1] The LCD tablet versions were released between 2011 to 2013.[2]

E Ink devices[edit]


Common Attributes[edit]

All Kobo e-Readers share a unique pagination system giving users the option to count and reference pages separately within each chapter as opposed to the book as a whole, although the latter is user selectable as an alternative. All Kobo readers require connection to the internet during the initial setup phase and will not work until it has connected to Kobo's servers.

Kobo Aura H2O[edit]

Main article: Kobo Aura H2O

The Aura H₂0, released on 1 October 2014, is the first commercial waterproof e-reader and has an upgraded version of the Aura HD's 6.8-inch E Ink Carta touchscreen display with a resolution of 1440×1080 with 265  ppi.[3] While its screen is improved over the Aura HD, it contains the same processor, on-board storage, and software as the Aura HD, and has dust/waterproofing - certified to be immersed for up to 30 minutes in up to 1 meter of water with its port cover closed.[4]

Kobo Glo HD[edit]

Main article: Kobo Glo HD

The Kobo Glo HD is an e-reader with an E Ink Carta screen and is the successor to 2012's Glo; it has six-inch screen in a resolution of 1,448×1,072 pixels, or 300 ppi, matching the resolution of the Kindle Voyage. It was released on 1 May 2015.

Kobo Touch 2.0[edit]

Main article: Kobo Touch 2.0

The Kobo Touch 2.0 was released on 8 September 2015 as the entry level e-reader.[5] The E Ink Pearl 6-inch display with a resolution of 800×600 and 167 ppi. The housing is similar to the Kobo Glo HD and inside it has a 1 GHz Freescale i.MX6 Solo Lite Processor and 4 GB of internal memory.


Kobo eReader[edit]

Kobo Inc. announced its first eReader on 24 March 2010 at the CTIA show.[6] It was officially released on 1 May 2010.[7] It had expandable memory, holding an additional 4 GB via an SD slot and limited wireless connectivity via Bluetooth to select Blackberry wireless devices. It was available in black or white and came preloaded with 100 public domain books.[1] It was manufactured by Netronix Inc.,[8] a Taiwan based company with factories in Taiwan and China.[9]

The pricing strategy of the original Kobo, at USD$149, was to rival the Amazon Kindle, which was USD$110 more expensive.[1] However, in June 2010, just after the Kobo was released, Amazon dropped the price of the Kindle to USD$189.[10] Its pricing strategy in Australia was similarly aggressive where it was available for A$199, again A$100 less than the Kindle.[11] Borders Australia said that they hoped to sell high volumes of the Kobo to drive up sales at their e-content store.[11]

The original Kobo received a mediocre review from CNET, which said that, while the Kobo was compact, lightweight and affordable, the lack of Wi-Fi or 3G made it outdated, especially when there were similarly priced eReaders available with those features.[10]

In December 2010, the original Kobo's feature set was updated with a firmware update to more closely match the Wifi model.[12]

Kobo Wi-Fi[edit]

A new model with Wi-Fi capability was launched 15 October 2010. It included an improved processor, screen, and new colour choices (porcelain/metallic silver, porcelain/pearlized lilac, and onyx). The SD expansion had been improved to claim a capacity for up to 10,000 books with a 32GB SD card.[13] Other improvements included a longer battery life and a built-in dictionary.[14]

As with the original model, the Wi-Fi model came pre-loaded with 100 public domain books.[13]

Kobo Touch[edit]

Main article: Kobo Touch

The Kobo Touch was released in June 2011.[15] It introduced an infrared 6-inch touchscreen interface. Other improvements compared to the Kobo Wi-Fi included an E Ink Pearl screen, a faster processor capable of smooth PDF panning, 802.11n capability, and reduced size and weight.[16]

Kobo Glo[edit]

Main article: Kobo Glo

The Kobo Glo is an ebook reader released on 6 September 2012. It is a front-lit, touch-based E Ink reader.[17] The Kobo Glo supports most ebook standards, including EPUB. It has a 6-inch touchscreen, 1024×768 resolution, 213  ppi, 6.53 oz, 2 GB of storage, and supports microSD.[18]

Kobo Mini[edit]

Main article: Kobo Mini

The Kobo Mini is smaller, 5-inch, and lighter than standard ebook readers and was released on 6 September 2012. It has 2GB internal storage and Wi-Fi. The 5" E Ink Vizplex screen has a resolution of 800x600 with 200 ppi.

Kobo Aura[edit]

Main article: Kobo Aura

The Kobo Aura is the baseline e-reader with a 6-inch E Ink ClarityScreen display with 1024×758 resolution, 16-level grey scale and a built-in LED front-light. It has 4 GB of storage, weighs 173g (6.1 oz), has 2 months of battery life, a Freescale i.MX507 1 GHz processor, and a microSD expansion slot.[19][20] It was released in September 2013.[2]

Kobo Aura HD[edit]

Main article: Kobo Aura HD

The Aura HD was a limited-edition device with a 6.8-inch E Ink display, with a high resolution of 1440×1080 with 265  ppi.[21] It is 8.47 oz and a microSD expansion slot. Other improvements compared to the Kobo Touch include a built-in "ComfortLight" LED light, a faster processor (1 GHz), twice the onboard storage (4 GB) and a claimed twice the battery life (estimated at 2 months). It supports EPUB, Adobe PDF, plain text, HTML, and unprotected Mobipocket (mobi, prc). It was released on 25 April 2013.

Tablet devices[edit]

Kobo booth


Kobo Arc[edit]

Main article: Kobo Arc

The Kobo Arc is a 7" color Android tablet announced 6 September 2012.

In late 2013, Kobo released a high-definition 10-inch tablet (Arc 10 HD), a high-definition seven-inch tablet (Arc 7 HD), and a low-priced seven-inch tablet, the Arc 7 for $149. These tablets are the first device to feature "Reading Mode" on the tablets, which turns off outside notifications, adjusts the back-lighting and turns off non-reading-essential processor functions to save power.[22]


Kobo Vox[edit]

The Kobo Vox is a 7" tablet running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It was announced 19 October 2011.

Market share[edit]


Global e-book Readers Shipment in 4Q12[23]
Sellers Percent
Barnes & Noble


The Kobo e-reading platform was the best-selling in Canada as of January 2012, with research firm Ipsos-Reid estimating that Kobo e-readers represented 46% of the Canadian market.[24]

Market share of e-readers in Canada by Ipsos Reid at January 2012[24]
Sellers Percent


As of spring 2012, Kobo had 50% of the market share in France.[25]

Other countries[edit]

In August 2013, Kobo was the second largest ebook retailer in Japan, and Forbes estimated it at 3% of the market share in the United States.[22]

Selected subsidiaries[edit]

In October 2012 Kobo Inc. acquired the digital publishing platform Aquafadas to increase the content available on its e-reader devices.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Nowak, Peter (24 March 2010), "Indigo targets Amazon with Kobo e-reader", News (CA: CBC) .
  2. ^ a b Haselton, Todd (2013-09-28). "Kobo Arc 7, Arc 10HD and Aura Hands-On". TechnoBuffalo. TechnoBuffalo LLC. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  3. ^ "Kobo crams 1.5 million pixels into its 6.8" Aura H2O e-reader". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  4. ^ "Kobo Aura H2O Technical Specs". Kobo. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 
  5. ^ Kobo Touch 2.0 e-Reader Review September 8, 2015.
  6. ^ Hamblen, Matt (25 March 2010), "Kobo announces $149 e-reader to be sold by Borders", Computerworld .
  7. ^ "Homegrown Kobo hits the shelves", The Globe and Mail (review), 29 April 2010 .
  8. ^ "Kobo model N416", OET Exhibits List, FCC .
  9. ^ About (company information), Netronix .
  10. ^ a b "Kobo eReader Review" (video review). C net. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Bhatt, Neerav (13 May 2010). "Borders to sell Kobo e-Book reader for A$ 199". AU: iTnews. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  12. ^ Geier, K. "Customers with the original Kobo eReader we are happy to announce that Newspapers and Magazines Now Available!". Blog. Kobo. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  13. ^ a b "Features". Ereader. Kobo. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  14. ^ Pilato, Fabrizio (29 September 2010). "Kobo WiFi edition is cheaper, faster and sharper". Mobile Magazine. Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  15. ^ Ridden, Paul (25 May 2011). "Kobo launches new e-Reader Touch edition". Gizmag. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "eReader Touch Specs". Books. Kobo. Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Welcome the New Kobo Family of Devices – An eReader for Everyone!". Toronto: Kobo. 6 September 2012. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "Specs", Kobo Glo, Gdgt .
  19. ^ "Tech specs". Aura. Kobo. 
  20. ^ "Kobo’s new tablets compete with Google’s Nexuses on price, specs". Ars Technica. Aug 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Kobo crams 1.5 million pixels into its 6.8" Aura HD e-reader". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  22. ^ a b "Taking Another Look At Ebook Upstart Kobo". Forbes. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-08-29. 
  23. ^ "Digitimes Research: 4.57 million e-book readers to be shipped globally in 4Q12". DigiTimes. 2012-11-14. Retrieved 2013-07-07. (subscription required)
  24. ^ a b Barbour, Mary Beth (2012-04-19). "Latest Wave of Ipsos Study Reveals Mobile Device Brands Canadian Consumers are Considering in 2012". Ipsos Reid. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  25. ^ Reid, Calvin (2012-04-20). "With More Funding, Kobo Steps Up". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2012-06-04. 
  26. ^ "Kobo acquires Aquafadas". Aquafadas Blog. 10 October 2012. 

External links[edit]