Kobo eReader Looks Pretty Nice for $150

Illustration for article titled Kobo eReader Looks Pretty Nice for $150

Kobo, who you know from their relationship with Borders, has revealed their own eBook reader. And for $150, it may be the first semi-premium option for those too thrifty to buy a Kindle or Nook.

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While the Kobo eReader lacks 3G, little else should disappoint. The build is clever, with a quilted, vinyl back and the option to skin the face with a cloth or leather facade. Most buttons are tucked to the side of the device, but a big, blue navigational pad looks ready to flick away at those pages just fine. It's only equipped with 1GB of storage, but it's got room for a 4GB SD card, so that point barely matters.

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The device openly supports EPUB or PDF transfered over USB (they have their own store if you want to use it), and Bluetooth allows you to sync what you're reading across devices loaded with Kobo's app.

Plus, the menus just look polished, with touches like leaving the book's cover on the screen when the device is at rest (a nice feature we see in the Nook) and virtual bookshelves (suck on that, iPad!).

The Kobo eReader will go on sale at Borders this summer. We'll be interested to check it out. [Kobo eReader via Gadget Lab]

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DISCUSSION

I'm thinking of going for one of these as well. I don't care about 3G or wifi when I can add books via usb or SD card. I want a book reader that has good battery life, not a lot of keys on the front like the Kindle, and a little bigger than an iPhone. I wish that it were possible to get a backlight that could be turned off and on for nighttime reading that didn't kill the battery life. It's also nice to see a Canadian company getting into the fray!

Here is the information I received from them about availability:

"As of March 30, 2010, Canadian customers will be able to pre-order Kobo eReaders from www.chapters.indigo.ca, as well as from kiosks in Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores. It will be available for purchase at Indigo for $149 (plus tax) in early May.

In the US, Borders will have the eReader available later this summer. Other International launches are to be determined."

Sounds great!