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Reviewing The Kobo Mini

A photo of the Kobo Mini

I had the opportunity to use a friend’s Kobo Mini recently and I thought that given my post on the Glo has proved useful to many, I’d write about the smaller device, too.

(My guess would be that since WHSmith were recently selling the Kobo Mini for £30 – a bargain even given the software – Kobo is likely phasing their Mini out of production, if they haven’t already.)

Like the Glo, the Mini is very slow and the sensitivity is hit and miss. Page turns are acceptable enough, but annotations remind you of why pen and paper have been in use for centuries. The internet connection is at times akin to dial-up. In buying the Kobo Mini you are getting something between average and good, a few steps in front of ‘fair’ in the specifications league.

The Mini is an inch smaller than the Glo and Touch – at 5 inches it’s much easier to carry around with you. A comparison could be made with print books in this case. The Mini is the mass market paperback you squeeze into your carry-on luggage whereas the Glo and Touch are the regular paperbacks packed into your suitcase. The Mini doesn’t quite fit your shirt or jeans pocket, but it may fit in your coat pocket. Like any ereader it requires a fair amount of padding when in transit – as yet I haven’t seen any cases that will fit it.

Obviously the smaller screen means that the ever-present Kobo page count leaves even less space for words, but in choosing the Mini you’ll have something very easy to hold, and those with smaller or less dexterous hands will appreciate the lesser strain that accompanies the product. Ereaders have generally been advertised as easy to use with one hand, but only the Kobo Mini truly keeps to this word.

The Mini hasn’t got a light so you won’t be reading during a night power-cut, but as a travelling library you can’t really go wrong. What it lacks in luxury it makes up in portability.

All in all, the Kobo Mini does what it says it does. It just takes its time.

  • Easy to hold and use in one hand
  • Good clear screen
  • May fit in some pockets
  • Slow
  • Too sensitive to the touch when you wish it wasn’t; not sensitive enough when you’re trying to use it
  • No light

Would you like a smaller ereader? Have you tried/got a Kobo?



June 18, 2014, 11:55 am

Sounds ok to me

Literary Feline

June 18, 2014, 3:48 pm

I have never tried a Kobo, although I have both a Nook and a Kindle. Okay, so I have two Kindles (the Fire and Paperwhite) and two Nooks (the Color and GlowLight). They were all gifts, but, to be fair, I did ask for them–I’m bad, I know.

I’m partial to my Paperwhite of all of them, but I try to go back and forth between that and my Nook GlowLight. I don’t really use my Nook Color at all anymore. It just doesn’t compare to the Kindle Fire in my mind. I do use my Fire, but mostly for games and children’s picture books.

Anyway, small and portable is always nice, but I would probably get impatient with the slowness and sensitivity. And I need the light for night reading. So, I don’t think the mini Kobo would be for me.


June 18, 2014, 4:31 pm

Sounds like a good size. I have the basic Kindle and it a good size which I can use with just one hand if I want.


June 19, 2014, 3:45 am

I haven’t tried a Kobo. We’re pretty much stuck with Kindle in Australia because of the exorbitant cost of eBooks on any other platform.


June 20, 2014, 1:04 pm

I’m also a kindle user, and I’m very happy with it even when it is the oldest and simpliest one.
Anyway, these reviews are always useful, just in case!



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