Kobo Nia Review: A Decent Kindle Alternative

Very long right after the rest of my loved ones is in mattress, I tear by means of New England beach front romance novels about people with names like Hobby or Funds, who get their hearts broken, eat truffle breadsticks, and dry their whale shorts on clotheslines. Thankfully, these guides are free—I’ve been downloading a person just about every couple of times from my local library on the Kobo Nia, a new ebook reader.

Kobo, which is owned by the Japanese company Rakuten, requires to exist. Competitiveness pushes innovation forward. Arguably, features like waterproofing on Amazon’s Kindles wouldn’t exist if the Kobo didn’t insert it initially. It is also the most practical ebook reader if you read through absolutely free guides. It supports a wider wide range of file formats and is integrated with OverDrive, the digital system that works with most libraries and universities about the earth.

That in by itself isn’t going to make the Nia a great get. As a competitor to the entry-degree Kindle, it isn’t going to assistance Bluetooth or audiobooks, and it truly is a little more high-priced. But if you vote with your pounds, it truly is in all probability worth a minor more to escape Amazon’s stranglehold on media. I in all probability saved more than $ten on library guides this week alone.

Totally free Time

Photograph: Kobo

The purpose you get a Kobo is to read through absolutely free ebooks. Rakuten acquired OverDrive in 2015 and then sold it in 2019, but it’s however effectively integrated into the Kobo system.

It is not difficult to download a book on a Kindle: I log into my library, choose the structure, go to Amazon’s web-site, send it to the Kindle, and obtain the book there. But as effortless as that is, finding guides on OverDrive is so a lot a lot easier. When I search for guides on the Nia, I select OverDrive, and then faucet Borrow. Which is it. And considering that there’s ample storage on the Nia for six,000 guides, I can read through a book a day … or a whole lot more.

It’s unclear how a lot extended this will be the case—a whole lot quicker if people cease getting Kobos!—but for the second, my library program in Portland, Oregon, provides lots of more guides in OverDrive than in Kindle, notably beach front reads. I took edge of briefly acquiring a Kobo to download a whole lot of them.

PDFs on the Kobo are also a breeze to entry. Just plug the Kobo into a laptop, then drag and fall downloaded PDFs into the Kobo folder. It is a lot less complicated to use than Amazon’s Mail to Kindle element. (Despite the fact that it’s worth noting that you can drag and fall data files with a plugged-in Kindle as effectively. Mail to Kindle is just terrible).

Furthermore, the display screen is also higher-resolution than the entry-degree Kindle, at 212 pixels for every inch alternatively of 167. A sharper display screen is nicer on the eyes. And the recessed, six-inch grayscale E-Ink Carta display screen has an adjustable front gentle that works effectively as I read through by means of the dead of evening.

The Gradual Zone

The Kobo Nia appears to be like a whole lot like the entry-degree Kindle. There are only marginal distinctions in dimension and pounds. Like the Kindle, it’s also effortless to hold and flip by means of web pages with a person hand.

It isn’t going to have a notably speedy processor, and honestly, I was not expecting that to be a issue. Flipping by means of digital web pages isn’t specifically a elaborate procedure. But typing on the Nia’s touchscreen and waiting around for it to phone up guides is noticeably slower and clunkier than on the Kindle.

Absolutely nothing tends to make you truly feel like more of a diva than to be driven to the ragged edge of insanity by the duration of time it usually takes to log into an e-reader. When I checked my look at afterward, it had taken a lot less than fifteen minutes. And you do only have to do it when. Still, it truly is worth noting that you may devote some time patiently waiting around for each letter to display up in the search bar right after you faucet at the display screen, and then a couple of added minutes muttering, “No, N! Not M!” to on your own.

Photograph: Kobo

Kobo does warn that you have to make the machine go to rest to help save battery everyday living. If you never use a SleepCover—which is also incredibly adorable, tender, and brightly colored—you have to click on the button at the base of the Nia to make it go to rest. Even with this precaution, battery everyday living is only so-so. I can go months without having recharging the entry-degree Kindle, but right after examining about two hours a day in my late-evening binges, the Nia interrupted me and stated it was time to recharge.

Totally free to Be You and Me

Evaluating solutions is not as uncomplicated as environment a person established of specs against yet another. The Nia does value a little more than the entry-degree Kindle. But the expertise is just a minor bit worse. And you get much less features, which could make a big difference if you pay attention to audiobooks on your e-reader alternatively of on your smartphone, like a typical man or woman.

But we really don’t store in a vacuum. $a hundred is not an exorbitant selling price, and the added price would be more than justified if your local library program works by using OverDrive, as it in all probability does. And as WIRED senior editor Michael Calore has pointed out, OverDrive is not the only way you can get absolutely free ebooks. You can also rating PDFs of older guides from Challenge Gutenberg.

If you ended up waiting around for an entry-degree Kobo, this is it. It’s not terrible, and you also get the capacity to adhere it to Amazon. If you want more features, like waterproofing and extended battery everyday living, and you however really don’t want a Kindle, glimpse to the rest of Kobo’s lineup, which also goes on sale often.