A few weeks ago I preordered the Kobo Mini, the world’s smallest ereader. It’s about the size of a coaster and shorter than my hand. While not quite pocket-sized, it’s a handy size and doesn’t take up much room in your purse or backpack.
My Kobo Mini came with a coupon for 90% off my first ebook purchase, but the coupon didn’t work. I didn’t see anywhere on their app to enter a coupon, and the box for entering gift card numbers kicked back the coupon code. Their lack of clarity in claiming this discount was very disappointing.
I ended up buying The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen (review to come), a book that I’ve been waiting for since last year, but I was a little annoyed at having to pay full price for it when my coupon failed. This review of the Kobo Mini is based on my experience setting up the device, downloading books and previews, and reading The Absent One.
Setting up the Kobo Mini was very easy. I just plugged it in to my iMac and downloaded the Kobo app. This app looks a little like Shelfari and keeps track of your ebook library, your preview downloads, and your bookmarks. You can read your ebooks on this app as well as on your Kobo ereader.
I set up the connection to my wireless network, which the Kobo Mini prompted me to do, and it automatically synchronized my bookmarks and account information. Provided it has access to wifi, the Kobo will update your bookmarks in the Kobo app every time you put the device to sleep.
The selection of fonts and spacing was excellent. I’m accustomed to the Kindle, with its limited selection of fonts and sizes. The Kobo Mini’s options seemed like a smorgasbord after that.
You can also mark a book as “finished” and update your Facebook page directly from the Kobo Mini with reading updates. I chose not to set up the social media options on my device because I won’t want to spam my friends with regular updates about how many pages I’ve read.
My first use of the built-in dictionary was purely for test purposes. I tapped on the word “talking” and the dictionary supplied this questionably valuable result:
Your search for “talking” did not match and words in the dictionary. The closest match was “talking-to”.
Really? The word “talking” isn’t in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the one that apparently has the definition for “talking-to”?
The Reading Life tool may be useful for people looking to manage their reading time more effectively. The Kobo Mini supplies stats on how many minutes you read per session, how many hours you’ve spent reading overall, how many pages you’ve turned, the number of books you’ve finished, etc.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- Great desktop app that is visually appealing.
- Rapid page-turns.
- Comfortable to hold and extremely light. The Kobo Mini fits in your hand like a large cell phone.
- The font is a little unclear. It looks a bit like old typewriter font, with little chips missing from the edges of the letters.
- It’s possible to see traces of type from three pages ago. While not a huge distraction, it is noticeable.
- I tend to read while lying on my back, and in that position the Kobo Mini takes two hands to use — one to comfortably hold the device, and the other to tap the screen and turn pages. This was not a problem when I read while sitting up or standing.