Not all ebook readers are created equal, and while electronic ink is a closer to paper than an LCD screen, there are some differences, with the more pixels packed into a screen resulting in a clearer picture, and one model from Kobo hopes to help out in that area.
This week, Kobo is talking up a tablet that will be hitting Australian shoes from the beginning of May, and even though it’s barely even the middle of April, if you’re an avid reader, there’s a reason to be excited, and it’s clear.
And by clear, we mean that it has a lot to do with clarity.
The newbie product is the Kobo Glo HD, an electronic book reader that isn’t a tablet and instead relies on a 6 inch 1448×1072 e-ink display offering roughly 300 pixels per inch, below that of Apple’s Retina display, but among the highest when it comes to eBook displays, and close to the rough limit of what most eyes can see when it comes to pixel clarity.
Outside of the high resolution display, Kobo’s Glo HD also includes a light to help readers at night, while a 1GHz processor makes the display — which is also a touchscreen — responsive, meaning you can turn that virtual page really quickly simply by touching the screen.
There’s also a battery, and this is particularly important because books shouldn’t run out of power. Murphy’s Law practically dictates the moment you want to read the eReader will lose power, but Kobo is trying to put a stop to Murphy’s shenanigans, with a battery capable of lasting up to two months provided you read 30 minutes per day without the light.
If you read more and use the built-in light, you’ll probably see closer to a month of life, but charging is easy thanks to the microUSB port, which is the same connection used to charge most of the smartphones and tablets not made by Apple.
Finally there’s the storage, and with 4GB inside, you’ll find room for roughly 3000 titles at once, with supported formats including the standard epub, pdf, and mobi book formats, while txt, html and images get a mention, as do the comic formats cbz and cbr.
“With the Glo HD, we are making sure that every reader in Australia can drift off into the journey of their chosen book without compromising on the inherent book experience,” said Malcolm Neil, Director of Content for Kobo in the Asia Pacific region.
“This new device takes everything Australians love about reading, whether print or digital, and provides the ultimate solution in a compact, thin and lightweight form factor, with a great resolution replicating the printed book experience.”
Kobo’s Glo HD will connect to networks over WiFi 802.11b/g/n, with books purchasable through the Kobo online store, or able to be side loaded using a computer.
Pricing in Australia has this one come in at $179.99, with availability online or in stores such as JB HiFi, Angus & Robertson, Myer, and Bookworld when it hits Australia on May 1, joining the US, Canada, and New Zealand as the first places this one lands.