"Great reader - love it!"4.5 starson by SmokeAndMirrors
Pros: - Touch screen
- Open format
- Very responsive tech team
- Price point
Cons: Nothing significant, but there's still niggling little issues. See below.
Summary: I landed on the Kobo Touch for basically 2 reasons. One was the touch screen, and the other was the open format and honesty of the company.
The touch screen is did not disappoint. It makes it very easy to forget you're reading on a digital device, and just enjoy the experience. It feels far more natural to me that actual buttons. The little chicklet keys of the Kindle just never appealed to me (same reason I have a touchscreen smartphone, really).
The Kobo is also more open than its competition. The Kindle is a walled garden of propriety formating, and the Nook store won't even tell you what you're buying (they refuse to tell customers whether a book is DRM'ed). Sony and Apple force DRM on authors - they literally won't allow you to sell your own work openly.
As both a reader and a writer, this sort of stuff rubs under my skin. The Kobo is far more open. They do carry DRM'ed books, but they let authors choose and they disclose to customers. They also support the universal EPUB format.
The Kobo Touch is definitely not trying to be a multimedia device the way Kindle and Nook are. It's a reader, and that's where it puts all of its focus. As the CNET reviews mention, the KT, being a smaller underdog, isn't quite as polished.
But that said, there have been huge improvements since it was released. It now offers a variety of fonts (and you can add your own), font sizes, margins, and lets you change the full refresh rate from anything between "once every 6 pages" to "every page" (personally, I like it set to max, once every 6 pages - there's a bit of ghosting, but I like not seeing the full flash refresh all the time). The dictionary, bookmarking, and note applications are also improving. They have also recently gone international and now support a variety of languages. Oh, and also, your wifi still works abroad. The same can't be said of the Nook.
The tech team is very responsive and is constantly updating and adding features. I really appreciate that in a company. Bugs get fixed quickly and every update offers more functionality, while still maintaining its ethos of being a reader first and foremost.
But, the occasional bug still remains. I notice that on a couple of my EPUB's, the page numbers aren't correct. Rather, they're reduced but still congruous with how far through the book I am. This is not a big issue, just a weird one - but it is the "small company" effect.
I love the functionality of the Kobo Touch and I love how enthusiastic the company is about improving their product. And at the price point, you really can't go wrong. You can get a Kindle cheaper, if you want to be interrupted by ads while you're trying to read. But you won't get the freedom or the responsiveness you get here.