Summary: The Kobo Glo offers a good reading experience with an extraordinarily bright backlight and a large selection of content. However, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite offers less expensive books, more social options and the ability to lend your e-books to friends and family; plus it costs $10 less and fits more text on the screen. With a price tag of $129, the Kobo Glo backlight and gamified reading experience help this e-reader stand out, but it doesn't unseat the champ.
Pros: Brighter and more even backlight than Kindle or Nook, Large e-book selection, Unique Reading Life Stats
Cons: E-books more expensive than competition, Can't share book passages or lend books, Very small periodical selection
Conclusion: At $130, the Kobo Glo costs $10 more than the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, $10 more than the Kindle Paperwhite with ads, and $10 less than the Paperwhite without ads. Its biggest win is that the Glo’s light is evenly distributed across the screen, something neither the Nook nor Kindle can claim. Text washes out somewhat with the light on, though not so much that it completely ruins the reading experience.
Pros: Light is evenly distributed on the screen, High quality E Ink display, Light and slim design, Plenty of font, size, and page design options
Cons: Text washes out when light is at full brightness, Light is somewhat harsh, On-device bookstore tough to navigate
Excerpt: If you’ve happened to venture into an independent bookstore in the past few years, you may have noticed an e-reader for sale that isn’t produced by an online retailer or a giant bookstore chain. Those e-readers are made by Kobo, a Canadian company that prides itself on being the unofficial e-reader of independent bookstores. And like those very bookstores, the new Kobo Glo is a delightful surprise waiting to be discovered.
Excerpt: The number of e-book readers with built-in backlighting used to be zero. No longer. There are now over half a dozen e-book readers with backlit screens, and one of them is the Kobo Glo . It comes with a rather sizable 6-inch e-ink Pearl touchscreen display and lasts up to 55 hours of continuous usage with the light on. In terms of speed, the Glo has no issues.
Excerpt: When we first saw a prototype of the 6-inch, touch-screen Kobo Glo and its built-in ComfortLight a few months back, we asked a simple question to its makers: why didn't anyone think of this idea before? As it turns out, they did – you only have to check the subsequent Kindle Paperwhit e and the Nook SimpleTouch with GlowLight for proof of that. Have the big boys beaten Kobo to it?
Pros: Smooth and streak-free lighting, general reading experience, file format freedom
Cons: Syncing files too manual, online shop can be slow