Summary: For those who really can't stand to read on their smartphone, the $79 Kobo Mini might be worth a look. The compact design makes this device easy to use one hand, and you don't have to worry about glare when you read outdoors. Kobo offers a huge library of content and fun award badges for reading. However, for $10 less, you can get the base model Amazon Kindle, which offers its Prime members a free lending library of e-books, as well as cheaper best-sellers.
Pros: Compact design, Large e-book selection, Unique Reading Life Stats
Cons: Tiny screen doesn't fit much text on the page, E-books more expensive than competition, Can't share book passages or lend books, Very small periodical selection
Conclusion: The $80 Kobo Mini comes with a budget price tag yet doesn’t come off as cheap. Yes, to get to that price point there are sacrifices in quality — you won’t get the crispest screen or the fastest performance. But this is not a crappy dollar store eReader, it’s a good option for consumers whose primary concern is price or who don’t want to spend too much on something for a child who may not treat it as well as they should.
Pros: Light and comfortable, Size is good for small hands, Lots of control over text inside eBooks, Touch-controlled and easy to use, Access to eBook sources beyond Kobo's store
Cons: E Ink screen doesn't offer as much contrast as the competition, Could use faster performance
Excerpt: Smaller isn’t always better, but the Kobo Mini is one eBook reader that aims to prove otherwise. This tiny, touch-controlled eReader delivers convenient features and unrivaled portability. The device also comes with a mini price tag, making it ideal if you’re on a budget or reluctant to commit to the ubiquitous Amazon ecosystem.
Pros: With a screen that measures just 5 inches, the Kobo Mini is the smallest eReader on the market, and it delivers features, like automatic sync and adjustable fonts, that are on par with pricier competitors.
Cons: You won’t find integrated lighting or a very lengthy battery with this eReader.
Kobo Mini review: does the world need a smaller e-reader?
6 November 2012
Summary: Kobo's got an interesting little product on its hands with the Mini. The hardware isn't especially striking, but it's tough to get too down on a $79 device for looking a bit bland. Plus, Kobo's minimalistic software is well-suited to a device this small. Amazon is still offering a $69 device in the fourth-generation Kindle , but there are sacrifices to be made there, including advertising in the form of Special Offers and, more importantly, a lack of either a touchscreen...
Pros: Inexpensive, Notably small and lightweight, Intuitive UI
Cons: Limited screen space, No expandable storage, Low-contrast display
Excerpt: If a market for cheap, entry-level e-readers didn’t exist, Kobo would have no trouble kickstarting one with its no-frills 5-inch Kobo Mini . It weighs in at just a little over 130 grams and measures 10mm thick, and features a touch-enabled 5-inch e-ink display, 2GB internal storage, Wi-Fi, and up to a month of battery life on a single charge.
Summary: The affordable Kobo Mini is a likable touch-screen e-ink e-reader that's too small for some and not quite small enough for others.
Pros: The Kobo Mini is a modestly priced, very compact Wi-Fi-enabled e-ink e-reader with a 5-inch touch screen. It supports EPUB files, it's compatible with any e-book store that uses the Adobe DRM format, and with Wi-Fi off it gets up to a month's worth of battery life from a single charge.
Cons: Ideally, the device would be even smaller and thinner. Also, Kobo's selection of e-books lags behind Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's. Loading library loaners and third-party e-book purchases requires tethering to a PC.
Excerpt: This, the smallest e-reader on the market at around 5 inches, is gadget nirvana for book-loving commuters. The secret is in its size, which is carefully judged to fit into a handbag, a chest pocket of a shirt, or even the back pocket of a pair of jeans.
Pros: Pocket-sized, same experience as on larger Kobo ereaders, screen customisation options
Cons: Slightly too big for shirt chest pockets, no document/book emailing, computer required, unstable and liable to crash