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
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
Conclusion: There’s a lot to like about the Kobo Mini. It’s very small and very light without feeling at all flimsy. It’s extremely affordable and it doesn’t tie you in to one specific book vendor. However, we keep coming back to the reading experience. The 5in screen makes it harder to get a good page full of text without affecting legibility, and the poorer contrast levels only exacerbate the situation.
Pros: Solid design, Extremely portable, Impressive feature set
Cons: Screen is too small, Display lacks contrast, Very slow operation