Today I’m reviewing an Ereader that’s a little off the beaten track. It’s the Kobo Glo HD which was created in May 2015 by Kobo. As you’ll read further on you’ll see why it’s a little more unconventional to get info for it.
For those of you who wish to view this mythical creature, you can find a great set of gallery images here
The first feature I’d like to call out is call Pocket Integration. For those of you not in the know Pocket allows you to save website articles and other info off the web to view later at a later time on another device of your choice. This other device of your choosing could be your new Kobo Go HD! You can find more information on this service here
Another nice feature that I’ve not seen on other devices is that you can customize the brightness level whilst you’re actually reading. For Most EReaders, you need to come out of the book you’re reading and go onto the settings page to make the change. It’s a nice feature that doesn’t interrupt your reading flow whilst it’s getting later in the day. This is done by simply scrolling your finger up and down on the edge of the page you’re reading.
Want to borrow Ebooks from the library? No problem with the Kobo Glo HD. As with other Kobo devices such as the Kobo Aura One, Kobo support a service called Overdrive which allows you to rent books from your local library if they participate in the service. It’s a free service and a great alternative to purchasing EBooks.
Kobo’s has also recognized the fact that everyone needs a different font size to have the best reading experience. That’s why the Kobo Glo HD comes with 48 font sizes which far outweighs the likes of the Kindle Paperwhite. This also means you can lend the device to family members and they can get just as much enjoyment out of your latest read as you did.
Another area where Kobo are breaking the mould of EReaders is the ability to lock it with a pin. I’ve not seen other EReaders take the security conscious approach which is a little odd given that in the digital age you lock your phone, laptop and most other electrical devices you own. It’s easy to set up and also provides you a backup if you forget your pin.
The final thing I’d like to touch on here is the reading stats feature. Unlike other devices, Kobo have a dedicated section for this as part of their EReader software. This provides stats such as average reading time, how long you read for in a session and so much more. The thing I like here is that it’s not just based on the book you’re reading, but calculates this across your entire library to give you a more accurate figure.
The size of the device is pretty much exactly the same as Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite coming in at 157 x 115 x 9.2 mm (6.1 x 4.5 x 0.3 inches). If you’re looking for something smaller then you might consider the Kindle Oasis. Something closer to the size of an actual book then take a look at the Kobo Aura One.
The device is slightly on the heavier side compared to other EReaders. Coming in at 180g, it weighs more than the Kindle Paperwhite but the same as the Kindle Voyage
The display supports 300 PPI. For those of you not in the know PPI stands for Pixels per inch. Basically the more you have the better. This is the same high spec as all other Amazon devices.
The UI is quite different if you’re used to Amazon EReaders but still quite practical to use. From the home screen you can navigate to your library, the bookstore and the extras section. The extra sections includes things like the dictionary and reading stats, which I touch on later. Overall it provides a nice uncluttered view of what books you’re reading and the progress you’ve made on them.
So the Kobo Glo HD is available from the US Amazon site but the price varies month to month.
There’s a reputable Auzzie store called JB-HIFI via Ebay that seems to have a steady supply of them but worth checking the site for the latest prices. A note here is that they are factory refurbished so not brand spanking new.
The Kobo Glo HD supports Epubs, PDF’s, standard image formats as well as standard text formats. One thing to call out is that it doesn’t support opening MS Word documents such as the Kindle Oasis
What I like
Overall the Kobo Glo HD has quite a simple and elegant design. With just having one button, they put the effort into the touchscreen technology and making sure the UI supports this well. I also like the fact they’re encouraging borrowing from libraries to keep those great institutions open with their Overdrive feature. One thing that I haven’t mentioned in detail is that the device also has a built in translator which is also something novel.
What I Don’t Like
So despite the device only being a couple of years old, it is more challenging to get hold of compared to other EReaders of a similar age. This is something that unfortunately Kobo isn’t prepared to help out on. Also like Amazon devices, they’ve gone down the experimental web browser route which I’m never a fan of as your phone’s is just better at that.
The device comes in grey but you can customize it with different cases. Some examples are shown here
The Kobo Glo HD is a nice all rounder device that if it had the backing of Kobo, could be a strong contender to Amazon’s flagship product, the Kindle Paperwhite. It’s also got a few novel features on there which aren’t on other EReaders. Definitely worth a consideration if you’re prepared to do a little more digging on the purchasing side.
Do you own the Kobo Glo HD? I’d love to hear your feedback!