Kobo Mini

The Good 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.

The Bad 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.

The Bottom Line 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.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 6.0
6.8 Overall

Compare

Kobo Mini
Kobo Mini
Kobo Aura One
Kobo Aura One
Amazon Kindle Voyage
Amazon Kindle Voyage
Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight Plus
Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight Plus
Amazon Kindle Oasis 2017 (32GB, 3G/4G)
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017)
Price $80 MSRP $243 Amazon Marketplace $200 Amazon.com $80 MSRP $350 Amazon.com
Design
7
7
9
8
9
Features
6
8
9
8
9
Performance
6
8
8
8
9

Review

Small e-reader faces big competition

Those of you out there who are e-reader scholars may remember that a couple of years ago, Sony was offering a 5-inch e-reader with no Wi-Fi, the Pocket Edition PRS-350. You can still find that model for sale for $99, but Sony has since moved on to its T-series, releasing the $129.99 PRS-T2 in late 2012.

Some people actually liked the smaller e-reader, and now Kobo is selling the Mini, a 5-inch model (with Wi-Fi) that's smaller than a mass-market paperback book, and sports a touch screen. It retails for $79.99.

I've used it for a couple of weeks and think it's a decent-enough little e-reader, cute in its own way despite its somewhat generic styling. Yeah, it could be slightly zippier (it has an 800MHz processor, compared with the 1GHz processor found in the step-up Kobo Glo), but my only real gripe is that I wish it were even smaller. There's a lot of bezel and the 4.7-ounce Mini is about as thick as larger e-readers, so you're left with a device that's fairly compact but would be cooler if it were trimmed down even more and able to fit in a shirt pocket, not just the pockets of baggy jeans.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $80
  • Brand KOBO, Inc.
  • Diagonal Size 5 in
  • Weight 134 g
  • Supported Text Formats RTF, TXT, HTML, EPUB, PDF
  • Color Category black
  • Technology E Ink
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