Get a Kobo Mini e-reader for $59.99

That's $10 less than the cheapest Kindle, which lacks a touch screen and includes ads. But is that enough?

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
The Kobo Mini has a pocket-friendly form factor and a touchscreen.
The Kobo Mini has a pocket-friendly form factor and a touch screen. Best Buy

Tablets are great and all, but if you're mostly into reading, it's hard to beat an e-reader. Eye-friendly screens, ultra-light designs, amazing battery life -- the perks go on and on.

And let's not forget price. Amazon's entry-level Kindle is now down to $69. But here's an even more wallet-friendly option: Best Buy has the Kobo Mini e-reader for $59.99 shipped (plus sales tax). That's for the white model; the black one literally sold out while I was writing this post.

So that's only a $10 difference, right? And when you factor in sales tax, you're saving almost nothing. But consider this: the Kobo Mini has a touch screen, whereas the $69 Kindle does not. It's a slightly smaller screen, too (5 inches), meaning it's a bit easier to pocket. And at 4.7 ounces, it's the lightest e-reader currently available.

I also like that it has a removable back cover you can swap for a sold-separately color one. Points for style.

As with other e-readers, you can browse and buy books right on the device (assuming there's a Wi-Fi connection available). You can also stock it with EPUB and Adobe DRM books. That said, you're locked into Kobo's store for bestsellers and the like; the lack of access to an Amazon or Barnes & Noble-caliber bookstore may be a turnoff for some readers.

Update: According to a Kobo rep, it's actually possible to side-load books purchased from Barnes & Noble.

Indeed, I realize the Kobo Mini is a tough sell. I probably wouldn't buy one myself, though that's largely because I'm pretty vested in Amazon's e-book ecosystem already. But for $59.99, this could make a great gift for someone who doesn't yet own an e-reader.

In any case, check out CNET's review of the Kobo Mini, then hit the comments to let me know what you think. Would you choose this over a non-touch-screen, ad-laden Kindle?

Bonus deal: Game time! For a limited time, Steam has the action-RPG-FPS Borderlands (PC) for $4.99. I've been waiting on this one; the game normally sells for $20. Alternately, get Borderlands Game of the Year Edition for $7.49, which I wish I'd seen before grabbing the other one. You can also score Borderlands 2 for $29.99, a sizable discount -- though it'll no doubt be even cheaper in a few months.

Bonus deal No. 2: Speaking of games, today only, and while supplies last, JustDeals has the refurbished Sony PlayStation 3 Slim 160GB game console for $199.99, plus $5 for shipping. I have growing fondness for the PS3, which doubles as a Blu-ray player and doesn't charge extra for things like online gaming and Netflix streaming.

Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.

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