kobo.jpgKobo showed its new ereader in Las Vegas yesterday. The reader will be available at Indigo Books & Music in Canada, followed by Borders starting this summer. The reader is the cheapest one to have a full bookstore behind it. The unit will have a 6″ screen and no 3G other wireless connection. Books will have to be transferred through the PC and it can read Epub and uses Adobe Digital Editions.

According to a press release I received just now, Kobo is also launching a “Kobo eReader application [that] marks a first in this emerging market – standard software available for hardware partners worldwide. Kobo has developed a strong global following for its eReading applications for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, and Android-based smartphones, and full color, touchscreen tablets including the upcoming iPad. … The “Powered by Kobo” program provides a flexible solution for partners to launch an eReader or eBook store offering eBooks, newspapers and magazines to their customers. Partners have access to applications for smartphones, netbooks and laptops, new tablets, and now dedicated eReaders. They also have access to API’s, a software development kit, a mobile storefront, and custom integration options to differentiate their offering. Whether a partner is looking for software, content or everything in between, “Powered by Kobo” can meet their needs.”

What’s interesting is that the press release says that the new ereader is the “first of many dedicated ereaders preloaded with the Kobo ereader software”.


  1. Why do you need 3g …??

    it takes a few seconds to download a book to a pc and transfer it . Its a battery burner !

    If this reader takes a card like sd then you just have to put the sd card in the computer to put in books.

  2. David, I used to be totally in the “why do you need 3g?” camp. If $ are tight, and it was not included (as in the Kindle), I’d still probably not have it.

    But, for example, yesterday I was at an orchestra rehearsal that my teenage son plays in. I had two other of his young siblings with me. This was way far from home…10yo brother forgot to bring a book to pass the time.

    In a minute or so, we found a book for him and downloaded it! Problem solved!! That’s the power of 3G!! And you don’t even have to buy a book…you can use the “Magic Catalog” of Project Gutenberg (I think this is available from a link from the Kindle World blog).

    So…while I certainly understand where you are coming from, I have personally benefited on more than one occasion from having 3g access through my Kindle. (Actually, I don’t think mine is 3g, because it’s a Kindle 1 but it works great anyway!)

    Just a thought.

  3. As somebody pointed out elsewhere this ereader is a Netronix in a new casing. So, my guess is Kobo got a good deal on “out of date” electronics and decided to make a bare bones unit and sell it for a “cheap” price. Not smart. Amazon got it right from the start with their Kindle. All the others are junk.

  4. I personally have no use for 3G. Especially on a device with 1GB of internal memory (1,000 books) and an SD expansion slot. That should be enough books for most people and give them time to find a computer. It’s usable with the libraries and I think that’s more important for people at this price point.

    I’ve seen so many comments over the last 2-3 years of people saying that the readers are too expensive and have to cost less then $150 before they’d consider it. This is the first e-ink reader I’ve seen to hit that price barrier so it’s a good thing.

    I expect that they’ll come out with more expensive devices in the future with all the other features people are asking for.

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