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Kobo Mini review

6.4/10 AVG.
RATING



6.4/10
Informr score
The Kobo Mini currently has an Informr score of 6.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 15 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

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. It may not have the fastest processor or the biggest e-book library, but for easy reading on the go without spending too much money, it can definitely get the job done.

It supports a wide variety of digital content formats such as EPUB, PDF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TXT, HTML, CBR, and even CBZ. It also comes with 7 different font styles at 24 font sizes, and exclusive weight and sharpness settings. The built-in dictionary helps ensure that readers never feel lost. And with exclusive Kobo Everywhere technology, e-books can be stored and retrieved safely from a cloud storage folder.

One of its biggest features is undoubtedly its tight social networking integration. Unlike other e-book readers, it works well with Facebook and Twitter, so users can share things like book passages wherever and whenever they want. While it doesn’t have a lot of extra features, it certainly has all the ones that matter for those who don't want their reader to get in the way of the reading.

Need to Know: Kobo Mini

1. Accompanying Kobo eBookstore offers almost 3 million books, newspapers, and magazines to its users. (The Good)

2. Battery life lasts up to a month with Wi-Fi turned off. (The Good)

3. Its processor has been slowed down to conserve power but this also results in slower performance. (The Bad)

4. Lacks 3G wireless connectivity. (The Bad)


Screen Size
5"
Storage
2 GB
3G
No
Reading Time
336 hours


What the Critics Are Saying...


Computer Shopper

In the final analysis, though, we have to look at what we're getting for the money. Since the Kobo Mini costs about as much as similar 6-inch e-readers, you're not getting a discount for opting for the smaller 5-inch screen. So the question then becomes: Is the reduced size and weight of the Kobo Mi...

- Dave McClintock, Computer Shopper
Cnet

I suppose elsewhere in the world where there's less choice -- Kobo has a big international presence -- if you were looking for a modestly priced, very compact e-reader with a touch screen, the Mini would seem more compelling. As it stands, though, it's a likable product that's a bit of an in-between...

- David Carnoy, Cnet
Digital Trends

The Kobo Mini comes with a budget price tag yet doesn't come off as cheap.

- K. T. Bradford, Digital Trends
Digital Trends

The $80 Kobo Mini comes with a budget price tag yet doesn’t come off as cheap. Yes, to get to that price point there are sacrifices in quality — you won’t get the crispest screen or the fastest performance. But this is not a crappy dollar store eReader, it’s a good option for...

- K. T. Bradford , Digital Trends
Pocket-lint

Nicely priced at £59.99, the Kobo Mini is a possible stocking filler for frequent travellers, commuters and anyone who likes to travel light, though in strict hardware terms it's certainly convenience over quality.

- Jamie Carter, Pocket-lint


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Quick view

Screen Size
5"

The Kobo Mini's screen size is 5 inches with x pixels resolution.

Backlight
No

There is no built-in backlight.

Storage
2 GB

Internal memory is 2 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

3G
No

This model has no 3G wireless capabilities.

Reading Time
336 hours
Battery life is rated for up to 60 days standby time according to Kobo's.

Kobo Mini Specs

Overview
Release date October 1, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
SIM card No
Operating System
Processor Freescale 508 800 MHz
Internal Storage 2 GB
RAM No
ROM No
Flightmode Yes
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Capacity No
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Reading Time Up to: 336 hours
Standby Time Up to: 60 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Black, White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.3 x 10.2 x 1.0 cm (5.2 x 4 x 0.4 in)
Weight 134 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Grayscale
Technology E-ink
Colors Unknown
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 5 inches
Backlit Illumination No
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Anti Glare No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Page Turn Key No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock No
External Volume Control No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info No
PC Synchronization No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Audio / Video
Audio Playback No
Audio Formats No
Video Playback No
Video Playback Formats No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack No
Vibration Alert No
Content Formats Supported
Content Formats Supported No
More
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Kobo Mini Reviews
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Critic Reviews


Computer Shopper

Its small display, may be its biggest hurdle

from Computer Shopper

In the final analysis, though, we have to look at what we're getting for the money. Since the Kobo Mini costs about as much as similar 6-inch e-readers, you're not getting a discount for opting for the smaller 5-inch screen. So the question then becomes: Is the reduced size and weight of the Kobo...More

In the final analysis, though, we have to look at what we're getting for the money. Since the Kobo Mini costs about as much as similar 6-inch e-readers, you're not getting a discount for opting for the smaller 5-inch screen. So the question then becomes: Is the reduced size and weight of the Kobo Mini worth the constraints of a smaller display? For all but the most pocket-challenged—let's say, astronauts, and supermodels with tiny purses and skinny jeans?—we recommend a 6-inch e-reader instead.

Read full review

Less

Cnet

A likable touch-screen e-ink e-reader that's too small for some and not quite small enough for others

from Cnet

I suppose elsewhere in the world where there's less choice -- Kobo has a big international presence -- if you were looking for a modestly priced, very compact e-reader with a touch screen, the Mini would seem more compelling. As it stands, though, it's a likable product that's a bit of an in-betw...More

I suppose elsewhere in the world where there's less choice -- Kobo has a big international presence -- if you were looking for a modestly priced, very compact e-reader with a touch screen, the Mini would seem more compelling. As it stands, though, it's a likable product that's a bit of an in-betweener -- too small for some and not quite small enough for others.

Read full review

Less

Digital Trends

Light and comfortable with access to eBook sources beyond Kobo’s store

from Digital Trends

The $80 Kobo Mini comes with a budget price tag yet doesn’t come off as cheap. Yes, to get to that price point there are sacrifices in quality — you won’t get the crispest screen or the fastest performance. But this is not a crappy dollar store eReader, it’s a good option...More

The $80 Kobo Mini comes with a budget price tag yet doesn’t come off as cheap. Yes, to get to that price point there are sacrifices in quality — you won’t get the crispest screen or the fastest performance. But this is not a crappy dollar store eReader, it’s a good option for consumers whose primary concern is price or who don’t want to spend too much on something for a child who may not treat it as well as they should.

Read full review

Less

Digital Trends

The Kobo Mini comes with a budget price tag yet doesn't come off as cheap

from Digital Trends

The $80 Kobo Mini comes with a budget price tag yet doesn’t come off as cheap. Yes, to get to that price point there are sacrifices in quality — you won’t get the crispest screen or the fastest performance. But this is not a crappy dollar store eReader, it’s a good option...More

The $80 Kobo Mini comes with a budget price tag yet doesn’t come off as cheap. Yes, to get to that price point there are sacrifices in quality — you won’t get the crispest screen or the fastest performance. But this is not a crappy dollar store eReader, it’s a good option for consumers whose primary concern is price or who don’t want to spend too much on something for a child who may not treat it as well as they should.

Read full review

Less

Pocket-lint

It's certainly convenience over quality

from Pocket-lint

Nicely priced at £59.99, the Kobo Mini is a possible stocking filler for frequent travellers, commuters and anyone who likes to travel light, though in strict hardware terms it's certainly convenience over quality.

Read full review

Nicely priced at £59.99, the Kobo Mini is a possible stocking filler for frequent travellers, commuters and anyone who likes to travel light, though in strict hardware terms it's certainly convenience over quality.

Read full review

Less

ITProPortal

It’s very small and very light without feeling at all flimsy

from ITProPortal

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...More

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. In fact, it doesn’t offer many real advantages over reading on a good-sized mobile phone.

Read full review

Less

Digital Versus

The eReader that fits in your pocket

from Digital Versus

Portable by nature, this pint-sized e-reader will fit snugly in your back pocket for a low price, all without sacrificing reading comfort or features. Readers-on-the-go will, however, have preferred a longer-lasting battery.

Read full review

Portable by nature, this pint-sized e-reader will fit snugly in your back pocket for a low price, all without sacrificing reading comfort or features. Readers-on-the-go will, however, have preferred a longer-lasting battery.

Read full review

Less

Tech Hive

At the very least, it’s a cheaper, cuter alternative to larger e-readers

from Tech Hive

If you already own a 6-inch e-reader, there’s no reason to run out and purchase the Kobo Mini. Sure, it’s lighter and smaller, but not so much so that it’s worth an extra $80 for an extra device with an extra degree of portability. However, if you’re considering an E Ink d...More

If you already own a 6-inch e-reader, there’s no reason to run out and purchase the Kobo Mini. Sure, it’s lighter and smaller, but not so much so that it’s worth an extra $80 for an extra device with an extra degree of portability. However, if you’re considering an E Ink device and you don’t really mind reading on something that’s not much larger than your smartphone, the Kobo Mini might be a good fit for you? At the very least, it’s a cheaper, cuter alternative to larger e-readers, and the colorful interchangeable backs might make it ideal for a younger reader.

Read full review

Less

The Inquirer

A lightweight, pocket-sized ereader

from The Inquirer

The Kobo Mini is a good lightweight pocket-sized ereader that is very simple looking. This might be good for those looking for a portable device with minimalist styling, but we think it's perhaps too simple, since its lack of physical page-turning buttons makes it unattractive for those who don't like touch-only devices....

More

The Kobo Mini is a good lightweight pocket-sized ereader that is very simple looking. This might be good for those looking for a portable device with minimalist styling, but we think it's perhaps too simple, since its lack of physical page-turning buttons makes it unattractive for those who don't like touch-only devices.

Furthermore, the touchscreen on the Kobo Mini isn't the best looking or most responsive we've seen on a touch-enabled ereader, making it irritating to use at times. Since it retails at £59.99, we think the Kobo Mini is overpriced for what you get, especially in terms of performance. It does have a good choice of customisable reading options, but its laggy interface and simplistic design gives the impression that you're not really getting your money's worth.

Read full review

Less

PC Magazine

A tiny, dedicated ebook reader

from PC Magazine

Sometimes smaller can be better—even when it comes to reading. The tiny Kobo Mini is one of the smallest ebook readers we've tested. But the size is deceptive, as it still packs a 5-inch E Ink screen, which is just an inch less than you'll find on the average Kindle or Nook. And unlike Sony...More

Sometimes smaller can be better—even when it comes to reading. The tiny Kobo Mini is one of the smallest ebook readers we've tested. But the size is deceptive, as it still packs a 5-inch E Ink screen, which is just an inch less than you'll find on the average Kindle or Nook. And unlike Sony's now-discontinued 5-inch Reader, the Kobo Mini supports touch. If an ebook reader could be called "cute," it's certainly this one. That said, you're not really saving any money by going with the smaller screen size.

Read full review

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