All the major e-readers began as brainchild’s of companies that originally sold books in print. In this Kobo Nia eReader review, I’ll show that it’s no different.
Everyone knows Amazon’s famous origins as the premier online bookseller.
The other two major competitors began as brick-and-mortar stores. There’s Barne’s and Noble with their ‘Nook’ line of ebook readers, and Kobo Inc., the makers of the Kobo Nia reader, among others.
Though Barnes and Noble still holds its place as the largest book store chain in the United States, Kobo’s parent company, Indigo Books and Music, sold its e-reader business to Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten long ago.
It’s probably not coincidental that the Kindle and Kobo brands have the healthiest market saturation, and that both their parent companies are e-commerce behemoths.
Their strategies have diverged at times, however. Though Amazon’s Kindle is available in many iterations, there’s often an air of proprietary leanings surrounding it. The Kobo brand aims to be more agnostic.
Perhaps that’s why they seem most committed to marrying rich features to affordability. The Kobo Nia basic model is a straightforward bargain, that reveals surprising value when you dig a little deeper with this Kobo Nia eReader review.
Kobo Nia eReader Review – What’s in the Box?
The Kobo Nia retails at one hundred dollars ($100).
The reader has a six-inch screen. This is the standard dimension for balance between ease of reading and good visibility. The screen uses the Carta E-Ink display. That makes it black and white rather than full color. The Kobo’s screen is glare-free, and can be read clearly in anything but bright direct light.
Another point worth mentioning is that the screen has 221 ppi resolution. This is a little high for most basic readers and certainly adds to the value.
Battery life is extended because of the monochrome coloring, since color saps battery power five to ten times faster, depending upon use. The Kobo Nia is 6.3 x 4.4 inches (159.3 x 112.4 mm), and weighs approximately six ounces (172 g.).
That makes it an easily manageable handful. The size, along with the glare resistance, provides an enjoyable reading experience.
The back of the device is smooth and easy to grip. The Kobo Nia isn’t waterproof, so take care around spills and bodies of water.
The unit comes with a recharge/input cable, but it doesn’t come with a wall plug. The included cable plugs into any USB, so it can dock with a computer or wall charger easily.
Also of note is the reader’s storage space. It has eight gigabytes, which can hold anywhere from six thousand to eight thousand ebooks.
How Well Does The Kobo Nia Perform?
This is where the Koba Nia really stands firm. Its feature-set is a good list of capabilities and functions.
The reader has a screen adjustment option that slides from near-dark to ultra-low contrast. It doesn’t have a true night mode, i.e. featuring white letters on a black screen, however.
A great added value is that the Kobo Nia is ad-free. When you put it to rest, there are no intrusive attempts to sell you more products. There is a certain amount of pushing to get you to read and buy more entries from the library, but that is minimum and only present when you reawaken the reader.
The e-reader handles fifteen different file formats, from e-pub to mobi and much more.
How Do You Access Ebooks On The Kobo Nia?
You log onto the Kobo Nia with a Walmart, Facebook, Kobo, or another compatible account.
You have access to Kobo’s ebook store, as well as the Overdrive system running natively.
The Overdrive access is particularly generous. It is a free public library system and lets you check out thousands of books.
Unlike Kindle, the Kobo Nia downloads Overdrive books directly to your e-reader. This saves time and helps you with organizing your library.
With Overdrive’s volume, you might even find that eight thousand ebook storage capacity being stretched.
Kobo Nia eReader Review – Final Verdict
I think this Kobo Nia eReader review shows that it is definitely worth the modest hundred-dollar price tag.
With the expanded library provided by free Overdrive access, it’s a great bargain for the avid reader.
Two quibbles come to mind:
- As mentioned before, there is no night-read capability. That is a function usually found in more expensive e-readers, but it’s a feature the Kobo Nia would do well to add.
- The other minor point is the on/off button. This is a little indentation spot at the bottom of the reader. Unless you have small fingers, it’s hard to access. You have to use a pen or other pointy object to get to it.
That said, you’ll notice neither of these objections is by any means a deal-breaker. For the price, minor flaws can be tolerated, and the Kobo Nia e-reader is still a fantastic buy.