The Kobo Touch is a touch screen ebook reader which, in common with all dedicated readers, features a grey-scale screen designed to mimic the look of printed text.
The device uses e-ink’s latest Pearl technology which provides crisp, easy to read text on a non-reflective screen which can be read in bright light without any screen glare.
If your last ereader is a couple of years old – in my case Sony’s PRS-505 – then you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much the screen technology has advanced.
The contrast between the text and background is far greater than on older devices, a development which makes reading easier and more enjoyable.
e-ink also offers long lasting battery life which dwarfs that offered by tablets and other LCD devices. However there is a tradeoff – e-ink screens lack a backlight so you’re unable to read in dark and very low light conditions.
The device is WiFi enabled so it can connect to your home broadband network which allows you to browse Kobo’s built-in store and download books for instant reading.
If you buy your books from Kobo and have a tablet you can easily read your purchases on both devices by installing Kobo’s app on your tablet.
As well as books from Kobo, the Touch will also display titles purchased from other retailers who support ePub files protected by Adobe’s DRM so if you have existing books purchased from WHSmith, Waterstones or Foyles they can be copied to the Kobo by connecting it to your PC or Mac.
Looks-wise the Kobo Touch is a pretty standard black plastic affair much like many other ereaders.
What differentiates it is the rear which Kobo describe as ‘soft-quilted’ – a term which conjures up the idea of a girly, spongelike feel – but is actually a textured, non-slip pattern.
This makes the device easy and comfortable to hold for long periods and reduces the possibility of it slipping from your hands.
Performance-wise the Touch is fast, the touch screen is responsive and the menu system intuitive and easy to use.
All the standard features – font sizes, font selection, search, dictionary and annotation – are present and brought up by taping the screen from within your book so there’s no need to quit back to the menu to make changes.
If I was looking at buying an ereader as a gift the Touch is the device I’d choose, it’s a well built, high-quality device which provides an enjoyable user experience and a simple way to buy books.
The Kobo Touch is available to buy at WHSmiths and other high street stores.