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Kobo Glo review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £100
inc VAT

A great hi-resolution screen, excellent store and built-in light make this an excellent eReader, but the Kindle Paperwhite is better



Kobo’s interface is, for the most part, a pleasure to use thanks to the touchscreen, which is as responsive as you’ll get from an E Ink device. From the front page you can quickly select the book you want and tap it to open it. You can also buy books directly from your device, provided it’s connected to Wi-Fi, but the experience isn’t quite as slick as Amazon’s devices.

The Discover tab, which shows you books you might be interested in, displays a carousel of book covers, but this isn’t particular easy to navigate on an E Ink device, as it takes a relatively long time for the page to refresh.

The store is merely a search box that you type into, missing out on Amazon’s trick of letting you view lists of books and browse through everything. If you’re buying books it’s generally better to use the Kobo website and have the book delivered to your device. Pretty much every book available on the Amazon Kindle bestseller’s list is available from Kobo with a couple of minor exceptions. This is much closer than it was even a year ago and Kindle doesn’t quite have the lead for content that it once did.

Kobo Glo The touchscreen is responsive and makes it easy to navigate through the menus and turn pages

Once you’re in a book, you can turn pages into two ways: tap (left-hand side of the screen to go back and right-hand side to go forwards) or swipe (right-to-left to go forwards and left-to-right to go back). Page turns are smooth and quick, with the default setting only fully refreshing the page every six page turns. When the screen isn’t fully refreshed you can make out a bit of ghosting from the previous page, although this generally isn’t too bad within the same book; it’s more noticeable when moving from one book to another – but most people rarely do this. You can adjust this setting and choose the number of pages before a full refresh, with a range from one to six.

Tap the screen once and you get a menu of options, including one option for in-book navigation, where you can search inside the book, look up words and get a table of contents. There’s full control over how each book looks with a choice of nine fonts (Amasis, Avenir, Caecilia, Georgia, Gill Sans, kobo Nickel, Malabar, Gothic MB101, Ryumin and OpenDyslexic). The latter is designed to make text easier to read for people with dyslexia. In addition, you can also change the font size, line spacing, margins and, something the Kindle doesn’t have, the text justification. Basically, you can make each book look the way you want it.


Kobo quotes the battery life at 70 hours of continuous reading with the ComfortLight turn on and set to a brightness of around 15 to 20 per cent. It makes it hard to directly compare to the Kindle Paperwhite, as Amazon’s figures are quoted at a higher brightness level. However, in our tests, we wouldn’t have thought that you’d need to charge either device more than once every couple of weeks.

Kobo Glo Micro USB port As with most modern devices, the Kobo Glo is charged via its Micro USB port on the bottom


One of the key reasons to buy a Kobo is for its format support and the fact that you’re not locked into a particular store. While it’s easier and more convenient to buy a lot of books through Kobo, you can buy from anywhere and add encrypted PDF and ePUB files to your reader via a USB connection and Adobe Digital Editions. It’s this freedom that appeals to a lot of people and if you don’t want to be tied to Amazon, Kobo’s got an excellent alternative.

We have to say that the Kobo Glo’s PDF support isn’t particularly good. You can zoom in to a page and use your finger to slide round pages, but it’s slow to update and fiddly to use. We struggled to get it to display our PDF book properly and you’re better off with ePUB files, which have reflowable text.

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Viewable size6.0in
Native resolution1,024×768
Touchscreen y/nyes
Memory card supportMicro SD
Battery and charge optionsLi-ion, USB
Wireless networking support802.11n

Format Support

eReader TXT supportyes
eReader HTML supportyes
eReader RTF supportyes
eReader PDF supportyes
eReader ePub supportyes
eReader MOBI supportyes
eReader Amazon AZW supportno
eReader Microsoft Word supportyes
Audio MP3 playbackNo
Audio WMA playbackNo
Audio WMA-DRM playbackNo
Audio AAC playbackNo
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackNo
Audio WAV playbackNo
Audio Audible playbackNo
Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportYes

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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