I was gifted a delightful little Kobo mini over the holidays. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of it – a touch less wide than a pocketbook, and almost an inch less tall, I worried it would be difficult to make work with me olde eyes. Turns out that was a non-issue – it was straightforward to enlarge the font size for reading.
The e-paper screen turns out to be quite comfortable to read. It does have an abysmally slow refresh rate, making anything moderately interactive painful – it’s technically possible to type with the onscreen keyboard, or browse the store, or look up words while reading, but all of these are pretty painful.
Once you give up on using the device for anything but reading though, things go swimmingly. The delay isn’t such a big deal when you’re just turning pages of the book when reading. Interestingly, it seems to require a good solid press to register touch, but it does allow interaction even with gloves on. It’s not perfect – it whatever little processor behind the scenes still seems a bit slow and overtaxed, and sometimes gets confused with flipping backwards vs forwards – but 95% of the time there’s no troubles. Once you turn off wifi, the battery life is very good – a couple days reading a couple books brought it down to 60ish% is the furthest I’ve gone, and it’s always charged in a jiffy when I go to load more books.
Actually, that’s what true saving grace of the device – the screen is comfortable to read off of for substantial stretches, and the one little device is all you need to carry. I love being able to carry multiple books without having to deal with finding extra pockets for all of them. Now I’ve got the opposite problem of before – rather than having to decide which book to carry and worrying about whether to take a spare if I’m nearly done, I sometimes have to waffle over which book to start reading because they are all on the device!
Which reminds me – I’ve got an overdue paperback that is likely lost since it isn’t in my pockets…