Putting down my impressions of the Kobo triggered some re-evaluation of exactly what my thoughts on the little device are – and the more I think about it, the more the limitations and flaws of the device are apparent.
The screen refresh rate is slow. Not only that, the screen is unreliable – doesn’t always respond to taps, or maybe it does respond but doesn’t update the screen because if you tap again you’re ahead two pages! That doesn’t count the times the software goes a bit haywire, and then the browsing starts going forward and backward seemingly at random, necessitating a power-off/power-on cycle. Browsing the store is nothing short of painful, and going backwards and forwards more than one or two pages at a time is decidedly awkward. I’ve never intentionally invoked the dictionary, yet I’ve already got the achievement for looking up 10 words from all the times the screen touch decided I was trying to highlight and look up a word. (The life awards/achievements are pretty … weird? silly? I guess they’re harmless, if useless)
It’s symmetric, so there’s no way to figure out which way to hold the device by looking or feeling most of the sides, except if you happen across the very slightly different power switch at the top. The power switch is a slider, which probably makes it difficult to accidentally press, but definitely not my favoured button style. The casing itself isn’t particularly attractive – I got a nicely coloured backing as part of my gift, but the rubber frame around the front looks like it’ll need cleaning. I have no idea if it’s possible, but a seamless/non-framed front would have been quite a bit more stylish.
And yet – I am now convinced e-readers are the future of reading. It is comfortable to read – maybe even more than a regular novel, since I can crank up the font. You can carry many, many books, all in the same amount of space. And when you’re just reading continuously, holding it in one hand, tapping to flip to the next page, it works.
It works. I can carry an entire library, and I can read books, one-handed. It gets the most important features, and all the things – which I think are important things that they should fix – but in the end I would still recommend it since the important things work. I am now a believer in e-readers. They’re still expensive, but I would still recommend it for anyone who likes reading.