Kobo’s e-readers have been around for the better part of a decade and their latest Nia e-reader is a good alternative to Amazon’s Kindle series.
Design & Hardware
If you’re looking for an e-reader with all the bells and whistles, then you better look elsewhere, the Kobo Nia is all about the basics. The e-reader is very small in stature but that helps make it easier to hold in one hand.
The device weighs around 172g and the back features a perforated design for easier grip.
The bottom of the device is where you’ll find the power button and microUSB port and that’s about it.
The device features a 6-inch E-ink touchscreen with a resolution of 1024 x 758 and 212ppi. The screen also features a backlight that can be adjusted but you can’t change the colour temperature of the light.
Reading on the Kobo Nia is enjoyable, the screen can get fairly bright or fairly dim. I wish there was a way to make the screen with a black background and with white text.
Inside the Kobo Nia is a processor with 256MB of RAM along with 8GB of storage (which is enough for up to 6,000 books).
There’s also Wi-Fi to download new books from the Kobo store or your local library via OverDrive. If you already have some ebooks then you can easily copy them over to the device using your computer and a microUSB cable.
The Kobo Nia natively supports a number of different file-formats including EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR.
The battery on the Kobo Nia lasts around one week depending on usage.
The Kobo Nia is available now from the following retailers for $129 CAD.
Navigating the Kobo interface is fairly easy, thanks to the touchscreen but you will notice a second delay when pressing something on-screen since it’s an e-ink display.
The main homescreen is divided into four sections: Home, My Books, Discover and More.
Home is pretty self-explanatory where it shows you your current books being read, quick access to your books on the device and recommendations for new titles. At the very top of the screen, you have quick access to brightness controls, Wi-Fi settings, battery life, sync and search.
My Books shows you all the books that are on the Nia including ones you’ve copied from your computer, bought from the Kobo Store and borrowed digitally from your local library via OverDrive. One benefit of Kobo over the Kindle is that there are more options to where you can get digital books to read beyond just the Kobo Store.
Discover is where you can access the Kobo Store, including titles on your wishlist, Kobo Plus is their subscription service that is $9.99/month, which has thousands of titles to choose from.
More is where you can read articles saved to Pocket, Activity shows your reading stats for your books, beta features lets you try early access features and settings lets you change various aspects of the device.
Overall, the Kobo Nia is an good entry-level e-reader in the company’s lineup of devices.
- Solid battery life
- Sharp e-ink touch display
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to load your own books or from your local library
- Good entry-level price
- Comfortable to hold one-handed
- No waterproofing
- Uses MicroUSB instead of USB-C
- Wi-Fi can sometimes be hit or miss