52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2011
I guess it's not surprising that Amazon isn't trying very hard to sell many of these :). I bought mine from Borders a week ago, for the regular price -- and at that price, it should be noted, this is the cheapest new ereader on the market. (Unless you get one of those ad-supported Kindles, but seeing the ads would make me want to claw my eyes out.)
The Kobo Touch is my first ereader, though I've fooled around with other people's Kindles, Nooks, and Sony readers. I chose it because of the price and because it's frankly better at handling PDF files than the Kindle or Nook -- it's about on par with the Sonys there. I'm delighted with its small size; I actually can slip it in my pocket. It's slightly smaller than the new Nook touch, and *considerably* smaller than the latest Kindle, though the screen size is exactly the same. Screen quality is excellent (but it is on all the current-generation machines).
I would think that the Kobo would be a great choice for anyone who finds its minimalist touchscreen interface appealing -- in practice, I find it to be pleasantly like using my phone or a tablet computer. Of course, some people will find the very same aspect of it annoying. Personally, I've found the touchscreen to be quite responsive, indoors or out.
Other things to like: solid build; rubbery back in non-slip quilt pattern; surprisingly functional (though far from perfect) web browser built in. (You can check Gmail with it if you're desperate.) So, all in all, I'm quite happy with the purchase.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2011
I have a Kobo Wireless Reader and like it. When Borders went out of business, got a good deal on the Touch. It worked fine for a couple of months. Then all of a suddent, I got a page flip about every 5-10 pages and the reader threw me out of the system. Finally, it was every three pages. I followed the directions for the factory reset and did the whole thing with it. It still worked the same way. Went to reset via the pinhole in the back. Now all I get is a white screen and it doesn't even appear to have a charge or anything. Alerted customer service in Oct. Was told 24-48 hours someone would get back with me. Over two weeks later, hadn't heard a thing. Sent a follow-up e-mail and was told that it had been elevated to a Tier 2 problem and that "engineering" would investigate it. After another 2 weeks, went back and was asked the same questions that I had answered a month or so earlier. Finally got some sort of response today after going to their Facebook page and logging on to their section on issues with Kobo readers (Wireless, Touch and the newest one). Appears that a lot of folks are having problems and that customer service is non-existant. Earlier this year we had a problem with the original Kobo and it was taken care of in less than a week. Now it might not be taken care of in a time period of months...Be careful with this one.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2011
Out of the box the unit is unusable until you've registered it and Kobo registration software only supports on Windows or Mac - quite annoying for Linux users. There is an unsupported Linux version though and that does work. After that using the device is a breeze. PDF rendering is fast and once you get the hang of using it works well, even if you have to zoom in.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I received my Kobo Touch for Christmas. I enjoy reading with my it. The screen is terrific for reading, even in our bright Florida sunshine, and the font size, line spacing and margins very customizable to accommodate nearly every reader's needs. It was a little complicated getting books from my local library on it, but once I figured that out, I soldiered on.
The unit has a nice feel and I like the narrow width, thin case and light weight ... easy for my somewhat smallish hands. Battery life is great - I read an hour or two a day, and the battery lasts well over one month. Touch-screen response was initially slower than I would have thought for turning pages, but hey, I got used to that, and also figured out how to touch the screen "just right" to bring up the menu. All-in-all, I was content with the unit.
Then it froze up - after two months of reading, mostly in the comfort of an air-conditioned house. I get it. Out of millions of units sold, a few will have problems. I just happened to get one that had a problem. I contacted customer service and was given an RMA and an address to send in the faulty unit. I immediately sent it to them.
I had contacted "customer care". Several times. After sending e-mails that got no response, I called. I was told they couldn't look up my status in real time, but they would flag the agent who was tracking my unit. I got a response from the agent saying it usually takes two to three weeks for turnaround, but he would escalate my query.
After a few go-arounds like this, a brand-new unit arrived at my door at the four-week mark. Better, Kobo provided a software upgrade, and the slowness has disappeared. I don't know if it is because I am used to touching the screen the right way, but bringing up the menu seems to have improved as well.
Am I happy? Not particularly, but I'll get over it. Do I like my Kobo. Definitely yes. Will I keep it? My wife's Kobo has been flawless since day one. I expect I received one with a problem, but am willing to forgive. I will keep my Kobo and enjoy its benefits.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2012
I love my Kobo Touch!!! I have read hundreds of books on it and have enjoyed every minute of it. Admittedly the fact you are "supposed" to use their software is annoying, but it is easy enough to get around. My husband uses Linux and I use a Mac--- We can both load books onto the Kobo without their software on our computers- if you use an SD card. It looks just like a flash drive and once books are loaded onto that the reader sees them. I also love the back on this ereader. It is so natural feeling and easy to hold. I just got a mini for my oldest kid and a glo for my mom to use and I HATE THE NEW BACK ON THEM! They should have kept the same back as on the touch! If you are thinking of a Kobo- the Touch is the way to go! Easy to use- Easy to hold and the best reader on the market! READ ON!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2011
This ereader was good at first but it has been getting worse and worse. Today it keeps shutting off and telling me that it needs a charge when it does not. Makes attempting to read a book for class very frustrating. I haven't dropped it, it just sits on my desk so that is not the issue. Maybe I got a defective one but I've just been having more and more problems with it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2012
I bought the Kobo Touch last year from Fry's because even though Best Buy was advertised to have it, they did not. The associates there did not even know which device to which I referred. I bought it for college so I would not have to lug around quite so many books for class. It turned out most useful for Spanish as it contains a translator.
I really like my Kobo. The main incentive, after researching several different eReaders, was that it could read ePub files (and I wanted access to a vaster selection of ebooks), which Kindle cannot do (to my knowledge). Also because it could read DRM and DRM-free books, and in general seemed to be able to read more file formats in general (I like having the most possible options). It works really well, overall. It's fairly responsive and durable. I can play sudoku on it, connect to the internet (though it's not my first option when I need to connect), and with the newest update, I can create shelves for my books so I don't have to skim through my entire book list to find what I'd like to read.
The biggest thing I don't like about it--whenever I update to newer software, subsequent uses result in the entire device freezing up. I have to wonder what type of inferior hardware was put into this thing in order for it to act this way. It may freeze in the middle of a page turn or while searching for a book. I have to slide the power switch back and forth about three to five times before it actually restarts. And this tends to happen in clusters--if I have to restart it once, I have to restart once or twice more within an hour. It's almost a guarantee, sadly. A couple of times I have had to reset it because wifi updates don't install properly.
With this last update (2.0.0), Kobo seems to have lost its way. The first time I updated, I performed it via wifi. I could not create shelves for my books though I tried several times in vain, and my shortlist was lost. I also really don't like the wishlist they've added to the main screen along with the "discover" tab.
Although they've made great strides by allowing for more fonts, sharper text, greater touch responsiveness, they've neglected other important functions--namely the ability to read PDF. When a page is turned while reading a PDF book, the right third of the previous page obscures the view of the current page. It's a huge oversight. Since about 80% of my files are PDF, my Kobo is rendered practically useless until another update. Believe me, I've tried downgrading to the previous version. The problem is, when I try to sync or connect to Kobo Desktop (which must be downgraded also and does not function if it is not updated), I'm updated right back to version 2.0 and suffer the same issues. I still have huge complications with it freezing simply while paging through my book list. I was finally able to reset it to a version that could read PDF again, and I just have to be certain not to connect it to Kobo Desktop.
I'm also pretty disappointed that the web browser, sudoku, and sketch pad are still "unsupported" features--it's been a year already. They're coming out with new ereaders, and it seems they've barely gotten the kinks worked out of the ereaders they've created....it's upsetting because it gives me the idea they care more about keeping up by pushing out newer models with slightly different features than making sure the ereaders they have are of top quality.
Though this all does seem negative and resentful, I do still give it four stars because it is very useful, durable, and convenient. It performs its basic functions, and I like it because it's an ereader. It doesn't try to be a tablet with twenty million apps (I'll leave that for the Vox) or an mp3 player (I don't know why an advertised electronic book would need a headphone jack...) or anything else. It's easily maneuverable, doesn't take long to set up, and is very convenient to travel with--it can easily slip into my cargo pants pockets, even in its case. I has a nice comfortable fit in my hands when reading. I love it.
I appreciate the steps they're taking to improve their brand and make a name for themselves. I still root for them. It's just that their updates are faulty/flawed, and need much more testing before being released. If it wasn't for that one thing (I can easily overlook having to reset every once in a while), I'd certainly award five stars.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2011
I did quite a bit of research on various eReaders before finally selecting the Kobo Touch.
The Kindle was out of the running right away for the simple reason they are proprietary with their books and the Kindle is not compatible with public library lending systems. I am an avid reader, although I rarely purchase fiction books; rather I utilize the public library quite a lot and I intend to continue to read books from the library via my Kobo.
Sony eReaders are priced too high for what I consider to be the same features as the more affordable Kobo.
The Kobo Vox was also not a consideration, as I find the extras redundant to my laptop, phone and iPod Touch. For me, I didn't need another way to connect on Facebook.
The reference books I do purchase are marked up and written in and I love the Kobo for the easy way to make notations in the books, either by highlighting a text passage and/or adding my own note. The only downside to note making is the keyboard is slow to register typing.
I have not tried to contact customer service yet and according to the reviews, it may be a challenge but I consider myself forewarned from the reviews and will adjust my expectations accordingly so I am not frustrated in the process.
The "quilted" back feels nice. The Kobo is not bulky or awkward to hold, and it fits easily into my handbag. I am never without a book, so I love having the slim Kobo in my handbag and not only that, but I can easily access multiple books I've read or am reading simultaneously.
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2011
After owning this for over a year I've had problems with it and it has frozen indefinitely. I never dropped it or mishandled it and it is still dead. I reset it twice and it does nothing. DO NOT BUY THIS. The thing is junk.
I came very close to buying the kindle but after reading the limitations, the biggest being it does not read .epub files which libraries use so I can read books free I got this and I love it so far!!
I have to say I was one of those people that thought e-readers were kinda dumb, being a fan of physical books only. Having moved a few times with my many books I quickly saw the benefit in having all of my books in one handy device instead of boxes and instead of going to the awful libraries in California: they are hangouts for bums and rarely have any books I am looking for excepting the main library in traffic jammed downtown. I love this thing though, reading is natural on it.
I was pleasantly surprised when I accidentally put some powerpoint, word documents and .djvu documents on here in that this thing reads them just like any other book file! I am able to just plug this in and have it show up as a drive I can put things on!
The touchscreen is the resistor type, instead of the capacitor type which apple uses, so it's not as responsive as your iphone but it does work well. It does take a minute to figure out how the software works but once you do it's smooth sailing.
It does not have free wifi/3g included so you have to either have a wifi connection or install the Kobo software on your computer to access the Kobo store and just plug it in and buy books from there. This device is for reading for me, not for browsing the internet or infinite browsing of books so it's not a problem having no internet access.
One thing that would be nice is the option to have no page breaks so I don't have to swipe or press the next page arrow on screen. Just one long continuous scroll would be better. You have to get used to the refresh too when you move the text or go to another page. I would have liked the SD card to be regular size rather than the micro size which I don't have but the included 2GB of space has been enough for me so far. Also autofit to the extents of the screen would be nice, it actually does have this option but it counts the bottom and top menus as edges instead of the actual screen size so the zoom is not enough. Another thing is that it does not remember my zoom setting when going back to a book so I have to rezoom it to where it was after coming back.
Overall this is highly recommended, it's a bit higher priced than some e-readers mainly for the touchscreen which works well enough. This thing will read all of the book file types and then some non-book file types as well so if you want flexibility get this.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2012
The Kobo Touch runs far better than its button WIFI predecessor, but - unfortunately - it is just as inclined to screen failure.
I originally bought a WiFi Kobo for DH at a Borders with extra warranty, and it died in less than 4 months of gentle usage. Screen developed these funny bars etc. I didn't pursue it immediately because I thought the chain closing meant I was out of luck but folks online told me otherwise. After dealing with their unwieldy & inefficient (but polite - then) 'tiered' system eventually I found Kobo would exchange it if I covered the shipping & insurance to Canada. Sadly the refurbished they sent was also a lemon (screen issue - lines & bars again in weeks), and so was the one after that. At least we were given a domestic address the last time!
In March of this year they sent a refurbished Kobo Touch. This was an upgrade that made us willing to forgive all the nonsense we'd gone through before - until this week, when it broke too (That's 5 months of gentle use. A new record!) DH took it out of its out-sized extra protective case in a waiting room and found 1/4 of the screen was frozen on the 'powered off' image. When he got home, and powered up it up again, half the screen was now unreadable, as another quarter only changed from dark to light areas.
Now the rep says it is out of warranty. He's counting from the original lemon's purchase date. So that's that.
[Rep added a snark about how nobody would have done any better. He claimed that if you returned a bad TV to Fry's they wouldn't extend the warranty. I replied that you could take a bad TV right back into Fry's and get a new one that worked, not wait months for a refurbished model that you could only hope was truly fixed - after paying more shipping!]
Bottom line- all the 'refurbished' units they sent were not-so-fixed lemons AND they now run the warranty out from the original purchase date. They are also disregarding how long it took them to respond and then finally exchange the units.
All the money I spent sending those stupid lemons back could have bought us another Nook or Kindle AND it would still be working! (Our family's other e-readers are doing fine.) All this hassle doesn't make me want to buy another Kobo, that's for sure.
The Kobo Touch is nice while it lasts, though not great.
Shows several books you are reading at once for easy access. Speed is better than previous models though not quite as fast as the Nook or Kindle. Fonts and contrast are competitive, quite good actually. Page-turn speed was acceptable, when it didn't freeze up.
Breaks easily! Customer support very slow - at best, rude and unhelpful - at worst. Battery was a bit weird, sometimes claiming it needed to be charged when it had just been charged - other times it ran as long as they claimed. Touch screen worked fine in some sessions but took several tries to get a response other times (frozen?), which was mildly annoying.