Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Kobo Nia

Kobo’s latest $149 eReader offers lighting, local library access

Getting into eBooks on the cheap usually means sacrificing a feature or two, but Kobo’s latest aims to keep things cool and local, too.

If you’re a lover of books or know someone who is, there’s a good chance you’ve suggested an eBook at one time. Not everyone has made the switch, granted, and while some just prefer the sensation a real physical book provides, for others that conversion is about the cost.

After all, while a book can cost as little a few dollars to as much as forty or fifty, an eBook reader typically hits above $150, and that’s before you factor in the cost of the books.

While you can find eBook readers for below that mark — and Amazon’s budget Kindle certainly springs to mind — you still need to buy the books, and your local library typically isn’t a part of Amazon’s ecosystem. To get books on your eReader, you usually need to buy them, and that’s not in the scope of everyone.

But with the right eReader, it’s possible to embrace the technology of today with the libraries you know, and even let you buy a few titles on the way. You can’t do it with an Amazon Kindle in Australia, at least not yet, but you can with one of the competitor eReaders, as Rakuten’s Kobo has made possible using a service called “OverDrive”.

OverDrive links many of the libraries with Australian Kobo users, allowing owners of a Kobo to read books found in their local libraries once they’ve logged in, and it’s a service available outside Australia, too, supporting libraries in the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Singapore, and Hong Kong, to name a few.

That opens up eBook title options, and there are more than a handful of bookstores in Australia that sell the ePub format Kobo models like to take, including Booktopia and Dymocks. Once you’ve settled on where you like to shop for books, you can focus on the reader, and there’s a new model there, too.

Rakuten has launched a new generation of its budget eBook reader this week in the Kobo Nia, a 172 gram relatively lightweight eBook reader carrying a 6 inch eInk touchscreen, $149 price tag, and a light to help readers get shine through the darkness, as well as a good 8GB storage, enough for around 6,000 books.

Kobo Nia

While it’s not the best on the market, it’s an eReader built for beginners, carrying a 1000mAh battery enough for weeks of a charge (dependent on just how much you read with the light on), and much like Amazon’s Kindle, a synchronisation system that can recall where you last read if you jump between devices, be it the Kobo Nia or your phone, allowing you to change where you read based on comfort and convenience.

At $149 and with support for books sold through Australian booksellers, it could be a solid option for new eBook readers a little more trusting of a local book store, and who want something that does the basic book recreation without having to spend up a storm.

Australians can expect to find the Kobo Nia in stores shortly carrying that $149 price, with accessories nearby, as well.

Kobo Nia

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