Kobo Inc have recently announced their newer, updated model of their Kobo eReader. This newer model will feature a number of improvements, which will address a few of the common complaints that users had about the original. Wireless option have switched from Bluetooth to the more common and popular Wi Fi; processor power have increased, improving on its current overall sluggish performance; and an improved screen have been fitted, offering 16 levels of grey scale, doubling the 8 levels offered in the previous model, and offering better contrast. This unit will be available three colours (including the new white/lilac combo), but the general shape, size and layout will remain unchanged. It is currently available for pre-order, with a release date of November 1st.
While I loved the design and feel of the original Kobo eReader, and I have been rooting for them, and even wrote about how they have help changed the industry with their low pricing, and simplistic cost cutting design – I must say this announcement really angers me. The fact that they are already announcing a newer upgraded model, when the first model was released here in New Zealand less than four months ago. Not to mention the fact that a firmware update is still not available for us Kiwi users – an update which was released in the US over a month ago; an update, which fixes several bugs, including one relating to font sizing which can literally make some books unreadable.
Kobo Inc have been aggressively promoting their device in Canada and the states, partnering with airlines, hotels, and even film festivals. They are doing a decent job promoting their device, and this newer model can only help them secure a place on the market. But as a consumer, an owner, and a supporter of the original Kobo eReader, I am NOT impressed, at all. This announcement is making me feel like an Apple user. I now feel extremely cheated, having supported the first device. I have previously described the Kobo as being like a stone dropped in a pond – well Kobo Inc, thanks for throwing the stone in my face.