Yesterday, Rakuten announced new additions to their Kobo brand of electronic book readers: the 6 inch Kobo Glo, and the 5 inch Kobo Mini.
The Kobo Glo has a frontlight (which is like a backlight, except it’s on the front, I guess), allowing users to enjoy books in dark places like bedrooms and underground prison camps (ok maybe not that last one). It also has received a huge bump-up in storage space, so it is perfect for reading comic books and Manga. Which, according to Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani, is a good thing, because “Japanese people really like Manga”.
"Japanese people really like Manga" – Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten CEO
So just how much of a boost in memory are we talking here? Well the Glo will come with an embedded 2GB of flash memory, and will support microSD cards of up to 32GB. Apparently this translates to roughly 600~1000 comics, or 30,000 books. Which is how they measure things in Japan. So much for the metric system!
The Kobo Glo possesses a 16 gradient grayscale touch screen with 758×1024 dot resolution. The device itself is sized 114x157x10mm, and it weighs 185g. So maybe you can fit it in your pocket, if you have like really big pockets. I dunno, once I fit a Sony PRS-T1 in my pocket, but it scratched the hell out of the frame. So maybe buy a case if you’re planning on doing that? Anyway, moving on…
Connectivity-wise, the Glo supports IEEE 802.11b/g/n wireless, so you will be able to download new books to it (which is a relief, because that electronic instruction manual gets pretty boring the 300th time you read it). At full charge its battery lasts for up to 30,000 page flips. The battery is also said to retain charge for up to 1 month, which is cool if you’re like me and can’t be bothered plugging stuff in.
The device will be available in black or white.
Kobo Glo (Right) and Kobo Mini (Left)
Kobo Glo will be priced at $99 USD, and preorders in Japan started Nov 1st, with a planned shipping date of Nov 15th. The Kobo Mini is available for $87, and should be shipping mid December. The old Kobo Touch also got a price cut and is now the same price as the Mini. The Kobo family is now available from Rakuten Market, Rakuten Books, and several electronics stores (at least in Japan).
Future plans for an Android based device named Kobo Arc were also hinted at.
Rakuten Homepage (English)
Kobo Product Information (Japanese)
Source: PC Watch