I haven’t been keen sufficient on eBooks to interchange my Kindle because it died on me however, for those who’re like me and eager to arm your self with high quality digital literature forward of your subsequent native coronavirus-related lockdown, the Kobo Nia pitches itself as a compelling possibility.
It’s as light-weight as you’d like and if you wish to chew by a number of MOBI information with out breaking the financial institution or shopping for into Amazon’s ecosystem, it’s a pure candidate.
In Australia, the Kobo Nia retails for AU$149 by Kobo.com and choose retailers.
Design & Efficiency
At a look, the Kobo Nia seems like a reasonably typical eReader. It’s a gray plastic slab with a monochromatic e-ink show squished into the middle of it. Given the entry-level price ticket, this unoriginality is hardly a sin. All the identical, for those who’re anticipating Nia to redefine what a thrifty eReader can or ought to appear to be, you would possibly come away dissatisfied. It’s one other a kind of in additional methods than not.
Apart from the Kobo brand on the entrance, the machine is pretty featureless. The display takes up a lot of the real-estate right here whereas the Micro USB and SIM ports lurk on the bottom-most edge. The reverse aspect of the piece options an nearly perforated design and a second brand however little else to talk of.
The Nia is out there in a single colour – black – however you may gown it up utilizing one in all Kobo’s three SleepCovers: both Black, Aqua or Lemon.
For what it’s value, this barebones design does yield some sudden dividends. It doesn’t really feel like a flowery piece of tech and with a form-factor that weighs simply 172g, it’s extraordinarily simple to simply chuck in a bag for those who’re seeking to take it with you. Although it’s most likely value investing in some kind of cowl regardless, the Nia isn’t the type of tech buy that has you overly nervous about incurring scratches or scuff-marks.
Underneath the hood, the Kobo Nia comes geared up with 8GB of on-board storage. Kobo says that quantity works out to round 6000 eBooks. By way of codecs, the Kobo Nia will play good with HTML, MOBI, PDF, TXT, EPUB and RTF information. I’m an EPUB kind-of man nevertheless it’s good to know I’ve choices.
Sadly, the Nia doesn’t actually do audiobooks nor does it work with subscription companies or Amazon’s Kindle retailer. As an alternative, it’s built-in with the Kobo Retailer (which is honest sufficient) and OverDrive (which I really didn’t know existed earlier than sitting all the way down to overview this factor).
The latter is especially nifty, assuming your native library helps the service and I dig that the Nia actively integrates it as an equal different to purchasing eBooks outright and doesn’t simply privilege their very own platform relating to the best way the interface is designed.
I used to be much less thrilled by the dearth of bodily buttons on this factor. If you happen to’re a veteran of the style, I can’t think about this element might be a deal-breaker however I typically discovered myself pissed off that the contact display on the Nia was too sluggish or typically outright unresponsive. What’s extra, typing on this factor can also be a very painful expertise for those who’ve acquired bigger palms.
Nonetheless, as somebody who normally does the majority of their e-reading on a pill or cellphone display, I appreciated the gentler show on the Kobo Nia. For an e-ink show, it’s surprisingly sharp and boasts an unexpectedly endearing stage of distinction. It additionally compares favorably towards Amazon’s personal entry-level Kindle with a better pixel-per-inch (212 PPI) and an additional backlight.
Regardless of the digital factor, studying on the Kobo Nia doesn’t really feel such as you’re observing one more display. That being mentioned, I did additionally discover myself wincing at how sluggish and charmless it felt to learn on this factor.
There’s a case to be made for lo-fi however regardless of not utilizing a devoted e-reader for seven or eight years, the Kobo Nia didn’t actually really feel like that a lot of an improve on what I bear in mind my outdated Kindle providing. I’m positive if I used to be a extra diehard eBooks particular person, I’d choose up on extra particulars right here however I can’t assist however want these iterative and technical enhancements have been a bit extra apparent for on a regular basis customers.
For now, studying ebooks on an iPad or Galaxy Observe smartphone feels a lot smoother even when it does put a bit extra pressure on my eyes than an E-Ink primarily based resolution like this one.
Working down the battery on an ereader just like the Kobo Nia is a bit tough given this stuff are designed to run for weeks at a time on a single cost.
Kobo particularly claims the Nia can ship “studying for weeks on finish with a single cost, relying on particular person utilization.” This isn’t notably far off what Amazon’s steady of Kindle units declare.
Aside from the flagship Oasis, most Kindle’s additionally tout ‘weeks’ of battery life per cost. In consequence, the Nia doesn’t really feel prefer it has all that a lot of an edge nor does it really feel prefer it lags behind the curve relating to battery life.
The Backside Line
Even when it is an inexpensive approach to exchange my outdated Kindle, the Nia would not do sufficient to make me really feel like the way forward for eReaders like it’s something higher than the previous. The battery life is best and the display is undoubtedly sharper nevertheless it feels just like the class itself has but to discover a approach to evolve and turn out to be greater than what it already is.
Then once more, possibly it is a bit unfair to hoist these nice expectations upon the standard Nia. In spite of everything, it is an entry-level eReader. In the end, affordability is its greatest curiosity and asset.
If saving a couple of bucks issues extra to you than options like water resistance or audiobook integration, this could be an possibility value investigating. Throughout the board, it’s extra involved with perform than aptitude although it doesn’t make a lot of an argument for why it’s best to select it over the opposite choices past the plain.
In some methods, the Nia feels constructed across the assumption that you simply’ve already written off or are leaning away from shopping for off a Kindle than it’s excited about making that type of case for itself. It isn’t a Kindle-killer nevertheless it’s not attempting to be one. As an alternative, the Nia settles for being a superbly competent different to Amazon’s e-reader with few thrills and even much less compromises.