September 6th 2012 8:35 am

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Does the world need a smaller e-reader?

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Kobo's got an interesting little product on its hands. The Mini isn't especially striking, but it's tough to get too down on a $79 device for looking a bit bland. Plus, Kobo's minimalistic software is well-suited to a device this small. Amazon is still offering a $69 device in the fourth-generation Kindle, but there are sacrifices to be made there, including advertising in the form of Special Offers and, more importantly, a lack of either a touchscreen or physical keyboard.

The question we keep coming back to, then, is this: Who exactly is this device for? Frequent travelers? Those who like to travel light? People who just don't want to shell out $100-plus for a new reader? We doubt many people are looking for a second, more portable device to supplement their primary, 6-inch reader -- and if they were, they would already have to own a Kobo device or have downloaded Kobo's app to make use of the company's syncing technology. If, however, you're looking for a small, lightweight device to stick in your pocket, the Kobo Mini is a perfectly adequate (and inexpensive) option.

Critic reviews

6.5
8 reviews
  • Display / readability
    5.8
  • Battery life
    7.6
  • Store and selection of titles
    7.2
  • Ease of use
    6.4
  • Document support
    7.7
  • Storage capacity
    6.4
  • Durability
  • Design and form factor
    7.6
  • Portability (size / weight)
    8.1

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User reviews

8.2
5 reviews
7.0
Engadget Nov 6, 2012

We doubt many people are looking for a second, more portable device to supplement their primary, 6-inch reader ... If, however, you're looking for a small, light device to stick in your pocket, the Kobo Mini is a perfectly fine (and inexpensive) option.

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7.0
CNET Jan 28, 2013

The affordable Kobo Mini is a likable touch-screen e-ink e-reader that's too small for some and not quite small enough for others.

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5.0
PC Mag Nov 20, 2012

With its 5-inch touch screen, the Kobo Mini caters to an underserved market: Those who want a tiny, dedicated ebook reader. Unfortunately, it also underperforms.

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7.0
TechHive Dec 12, 2012

If you already own a 6-inch e-reader, there’s no reason to run out and purchase the Kobo Mini. Sure, it’s lighter and smaller, but not so much so that it’s worth an extra $80 for an extra device with an extra degree of portability.

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5.0
Pocket-Lint Dec 31, 2012

Nicely priced at £59.99, the Kobo Mini is a possible stocking filler for frequent travelers, commuters and anyone who likes to travel light, though in strict hardware terms it's certainly convenience over quality.

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8.0
Digital Versus Dec 26, 2012

Portable by nature, this pint-sized e-reader will fit snugly in your back pocket for a low price, all without sacrificing reading comfort or features. Readers-on-the-go will, however, have preferred a longer-lasting battery.

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7.0
TechRadar Nov 7, 2012

A small, versatile, customisable and highly portable e-reader that can be held in one hand, the Kobo Mini features a user experience identical to other efforts from the brand, though a slower processor, low-res screen and the need for a computer make this a relatively limited effort.

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6.0
marc marc

After using the Kindle Paperwhite (or Nook with Glowlight), it's hard to go back to an e-book reader using dated display technology. Even Amazon and B&N's non-lit displays are sharper, and have higher contrast than the Kobo Mini. Yes, I like that the Mini offers very granular control over...

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9.0
SoulRainbow SoulRainbow

I've never put it down since I bought it, it's so light and easy to hold and carry. One of the best things about it is that it reads more formats than the kindle, mobi & ePub, the kindle only used one of these most popular formats where as this uses both as well as others. It's cheaper than...

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9.0
jadwigo jadwigo

It might not be the fastest, or largest or sharpest screen, but its small, light and cute. It's on sale this holiday period and for €50,- it's a deal where the price is perfect if you want a small e-reader.

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