Kobo's new entry-level e-reader is the $100 Nia

It's got front lighting and higher resolution than the Kindle.

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Steve Dent
July 15th, 2020
Kobo announces the Nia, a $100 lightweight e-reader
Kobo

Rakuten’s Kobo readers are still hanging around to compete with Amazon’s Kindle lineup, and the company just unveiled a new model. The Kobo Nia is an entry-level reader with a six-inch, 1,024 x 758 Carta E Ink display (with Kobo’s ComfortLight front lighting), 172 gram weight, 8GB of storage and 1,000 mAh battery that will run for “weeks on end” on a single charge, the company said.

Priced at $100, the Nia sits somewhere between Amazon’s entry-level $90 Kindle and the $130 Paperwhite. On top of that, the Nia sould be a bit easier on the eyes as it offers 212 ppi of resolution, compared to 167 ppi for the Kindle.

Kobo now sells four readers, including the $120 Clara HD (300 ppi), which rivals Amazon’s Paperwhite. It also sells the higher-end, water-resistant $170 Libra H20 and $250 Forma models. The latter competes with Amazon’s $290 Oasis for the 1-percent reader set.

Kobo announces the Nia, a $100 lightweight e-reader
Kobo

For the rest of us, the Nia is an affordable rival to the Kindle. While it’s $10 more, you might feel that’s worth being free from Amazon’s ecosystem so it’s easier to sideload books. At the same time, it also supports OverDrive, the system that lets you borrow e-books from libraries in the UK, US and elsewhere (with a current library card). The Kobo Nia is now open for pre-orders at $100 with shipping set to start on July 21st.

Update 7/20/2020 1:57 PM ET: The article originally stated that OverDrive was owned by Amazon, but that’s not the case. It’s been updated with the correct information.

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