Borders announces the touch screen-equipped Kobo WiFi Touch Edition

Borders announces the touch screen-equipped Kobo WiFi Touch Edition

Summary: Following Sony's lead Kobo is furnishing its latest Kobo eReader with a touch screen. Can the device stand up against the Nook and Kindle?

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Inspired by Sony's line of Readers, Kobo today announced the Kobo WiFi Touch Edition, a touch-screen-equipped version of its Kobo eReader.

By adding a touch screen the Kobo Touch alters the unintuitive nature of e-reader page turning by ditching buttons in favor of more intuitive touch-based gestures. Pages can now be turned by swiping across the reader's screen rather than by the press of a button, a significant departure from how the Kindle works.

The move to touch screen input comes with a number of other compelling improvements. Via the Kobo Touch's integrated dictionary, Kobo users can press and hold on-screen words to get their meanings - a major improvement over the Kindle's directional pad-based navigation. Text input is sticking around, now relegated to an on-screen touch-based keyboard.

Likewise, by ridding the Kobo eReader of its directional button, Kobo was able to streamline the face of the device. Still, it's something of a disappointing move that Kobo did not capitalize on the design change by increasing the size of the device's screen. Like its predecessor, the Kobo Touch's screen is the same size as its predecessor, though it is built with the latest generation of E-Ink's Pearl display.

The Kobo Touch will sell for $129 when it makes it's way to stores in early June. Kobo has already opened pre-orders for the device.

Topic: Hardware

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6 comments
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  • RE: Borders announces the touch screen-equipped Kobo WiFi Touch Edition

    My wife loves her kobo but still hates to use it to buy books. she says the navigation button is terrible. so she usually uses her laptop to download them then transfer them to the Kobo.
    Scubajrr
  • RE: Borders announces the touch screen-equipped Kobo WiFi Touch Edition

    My sister has a kobo that she got for Christmas last year. She loves it, but it's hell to input a wireless key on the device to connect to our wi-fi network. I was looking into the different kinds of e-readers since I'm a huge fan of reading. I was thinking about getting a Kindle, but after seeing this touch device at the low price, I think I'll be getting one of these instead. I don't bother about the size or lack of colour capabilities of this device. I want my reading experience to be as close to reading a real book as possible. Based on what I've experienced with the buttoned Kobo wi-fi, I won't be disappointed with this version.
    Amit9821
    • RE: Borders announces the touch screen-equipped Kobo WiFi Touch Edition

      @Amit9821 The touch screen layer oftenmakes the display less contrasty, that's why the Kindle looks so good compared to say a Sony touch screen reader. The kobo touch screen may not look as not as the none touch screen.
      riwide
  • Screen size is correct

    "Still, it?s something of a disappointing move that Kobo did not capitalize on the design change by increasing the size of the device?s screen"

    Totally Incorrect, the Kobo is a 6" e-ink device, not a tablet and to increase its size would only give it most of the disadvantages of a tablet without any of the benefits.

    even the few 7" e-ink readers around aren?t as good a size as the 6" which fits into most pockets.

    One of the strongest reason to use a kobo is its nice slim easy hold-able compact size, allowing easy one handed operation, something that larger screens just don't do.

    If they bring out a larger version then it would be a separate model just like the larger kindle is!
    toviz@...
  • RE: Borders announces the touch screen-equipped Kobo WiFi Touch Edition

    @toviz
    I think the author was suggesting that without the directional button, keeping the same size outer case, but increasing the screen depth would be a significant improvement. And I would have to agree. The more I can read without flipping the page, without increasing the device size, the better.
    dimonic
    • RE: Borders announces the touch screen-equipped Kobo WiFi Touch Edition

      @dimonic
      Ah, yes I see what you mean, he just didn't express it very well to show he meant a slightly larger screen in the same size frame.
      The problem here is that 6" e-ink screens are where the development is, almost all 7" are not e-ink.
      Kobo perhaps instead could of made the frame smaller, but as I find the flat area useful when holding with one hand (and I'm sure others do as well) then that may not have been a good move anyway, so they probaly did the best thing in leaving it alone after all.
      toviz@...