Inspect A Gadget - The Kobo Mini eReader

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The people at Money Supermarket have asked 200 bloggers to test out cheaper, travel versions of the most popular gadgets, and see how they live up to their more expensive alternatives. They have come up with a list of five different products from which I chose the Kobo Mini eReader.

When I was pregnant with Little Miss I was looking forward to catching up on reading books on my Kindle during the long breastfeeding sessions with a brand new baby. That didn't happen as Bud decided to stomp all over my bag (containing said Kindle) so I've been with out one. Actually, I did receive a Kindle Fire for Christmas to replace it but, brilliant piece of kit that it is, it's no eReader and I've missed being able to just pick up and put down an eReader and read far less as a result.

Brand new Kobo Mini eReader

The Kobo Mini is a smaller eReader than the standard 7" style, measuring at 5" instead. It fits nicely into the palm of my hand and I can comfortably sit and read it that way. Weighing only 134g means that it is incredibly light and comfortable to handle. It is operated by touch screen which makes it easy to set up and scroll through the various menus. On set up you can create your own account with Kobo which you can then use to purchase books in the store either through your reader or on the computer. Content is downloaded by wi-fi so you will need to set that up too. You can of course read without a wi-fi signal but you will need to connect to add a new book.

The eReader is available in black and white. I chose the white. I was quite surprised by how matte the finish on this is and, having placed it in my handbag a couple of times, the finish has become slightly scratched. It probably isn't a good idea to carry it around like that anyway as I would hate the touch screen to get damaged, so I have now purchased a cover for it.

Kobo Mini eReader in Green Case cover

The reading experience is great on the Kobo Mini. It's easy to just tap the screen on the right to move forwards through the book or left to go back a page. The text is visible in bright sunlight and low light and loads quickly and smoothly.

My main concern with the Kobo Mini has been the use of the online store to download books. Compared to the market leader's eBook store I have found it quite difficult to use. The free books aren't highlighted in the same way and it can be difficult to identify those. There also doesn't seem to be quite as much supporting content in the form of book descriptions and reviews to enable you to choose which one you would like to read. I have found that the more I use it the more accustomed to it I become but it is taking me a little longer than it did to get used to my old way of buying eBooks.

The Kobo Mini has enough storage for up to 1000 books which means it is perfect for loading up with a few holiday reads and packing into your hand luggage, it is so little that it will even fit into your pocket! It really isn't much bigger than the average smart phone and the thinness of the device (11mm) means it's really easy to fit into the smallest space. I'm really enjoying having the ability again to pick up and read at any time, without having to worry about forgetting which page I am on.

I think that the Kobo Mini represents excellent value for money, with an RRP of £59:99 I purchased it for just £49:99 at WHSmith Online. If you're looking for a simple eReader with decent storage, you really can't go far wrong. I would advise buying a case. Mine came from Amazon for just a few pounds. It is also possible to purchase snap on back covers for your Kobo Mini to brighten it up or add a pop of colour, although I'm quite happy with my cover adding colour for me. I'm pleased with the device and would recommend it, especially for people like me who have a tablet and a phone with an eReader app but are still looking for a dedicated eReader but don't want to spend lots of money on it.

Disclaimer: I was provided with £50 from Money Supermarket to choose and purchase from their list of five gadgets. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.