Amazon's Kindle line is usually the first range of products people think of when it comes to e-readers, but Kobo isn't giving up yet – and its latest high-resolution model is proof of that. The newly announced Glo HD offers a 6-inch, 300ppi, 1,448 x 1,072 screen which matches the resolution of Amazon's top-end Kindle Voyage model, and comes with a nippy 1 GHz processor inside.
Kobo is claiming two months between battery charges (the Voyage's official spec is six weeks) and weighs in at 180 grams (6.3 ounces). Measuring 9.2 mm in thickness, it provides 4GB of internal storage and supports all the usual e-book file types (pretty much anything except Amazon's own format). As the name suggests, there's a built-in front light for reading in the dark, making use of Kobo's existing ComfortLight technology.
One of the more notable extras you get with your purchase is a new concierge phone assistance service that helps get new users set up and can even offer reading recommendations from Kobo's 4.7-million-strong library. The device also offers support for notes, highlighting, bookmarks and reading statistics.
If you're weighing up the new Kobo against Amazon's flagship Kindle, the extra price you pay for the Voyage gets you ambient lighting detection, page-turning pressure points on the bezel and the option to add cellular connectivity. Otherwise the two devices are very similar in terms of hardware specifications, if not in software and content ecosystem. There's no waterproofing as there was with last year's Kobo Aura H2O.
The Kobo Glo HD is set to go on sale from May 1 in the US (US$129.99), Canada (CAD$129.99), Australia (AU$179.99) and New Zealand (NZ$219.99), from May 22 in France (€129.99), and from June 1 in the UK (£109.99), Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain (€129.99). The first promotional video for the device is embedded below.
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