Kobo has announced the release of a new version of its ebook reader. New features of the Kobo ereader are a wireless connection via WiFi, a faster eInk screen with better contrast and longer battery life.
Readers of ebooks didn't particularly appreciate the poor performance nor the missing wireless connectivity of the Kobo 1. The new Kobo ereader is a good update of the previous version. The device has a 6 inch eInk screen, 1 Gigabyte memory, which is expandable with a SD card. Kobo claims that more than 10,000 books can be carried on the device with a 32 GB card, which means that the Kobo 2 ereader can use SDHC cards.
Furthermore the new Kobo ereader has 16 levels of grayscale, in-built dictionary, weighs 220 grams and is 10 millimeters thick. The new Kobo ereader has navigation pad to move between the screens. ePub and PDF files are supported. Under the hood the Kobo 2 has a faster processor.
According to Kobo, the ereader works 2.5 times faster than Kobo's previous ereader. The battery lasts up to two weeks or 10,000 page turns.
With the built in WiFi readers have access to the web shop of the Borders bookshop to purchase ebooks. One hundred free classic books are pre-loaded on the ereader, plus access to over 2.2 million free books. Users of the Kobo 2 ereader an also receive wireless deliveries of magazines and newspapers. Other content can be added using a SD card or a computer via Adobe Digital Edition.
The device is available in three different colors (pearlized lilac, onyx and metallic silver) at a price of $ 139. The Kobo 2 ereader will be available for purchase in Borders stores by the end of October 2010.
The cheapest version of the Kindle and the Nook from Barnes & Noble are the main competitors for this new Kobo ereader. The ereader market has in the meantime become a battlefield for traditional bookstores and online businesses. Shoppers are becoming increasingly more technologically dependent and revenue is continuing to soften at traditional bookstores. Companies like Barnes & Noble and Borders see ereaders as a way to prop up their sales.
The market for ereaders has also expanded rapidly over the past years, which results in falling ereader prices and new hardware features. The ereader 'battle' has put pressure on the main players in the market to match each other. According to various researches the market for ereaders will grow from around 12 million units in 2010 to 35 million in 2014.