Kobo is gearing up for Christmas with a trio of new devices. First in the stable is the Mini: its pocket-sized, ultra-thin E Ink reader.
It's the smallest, lightest e-reader in the Australian market, to date, coming in at just 134 grams — not bad at all, considering the next e-reader up is the Cybook Opus at 150 grams — and, at 133.1x202.6x10.1 millimetres (hxwxd), it's a hair or two smaller than the Sony Reader Pocket Edition, which will probably be its closest competitor on the Australian market.
It's very much a scaled down Kobo Touch, one of our favourite e-readers and running on a similar interface — a simple bare-bones navigation that, nevertheless, manages to include the Kobo store, Facebook and Twitter integration, Kobo's Reading Life, a built-in dictionary, a go-to-page function and annotations.
Specs-wise, it doesn't offer much that's new; the battery life has been scaled back from four weeks to two with the Wi-Fi on, which is a little baffling, and it has a 16-level grayscale E Ink Vizplex screen — the same as the Touch.
There are two things we find most exciting about the Mini. Firstly, you can purchase interchangeable backs, so you can choose a colour to suit your mood: ruby, purple or teal.
The second is the price point: it's coming in at under AU$100, a first for one of the top e-reader brands, and we expect the Mini to take pride of place as the budget e-reader of choice. It will be available for pre-order from Collins, from the evening of 6 September 2012, and will arrive in stores in October.
Stay tuned for our full review.