Thursday, April 25, 2013

Me on Kobo (1)

Me on Kobo is a new thing here at Me on Books. Every Thursday (or every other Thursday, I'm trying to work out a schedule) a new post will go up as I discuss the bits I've discovered about the new Kobo Aura HD, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Kobo Aura HD releases on April 25th.

Week 1: The Basics

I'll be going through the setup and the general look of the Kobo Aura HD this first week. Later on, I imagine I'll be getting into the features, the readability of different kinds of e-books (PDF and ePDF, etc.), and all the extras.

(Disclaimer: I received a free sample of the Kobo Aura HD from Kobo in exchange for an honest opinion and evaluation of the product.)

First, the setup.
The setup was quick and easy. I've already been through a Kobo setup previously (I was given a Kobo Wi-Fi as a present a couple of years ago), but this was far simpler and ran much faster (same computer for both setups). The booklet (pictured above to the right of the device) is quick-forward and simple, but one recommendation for anyone going through the setup for the first time (with any type/version of Kobo): download and install Kobo Desktop and set up an account FIRST before plugging in the device. It's possible that, after the initial download and install of the desktop app, you'll need to reboot your computer. Of course, this is a personal choice thing. In the end, it's up to you. For this, I opened the desktop app first in case there was an update (and there was, but no reboot was needed) and then plugged the Kobo into my laptop.

It's all basic setup instructions. Pick a language, wait for it to sync with the desktop app. Then you're pretty much free to go nuts adding books (to a point, you will need to add a credit card to your Kobo account to be able to purchase books, but there are a number of free books available to download immediately.)

Second, the looks.
As you can see, this one is black. It looks rather sleek. It also comes in white and dark brown. For comparison purposes, I have set it next to the Kobo Wi-Fi version. (NOTE: the Kobo Aura HD also has Wi-Fi. The selling point of my previous Kobo was it was just like its predecessor, only it had Wi-Fi so you didn't need to plug it into your computer to add books to it.) There isn't much of a size difference between the two, slight variations in height and width, similar thickness. The Kobo Aura HD is a bit heavier and the screen is bigger (I've left the protective film on to protect the touch screen).
The back is rather interesting. The Kobo Aura HD claims to have an "iconic and ergonomic design" in order to fit in your hand "just like a physical book." As I use it, I'll have more to say on that feature.
At the top edge is the sliding power button (far right) and the ComfortLight button (right but closer to the middle). The bright red of the power button bothers me. On such a slim, sleek device, a red button just doesn't work for me. Perhaps small icons to show which button does which, or perhaps the light button could also light up when turned on. For a device that is all black with some dark grey text, the red just doesn't work.

So far, after the initial setup and first glance, it looks nice. It has the look of a regular tablet and not just an e-reader. It looks crisp and clean and, in black, very professional.

Next time, I'll go deeper into the device, perhaps look at the different features like the light, the altering of fonts, and how enhanced the readability really is. Of course, you are welcome to suggest topics. :)

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