The Kobo Glo is charged via a standard microUSB lead, which is a bonus as many people will have one of these hanging around the office or home. It's only available in a WiFi model, but we don't see this as a disadvantage as we can't imagine too many situations when you'd urgently need to download new content and had no access to WiFi or a PC from which to copy files. Also as Kobo doesn't currently offer newspaper or magazine subscriptions in the UK, there's less need to have 3G to download your daily dose of news on the way to the station each morning.
Kobo quotes the Glo as offering one month of battery life, based on reading for 30 minutes per day, turning at one page per minute, with the light switched off. With the light on, the ereader will last for up to 70 hours of continuous use. We didn't get time to run the battery down over a full month or 70 hours, but used it over a period of a couple of weeks, reading around 30 minutes every few days and still had around two-thirds of battery left, so you certainly won't need to recharge the Glo often.
We were impressed with the range of books available via the Kobo store, with three million e-books, including one million which are free. But if you can't find a book there you want to read, the good news is Kobo doesn't tie you into their store like Amazon does with its Kindles.
We also really liked the Free e-books category, which makes it easy to locate books to download at no cost, and features like books recommended for you.
Kobo also lets you copy across any other books you already have in the Epub format, along with PDFs, so you can view your business documents as well as reading your latest book.
We found it really quick and easy to upload PDFs onto the Glo from our Macbook. We connected the two via USB, dragged the files across, and as soon as we ejected the Glo it processed the PDFs and posted them in the homescreen within a couple of seconds. However, functionality is pretty basic, allowing you to zoom in and out of documents and change between landscape and portrait, but not edit or add.
The Kobo Glo costs £99.99 and is available from WH Smiths. Even though Kobo lists lots of suppliers on its website, such as John Lewis and Argos, we didn't find the Kobo Glo available at any of those other stores.
The Kobo Glo is a great e-reader, and the rather functional design is more than made up for by the device's light, its ease of use and open approach to ebook formats. µ
User-friendly, bright screen, Epub support, good value, expandable storage.
Touchscreen not always responsive, boxy design.