Kobo Nia Evaluate: Strong eReader At An Enticing Value

Kobo Nia Evaluate: Strong EReader At An Enticing Value

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Kobo Nia Evaluate: Strong EReader At An Enticing Value

Kobo calls the Nia its friendliest eReader but, by which it presumably means least expensive. The primary Kobo I’ve reviewed that prices lower than £100/$100, this slots in on the backside of the corporate’s vary as its nearest rival to the essential Kindle.

Kobo Nia Evaluate: Strong EReader At An Enticing Value

This looks like a smart transfer. Almost all tech merchandise are chosen on the premise of value to some extent, however within the case of eReaders a price range design and options checklist is nearly a advantage: chucked into suitcases, left in lodge rooms and utilized in perilous proximity to swimming swimming pools and baths, they’re nearly uniquely liable to catastrophe. It is sensible to decide on one you may afford to switch.

Kobo Nia Evaluate: Strong EReader At An Enticing Value

Our Kobo Nia evaluate appears to be like at its design, options and tech specs, and helps you determine if that is the eReader for you. For broader shopping for recommendation, flip to our Finest eReaders chart.

Kobo Nia Evaluate: Strong EReader At An Enticing Value


Kobo Nia Evaluate: Strong EReader At An Enticing Value

The Nia is not fairly in a position to match the 10th-gen Kindle’s headline price ticket, which works as little as £69.99/$89.99 should you’re keen to abdomen sponsored screensavers. However at £89.99/$99.99, the Nia is roughly the identical – bit extra within the UK, bit much less within the US – because the £79.99/$109.99 you may pay for a fundamental Kindle with out adverts. 

Kobo Nia Evaluate: Strong EReader At An Enticing Value

Design & construct high quality

The Nia is a slim (9.2mm), light-weight (172g) and usually transportable eReader that I discovered straightforward to carry in a single hand.

(I prefer to learn it with a thumb on the lefthand edge, index finger on the again, center and ring fingers on the righthand edge and little finger supporting on the backside. At 112mm extensive the system is ok for such a grip if in case you have average-sized fingers, however these with smaller appendages could have to seek out another.)

Like all of the Kobos I’ve tried the Nia has a nice, albeit budget-tinged, really feel within the hand. It is made of lifeless matt black plastic with a debossed sample of irregularly sized circles on the again that helps to cut back slippage. The designers have additionally used that outdated iPad trick of including a slight curve to the again so the sides are simpler to select up when it is positioned on a flat floor.

There’s just one hardware button – sleep/energy, on the underside edge – and a micro-USB charging port subsequent to it. The dearth of devoted page-turn buttons means you are completely depending on the touchscreen, which like most eReader shows is not lightning-quick; however this choice does save a little bit of area and assist hold the system’s dimension down.


At 6in that is on the decrease finish of the Kobo display choices, which go as much as 7in on the Libra H20 and a wonderful 8in on the Forma. It is extra commonplace for Amazon, which affords 6in on each the usual and Paperwhite variations of its Kindle and (if we go away apart the bigger Fireplace tablets, that are a distinct matter) tops out at 7in on the Oasis.

As a lot as we love the Forma’s additional display area, which makes for easier-to-read textual content, or extra textual content per web page bounce, or a mixture of the 2, it is easy to see why 6in is such a preferred dimension. It is a wise compromise, enabling a still-respectable quantity of phrases on the web page whereas becoming right into a extra pocketable chassis (actually – the Nia suits in a trouser pocket with out an excessive amount of problem, though I do fear about what would occur if I sat down).

A much less pleasing compromise is the display’s sharpness, which at 212ppi (pixels per inch) is a comedown for the Kobo vary; the agency’s different three at the moment accessible eReaders all provide 300ppi.

textual content on the (212ppi) Nia and (300ppi) Libra H20 facet by facet, you may undoubtedly inform the distinction. The capital H is ok, the lower-case i and l, however look carefully at any letter with a curve or a diagonal and also you instantly spy slight pixellation. That is by no means obvious on the Libra, irrespective of how a lot you screw up your eyes.

That is extra of a comparative than an goal drawback. Going from one to the opposite, I actually began to understand the Libra’s smoothness, the phantasm that I used to be taking a look at a shiny printed web page; however the Nia by no means feels disagreeable to the attention.

It is value declaring, too, that its nearest rival, the essential Kindle, compromises nonetheless extra, providing a pixel density of simply 167ppi. (All different Kindles are 300ppi.)

One other distinction between the Nia’s display and that of the more expensive 300ppi Kobo fashions is the lack of ComfortLight PRO, a function which helps you to alter the color temperature or have it alter mechanically to account for day/night time situations. The Nia affords plain ComfortLight, which solely enables you to alter brightness, and appears distinctly blue subsequent to a Libra H20 in full night regalia. We’re stay awake specialists and may’t actually touch upon the medical advantages of yellower screens earlier than mattress, and perhaps it is a placebo impact, however the Libra actually feels extra restful to make use of within the night.

Velocity & responsiveness

Whereas we’re speaking screens, and as I discussed above, the Nia’s touchscreen isn’t particularly responsive. Typically you must press pretty closely to carry up the choices menu, for instance, and tapping to show the web page brings a delay of maybe half a second earlier than the system obeys.

I obtained used to this, and would say it is pretty typical for an eReader, and notably for an eReader at this value, however it’s possible you’ll discover it irritating.

It is probably, the truth is, that the Nia’s gentle sluggishness is a reminiscence relatively than a screen-tech challenge, as a result of it is a lot worse when turning the web page to a very giant new chapter (The Mirror and the Mild’s second chapter, which is effectively over 100 pages lengthy). At this level, evidently having to load the brand new part in a mass, the Nia took extra like four seconds to do its factor and I wasn’t certain if one thing had gone fallacious. There was no such challenge once I repeated the take a look at with a ebook that had shorter chapters.

Getting your eBooks

A probably deal-breaking side of the Kobo’s providing is its related Kobo Retailer, from the place you might be more likely to get most of your books. We have seemed on the qualities and weaknesses of this retailer, and the way they examine to Amazon’s equal, in additional element in our Kindle Retailer vs Kobo Retailer article, however there are two key takeaways: the Kobo Retailer is simply pretty much as good for ebook availability, nevertheless it’s not so good as presenting and recommending them to informal browsers. If you realize the books you need, you are positive; should you do not, the shop isn’t going to be super-helpful.

The official retailer, nonetheless, isn’t the one possibility. As regular for a Kobo, for instance, the Nia helps the OverDrive library-lending service. This can be a good possibility in concept, enabling you to ‘borrow’ eBooks free of charge, however my very own expertise with OverDrive is underwhelming; libraries close to me had only a few interesting eBooks on provide.

A remaining and extra sensible various is the system’s assist for the ePub file format, which suggests you can load public-domain works from Challenge Gutenberg and related providers on to the Nia very simply. (Kindles, maybe understandably given their maker’s bookselling historical past, do not assist ePub natively. It is pretty easy to transform ePubs right into a supported format earlier than loading, however it’s an additional step.)

Tech specs & options

That is Kobo’s most budget-focused eReader and it is subsequently unsurprising that the Nia options few of the top-line specs and options accessible on higher-end fashions. We have already mentioned its decrease display pixel density and lack of display temperature management; the 2 different areas the place it is noticeably fundamental are battery and water resistance.

The maker makes the ultra-vague declare that you’ll take pleasure in “weeks of battery life” with the Nia, identical because it does for all 4 present Kobo fashions. However the weeks are more likely to be fewer in quantity, as its battery has a capability of simply 1000mAh, in comparison with 1200mAh on the Forma and Libra and 1500mAh on the (solely barely costlier) Clara HD.

Admittedly the lower-res display means fewer pixels are being powered, so maybe the distinction won’t be a lot. And battery life wasn’t a fear in our testing.

As for water resistance… effectively, Kobo would not make any claims in that division in any respect, so attempt to hold it away from liquids. Kobo affords an IP68 score solely on its costlier Libra and Forma fashions, a lot as Amazon retains it for the Paperwhite and Oasis. The usual Kindle would not provide water resistance.


This can be a strong eReader at an interesting value. However when deciding if it is the fitting mannequin for you, there are two separate choices to think about: must you be spending extra on a better-equipped various (very probably Kobo’s personal Libra H20, or an Amazon Paperwhite); or must you be spending roughly the identical on a fundamental Amazon Kindle?

You make numerous compromises to hit this price ticket. In the event you might stretch to the Libra’s £149.99/$169.99 – and we respect that is not far off twice the value – you may get a much bigger, noticeably sharper and temperature-adjustable display, devoted page-turn buttons and glorious water resistance. Do you want all these issues? Maybe not at that value.

Going for the essential Kindle, in the meantime, does offer you entry to the better-curated Kindle Retailer, however its display is much less sharp once more and also you get half the storage. Keep in mind, too, that you would be able to get ebook suggestions elsewhere and seek for eBooks straight; Kobo has a wonderful vary, even when it is not good at exhibiting this.

For us, and for anybody who plans to frequently learn near water (notably whereas sipping cocktails), the Libra looks like a greater decide, because you solely have to lose one among these to the ocean for the value benefit to be worn out. However we perceive that many potential consumers are searching for the bottom value, and in that market it is a worthy challenger to the essential Kindle.

Kobo Nia: Specs

6in 212ppi Carta E Ink ComfortLight display (1024 × 758)
8GB storage
1000 mAh battery
12 fonts and greater than 50 font kinds
WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Micro USB
112.four x 159.three x 9.2 mm


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