If you’re not an Amazon fan, the Kobo Glo HD could be the e-reader you’ve been searching for.

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Pros

Display unique is equal to lớn that of more-expensive e-readersCan mở cửa a wide variety of tệp tin formatsEasy access khổng lồ loaned library books via OverDriveComfortable khổng lồ hold, with a rubberized back plate that makes it slip-resistant

Cons

Build quality is not up lớn parRubberized back plate is difficult to cleanHad difficulty opening some content-rich filesMurky backlight

Our Verdict

The Kobo Glo HD delivers all the features you want in an e-reader without any unnecessary bloat. We also appreciate its ability lớn read a diverse selection of tệp tin formats, but we have reservations about its build quality.


The Kobo Glo HD isn’t Rakuten’s most recent e-reader. At the time of this review, that title belonged to the Kobo Aura One. It’s not the company’s least expensive e-reader, either—that would be the Kobo cảm biến 2.0, which we hope to review soon. The Kobo Glo HD is, however, Rakuten’s most well-rounded E-Ink device. Priced at $130, the Glo HD incorporates many of the more desirable features of the pricey Kobo Aura One at a price point that puts it closer lớn Amazon’s special-offer-free Kindle Paperwhite ($140).

Pick up the Kobo Glo HD & the first thing you’ll notice is how good it feels in your hand. Its backside is covered in a layer of grippy, perforated rubber that makes the device easy lớn hold. On the downside, that material did prove difficult lớn keep clean during testing, picking up fingerprints and filth from coffee shops far more easily than the smooth plastic bodies of other e-readers we’ve tested.


The Kobo Glo HD measures 6.18 x 4.53 x 0.36 inches, & it weighs just over six ounces. That’s the same heft as the Kobo Aura Edition 2, but it’s lighter than Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. So it’s no big khuyến mãi to hold the Glo HD during extended reading sessions, even if you’re cursed with president-elect-sized hands. The Glo HD feels sturdy enough, but I noted a couple of issues with its build quality that caused me some concern.

First, the device’s mini USB charging/data port didn’t align with the hole in the Kobo Glo HD’s cover. I’ve seen this sort of thing lead to the port becoming detached over time. Second, & less troubling, there’s a seam along both sides of the e-reader’s rubber back plate where it meets the rest of the device’s enclosure. After a couple of days, I found these seams got jammed up with debris that was floating around in my backpack & had to scrape it out with a knife.


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Seamus Bellamy

he Kobo Glo HD is as close khổng lồ a Kindle Paperwhite as you can get, without buying a Kindle Paperwhite.

As with the rest of Rakuten’s current lineup of E-Ink devices, the Kobo Glo HD doesn’t suffer from an abundance of buttons. Most of your interactions will be made using its touchscreen, with the exception of turning it on or off. The Kobo Glo HD’s nguồn button, which is recessed into its top, is easy lớn press intentionally, but difficult to lớn hit accidentally. & as with all E-Ink devices, the Kobo Glo HD sips power. A single charge of its battery can get you through up khổng lồ two months of use—though your results will vary depending on how much và how often you read.

The Kobo Glo HD comes with a 6.0-inch touchscreen that splits the difference between readability và energy efficiency. With resolution of 300 ppi, text appears crisp and just as legible as what you’ll see on the Kobo Aura One or on Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite, Voyage, và Oasis. Và Rakuten makes it easy to tweak text size, font settings, and line spacing. Lượt thích all Kobo e-readers, the Kobo Glo HD provides 11 phông choices and 48 text sizes. Font height và sharpness can be adjusted, too. I also found that JPEG and BMP files, as well as images embedded in PDFs, looked great even if they weren’t originally grayscale.

The Kobo Glo HD’s backlighting failed khổng lồ impress me, however; in fact, it’s a complaint I have across the Kobo sản phẩm line. Lighting is consistent across most of the display, but the e-reader’s normally sharp text becomes slightly blurry if the backlight is pushed beyond 40 percent. This isn’t a khuyến mãi breaker, but it is disappointing.

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Seamus Bellamy

The Kobo Glo HD’s recessed button makes this e-reader difficult lớn turn on by accident.

The Kobo online ebook store isn’t as comprehensive as what Kindle users enjoy through Amazon’s Kindle ebook marketplace, but it offers a large enough variety of reading materials khổng lồ keep most people happy, provided their reading tastes don’t lean towards the esoteric. Và all Kobo e-readers support Pocket and OverDrive integration, allowing you borrow digital books from your local public library & read saved offline content harvested from the web. As useful as these two features are, they feel like a stopgap measure designed to compete with Amazon’s excellent subscription Kindle Unlimited Service—an all-you-can-eat book buffet. It’s also important to note that Kobo’s online store provides no access lớn periodicals. If you’re interested in reading newspapers or magazines on your e-reader, you’ll want to lớn consider shopping for an Amazon device instead. Attempting to lớn read a graphics-heavy PDF copy of Foreign Affairs on the Glo HD proved frustrating, to say the least.


The Kobo Glo HD can mở cửa a broad array of document and image files, including EPUB, EPUB3, PNG, GIF, JPEG, BMP, TIFF, HTML, MOBI, PDF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ and CBR—provided they’re not protected by any khung of DRM. I found that the performance of these files on the e-reader varied greatly. EPUB, MOBI and text files all opened up quickly and were responsive to lớn my input. Reading PDFs, as in the example above, was a laggy nightmare.

No matter what you prefer to lớn read, the Kobo Glo HD should provide you with Ample room to store it. While it doesn’t come equipped with the ability khổng lồ use removable storage like the Kobo Aura H2O does, its 4GB of internal memory is spacious enough lớn hold thousands of books và documents.

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The Kobo Glo HD is a good option for those who prefer khổng lồ find their reading material online, through their local library, or who just don’t lượt thích the idea of filling their electronic library with Amazon’s DRM’d content. It offers all of the features most people might find desirable in an e-reader, without any of the unneeded bloat.