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Old 09-19-2012, 02:01 PM   #1
9littlebees
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Posts: 65
Karma: 161138
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bristol, UK
Device: Sony Xperia Arc; Kobo Glo
Question Things to cover in Kobo Glo review?

Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum, due to the fact that I have only just pre-ordered my first eReader, the Kobo Glo. Being a bit of a tech-head and review junkie, I thought I'd post a review of the Glo here on MobileRead after I've had a little play with it.

So basically this thread is to ask you guys for things I should look out for and general questions (probably Kobo specific) I should address in my review, that you wouldn't necessarily get from your standard review sites, though I won't be doing anything that will void the warranty. It's apparently going to be available from the 1st October here in the UK, so I should be getting it sometime the week after next.

Here's the colour-coded outline for my review (updated regularly with new requests):

CONTENTS
  • Introduction
  • Unboxing & First Impressions
  • First Steps & Loading Content
  • User Interface & Readability
  • Functionality
  • Kobo Customer Service
  • Bug List, Conclusion & Rating

INTRODUCTION
About Me
  • Current role (engineering project planner), no current or previous affiliation with any eReader manufacturers
  • Previously bookshop branch manager, physical book lover
  • eReader newb (mention Kindle / Kobo / Aldiko apps on Android as only prev experience)
  • Prev experiences with eBooks on LCD screens (PC, Android)
  • Why I haven't gone for a Kindle (family in the US that could provide a Paperwhite, if wanted)
About Review
  • Real-world review, with no bias
  • No previous experience with "proper" eReaders
  • Addressing questions / concerns from MobileRead community (link to thread)
About Kobo Glo
  • Reflection on specs, inc formats, resolution & other features


UNBOXING & FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Unboxing and comments on physical device
  • Packaging & protection of unit
  • General presentation
  • Documentation (manual, warranty, etc)
  • Peripherals & accessories (UK mains plug?)
  • Perceived robustness (compare to my Android - plastic body but glass screen)
  • Quality of home button and ports
  • Perceived durability of screen
  • Comments on LED lights - location, how well-protected, etc
  • Comments on quilted back, comfort of holding it
  • General thought on the physical unit


FIRST STEPS & LOADING CONTENT
Preparing for First Use
  • Does the battery have an initial charge?
  • Duration of first recharge - UI elements, LED notification, etc when charging
  • Does it need to be tethered to PC to activate and get to work?
  • Able to access free books, side-load from Calibre, etc without logging into Kobo (i.e. work out of the box)?
Loading Content
  • List of any bundled free books
  • Availability of officially supported epubs & price comparison with Amazon ebooks
  • Navigating Kobo Store from device, and ease of ordering kepubs
  • Comparison of DRM epub vs same book in kepub, when both purchased from Kobo store
  • Ease of getting back to where you were reading after loading/buying new books (try it with kepubs & side-loading to see if different)
  • Adding additional dictionaries


USER INTERFACE & READABILITY
User Interface
  • Firmware number
  • Comments & photos of home screen
  • Ease of navigating the menus and settings
  • Comments on social settings (Reading Life, Facebook integration, etc)
  • Web browser - which is installed and possible to change? How does it work?
  • Browser scrolling - how does Glo scroll on long/wide pages - soft buttons / double touch / shaking?
  • Browser zooming - how does Glo zoom / increase font in browser?
  • Browser comfort - possible to render sites (i.e. forums to only see messages)?
Readability
  • Page turn speed
  • Ease of turning pages one-handed
  • Thoughts on screen clarity/quality with light on and off (inc contrast)
  • Light brightness levels, in low-light and total/near darkness, inc uniformity of light distribution
  • Note-taking - can notes be exported? How are they accessed outside the book itself? Do notes sync with kepubs between devices?
  • Highlighting text - anything special, does highlighting of kepubs carry over onto other versions of Kobo (i.e. PC)?
  • Footnotes - how are they displayed? Thoughts / comments
  • Dictionaries - size requeired for each, can they interpret foreign text (try to use example from every supported language - test with Anna Karenina)
  • Provide list of supported dictionaries
  • Which non-Latin alphabets (Cyrillic, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, etc) are supported, and how are they displayed? Support for font size and weight changes?
  • Similar feature to Paperwhite's "time left to end of chapter"?


FUNCTIONALITY
Functionality
  • Using microSD cards to store & access eBooks, and also interact with Calibre (using both generic & branded, plus new and used cards)
  • Purchasing non-standard books and ease of converting & sideloading (inc Amazon, Google, Smashwords, BOB, B&N)
  • Do eReader settings override font, justification, line spacing, margin widths, etc if these are set in an eBook?
  • Functionality with side-loaded eBooks, including epubs, PDFs, CBRs, CBZs, etc
  • Add-in (i.e. non-standard) font handling
  • Functional differences between epubs and kepubs (also, kepubs vs "official" epubs, i.e. purchased from WH Smith)
  • Compatibility with Adobe Digital Editions, including ease of syncing with the Glo, and exporting ebooks, data, etc from ADE to the Glo
  • Thoughts / comments on checking out ePubs from local library service
  • Format handling when reading epubs converted by Calibre
  • In sleep/off mode, are epub book covers properly full screen right away, or do they require editing in Calibre?
  • Investigate issue of device setting itself to standby mode after having been turned "off" by long switch press (not the case with mine as of 3/1/13 when I last switched off on 28/12/12 - 6 days prior).
  • In sleep/off mode, does the last book read show, or is it the book before last, or other?
  • After other elements of review are finished, fully charge battery then test battery life with light left switched on continuously
  • Duration of full recharge, following full discharge as above
  • Can a Glo's library be organised from within Calibre, without issues?
  • Functionality of "shelves" and support for it outside of the device, also do shelves have full functionality with ebooks stored on a microSD
  • Are any features / configurations lost upon restarting the device?
  • How the Glo navigates the Touch's "Home button" areas without a physical button


KOBO CUSTOMER SERVICE
Kobo Customer Service
  • Email response time & helpulness to general query
  • Email response time & helpulness to bugs
  • Email response time & helpulness to feature suggestion
  • Ease of contacting (& helpulness) by telephone in UK / international head office


BUG LIST, CONCLUSION & RATING
List of bugs encountered
Conclusion
  • Does it live up to my expectations as a first-time eReader owner?
  • Will I use this as a replacement to physical books?
  • Thoughts on commerce elements (i.e. local Amnesty bookshop, unable to sell "used" ebooks)
Rating
  • Based on the sections of review above, score out of 10, weighted as follows:
  • Robustness, durability, comfort of physical device (20%)
  • Preparing for use and loading content (10%)
  • User interface & Readability (30%)
  • Functionality (30%)
  • Kobo Customer Service (10%)
  • Overall rating



Books to test ([source]: [title]):

Last edited by 9littlebees; 01-03-2013 at 04:54 AM. Reason: Adding points from replies
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