Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Bristol, UK
Device: Sony Xperia Arc; Kobo Glo
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):
- Unboxing & First Impressions
- First Steps & Loading Content
- User Interface & Readability
- Kobo Customer Service
- Bug List, Conclusion & Rating
- 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 Kobo Glo
- Real-world review, with no bias
- No previous experience with "proper" eReaders
- Addressing questions / concerns from MobileRead community (link to thread)
UNBOXING & FIRST IMPRESSIONS
- Reflection on specs, inc formats, resolution & other features
Unboxing and comments on physical device
FIRST STEPS & LOADING CONTENT
- 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
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)?
USER INTERFACE & READABILITY
- 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
- 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)?
- 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"?
KOBO CUSTOMER SERVICE
- 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
BUG LIST, CONCLUSION & RATING
- 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
List of bugs encountered
- 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)
Books to test ([source]: [title]):
- 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
Last edited by 9littlebees; 01-03-2013 at 03:54 AM.
Reason: Adding points from replies