UNBOXING & FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The Kobo Glo comes packaged in a cardboard box which utilises cutouts in such a way that the Glo should be at fairly low risk of getting damaged during transport (for those of you who order by post).
Upon opening the packaging, you are presented with:
- the Glo itself,
- a 1m micro-USB to USB cable,
- a short quick-start quide,
- a marketing leaflet offering "up to 90% off your first eBook",
- a safety and EU declaration of conformity slip.
[holding place for image of contents]
I'm a bit disappointed that there isn't a user manual included in the box, or even a mini-CD with the PDF included. At least it is relatively easy to find online (link
). I guess it helps keep the price of the unit down.
I'm happy with the choice of micro-USB, as this is now the prefered electronic standard for devices in Europe, and I already have both an Android phone and a digital camera that use this standard, so I now have no shortage of cables in case the one with the Glo goes missing.
In terms of build quality, the unit feels amazing, considering it is mainly plastic. The quilted back feels lovely in the hand and does not protrude as much as the Touch (which I had a quick look at recently). It also feels quite robust, though I will not be dropping it from a range of heights to test its durability! My Android phone (a Sony Ericcson Xperia Arc) is also plastic, but has a glass screen, and I would say that the Glo feels both more robust and of higher quality.
The screen has a plastic surface, but is still made of a glass-substrate, which has been discussed in some detail on another thread. To my untrained eye, the screen is matte and looks fantastic. I'm not too worried about cracks or bending (as the unit itself is very rigid).
In terms of buttons, there are two, and both on top on the right-hand side. The one closer to the edge of the unit is the power switch, and the other is the light switch.
I'll discuss the lighting feature in the Readability section, but for reading in darkness, the unit is lit by four small LED lights housed at the bottom of the screen, and shine through the screen, causing even illumination across the whole screen. Again, I'll save my thoughts for the relevant section. Apparently, having these lights turned on will not significantly (whatever that means) diminish battery life. This is something I will be testing later and will confirm in a future update.
One small cause for concern is the ports. The micro-SD and micro-USB ports do not have any kind of cover over them. This means that dust and dirt can get inside if you are not careful, or you store the Glo without a case when not in use. If taking it on a beach holiday, I'd strongly recommend covering said ports with some tape (electrical, maybe?).
Another minor issue is with fingerprints and marks. The surface of the unit is covered in a soft-feeling plastic, of the same material as the quilted back. While this makes the feel of the unit very nice, it does act as a bit of a magnet for fingerprints.
PHYSICAL UNIT RATING - 9/10 stars
Overall, I'm very pleased with the unit as a physical device. It feels solid and weighty enough to assure quality, yet still light enough to comfortably hold in the hand for long periods of time. However, the lack of simple covers for the ports and the fingerprint-attracting finish are minor enough points that only warrant one star being knocked off my rating.