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Old 03-30-2014, 04:18 AM   #1
paola
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The end of Kobo Mini (at least in the UK)?

Over the past year and a half I must have seen at least four sales of the Kobo Minis, if not more, and each time I feared it would be the end of the Mini, but each time it kept on going. Now however I see that on the WHSmith site the Mini is reduced but out of stock - has anybody in the know got any rumors on the Mini being phased out? My husband just lost his other 5" reader, and I guess I could get another Mini from a brick and mortar store, but even if I could find any remaining stock, I wonder whether it would make sense to buy a model being phased out.

Of course, it may be just me being paranoid!
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:37 AM   #2
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I'll bet it comes down to simple economics. My guess is that a Mini and a Glo probably cost nearly the same to build with the exception of the slightly larger front lit screen and external sdhc card socket on the Glo. If that is a relatively small difference then they make a lot more off a Glo than they do a Mini. If they're still making the Touch(?), and all the newer devices are front lit, it begs the question of how many lower end non lighted devices they need and that having two very similar devices except for screen size requires a larger expenditure to get batches made in quantity and probably just fragments their product line and costs them more to keep.

All that said, if they came out with a front lit Mini at a price point between the mini and the Glo I'd probably be in line for one -my guess is they make more money on the Glo or Aura at nearly the same size.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:00 AM   #3
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When I bought the Aura in WHSmith they had it next to the Mini, tbh size wise there wasn't much in it as the Aura has a smaller frame. When you look at it like that I can understand why the Mini is probably being phased out as it is old non lighted technology.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:04 AM   #4
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I'm not sure if that is a good indication of the Mini coming to an end. Here in Australia, the Mini has been the most frequently discounted of the Kobo ereaders. If you wanted one, you just had to wait a week or to for it to be offered somewhere at about 40% off.

But, there have been reports here that it has been discontinued. I haven't seen a confirmation from Kobo, but the firmware hasn't been updated for a long time. When I have asked about this on the beta list, I haven't had a reply. If it has been discontinued, I don't think that there are plans for a replacement. I think that if a similar specced device was planned, they would use the Mini as a test bed for the firmware and keep updating it.

As to whether to buy one, why not? Just because Kobo might have discontinued it, doesn't mean it will stop working. From reports, the released 2.6.2 firmware works well and 2.8.1 runs fine on it. The only reason to hesitate is if you thought another product was coming and you wanted to see it first. But, if there is something coming, we haven't heard of it, so it won't be soon. If you can get the Mini cheap, then you can afford to upgrade sooner if something good does come out.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:34 AM   #5
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When I bought the Aura in WHSmith they had it next to the Mini, tbh size wise there wasn't much in it as the Aura has a smaller frame. When you look at it like that I can understand why the Mini is probably being phased out as it is old non lighted technology.
Yes if you want a mini then get an Aura. While it is more expensive, the Aura is clearly superior technology and it's footprint I'd actually quite small. I can easily fit it in a jacket pocket and if you can do that I don't see why you would want it to be any smaller. The only reason would be to comfortably fit in your trouser pocket but then you run the risk of cracking the screen whenever you sit down.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:31 AM   #6
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I don't expect the Mini to die.

I happen to know that E-ink has a high resolution (265ppi) 5" screen in the works. I wouldn't be surprised if that showed up in the next Mini.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
I don't expect the Mini to die.

I happen to know that E-ink has a high resolution (265ppi) 5" screen in the works. I wouldn't be surprised if that showed up in the next Mini.
Any hint that it will also have a front light?
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:18 AM   #8
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I've always thought that the Mini being the most frequently discounted of the Kobo line is a huge indication that it's the poorest seller. And just because E-ink are developing a new 5" screen doesn't necessarily mean that Kobo will be interested in buying it, especially if it is true the Mini hasn't been a great seller for them.

As to whether or not to buy another one if it is being discontinued, sure why not - if you need it. If you can find any stock, at £30 it seems like a bit of a no-brainer. I am sorely tempted to buy one as a future replacement to my Sony 350, but can't quite convince myself that is worth doing, since there's nothing wrong with my Sony!
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:29 AM   #9
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thank you all for your answers. A lighted device is better than a non-lighted one IMHO, but I agree that for £30 a Mini is a no-brainer. Having said that, my first Mini had a problem and had to be replaced after three weeks, and this is really what concerns me if they are running out of stocks.

Yet, I am currently in Gatwick, and WHSmith here no longer stocks any ereaders, so it is not even clear I can get my hands on a Mini anyway.

Last edited by paola; 03-30-2014 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:32 AM   #10
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To me, the indication that the Mini might be discontinued, was incentive enough to buy a 2nd one for back up. At 167 dpi it was very dark and sharp.

But whatever company is making a high resolution (265ppi) 5" screen, I will buy their product!
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:47 AM   #11
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Having said that, my first Mini had a problem and had to be replaced after three weeks, and this is really what concerns me if they are running out of stocks.
That's one area that Kobo customer service has been good. I've seen a number of reports of people getting a free upgrade from a Touch to a Glo when tbe Touch was getting warranty replacement and there were no Touches. Might mean you end up with a bigger reader, but you shouldn't be left in the cold.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:03 AM   #12
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That's one area that Kobo customer service has been good. I've seen a number of reports of people getting a free upgrade from a Touch to a Glo when tbe Touch was getting warranty replacement and there were no Touches. Might mean you end up with a bigger reader, but you shouldn't be left in the cold.
ah, now for a very strategic purchase - I will search the UK high and low for a Mini
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:56 AM   #13
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To me, the indication that the Mini might be discontinued, was incentive enough to buy a 2nd one for back up. At 167 dpi it was very dark and sharp.

But whatever company is making a high resolution (265ppi) 5" screen, I will buy their product!
The 5" E-ink screen is 200 ppi, not 167 ppi.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:57 AM   #14
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Any hint that it will also have a front light?
No info, but not having a frontlight would be a dumb idea.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:27 AM   #15
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Different strokes for different folks

Mini is my favourite ereader.
aka - The one I use most.

? I'm confused - a pocketable Aura ?
Aura is 14% wider (1 inch) than a Mini
(It's 1/2 inch wider than the Touch!)

Lights ...
Increased battery life and reduced recharging is guaranteed vs ... ?

In my 70 years I've used a (flash)light to read (under the covers once at age 11).

I'd buy another Mini as backup if I could find one.

(Note: Mini running firmware 3.2.0 without problems*)

* no DRM on device

Mini may make no $ for Kobo but it's the best ereader for me.


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