Review: Kobo Mini e-reader is as small and light as it gets

Is the 6-inch screen on your e-reader too big? Unwieldy, even? If so, perhaps you’re the market Kobo is trying to target with its new Kobo Mini, which is an e-reader so small and compact that it can fit in your pocket.

Of course, whether you need an e-reader that fits in your pocket is up for debate.

According to Kobo, the Kobo Mini is the world’s smallest and lightest full-featured e-reader. This $79 e-reader has a 5-inch E Ink-based touchscreen and measures just 4 inches wide by 5.2 inches long. In case you’re wondering, that makes it just slightly larger than most smartphones on the market today.

E-reader in miniature

The Mini is 0.39 inches thick, which makes it exactly as thick as the Kobo Glo, Kobo’s larger front-lit e-reader. It’s also thicker than Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite (0.36 inch thick), but is thinner than the Nook Simple Touch (0.47 inch thick). The Kobo Mini weighs 0.3 pound, which makes it a couple of ounces lighter than its larger-screened competitors (which have 6-inch screens and weigh between 0.43 and 0.47 pound ). Though this may not seem like a lot, that equates to 27 percent less than the next lightest e-reader of the 6-inch variety; and a couple of ounces can make a big difference when you’re holding a device in one hand for extended periods of time.

Basically, what I’m trying to get at is that the Kobo Mini is adorable. Though its screen is only one inch smaller than the screens of larger e-readers, the entire device looks and feels significantly smaller.

This e-reader's compact size means the Mini can easily fit into your pocket, providing your pocket is reasonably large. It just barely fits into the back pocket of my jeans, but should easily fit into the back pocket of a typical pair of men’s jeans. It’s more likely that you’ll carry the Kobo Mini in your purse or jacket pocket anyway, and it’s certainly small enough to fit in a purse. That said, the larger 6-inch e-readers are also small enough to fit into a purse, so I’m not sure this is a huge selling point.

The Mini features the same general styling as the rest of the Kobo e-reader line. It hasjust one switch along the top, for turning the device on and off. The bottom of the device has a Micro-USB port for charging, and for directly transferring your own documents and books to the device. The Mini's 5-inch screen is surrounded by a slim bezel covered by a soft-touch, rubbery material. The back of the device is made of the same rubbery material, and features Kobo’s signature quilted pattern.

And you have your choice of black, silver, blue, and purple. The backs are actually interchangeable – there’s a small notch in the upper left corner that allows you to remove the back of the device – and you can PCWorld | Server Error

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