Priced at $199, the Kobo comes in around $110 or so cheaper for Australian customers compared to the Amazon Kindle 2 International, which must be purchased via Amazon’s US website for $US259 + around $US25 shipping.
The Kobo comes with 100 free ebooks to get you started plus five selectable font types to choose from. It features a six-inch e-ink display similar to the Kindle and the iRiver Story but weights only 221grams according to Borders. (The Kindle 2 International and the iRiver story weigh in at around 290grams).
You get 1GB of on-board storage, which can be quickly expanded via a SecureDigital (SD) flash card. The internal Lithium-polymer battery is said to last up to two weeks (approximately 8000 “page turns”).
The device supports open-standard formats EPUB and PDF and unlike both the Kindle and the Story that both feature QWERTY button-style keyboards, the Kobo has just a basic D-pad navigation button plus for further navigation buttons on the side.
Borders is shipping the Kobo within 24 hours and buyers should receive them with five days.
While the Kobo has Bluetooth and USB syncing capabilities, it does not feature 3G connectivity so unlike the Kindle, you cannot buy books directly via the device itself.
The device is available now via Border’s Australian website for $199. It is only available for preorder in the US but at a lower price of $US149.99.