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Kobo Touch eReader - Fun Bits and Customisation

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



Our Score:


To complement its neat-looking interface, the Kobo Touch has a fun, breezy style that should especially appeal to younger folk, or parents looking to push reading onto their kids through the medium of tech. By reading, you can unlock achievements in the style of the trophies of the Sony PS3 or achievements of the Microsoft Xbox 360.

There are 18 in total, and generally involve either reading for a certain length or in a certain way, or using the Kobo's secondary features, like Facebook integration. They won't last too long but are executed in a manner inoffensive enough to avoid the scorn of all but the most dedicated of curmudgeons.

Kobo eReader 3

This is one half of the Kobo Touch's Reading Life section, which claims one of the links on the home screen next to your Library and the Kobo Store. We find the other half of Reading Life much more interesting.

It tells you how long you've spent reading your current book, how many pages you've turned and how long your average reading session is. Below this info are figures for how many books you've completed on your Kobo, your total hours spent reading and how much of your library you have read. Although not something we'd imagine many will use all that regularly, it's an interesting resource, whether it represents a "game-ification" of reading or not.

Stepping away from the frivolous side and back to reading, the Kobo Touch gives you plenty of customisation options other than just how often a full screen refresh is performed. There are seven fonts to choose from, 24 font sizes, plenty of customisation of line spacing and margins plus three justification options. This is arguably choice overkill, but as ever it's relayed in a fairly digestible manner with its own pop-up menu.

There are also three options that dictate how the touchscreen behaves while you're reading. Either side can be used to go forward a page, showing consideration for the left-handers among us. And you can give the menu shortcut equal or lesser space on the touchscreen - with the lone physical button forever dedicated to taking you to the home screen, the touchscreen has to do the rest. Ereader newcomers may take a while to find their favoured setting, but we expect that the vast majority will stick with a single setup after a while.


November 10, 2011, 2:48 am

"If you need a touchscreen reader now, the Kobo Touch, Sony PRS-350 and PRS-650 are the only models to consider."

Hmm? Why the last-generation PRS-350 and PRS-650, rather than the current-generation Sony Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1)?

Tony Walker

November 10, 2011, 10:45 am

CAn you read PDFs on it?


November 10, 2011, 11:45 pm

Add my voice to Tony's in wondering about PDF capabilities. TR team: it would be much appreciated if you could make PDF handling a standard part of your reviews of ebook readers, and there're quite a few of us who use ebook readers quite a bit with PDFs.


November 11, 2011, 4:21 pm


It can handle PDFs, but we'll fit some more about how ebook readers formats them in future reviews if that's what you'd like.

As for the T1, it doesn't seem to be widely available in the UK yet. We'll do our best to get a review up sharpish, though!


November 12, 2011, 4:02 pm

That would be useful, thanks.

On the T1, my local Sony Centre has it quite prominently displayed and in stock, but you're right that almost nobody else does. How odd. I wonder if this Sony's new marketing strategy, or if it reflects lack of interest!


November 16, 2011, 12:58 am

If you buy the Kindle from a retailer such as Curry's or John Lewis you get a full 12 month exchange warranty. WH Smiths only have enough confidence in the Kobo to offer 28 day exchange and thereafter it is sent for repair for an indeterminate period of time. I would love to buy the Kobo Touch especially as the Kindle touch is not yet available in the UK. However, if Smith's have such a low level of confidence in it then it doesn't exactly inspire confidence in me.


November 18, 2011, 4:16 am

Do not buy this - its rubbish

I bought one last week, it going back as soon as I can get back to Smiths. The on/off/sleep switch does not work reliably. The touch screen does not work properly. You can't change the time/date - because the touch screen does not respond. It only supports ePub and PDF, which is what the on line manual says, although the smiths web site says it supports ePub and MOBI, plus a lot of other things which I did not check.
I have a large collection of free e-books in multi formats so I want a reader that can at least read ePub and MOBI - this one can't.


February 26, 2012, 3:30 am

I have a kindle for a good while and now also a Kobo Touch which I purchased from Asda. As the main review above says the kindle probably has a slight edge, and unlike some reviewers I have had no problems with it. The one BIG advantage with the Kobo is that I can borrow books from my Local Library. Amazon will not allow that in the UK. Why should they, when you are closed in to buying from them. Now I have a choice.


March 7, 2012, 3:40 pm

The kobo touch is rubbish. It fails in its basic job. It is too slow to read actual books with. I've tried to use it for 2 months now and I'm just about to give up on it and buy a kindle. It can sometimes takes minutes to turn a single page. I even went to the trouble of creating a perfect book for it to read. I decompiled a fairly compact book (550kb) with only 10 small images in it. Edited it down to 460kb of perfect xhtml. (using html validator on firefox). Zipped it up to an epub book and validated that against an epub validator. Both validators giving perfect validation scores. Even this book was too slow to read, sometimes taking many seconds to navigate. The kindle is a much better device. The kobo doesn't even rate as 1 star. This kbo is the most depressing gadget I've ever bought.


March 26, 2012, 9:45 am

I have had the kobo touch for 3 months it has frozen numerous times. I have had to turn it of and on to get it to turn a page, I have had to plug it in to unfreeze it and last and most annoying I had to reset after it froze completley would not connect to computer or turn off waited for it to go flat. Looked on computer to find out if any one had the same problem. Paper clip in reset hole in the back and conect to computer and finally it is working again.

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