Kobo Mini review

A small e-ink e-reader with Wi-Fi, customised type and EPUB side-loading

Kobo Mini review
The Kobo Mini is very portable, and the e-ink display is adjustable

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If you're after an e-reader primarily for using at home, steer clear of the Kobo Mini, though a reduced size doesn't mean a lesser experience. That said, this is an ideal one-handed gadget for the packed bus or train.

We liked

Easy to pack, to hold and to use, the Kobo Mini is ideal as an occasional, or back-up e-reader for commuting and general travel.

We used two Kobo e-readers during this review, and both synced up nicely, always presenting the latest page number reached by either device.

The Kobo Mini's battery life should cope with most journeys bar the Trans Siberian Express, while the e-ink screen is highly customisable, and enjoyable to read. Unlike a Kindle, any old EPUB e-book is totally readable on the Kobo Mini.

We disliked

Although highly portable, the Kobo Mini will require a protective case, which could instantly undermine its pocket-friendly dimensions.

Kobo's online store isn't much different to Amazon's for the Kindle in that it's fairly slow going on the e-ink screen, though Kobo doesn't enable you to email documents or e-books for Wi-Fi syncing.

So aside from downloading from the Kobo online shop, furnishing the Mini with books and documents is a completely manual, wired experience.


A small, versatile, customisable and highly portable e-reader that can be held in one hand, the Kobo Mini features a user experience identical to other efforts from the brand, though a slower processor, low-res screen and the need for a computer make this a relatively limited effort.

With a screen only just bigger than a passport, the affordable Kobo Mini makes for a great occasional e-reader on long or frequent trips.

If you want a punchier ereader then you should consider the Kobo Arc and Kobo Glo, while its biggest competitors are the Amazon Kindle Touch, Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Simple Touch.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),