Mo’ Kobos, Mo’ Problems

I was hoping to get this review out before Christmas for gift-giving purposes, but perhaps you Boxing Day shoppers can make some use of it.

I got a Kobo Glo for my birthday and was pretty excited, and not because it came in pink (well, not only.) My first generation Kobo was slow, glitchy, and poorly designed, but it served me well over the years. The Kobo Glo addresses a lot of the issues I had, and some that I didn’t even think of, but after a few month’s use, I’m frustrated again.

Most of the new features are great. Obviously it’s better to have a touch screen and wireless capability. It handles footnotes and moving between sections with ease (Infinite Jest style footnotes are an exception, probably.) The battery life is great. The built in light is a GODSEND. And it’s FAST.


  • The touch screen is too sensitive one moment, and totally unresponsive the next. I’ve had five pages skipped because I brushed my sleeve against the screen, and I’ve had to touch the screen five times to make it turn, within the same chapter.
  • The annotation feature. I WANT to love it. It’s got such potential. But the highlighting and typing is ATROCIOUS. Like, I can’t imagine someone, or more likely, many someones, signed off on this as good to go. It’s nearly impossible to highlight text with any precision, and once you do, good luck typing up your thoughts. The keyboard is slooooow. And you have to flip to the alternative keyboard for periods or commas.
  • It’s glitchy. Sometimes annotations work, sometimes they don’t. Turning it off and on fixes it, but it’s super annoying.

I’m in love with e-readers as a product because they allow me to read while co-sleeping with a baby. But the Kobo Glo just hints at their true potential. I don’t know if I’ll stick it out through another generation (or two) to see if they can get it right.



  1. Kristilyn

    I have a regular ol’ Kobo and I do really like it! BUT, now that I have my iPad and can read all the books on it, my Kobo has kind of fallen to the wayside. Mine is finicky about page turning sometimes, too — and the touchscreen definitely does fall prey to things other than fingers. Ah well … live and learn! It’s still a nice thing to have. 🙂

  2. megalophonics

    I have a Kobo touch and I find that I get the occasional glitch here and there too. I figure it’s just the technology though, and since ebooks are relatively new, I’m sure over time advancements will be made.
    Like Kristilyn, I agree that it’s a nice thing to have. I love how I have all my books at the touch of a button and neatly compacted in such a small device. And it’s really convenient for travelling. Glitches or not, I still love it. 🙂

    • lauratfrey

      I do too! I started a physical book last might and it’s pretty annoying… There’s a.ten month old in my room so i’m using a teeny reading light, and cringing every time I turn the page because it’s super loud when a sleeping baby is next to you.

  3. cassayc

    I want a Kobo Glo so bad. But my Kobo Touch is only a year old so the fiance won’t let me get one 😦

    Good to know about the issues…maybe I’ll wait a bit before picking it up.

    The only problem I find with e-readers is I get so many ebooks because I find cheap or free ones and then I have a stack of 50+ to read and feel overwhelmed :S

  4. Beavurlee (@bevurlee)

    I have the Kobo Glo too Laura, and I hate the highlighting. I opted to just start a book where i tediously copy out my favorite quotes or notes to myself. At least they’ll be all in one spot in the future. Blah.

    • lauratfrey

      That’s a good idea. It’s weird, I never took notes in paper books before (not since school) but now that I have the capability in Kobo, I want to so bad! But it’s so hard to do I don’t bother. Hmm, excuse to buy a pretty notebook… 🙂

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