Kobo Glo HD: tech specs, reviews, comparisons, and pictures

Kobo Glo HD launch details

Kobo launches the HD resolution e-ink touchscreen e-reader with an affordable price and exclusive customer service.

If you’ve been waiting for the e-reader which could have similar specifications as Amazon’s Kindle Voyage, now you can take a closer look at Kobo Glo HD.

The new device from a Toronto-based ebookstore features a 1448 x 1072 (300 ppi) touchscreen with ComfortLight. It’s also the only Kobo device to come with the toll-free Kobo Welcome concierge service.

Announced in the beginning of April 2015, Kobo Glo HD now sells on Kobo website. The device costs $129.99. It’s 35% less than the cheapest version of Amazon Kindle Voyage.

Kobo Glo HD – product details

Technical specifications

You’ll find all of the tech specs at the end of the post. Let’s focus on what matters most – the screen, and its ability to replicate the real paper.

Both Kobo Glo HD and Kindle Voyage have 6-inch HD e-ink touchscreen display, with the same pixel density of 300 ppi. Kobo and Amazon claim their devices offer the highest screen resolution. Well, both are right. Let’s compare:

Kobo Glo HD vs Kindle Voyage – displays

Feature Kobo Glo HD Kindle Voyage
Screen size 6 inches 6 inches
Screen pixel density 300 ppi 300 ppi
Screen resolution 1448 x 1072 1440 x 1080
Grayscale 16-level 16-level
Front light Yes Yes

As you see, the difference is symbolic. The Glo is the better when you take the vertical resolution, the Voyage – horizontal.

Actually, comparing tech specs of devices makes sense only in tablets. E-readers, the ones worth comparing, come from different ebook ecosystems. As time goes, there are less and less users who would be willing to change Kindle for Kobo, or Kobo for Kindle, just because of the better screen.

E-readers are strictly tied to ebookstores. They can’t be fully used if you don’t sign in with the ebookstore’s credentials.

When you compare Kobo Glo to Kindle Voyage, you are in fact comparing the Kobo ecosystem to Kindle ecosystem – not only the devices, but also the stores (offer and prices), customer service, and user experience.

I don’t believe someone would choose to switch from Kindle to Kobo just because Kindle Voyage is too expensive, and Kobo Glo is a deal. That deal means you’ll have to go through the hell of making a back up and conversion of all the books you’ve bought in the current ebookstore.

Definitely, Kobo Glo HD is not addressed to Kindle switchers, but to current Kobo users who want an upgrade, and to the users new to ebooks, who need to pick up an ebook ecosystem in the first place.

Exclusive customer service

Glo HD is a first Kobo device with a customer assistance, that will help users get started, solve technical problems, and get book recommendations.

Called Kobo Welcome, this concierge service is similar to Amazon’s Mayday offered with Amazon Fire HDX tablets.

Kobo concierge is available 7 days a week, but it’s not a non-stop service. It’s open from 9 am to 9 pm, for customers from the following countries:

  • Canada,
  • United States,
  • Australia,
  • New Zealand,
  • France,
  • Germany,
  • Italy,
  • Netherlands,
  • Spain,
  • United Kingdom,
  • Portugal.

Versions and original accessories

Kobo users got used to having a freedom to choose a bezel color. No this time. At the launch, Kobo Glo HD is available only in black. It comes with one storage option – 4 GB – the same as in Kindle Voyage.

At the time of the launch there is also one original accessory made exclusively for the new device – Kobo Glo HD Sleepcover. However, it’s still not available on Kobo website. You can order it online at Chapters Indigo, for $29.99.

Launch dates and availability

As I wrote earlier, you can order Glo HD on a Kobo website (kobo.com) – but only from Canada and US.

Customers can also order the device at selected retailers in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. So far, we found a couple that offer the device in their online stores:

The launch dates for other countries are as follows:

  • France – May 22, 2015,
  • UK – June 1, 2015,
  • Italy – June 1, 2015,
  • Netherlands – June 1, 2015,
  • Germany – June 1, 2015,
  • Spain – June 1, 2015.

You will find more information in the Official Kobo Glo HD press release.

Kobo Glo HD – reviews

Here are excerpts from first reviews the device received in the beginning of May 2015.

It has a nice design and a high-end screen — and best of all, it undercuts the Kindle Voyage by a significant margin.

The Glo HD has just about everything most users want from a current-gen e-reader, and for many users the mere fact that the company is continuing to provide an alternative to the Amazon stranglehold is reason enough to want it around.

–Brian Heater, Mashable / ⇢ Read the entire review

The most immediately striking facet of the Kobo Glo HD is its slightness — it just feels incredibly small and light.

Also, it’s immediately noticeable that the screen is sharp and crisp — which is one of its main selling points, after all.

–Paul Sawers, Venture Beat / ⇢ Read the entire review

With the Glo HD, the fanciest it gets in terms of looks and design is the lovely texture on the back that makes it so comfortable to hold in the palm of your hand.

Basically, a great device that can make reading a more enjoyable experience, and a device which we think will also make you want to read more.

–Elias Plastiras, PC World / Rating: 4.5/5 / ⇢ Read the entire review

Kobo Glo HD – pictures

Kobo Glo HD on a bed

Kobo Glo HD – tech specs

Kobo Glo HD thumb

Kobo Glo HD

Black / 4GB

Enhance your reading experience

This easy-to-use e-reader is the perfect complement to the reading experience you already know and love! Enjoy added comfort, convenience and customization with Kobo Glo HD.

With the clearest, most book-like 6” HD e-ink touchscreen that reads just like a printed page, you’ll never want to put it down.

Customized and comfortable

Eyes getting tired? Choose from 48 font sizes when you want added comfort and when you’re looking for a truly personalized reading experience, choose from 11 different font types.

With adjustable margins, the ability to highlight passages and write notes and a built-in dictionary at the touch of a finger, Kobo Glo HD lets you take your reading experience to the next level.

Plus, read in direct sunlight with the anti-glare screen, or in complete darkness with the built-in adjustable ComfortLight.

Bring your library with you

Kobo Glo HD is lighter than a hardcover book and lets you store thousands of ebooks. Take your entire library on vacation or wherever you go and switch between ebooks easily for a simpler, more convenient way to read.

Plus, with up to 2 months of battery life, read an entire ebook on a single charge and enjoy the freedom of leaving your charger behind.

Display 6” Carta E Ink HD touchscreen with ultra-high resolution of 1448 x 1072, 300 ppi
Device size 157 x 115 x 9.2 mm
Weight 180 g
Connectivity Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Micro USB
Processor 1 GHz
Light Fully adjustable built-in ComfortLight technology.
Buttons Power on/off
Storage 4 GB
Battery Up to 2 months
Colors Black
Content 4 million of the best titles the world has to offer in books, comics and kids’ titles.
Reading Life Kobo’s exclusive reading experience. Read. Collect. Discover. Share.
TypeGenius 11 fonts, 48 sizes, exclusive weight and sharpness settings.
Kobo picks Personal recommendations based on your feedback and interests.
Advanced reading Notes, highlighting, dictionary, and bookmarks.
Kobo collections Pre-curated bundles of related authors, ebooks, and articles based around a theme.
Stats and awards Learn more about yourself as a reader and track your progress through books with reading stats. Enjoy spontaneous reading awards just for reading.
Sharing Share your favorite passages, quotes, and books to Facebook timeline
Web browsing Web browser
Supported file formats eBooks: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, and MOBI
Images: JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF
Text: TXT, HTML, XHTML, and RTF
Comic Books: CBZ and CBR
Supports ePub and Adobe DRM. Read books borrowed from your public library.
Kobo apps Free Kobo apps for Mac and PC, Apple, Android, Blackberry 10, Windows 8 smartphones, and tablets. Your Kobo ebooks are stored safely in the cloud; retrieve them at any time. Your bookmarks and more are seamlessly synced across all your Kobo e-reading apps and devices.
Languages English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Italian, and Portuguese.
Setup Set up Kobo Glo HD in just a few simple steps from your computer with Kobo Desktop, or directly from your Kobo Glo HD using built-in Wi Fi.

⇢ Kobo $129.99

Kobo Glo HD – infographic

Kobo Glo HD - infographic

Feel free to share this image on your site (Creative Commons license).

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