- No audiobook support
- No subscription-based services
- Not waterproof
The Kobo Nia e-reader is independent of the Amazon ecosystem while still having the same feel of a compact library in your pocket. But does the low price and baseline specs keep up in today’s competitive e-reader market?
The design is very similar to that of a Kindle Paperwhite (2018). Small and compact for easy one-handed reading and easy stowing while out and about. It has only one button -- the power button -- and a textured backplate for easy gripping.
The smallest e-reader currently available at 6-inches, the Kobo Nia includes Kobo’s ComfortLight feature allowing you to adjust the color of light for reduced bluelight exposure when reading at night. Its Carta E Ink display offers glare-free reading even in bright sunlight.
Storage comes in at 8GB which is enough to house an entire library of books easily.
Battery life for the Kobo Nia was only okay when considered against other e-readers. It wasn’t above or below for its price point.
PC Magazine says, “Battery life from the 1,000mAh cell is fine. I got through Lawrence Wright's 380-page The End of October on a charge with about 20 percent remaining; you'll probably want to charge the device once per large book. I got to nearly a full charge in an hour.”
Software & File Format Support
Kobo Nia has a fairly slow processor which isn’t uncommon for an e-reader of its price and in general, it’s not necessary for an e-ink display. Reviewers, however, remarked that where it fell short was how long it took the on-screen keyboard and search feature to react and find what they were looking for.
Wired says, “... Typing on the Nia's touchscreen and waiting for it to call up books is noticeably slower and clunkier than on the Kindle.”
Kobo Nia supports ePub, PDF, and MOBI book formats, so you won’t be able to load your books off Amazon’s massive ebook marketplace without converting them first -- a process of questionable legality -- but most other major stores and services offer formats compatible with the Kobo Nia.
Being an entry-level e-reader there aren’t any extra features. Just everything you need to enjoy your favorite ebooks at an affordable price.
Specs at a Glance
- Black plastic, textured chassis
- 6-inch, 212 PPI display
- Front-lit display, ComfortLight technology
- 8GB of storage, no Micro SD option
- 1,000 mAh battery
- Does not support audio
- Supports BMP, CBR, CBZ, EPUB, EPUB3, GIF, HTML, JPEG, MOBI, PDF, RTF, TIFF, TXT file formats
As an entry-level e-reader Kobo Nia is fairly solid, especially if you are looking to get away from the constant ads and extras from Amazon. It won't win any awards but it will do for a pocket-friendly e-reader. There are more non-Amazon e-readers out there but few for this price-point.
Still, if you have just a little more room in your budget, jumping up to the Kobo Clara HD will afford a sharper screen, faster performance, and a slightly sleeker design. So you might want to check our summary for that model before buying the Kobo Nia.
TechRadar states, “It might cost a touch more than the latest Amazon Kindle, but the Kobo Nia has a few advantages over the basic Kindle, with the higher resolution screen being the headline feature. If you don’t need any more bells and whistles, then the Nia is a very good alternative to the 10th-generation Amazon Kindle.”
Good eReader says, “The Kobo Nia is the first e-reader that the company has released in 2020. It is considered an entry-level e-reader that is ideal for people who have never had one before or had an older Kobo branded device that is more than five years old. It is great to read ebooks, borrow ebooks from Overdrive, or read blog articles from Pocket. It seriously lacks the hardware power to read PDF files effectively or use the experimental web browser.”
PC Magazine remarks, “The entry-level Kobo Nia is a cute, compact way to read library books and EPUB files, but we think it's worth spending a bit more for waterproofing.”
Prices (Where to Buy)
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