7.4/10
Informr score
The Kobo Nia currently has an Informr score of 7.4 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 14 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Small and light
  • Plenty of storage
  • A capable Amazon alternative

What's bad

  • 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?

Design

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.

Screen

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

Storage comes in at 8GB which is enough to house an entire library of books easily.

Battery Life

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.

Extra Features

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

Bottom Line

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.”


Screen Size
6"
Backlight
Yes
Storage
8 GB
3G
No


What the Critics Are Saying...


Tech Advisor

A solid eReader at an appealing price, the Kobo Nia ditches the water resistance and 300ppi screen of its costlier siblings in order to sneak under the £100/$100 mark. It's a worthy challenger to the basic Kindle.

- David Price, Tech Advisor
Laptop Magazine

The $99 Kobo Nia offers a solid user experience for a wallet-friendly price. You get a bright display with crisp detail, easy-to-navigate user interface and some seriously long battery life. There are a few concerns such as the laggy screen reaction time and slow browsing speeds. Overall, if you’re...

- Ally Thomas, Laptop Magazine
Good Housekeeping

This is the most affordable way you can access ebooks from public libraries directly from an e-reader. It's simple to use, but the bookstore lacks some best sellers.

- Good Housekeeping
Good Gear Guide

If you want to chew through a few MOBI files without breaking the bank or buying into Amazon’s ecosystem, the Kobo Nia is a natural candidate.

- Fergus Halliday, Good Gear Guide
Mirror

From its minimal design, limited features and low price point this dedicated e-reader is a great entry point into digital reading and the perfect device for a casual book reader like myself who uses it mostly on the commute and wants to throw it in their pocket or bag and forget about it.

- James Ide, Mirror


Prices (Where to Buy)




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Quick view

Screen Size
6"

The Kobo Nia's screen size is 6 inches with 758 x 1024 pixels resolution.

Processor
1 GHz
OS
Storage
8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
1000mAh

The e-reader is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1000 mAh battery. Battery life is rated for up to 336 hours reading time according to Kobo's.

Kobo Nia Specs

Overview
Release date July 21, 2020
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Networks
No
SIM card size No
Operating System Custom
Processor NXP i.MX 6ULL 1 GHz
Internal Storage 8 GB
RAM 256 MB
ROM No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Reading Time Up to: 336 hours
Standby Time Up to: 14 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 11.24 x 15.93 x 0.92 cm (4.4 x 6.3 x 0.4 in)
Weight 172 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Grayscale
Technology E-ink
Colors No
Resolution 758 x 1024 pixels
Pixel density 212 pixels
Size 6 inches
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Unknown
Screen Orientation Lock Unknown
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Anti Glare Yes
Additional Display Features
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Page Turn Key No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock No
External Volume Control No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
Audio / Video
Audio Playback No
Video Playback No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack No
Vibration Alert No
Content Formats Supported
Content Formats Supported BMP, CBR, CBZ, EPUB, EPUB3, GIF, HTML, JPEG, MOBI, PDF, RTF, TIFF, TXT
More
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