The sheer number of illegal aka free ebooks on the net makes an ereader an interesting investment. The Kobo ebook reader is almost a good product. Reading is rather pleasant if you have the right lighting. The ereader has a good hand feel and weighs even less than a thin paperback. The Kobo wifi version is simple to set up and loads things quickly. The weak points of the Kobo and the Kobo wifi are catatonic response time and counterintuitive commands.
Commands are counterintuitive such as pressing right makes the selection go down one Navigating within a book is also arduous as you can only go back to the beginning of chapters and not specific pages. The little square mushy pad on the bottom right hand of the unit used to control the ereader is not impressive but it does the job. The pad hides 5 controls up down left right and center click that allow you to move around on the screen and changes pages ... eventually.
Anybody who remembers computing with a Comodore 64 will recognize the ... molasses ... like lag ... time between ... command ... and ... response on the Kobo. People are used to instant gratification when using electronic gadgets and the Kobo adopts a wait ... and ... see attitude. Don't tell me Kobo could not have used a more powerful chip.
Downloading an epub or pdf file onto the Kobo reader is simple drag and drop as long as you do not use the Kobo program on your desktop or laptop. The Kobo content on your computer and the content of the ereader are basically impossible to sync. Graphics are pretty good but you can't be too demanding and expect illustrated books to look great as an ereader is not meant to show anything too fancy.
The other controls, for home, menu, back, and shop on the Kobo Wifi are on the side. They do not get in the way but, again, there seems to be a disconnect between the buttons and the Flintstones cartoon animal inside the ereader executing the command ... eventually ... "It's a living!"
The wifi feature on the Kobo is easy to use and setup. The reader hooks up to the Kobo store quickly but navigating in the store is limited by the slow response time of the unit.
If Kobo finds a faster chip, I might be interested in giving it another chance. As is, it is going back to the store faster than the unit works.
This ebook reader could not be compared to the Amazon Kindle because I refuse to buy something I have to do a song and dance to return if I have to. My Amazon experiences have been good but I have yet to try to return something and do not want to.
I chose not to compare the Kobo to the IPad. Different products and very different price range. The IPad is not primarily an ereader but it is possible to use it as such. Nobody does cool as well as Apple so everything about the IPad ereader aspect is well done. The problem with the Ipad is the weight of the thing and glare.