October 4, 2010, 12:38 PM

New Kobo eReader adds wireless

Kobo's upgraded eReader also has longer battery life and faster performance.

Lead Photo

Kobo is financially backed by Indigo Books & Music and other companies.

Kobo Inc., an electronic books development and services company, is rolling out a new Kobo Wireless eReader, which adds Wi-Fi connectivity, upgraded hardware with faster performance, longer battery life and a sharper screen.

The wireless capability enables consumers to browse for books on the go via their eReaders with one touch of the “Shop” button, the company says. The addition of Wi-Fi also means consumers can receive wireless deliveries of popular newspapers and magazines directly to their eReaders.

The Kobo Wireless eReader will be available for $139.99 (US) at Kobobooks.com, and will be available for purchase at Borders stores in the U.S., Indigo Books & Music Inc., No. 161 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide,  and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 6, in Canada. Online pre-orders began this week with the eReader scheduled to ship in October. The eReader also is now available in three colors.

After adding more than 200,000 books in six months, the Kobo  store now claims more than 2.2 million books including new releases and bestsellers, classics, and thousands of free books, the company says. Consumers can read the books on any device, including iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, PC and Mac, and on devices running the Linux operating system.

In addition to wireless connectivity, the new eReader features a faster processor that speeds up page turns by more than 2.5 times, a sharper six-inch screen enabling reading in bright sunlight and longer-lasting batteries that run up to 10,000 page turns on a single charge, with the wireless turned off, the company says.

Earlier this week Kobo announced plans for its eReader application to be preloaded on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer, made by Research In Motion, giving users access to Kobo’s digital bookstore.

The BlackBerry PlayBook has a seven-inch LCD display and runs on the new BlackBerry Tablet OS operating system, which includes a WebKit browser engine endorsed by Kobo and used across its applications to deliver eReading applications, Kobo says.

Kobo is financially backed by Indigo Books & Music, Borders Group, No. 194 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, REDgroup Retail and Cheung Kong Holdings.


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