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Kobo Touch – a touch too crappy…

Posted Dec 06 2011 7:30am

Last week I bought a Kobo Touch ereader. Nothing wrong with my Kindle – I’m very happy with it – but it does lock me into Amazon.

I also bought a leather (ha!) case for it.

The Kobo’s native memory has 24MB available for books (with 4 loaded, plus the manual in half a dozen languages – got to delete those), and books average about half to three-quarters of a MB each, more if they’re illustrated), but it’s expandable via a MicroSD card, so I bunged in a new 4GB one (NB: the card doesn’t need formatting for use with the Kobo – but I might format it on my PC, reload the books, and see if that helps – I can’t see it, but you never know).

The thing works OK in native memory, but from the MicroSD card barely at all.** I can read maybe half a dozen pages then it flips back to the Home page by itself. This is known, technically, as no bloody use whatsoever.

**It doesn’t load the books into memory from the card, it reads directly from it.

The so-called leather case actually stinks of urea, and a poke around showed that it’s fabric-backed – it’s clearly polyurethane . The Kobo logo is moulded into the front cover. Had it really been leather, it would have been burned in or stamped, which looks very different. The case also obstructs the on-off switch, which is singularly bloody stupid.

So I wrote to Kobo (customer support, as you’ll see, is abysmal):-

I took delivery of my Kobo Touch last week, but it won’t read from a MicroSD card. Well, OK, it will, briefly, for a few pages, then the screen freezes and it flips back to the Home page.

Any ideas, or do I need to send it back? (Difficult, I’m housebound, so if there’s a fix, please let me know.)

And by the way, the “leather” case is polyurethane – the fabric backing and the stink of urea give the game away.

And this is their reply:-

Hi Ronald,

Thank you for contacting Kobo.We apologize for the delay in responding to your email.

The Kobo eReader Touch supports most micro-SD cards up to 32 GB in size. We suggest that you ensure that your device fits this requirement.

We hope this helps to resolve your issue.

Well no, it bloody doesn’t – it addresses neither issue. Who in their right mind would use a MicroSD card of more than 32GB to store book files? It’s not exactly a cost-effective solution unless your name is Project Gutenberg.

So, more than a trifle irked – I’ve had my fill of idiots this past few days – I wrote back:-

I would thank you for your reply, but as it’s utterly useless there seems little point.

I told you the device would not read from the MicroSD card. Your comment dodges the issue, especially as it’s a 4GB card.

I also pointed out that the case – sold as leather – is, pretty damn obviously, plastic, which you chose to ignore.

So, here’s how it’s going to go. The reader I shall return to the retailer – if I can’t expand the memory it’s useless.

The clearly fake “leather” case is going directly to Trading Standards. Have a nice day in court, and processing the no doubt thousands of refunds.

Regards,

Ron Graves.

And there, for now, the matter rests. In actual fact, I have no idea how I’m going to return the buggerdly thing, or even send the case to Trading Standards, as I’m mostly housebound and, even were I not, there’d be no way I could spend half an hour standing in a pre-Christmas Post Office queue (it’s not wheelchair- accessible, or I’d go in my powerchair).

Hopefully I can hound Kobo into sending me a pre-paid, insured envelope for the Kobe which, I have to say, works reasonably well except for the MicroSD fubar.

I have to say though, in all honesty, touch screen or no, Kobo simply can’t hold a candle to the Kindle, which is dominating the ereader market, and rightly so.


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