Toronto-based Kobo has announced that the Kobo eReader will now be equipped with WiFi. Available for pre-order now and shipping in October the new Kobo eReader will cost $139 USD/$149 CAD and also boasts 2.5x faster page turning thanks to a faster processor. As a special deal to sweeten the pot, if you buy the reader through Kobobooks.com or at Chapters/Indigo (Canada) you get two free books from Random House to boot.
One of the interesting facets to the Kobo announcement is the focus on how Kobo is open and doesn’t lock you into their device or website when you buy books from them. Granted the same could be said for Sony, but Kobo even has a Sony eReader pictured on their site to highlight this. But while you can buy books from Kobo and read them on lots of different readers—From Kobo—Kindles and iBooks aren’t included. The situation with iBooks is simple, the ePub books can’t be decrypted by iBooks. Yes, the books from Kobo are DRMed by Adobe. Oh yes, you can strip the DRM from the books (legal if you are just doing it to read on another device), but that’s not really the point now is it? Actually the real point is that the Kobo reader for iPad is (I think) better than iBooks. Yeah I wish I could make notes and such in it and I think it might be a hair sluggish at times, but as far as a book reading experience, I prefer it to iBooks.
Regardless, I’m glad that Kobo updated its reader with WiFi, that’s hugely important feature for people getting and reading books on the go. You can pre-order your new Kobo reader through kobobooks.com or pick one up at Chapters/Indigo or Walmart in Canada or Borders in the US.