Kobo Glo – First impressions

I scored a free Kobo Glo eBook reader through my credit card rewards program to replace my broken Sony PRS-T1.

First impressions

The bezel is huge, did not seem that big in the online reviews / YouTube comparison videos. Definitely looks and feels cheaper than the Sony, and the lack of physical buttons to turn pages is a huge minus in my book. Because of this I can’t see myself being able to read it one-handed on the Tube but time will tell.

On turning it on I had to connect the Glo up to the internet to allow it to update to the latest firmware (3.8.0) and then I was forced to create a Kobo account.  While I did not try to connect it to a PC to see if the setup would be any different that way, I find this required account connection to be very poor customer experience.  Perhaps there’s a way to skip it but if so, it wasn’t obvious.

Once setup though, the Glo is quite nice. Clear text, bright screen, responsive (for eInk) interface, and the integrated light is very nice indeed.

At home I plugged it into my PC and Calibre recognised it immediately, although, being an older version of Calibre (1.3.6, the current Debian version), it was unable to update the database on the eReader but Calibre was still able to load books onto it.  A quick update to the latest version (2.3) and all is well.

After loading part of my library onto the Glo, it spent some time processing and then showed the main screen. The default library list just shows all books. It’s possible to create collections, but apparently no series or series sorting. This is rather disappointing as I mostly read series. Having several hundred books in a huge library list is pretty painful.

In summary then:


  • Very nice screen, responsive interface
  • Integrated light
  • Instantly recognised and used by Calibre under Linux


  • Required internet connection and account creation for initial setup
  • Rather wide bezel around the screen makes it bigger than it needs to be
  • No physical buttons to turn pages
  • Library management is rudimentary at best

One Response to Kobo Glo – First impressions

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