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Why The Rakuten Kobo Forma Is The Best eReader to Ever Exist in 2020

1Kobo Field Hands-EN

Move aside, Kindle. Here’s why the Rakuten Kobo Forma is the most superior eReader for fellow Singaporean bookworms.

Remember the simpler times before Facebook notifications, YouTube auto-play videos, and Instagram ads? Aside from traditional entertainment like TV and radio, you already know the drill. We buried our heads deep into books and the literature – before we become servants of short-form, incessant content we didn’t need ever since the dawn of social media.

2020 may be a turbulent year, but many Singaporeans has sought comfort in mind food and literature amidst the pandemic. Did you know that Singaporeans spent at least 10,409 days reading in 2020, an equivalent of 28 years? For better or worse, Singaporeans are reading more this year.


Bid goodbye to cabin fever – and say hello to the future of reading. Rakuten Kobo offers therapeutic escape during the lockdown, as reading habits evolved with a 270% increase in reading minutes due to the pandemic. Even those who hardly read are picking up new books for enrichment and self-improvement.

We are lucky to do a review of Rakuten Kobo’s bestseller – the Kobo Forma. Let’s delve into what’s so unique about the Kobo Forma.


KOBO FORMA: At First Glance


Yes, size does matter. By far the largest out of all generations of Rakuten Kobo, the 8-inch HD Carta E Ink Screen Kobo Forma is perfect for those who like to indulge in comics, graphic novels and mangas. As we so excitedly unboxed our new gadget, we were caught by a pleasant surprise to find that the Kobo Forma is extremely lightweight, weighing just 197 grams. Impressive! 


The best part? The Kobo Forma (8GB) stores up to 6,000 books. Never have a dull moment anymore because this portable gadget will follow you wherever you go. The quick start guide was fuss-free and straightforward:


  1. Connect to a Wi-Fi Network
    Kickstart your reading journey by connecting your Kobo to a stable Wi-Fi network. Browse the library with a database of 6 million eBooks, comics and kid’s titles, including New York Times bestsellers, classics, and new releases.

  2. Download eBooks Over Wi-Fi and Start Reading
    Tap the page turn buttons or swipe the sides of the screen to turn pages. Tap the centre of the screen to bring up the reading menu and Home icon.

  3. Look Up A Word
    Don’t know a word? Press and hold a word to see its definition.

  4. Add Annotations
    Press and hold on the beginning and drag your finger to the end to select a passage. Then, highlight the passage and add notes.

  5. Read At Night
    Adjust the brightness by swiping up or down along the left edge of the screen. The high-res, low-glare E Ink screen reads just like print on paper to minimise eyestrain.

  6. Sync Automatically
    Switch between devices easily without losing your spot with the synced bookmarks feature. Continue reading on any Kobo app or device with your progress synced over your Wi-Fi network.


A Closer Look of KOBO FORMA

We started with one of the top-selling books of 2020 in Singapore: ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’ by Mark Manson. The book is a page-turner by itself, and the Kobo Forma supports prolonged one-hand holding with its side panel. We blasted off into an hour of uninterrupted reading without feeling the strain of holding up the device. What’s more, the display orientation automatically rotates when you switch from portrait to landscape mode, vice versa.

Its impeccable reading usability extends to the variety of font and sizes. Curate how you want your book read from 11 fonts and over 50 sizes.

Unique to the Kobo Forma is the Dropbox integration, which allows you to add ebooks and documents from the computer and/or smartphone seamlessly with just a tap. As with all Rakuten Kobos, the built-in OverDrive allows easy access to eBooks in the National Library Board (NLB) in Singapore.

In our opinion, this surpasses all other eReader brands out there for its convenience in loaning books from the NLB. A big plus for parents who regularly bring their children to the library!


Would You Switch From Kindle to Kobo?

Needless to say, Kindle has a stronger brand presence globally than the Rakuten Kobo. We conducted an Instagram poll recently asking for advice if one should get a Kindle or Kobo. Kindle won by a landslide, with 81% of our followers voting for Kindle and the remaining 19% for Kobo. While Kindle is clearly a strong fan-favourite, here are 3 reasons why you should switch from Kindle to Kobo.

  1. Rent books from libraries with OverDrive
    Save a ton of money on books with Overdrive integration in your Kobo – the library support allows you to borrow books for free from the National Library Board! Kindle, on the other hand, predominantly only allows a user to purchase e-books off Amazon.

  2. Revamp your reading experience with smart features
    The Kobo hosts smart features to streamline your reading, placing great emphasis on the user experience. For example, you can press down on the button on the side panel to scrub through an eBook, whereas the Kindle only allows you to open a multi-page view. 

  3. Kobo supports e-books in EPUB format
    Kindle users are oftentimes limited to e-books available on Amazon. Kobo, on the other hand, allows you to drag and drop e-books in EPUB formats into your device directly, or sync them with Dropbox.

Know a friend who owns a Kindle? The most common complaint is the advertisements that appear in screensaver mode. That’s not a problem for the Kobo – all you benefit the most is from Rakuten Kobo’s extensive catalogue. 

Kickstart your reading journey with Kobo Forma now, available at kobo.com, as well as kt key retailers such as Challenger, Courts, and Sprint-cass at SGD399.90.

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Katherine Sng

Katherine Sng

I am a single mother living in Singapore. I am an advocate of living a healthy lifestyle through exercise; eating right; keeping a positive and youthful outlook of life; and, to live vicariously while you can. When not spending time watching Bubba grow, I am catching up on the latest news and entertainment gossip. I strongly believe that empowerment is possible for anyone, as long as they believe in themselves and the people around them.


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