Rakuten expands E-reader offerings with new $100 Nia

Rakuten E-reader

While you may think of Rakuten as an online marketplace filled with great deals, like we do, they’ve also made steady in-roads to other areas of consumer technology in recent years. One such area of interest has been its Kobo line of E-readers. Today, Rakuten is expanding its already affordable lineup with the new Kobo Nia, a refreshed version of its on-the-go E-reader, which hopes to take on Amazon’s Kindle products. A $100 price tag is sure to raise some eyebrows, but the expansive offerings of titles make it a worthwhile alternative, particularly if you’re interested in leaving Amazon’s ecosystem. Hit the jump for full details on today’s announcement along with release info and more.

Rakuten expands its E-reader offerings

The addition of the Kobo Nia brings Rakuten’s stable of E-readers to four, offering various price points for all budgets. Nia will settle in at $100, which notably makes it $10 more than Amazon’s entry-level Kindle, but $30 less than the higher-end Paperwhite. However, a number of differences in specs help set the table on the benefits of each model.

Notable specs include a 6-inch display with a 1024 x 758 resolution, which of course, offers E-ink styling and something Rakuten calls Kobo ComfortLight front lighting. While it is $10 more than the baseline Kindle offering, it comes in with a denser resolution display at 212 ppi as compared to 167 ppi.

Nia comes in at 172-grams with 8GB worth of onboard storage, which can be filled officially and side-loaded with various titles. The internal 1000mAh battery promises to run for “weeks on end”, according to Rakuten.

Here’s a look at additional specifications:

  • Display: 6-inch 212 PPI Carta E Ink display, 1024 × 758 resolution
  • Customization: TypeGenius – 12 different fonts and over 50 font styles
  • Supported formats: EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR
  • Languages: English, French, French (Canada), German, Spanish, Spanish (Mexico), Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Turkish, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese

Rakuten now offers four different E-readers, including the $120 Clara HD, which offers a 300 ppi display that is meant to compare with Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. There are also water-resistant models with additional features at $170 and $250.

Rakuten is making the new entry-level Nia model available today at $100. Various accessories are also on sale today at launch.

9to5Toys’ Take:

There’s no denying that Amazon’s Kindle lineup reigns supreme in this category. But for those looking to escape to a more open-source platform, Rakuten certainly has plenty to offer. It would be nice, however, if they met Amazon’s $90 price tag on the entry-level model.

FTC: 9to5Toys is reader supported, we may earn income on affiliate links

Subscribe to the 9to5Toys YouTube Channel for all of the latest videos, reviews, and more!

Load more...
Show More Comments