Too Bad Kobo Never Released a Kobo Mini 2

Kobo Mini

When you look at Kobo’s current lineup of ebook readers, it feels like there’s something missing at the lower end of the price scale.

They used to offer the Kobo Touch 2.0 for $89, which was very similar to the current $79 Kindle (both have the same low-end 167 ppi E Ink Pearl screen with no frontlight), but it was phased out early last year and Kobo never replaced it.

Now they’re left without a true entry-level model.

Apparently the Kobo Aura 2 is supposed to fill that role, but at $119 it’s priced more like a mid-level device.

The problem with that is it doesn’t really fit that role either because it’s a step down from other mid-level ereaders and it lacks any distinguishing features. It’s not waterproof like the higher-up models and it doesn’t have adjustable frontlight color.

At $119 it’s the same price as the Kindle Paperwhite 3 with ads, and both frequently go on sale for $99, but the big difference with the Kobo is it has a lower resolution 212 ppi E Ink screen as opposed to the 300 ppi screen on the Kindle.

Plus there’s the Nook Glowlight 3 available now for the same price as the Kobo Aura 2 and it also has a higher resolution 300 ppi screen and it adds page buttons, twice as much storage space and an adjustable frontlight.

It’s a shame Kobo never released a 2nd generation Kobo Mini with a frontlight. It would fit the sub-$100 role nicely.

Released in 2012, the Kobo Mini was pretty popular for a couple years. What made it unique was its diminutive stature and smaller 5-inch screen size. The smaller size made it convenient for on-the-go reading and it fit into a pocket easier.

The Kobo Mini sold for $79 and it sometimes went on sale for $49. Something like that would sell a lot better at Walmart than a $279 Kobo Aura One with 32GB of storage space.

Perhaps the new partnership with Walmart will spur Kobo into bringing back a competitive lower-end model. I’d be all for a Kobo Mini 2 with a frontlight.

17 Responses to “Too Bad Kobo Never Released a Kobo Mini 2”

  1. Make me remember Wexler flex one, and double screen Smartphone one with e-ink: Yota phone 2, 3, and hisense a2 and a2 pro.

  2. I miss my Kobo Glo so much! It was just right. But then I accidently leant on it one day and inspite of it being inside a leather cover, the screen got an ink bleed.

    How astonished I was to discover Kobo offered no repair even thoughI was prepared to cover all costs. Kobo also do not sell spares… a replacement screen…..a customer can purchase!.

    So I am totally off Kobo and am now looking for a replacement in another brand.

    • I hate to break it to you (pardon the pun) but no companies offer ereader repairs or replacement screens for their devices. You can buy screens on eBay but replacing them is usually more trouble than it’s worth. E Ink screens are very fragile and cannot handle impacts hardly at all. That’s part of the reason why I keep calling for more plastic-based screens like the larger models have because they’re virtually unbreakable.

    • I loved my Kobo Glo, too and recently lost it somewhere. Was bummed to find it no longer sold, but you can find them (new or refurbished) from re-sellers in various places. I’m currently waiting on a new one I bought pretty cheaply, hope it comes in the mail soon.

    • I had the same issue. Ordered a replacement screen from AliExpress for around 20$. Works like new.

  3. I remember seeing the Kobo mini and it was indeed a neat little device. I liked it. I would get one. I also had the Kobo Touch and that was great as well. But the PDF reader was really bad, and the Nook Touch handled PDFs very well, so I went with the latter. I wonder when the Kobo Aura 3 will come out. I looked at the one you mentioned but it said it had a beta web browser. I’m wondering how many years Kobo needs to make a decent one?

  4. I still carry my Kobo Mini around in my purse every day (unless I have to out at night, of course). I love it!

  5. I use my kobo Mini a lot I put a SanDisk Ultra 32GB microSDHC in it ,works great as Anne B said I can carry it very easy in my shirt pocket ,
    would love to see one come out with 300 ppi resolution and light would work better for me that a Kobo Aura One
    would buy one in a min.
    I like small readers also have a Kobo Aura with 212 ppi I use when I need a lighted screen I also use a Iphone SE with a 4 inch screen Love it!!

    Also bought both of my Kobo’s on EBay for around 30 to 40 bucks delivered 🙂

  6. I almost bought a Mini but went for a Glo instead (back in 2012?)…still using it. I still kept thinking about picking up a Mini though because the size seemed ideal for slipping in a pocket and catching up on some reading when out.

    I seem to remember that the screen wasn’t as good as the other Kobo models and that made me wait for a new version….which never arrived.

  7. I loved my Kobo Mini, and only replaced it with an Aura (the nearest in size) when I changed my commute to work, a longer one with a lot of dark in winter, so a lighted reader became a must.
    That being said, I don’t think it would sell well apart from some hardcore fans, that gap is now filled by phones for most people, so no, there won’t be a Mini 2.

    • I’m with you I love the size, and would easily buy one in a heart beat at $50. I’d also buy a 13″ e-reader if they ever hit the $250-ish price point.

      But you’re right the small e-readers never did well — mainly because of competition from phones. With large phones that have 5.5″ or larger screens, there just has never really been a market for the small e-readers.

  8. Kobo is not a bad reader but I think PocketBook Mini is much better.

  9. I miss my Kobo Mini soooooo much! Would love to have another.

  10. Every so often I check for news of an e-reader with a small e-ink screen, and when Kobo Mini 2 popped up as a suggested search on Google I got excited. Alas, it appears I am still stuck reading on my phone. The dark background/light text is not bad on my eyes, but e-ink would be so much better! I finally switched over to primarily reading ebooks, but it’s too late and nobody sells small devices anymore. 🙁

    • You can still find the Kobo Mini and Sony PRS-350 for cheap on eBay. I regretted getting rid of my PRS-350 so I bought one on eBay and have been enjoying using all summer.

  11. I had a kobo mini until it busted. I now have a Kobo Glo HD as well as the new Kindle Oasis. If Kobo were to release the mini again with a light, I guarantee that that would be my main go to device. I don’t drive and almost never carry a bag around with me. That Kobo mini I had easily fit in my pocket and THAT was the key feature for me and my lifestyle. I hope they come through.