The Kobo brand, perhaps best known as the one that was tied to the now-defunct retailer Borders, is looking to grab some new attention for the holiday season. The little e-reader that could will welcome a new addition to the Kobo family, the Kobo Touch with Offers. Just like the Amazon Kindle product with the same business model, this version of the Kobo will reduce the up-front price in favor of permanent ads that appear while the reader is using it.
Kobo describes the presence of ads as saying "sponsored screens and valuable offers" will show up in "discreet places that are always outside of the reading experience, like on the bottom of your home screen," and when the gadget is in sleep mode.
Aside from the advertisements, there's nothing different from this product than the company's regular Kobo Touch, which launched earlier this year to a tepid reception.
The device offers a 6-inch e-ink display, 1 GB of internal memory, and access to the Kobo e-book store, which has around 2.2 million titles to offer.
This holiday season, the two e-reader titans Amazon and Barnes & Noble appear more focused on full-color tablets than their dedicated digital book products. As such, Kobo is the only one offering a new dedicated e-reading device.
But it's likely not going to be enough to drum up any serious attention for the all important shopping season. Kobo was tied to Borders, which helped give it a push especially since it was the cheapest e-reader on the market when it first launched. But as Borders went out of business and both Kindle and Nook prices drastically fell down, there is little room for a Kobo in this two-way e-reader race.