My Kobo Forma arrived tonight.

I signed into the Multnomah County Library on the Kobo via Overdrive and instantly disliked the interface: No way to filter on availability, slow, no way to browse anything other than curated collections (e.g. Star Wars novelizations, cookbooks, “what’s new”). So I grabbed my phone and opened Libby—which has awesome search and availability filtering—checked out an ebook from the library, picked up the Kobo and synced it, and there was my book. It’s as smooth as a Kindle, which is all I wanted: a small step away from Amazon, and a low friction way to use my public library more.

  • The Forma feels lighter and thinner than my (dying) Kindle Voyage, the display lighting is better (it takes on a yellowish hue as the evening progresses, so better for sleep), the screen is bigger, and there are physical page buttons.

  • It treats library searches as first-class citizens alongside the Kobo store. If the book you searched on is in your library, it’s as easy to check out as it is to buy.

  • It syncs with Pocket.

  • When it sleeps, it shows you the cover of the book you’re reading.

  • It syncs with Dropbox, so as I liberate Kindle books, there they’ll be.

Bottom line after 10 minutes: It’s a device that wants to give me a good experience without being as low-grade hostile or cranky as a Kindle when it comes to non-Amazon content. Now to figure out what I don’t like about it. 😀