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Kobo eReaders get Wi-Fi

The ereader market continues to heat up as we approach the end-of-year holiday season, with Kobo announced a new wireless edition of its Kobo eReader. The new units are available in three colors (black, silver, and lilac) and sport a sharper screen, improved battery life and performance, and integrated Wi-Fi that enables users to shop from more than 2.2 million titles just by touching a “Shop” button—users can also receive wireless delivery of newspapers.

“We introduced the Kobo eReader to make ereading more affordable and accessible for consumers. It worked, making the Kobo eReader a bestseller, and the industry followed,” said Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis, in a statement. “The market for ereading continues to grow at an unparalleled pace, and Kobo is advancing even faster.”

The Kobo eReader sports a 6-inch EInk display that supports 16 levels of greyscale, an SD card slot for removable storage (Kobo says that’s enough to handle about 8,000 ebooks), and a battery the should keep its charge for up to 2 weeks or through 10,000 page loads. As with the previous model, the Kobo eReader uses a D-pad controller for navigation, supports ePub and PDF documents, and has a unique quilted back for comfortable reading.

The new Kobo eReaders are priced at $139.99, and will be available from as well as retailers like Borders (in the U.S.) and Indigo Books & Music, and Wal-Mart in Canada. Online orders are available today, with units expected to start shipping in October—the units ship with 100 free “literary masterpieces” pre-installed, and customers who pre-order will be eligible for two free eBooks from Random House of Canada. In the U.S., Kobo readers debuted at $150; the original models are now selling for $129.

Kobo has recently announced updates to its Kobo reader apps for iPhone and Android, as well as what it terms the “first social reading application” for BlackBerry—the Kobo reader app will also come pre-installed on Samsung Galaxy Android-based smartphones.

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