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Kobo (and the Inconsistent) Touch (screen)

October 11th, 2011 by · 103 Comments · hardware reviews

I was planning to write a review of the Kobo Touch this week but unfortunately I have encountered a hardware problem.

Over this past weekend I set a new goal for myself. I took all my ereaders out of  storage and stacked up all the ones that I had never written a review for. I plan to use each one for a week and then write a review on the weekend.

By popular request on Twitter, I set out to review the Kobo Touch first. Unfortunately, the review is going to have to go on hold until I get my unit downgraded to an older firmware or I get it replaced.

I don’t know if I am the only one who has encountered this, but I cannot get the touchscreen to respond consistently (with firmware 1.9.11). My Kobo Touch seems to only recognize very specific screen taps and ignores the rest. I often have to tap the screen 3 and 4 times before it deigns to turn the page. This is a problem, because I’m used to devices that let me touch the screen however I want and have it respond.

Normally I might tough it out, but I posted my problem over on MobileRead. Within a couple hours I got this response:

My experience is that I have the most consistent turns when I tap right down into the bottom right corner of the screen. Not sure why that is, but it’s where works best for me to tap ergonomically speaking anyway so it works well for me.

Yeah, that’s not good. The device is supposed to support the user, not force the user to adapt to its quirks. No, wait, if his experience is that extreme then I wouldn’t call this a quirk; this sounds like a major flaw with the Kobo Touch.

If I had to guess, I would say that this is likely a software issue. That’s what the second comment posted over at MobileRead suggests. But I’m not sure, frankly; a sample size of 3 isn’t enough to diagnose the problem. All I can say now is that there is a problem, and that it has rendered my Kobo Touch unusable.

I hesitated to post this complaint, given that I posted someone’s open letter to Kobo Sunday night.  But eventually I decided that the Kobo Touch is a premium ereader, and the public needs to know what they’re getting into when they one.

I hadn’t realized when I first read the letter quite what nesler meant when he said he wouldn’t recommend the Kobo Touch; given the issues I have had I wouldn’t recommend it either.

P.S. If you’ve had issues with the touchscreen or you know how to fix it, please leave a comment.

P.P.S. I’m going to finish out the week on the iriver Story HD, and post that review this weekend.

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103 Comments so far ↓

  • Laura Hazard Owen

    I have the same problem with my Kobo Touch. I have not found a CONSISTENT way to tap to make the touchscreen work. I usually have to tap a couple of times.

    • Laura-Bowmanville

      I have just spent the most frustrating two hours of my life trying to reset my Kobo Touch to its factory settings so I can again!!! (fifth time since December)reinstall the set up program!!!My reader has decided it doesn’t want to connect to the computer and the screen is non responsive. Thank goodness I transferred all my books to backup!!Looks like i’m going shopping for a new ereader-certainly won’t be another Kobo!!

      • Marilyn

        I used my Kobo successfully for a year and now am having tons of issues. It won’t connect to my computer. I’ve used factory settings on more than one occasion. Now the screen is frozen. I’m going to buy an IPAD and use it instead!

    • Beth Gray

      Just wait until the touch screen stops working altogether. Mine was temperamental too, but I thought it was ‘just me’. Now it doesn’t work at all – my local WHSmith refuses to take responsibility, as does Kobo. Less than a year old and I have had great difficultity in getting a repair / replacement / refund!!

  • Ted

    At times when I tap to go forward a page, it doesn’t work. I tap it again and it goes forward 2pages. Also it was powering on by itself. I now have it set in airplane mode and to power off after 15 minutes. Otherwise I like the device.

  • Richard Adin

    I had been thinking about buying the Kobo Touch but too many problems are being reported. As my 1-year-old Sony 950 (and even my 4-year-old Sony 505) still works perfectly, I think I’ll hold off on the Kobo.

  • Mikaela

    I planned to get a Kobo next year , but I wont. I can accept that a new device is buggy, but what I cannot accept is that if they fix one issue, another one occur.
    No, I’ll hang on to my PRS 505 for another year or so, and then get the new Cybook Odessey or Sony PRS T1. ( Which is also quite buggy at the moment. Hopefully those bugs will sorted out by then)

  • Alexander Inglis

    I must have gotten lucky. While I have occasionally encountered the slow page turn, I have read 16 books so far which I gather must be in excess of 30,000 page turns and have run into this page turn problem only a handful of times. I don’t think this is a case of “forcing the user” to tap in a particular way. I read primarily kepub books from Kobo, with a smattering of epubs sourced from other bookstores or PD material such as found at Mobileread.

  • cutterjohn

    I too have had problems with the feedback from the Kobo Touch’s screen. At first I thought that it might have something to do with the sleep function, but now I’m thinking that it has more to do with how long the deviee has been awake and “functional”.

    I’ve had these problems EVER since I bought the thing, wich was early July and whatever fw that was and EVERY one since, so no, downgrading your fw ain’t gonna fix it…

    I’m personally beginning to think that Kobo is yet another shell company whose only interest is foisting off device after device year after year as their primary “business” model, which is sad.

    And to the lady who mentioned specifically double taps -> two page advances, yep I’ve experienced those, although sometimes the double taps equal a single page turn, it’s so irritatitngly erratic that had the Kindle Touch been available I’d’ve bought that last spring and flipped the bird to B&N & Kobo…

    Whomever owns Kobo just doesn’t seem to get it, which would be the crux of a review that I would personally write. (I own their WiFi and Touch, buying the WiFi because it was cheap at the time, but nowhere close to as nice as my Sony PRS505, and the Touch, well nice, when it freaking works…)

  • Anonymous

    The software is so lame. The people are very frustrated with it. Every new update is worse than the previous one.

  • Luqman

    I wouldn’t say that Anonymous. I like the search in book function that was added in the last update (as well as the share to facebook feature). Of course, it should have SHIPPED with that function enabled, but oh wells.

  • the rodent

    I was livid when 1.9.11 came out. Unusable! But just saw that 1.9.12 has come out. Seems to fix all of the issues I had with the unusable 1.9.11, so… Better than before anyway. I wish they didn’t keep breaking basic functions when they try to update!

  • doug

    So frustrate with this touch model now.
    It worked well in the beginning. With each upgrade it gets slower and less responsive. Not impressed.

    and the web browser: junk from the beginning. But I didn’t buy it for that so I’m not too disappointed with the browser. :-)

  • Sockie

    I loved my Kobo until the .11 update. That “update” deleted most of my Reading Life stats and the latest “update” has not fixed the problem. I dislike being told that “it must be you, we haven’t encountered this is our beta testing” when there are others who have a similar issue. If Kobo is denying there is a problem, then it’s obvious to me they won’t look for a solution. They won’t offer downgraded firmware versions so I can roll back to .10.

    I’ve had the reader since mid August 2011, and for half of that time I reverted back to real books. Save your cash, buy real books.

  • Dflight

    Had an issue where I was reading an epub of dubious pedigree and was demonstrating the features of the reader (including how to download ebooks) to a relative. I got an automatic firmware update to 1.9.12 and had a problem where every 3-7 page advances would set a bookmark and take me to my home screen. Did a factory reset and took it back to 1.9.9. Is there a less drastic way to revert firmware?

  • Kobo Touch Now Comes With Ads – $99 - The Digital Reader

    [...] be shipping a new Kobo Touch in the next few weeks. It’s the same Kobo Touch hardware that I’ve been having issues with, only this one costs $30 less. It looks like Toronto decided to follow the old maxim: If you can;t [...]

    • Harleen

      Same problem here. their help desk just says to re-set to factory setting every time or tell me that maybe the battery is too low when it happens, but I do know that it happens even when the battery is at 40%. Very frustrating, as it has happened twice in one day at one point. So I definitely will not recommend this to anyone.

  • UK touchscreen issue

    Same issues with touchscreen not being responsive on the odd occasion but just enough of the time to be slightly annoying. Bought it brand new the other day and considering returning it. I’ve found swiping is more reliable but even then it’s as if sometimes it just freezes then flips forward 2 pages or not at all. Other than that no problem with it but after spending the extra money for the touchscreen I really expected it to work properly.

  • Dead Companions

    I’ve had the Kobo Touch for a week, and the bugginess of the sensitivity of the screen when simply page turning is irksome. Sometimes it’s fine, and other times it’s insensitive – in my case, it’s particularly in the lower part of the screen. Interesting to find this thread, as I was considering getting my Kobo replaced for another, imagining it was a problem limited to a defective unit. I THINK restarting the Kobo helps; but this, of course, is unacceptable. Do you think that this is something that is fixable via firmware upgrade? Kreaen (UK).

  • Nadia

    I just got my Kobo touch and although it worked well in the beginning, the top left doesn’t respond to anything. Neither does the middle section of the ereader, which is very frustrating. I thought it was perhaps because I had put a screen protector on it, which might have messed with the sensitivity, but I don’t think I had a problem with it before the screen protector.

  • Ken

    I am having a similar problem, it’s difficult to turn pages, sometimes it works, sometimes not. Is there a fix for this?

  • Tim

    The problem I’m having is the touch input just stops working. It seems pretty random but accessing the search function in the store menu stops it almost every time. Home button and power button still work and it takes a power cycle to get touch working again.

    • Craigger

      This is the EXACT problem we’re having. After awhile it stops responding to page turns. The home button works but after returning to the home page you then cannot tap on anything until you restart (must shut down, going to standby is not sufficient). It is only two weeks old :-(

      • Anonymous

        I had the exact same problem. The problem only started happening when I forgot to eject my Kobo Touch once. So I reset it and it started working again. Again, I accidentally unplugged my Kobo without ejecting it and the problem appeared again. This does not include the page turn issue, just the complete touch screen freeze issue. I do still have the page turn issue. I want a new firmware update to fix it!!!

    • Blaze

      The exact same thing is happening to me over the past 3 days and it seems to be getting worse. I have had no problems except for 1 frozen screen before. My Kobo is just over 1 year which is bad becuase the warranty expired like 15 days or so ago. did you ever fix this problem?

  • Ivar

    I’m having the same problem with the unresponsive touchscreen of the Kobo Touch. Haven’t found a solution yet.

  • Mx

    Same issue Here! Just got one for Christmas as a present from my lil brother. Brought it with me back to China but regretting my choice a bit. I did find that the problem gets worse when teh unit has been on for a long time.

  • MGL

    I have the same problem: Maybe 15-20% of page turn taps are unresponsive. The problem comes and goes: Several page turns work fine, but then it takes three or four taps to get a response. On my Kobo Touch, the location doesn’t seem to matter: I’ve had it be unresponsive high and low, left and right.

    I’m thinking of returning it for exchange, to see if my luck improves with a different unit.

  • morgan

    The touch screen is extremely frustrating! I found it was worse when I was in an airplane/dry areas. For awhile, wetting my thumb with water helped but what a mess, the only reason I wanted it was to make traveling with books easier. This is not easier.

  • MGL

    Actually, I found the touchscreen improved markedly after I powered down the Kobo for the first time and rebooted. I haven’t really had any touchscreen issues since then–the odd missed tap, but nothing like my initial experiences.

  • David Scrimshaw

    I got a Kobo Touch for Christmas, but gave up on it today because of the constant freezing and returned it to the Staples where my wife bought it.

    The tech guy who has one himself gave us no hope that another unit would perform any better.

    Later this week, we’ll be returning the unit we bought my mother.

  • jeff

    Yes, I got a Kobo Touch for Xmas and have re-named it Kobo Thump as it turns pages only when I commit Kobo Abuse on it, doesn’t swipe at all. Tries all the resets. I don’t use it now as reading is such an unpleasant experience with it.

  • Bree

    First time, I brought the Kobo Touch home, connected to the web and installed the software etc. Screen touch response was very inconsistent. I tried to contact the tech at Coles to confirm that it might be a firmware problem and that I’d like to try rolling back. No reply. So I brought the thing back within two weeks and said it’s defective. I brought the new one home, loaded some epubs and it works much better.
    The firmware version is 1.9.9 (r307773, July 28, 2011)

    Also, now there is no nag ‘suggestion’ books and no shortlist which is fine for me. There are four book covers shown on the home page. What more do you need? I don’t like proprietary anything, I don’t like turning on an electronic device and seeing products there that I have nothing to do with. It’s weird, so I’m much happier now. I can find my own ‘suggestions’. Good luck to everyone. This is a good unit, just find the right version of firmware and downgrade. I’m looking for a standalone copy of 1.9.9 on the web. If I find it, I’ll post a link. Cheers.

  • Robert

    I’m having the same problem as many people here- inconsistent page turns. I’ve read at least 10 books and it’s happened throughout. I’m getting to the point where I just want to get rid of this piece of junk and get a Kindle.

  • deon

    I cannot get the kobo to operate anywhere near usable it,s like they don,t want me to read , it,s difficult to get into library as you keep trying to get the screen to respond the menu goes away and you get one if the books on the splash screen you don’t want why can’t it show the books you are reading , or at least last open before going to sleep

    The touch sucks either you are using too many CPU cycles doing things it can’t respond to the touch screen or the touch screen is a bad design

    • CC

      I am new to Kobo Touch. I rarely have the problems others are describing. Some of the time I do get or don’t get the responses I want from the touchscreen but that may me due to my inconsistent touches. I love the larger font sizes because of my limited eyesight and like the way it feels in one hand (arthritis, too) better than the nook and Kindle e-inks I tried. Because of the pluses, I can live with a little imperfection. Perhaps I got lucky with a better unit than some of the earlier posters. I appreciate reading others’ perspectives and this blog. So far I love mine…sort of like loving your friend even if there are a few quirks you know about. Good luck to all.

  • mike

    I am the happy owner of Kobo touch, no issues whatsoever, since beginning of last year.

    Bought a second one for my kid few weeks ago, again no issues and the kid loves it.

    Mike

  • Dave

    Bought a Kobo Touch for my wife for Christmas. At first it seemed ok but then it started becoming non-responsive for page turns. Sometimes it seemed to work ok but other times it didn’t. The last straw was that over the last two days it wouldn’t hold a charge – the last charge only lasted for 5 pages of reading. Took it back to Staples this morning and got another one. We’ll see how that one works.

  • d:/

    I have one of the first Kobos because I am a fan of the Epub platform and I’m able to download books from my local library as well as create my own using Calibre. I recently bought my daughter a Vox and she is enjoying it as much as I enjoy my original Kobo (probably more because she can watch Netflicks on it as well ;)

  • Steve

    I also suffer from the unresponsive touch problem but I don’t think it is anything to do with the way I’m touching the screen. A couple of things I noticed is that when it becomes unresponsive I need to touch the screen, then wait 10 seconds, then touch it again. However if I touch the screen immediately after a page turn the next time I touch the screen it turns straight away. The other thing I noticed is that sometimes when I’m tapping the screen to get it to turn the page, it changes so that I can highlight a word and do a dictionary look up on it. I notice that when I touch the cross to leave that screen, it highlights the cross, turning it dark straight away, but doesn’t do anything for ten seconds. This to me seems that it registers my touch straight away but can’t process the command because it is too busy. I also noticed that the problems normally start if I go back a page.

  • Steve

    Sorry I also meant to say I’m on firmware 1.9.16

  • Deon

    I find the kobo touch to be quite useless, you try to select a book from the home page it highlights the book flashes but doesnt do anything , double taps dont help , you can select the menu but you cannot select anything from te menu , resets dont help , it’s crap.

    it’s like the cpu is too busy to do anything, if this was a computer i would suggest it had a viris or was runnign some stupid sql database with no indexes, the kobo is shite

  • Deon

    Bought a new kobo and it now works as advertised. so I took apart my old kobo , I had it less than 30 days, and found the cause of the ‘faultyness’ a cracked screen backing.

    so now i know the reason for unresponsiveness of the old kobo touch.

  • pwndora

    Unfortunately the Kobo Touch is really buggy :( I already have my second device after I sent the first device back. The first device had a screen problem. I had lines and stuff on the screen which wouldn’t disappear. Now I got the second one. I bought an ebook and I can’t use the “search in book” function. The device doesn’t react and is really slow and buggy. I don’t even dare to open that ebook because the result is that the Kobo Touch starts hanging. Really disappointed. The first device was great, with a good sensitivity. But the screen sucked. Now that… I think about sending it back or giving a third device a try. And then write an review :D Let’s see. I am just glad, I bought the device from a trusted shop and not directly from Kobo because I have to admit, I don’t trust Kobo and their service at all. And: The Kobo company has been sold. Poor buyer :D

    The design of the Kobo Touch (I mean the device itself and the functions) is GREAT. But it doesn’t function properly. Sad.

  • Greg

    I received one for my birthday recently and after experiencing problems, stumbled across this site while researching the issue. Others appeared to have the same issues as me regarding poor touch response. …page turning backwards, multiple taps etc. I contacted the Kobo help desk and they were fantastic…apologising for delayed reponses which I put down to merely being on the other side of the world. After several exchanges, I took some phone video of me trying to use the device (there’s an idea for you) and mailed it to them. Their response was I return the unit to the store for a replacement. The guy there had to check the unit was indeed faulty, which didn’t take long as he couldn’t get past ‘set language’
    Happily, the replacement unit works perfectly!
    My advice, then is rather than persist with a ‘buggy’ unit (may be a batch fault?) get on to the help desk, return the unit if need be and test the replacement before leaving the store.

  • Alan

    My reader was gifted in December and I have read 18 books since, with much touch sensitivity frustration. After a while, touches no longer turn the page, so light taps are required. After a few more pages, a fairly hefty swipe along the bottom of the page is needed. Eventually, all of these fail and the machine freezes. Only shutting off the Kobo and then re-starting it will enable one to rejoin the book where one left off. leo, any touch close to the bottom of the page brings up the menu overlay. I think I’ll be taking it back to the store. Any alternative suggestions out there?

  • Dave

    I think the Kobo Touch is great, except for the screen responsiveness which is inconsistent (as everyone else says). Today I accidentally highlighted a word and that was it for the touch screen – stopped working altogether. I had to turn it off and on again. Since then page turns are working really well. I’m sure this will be fixed in a firmware update so I’m sitting tight. I’m half way through my third book and the page turn thing has happened around half a dozen times.

  • Molly Nixon North Bay, Ontario, Canada

    Doesn’t ANYONE have a problem turning the Kobo Touch off or on? Mine is brand new and it takes multi tries to power on or off! I have followed the direction precisely..but to no avail. Otherwise, I can live with having to swipe more than once from time to time..but NOT this off and on business!

  • dwayne

    I luv my kobo, the touch problem i had at first but i find it is more of a timing issue. practice with quick taps, or maybe leave your finger for a second. I think the double page turning is someone not waiting long enough for the first page to turn. If you dont like the black flash when turning pages, set the page refresh for every sixth page. I use the smallest font and smallest line spacing i can and dont find any problems reading on a page that is not refreshed. I have recommended the touch to family and friends and have not had problems.

  • Kavin

    My kobo touch suddenly stop responding to any touch commands. I can turn the device on and off, or set it to sleep. Eventually, i read up on how to do a factory reset.

    Move the power latch and hold for 15 seconds
    hold the home button, and turn on the device.

    Naturally, all the information is lost. But i had back up copies of the books i was reading, and it was actually refreshing to do a clean up of the eBook, as it was getting cluttered.

    I had setup the Kobo wireless feature, and i wonder if it downloaded/installed a new update in the background. and froze.

  • jp

    Same for me. I usually change pages with a swipe. After a while it stops responding to touch. The home button still works so the device didn’t crash. Firmware 1.9.16

  • Jean

    I received my Kobo Touch as a gift this Christmas. Setup was easy and I’ve completed 4 books and I’m 51% through my 5th book.

    Right from the start I thought the touch screen was finicky. Since this is the only eReader I have used I just thought it “normal”. I know a couple of people who use the Kindle Touch but neither have had problems with the touch screen. Yes, I found it a little bothersome at times to have to
    - touch the screen several times to get a page to turn
    - go to turn the page and it would highlight a word
    - touch to turn a page, no response, touch again and it would advance 2 pages

    I did read some reviews stating the Kobo screen was inconsistent but since these were just minor irritations it never occurred to me to do anything about it.

    One other thing that has happened several times, that I suppose should have been a real indication there were problems with the reader, is that when turning the reader ON from a Power Off mode, it would put me through the original setup screens and want me to connect to the computer. I’d just press the Home button a few times and I’d get back to reading my book.

    SO…..Last night, same as I do every night, I picked up my reader, slid the power button over to Power On and released it when it started to power up. As normal, it brought me to the home screen. The screen would not respond to ANY touch, tap, double tap or swipe anywhere on the screen. I tried Powering Off and On again (several times) and put it in sleep mode and woke it up again. Neither helped, the screen was completely unresponsive to touch.

    So, I thought, hook it up to the computer. Maybe doing that will trigger something and unfreeze the screen. I attached the reader to my computer and was prompted to Cancel or Connect. Neither of which I could do since the screen was frozen.

    I then thought, OK, S*** happens with electronic devices, there is a reset hole on the back of the reader, I’ll reset it, that should work. First of all, I had a heck of a time finding something small enough to fit in the hole. I tried a toothpick, too big, a paper clip, too big, the only thing I could find small enough was a VERY thin sewing needle. I pressed it in the hole and could feel the reset pressing but nothing happened. At that I went on to Kobo.com to get the contact info for help.

    First thing I did was call the Kobo Help Line 1-855-732-3662. I got as far as the 2nd or 3rd automated menu and that is as far as it would let me go. No matter what option I chose, the options would just keep repeating. TOTALLY USELESS.

    I then called the only other number, 1-800-368-5390 the Kobo eReader setup Support Line and got a live person. I explained trying to call the Help Line, he said he could help. So, I explained my problem and what I had done so far. Here I am expecting some support, you know, press this, hold this, do this and the Kobo will reset and all will be well. But NO. All I got was “You’ll have to send it in to be repaired”.

    As you can imagine, I was not too pleased with that. I asked how long before I’d get it back. He said approximately 2 weeks. I wasn’t happy, thought there should be some other solution besides me having to wait 2 weeks or more before I could continue reading the book I’m half way through but said OK, tell me what I need to do to send it in for repair.

    To that he said I will receive an email from Technical Support within the next couple of days telling me how to return it. REALLY! I have to wait for Tech Support to email me. I’ve had 2 other dealings with Tech Support via email and through that experience I know it can take up to a week for Tech Support to email you.

    I asked for the name and number of someone in Customer Support I could talk to as I’d like state how un happy I am with their solution. He replied with “you’re talking to customer support”.

    I have since done a lot of online searching (had to do something because I certainly couldn’t sleep after all that). I notice many people having the same or similar issues with their Kobo Touch. Through that searching and trying many different things I did manage to get my reader to do a factory reset. After all the updating and reloading of books etc, the screen is still completely unresponsive. I tried to do another Factory Reset but have been unable to do it.

    So, to sum up. I will return my Kobo for repair and wait for them to return it. Once returned I will finish the book I am reading and the other 3 waiting to be read. With the hopes that it continues to work long enough for me to do that. Once I have finished reading those books my Kobo Touch will be going in the garbage and I will be buying the Kindle Touch.

    My advice to anyone with similar problems is to do the same.

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  • JohnO

    I’ve had a similar experience, unresponsive and erratic touch screen, reset that didn’t do anything etc etc. It’s getting worse & worse – hasn’t become totally unresponsive yet but that can’t be far away judging by comments here
    Have been exchanging email with customer support and have now been elevated to Tier 2 Tech support whatever that is.
    This was a Christmas gift and it’ll be hard to tell my son it’s a dog!

  • michele

    same issue with both my sister and i; our kobo’s have not tapped well from get go, and I tried getting another one, same issue right off the hop. tap it and it jumps forward two, three pages, or maybe it will jump back a page, or just sits there and won’t move at all. Sweeping seems to be better, but even sweeping on the first Kobo I had didn’t work after a while. Seems like they work well for about 15 minutes, then the tapping issue starts up, doesn’t matter if its low battery or just newly charged, same issues. very irritating. Don’t realize how quickly and automatically you’d been turning pages on a book, and how your reading flow just carries on, until you get a Kobo and the freaking page won’t turn–aarrgghh!

  • candy

    I hate the kobo i can turn it on and off and if i click the home button it does nothing the touch screen does nothing!

  • Gwendolyn

    My nephew gave me my Kobo touch for Christmas. He thought he was doing a good deed because I had been obcessing about it for months. I cannot tell him that this is the worst experience I have ever had with any electronic device …..ever! If my hands are cold the touch screen doesn’t work until I turn the thing off and warm up my hands. To turn pages I have had to “touch” the screen so hard I have split my nails! Downloading books from anywhere but the Kobo bookstore is a nightmare! The books show on the computer directory as being on the device, the library on the device does not show the book!!!! Grrrrr! I feel like this thing has raised my BP to new heights! What a useless piece of junk! I contacted Kobo support and a couple of days later got a snotty email that did not address any of my problems but wanted information to verify that I actually owned this thing. By that time I had restored the factory defaults and wasted time reloading books again and again and again. I hate this thing. The only reason I keep trying to get it to work properly is because I hate to give up when my nephew (a college student) spent his hard earned cash on it to make me happy! The ought to be an enforceable law to make manufacturers of electronic devices be honest about the flaws.

  • Tyler

    I had to exchange my Kobo for a defect in the screen and their customer service was so horrible that it was easier to buy one from Target, switch them, and return the defective one back to them.

  • Aly

    When I read this review, I was shocked. I’ve never had any kind of problem like this. Maybe I’m lucky, or maybe I’ve somehow got a good version? When I want to flip pages, I drag my finger across the page in the way I want to turn the page. When I wish to bring up the menu thing I tap the page number at the bottom. When I want to select a word (Which I do tend to get confused about) I hold my finger on the word for a few seconds and then drag… not sure if thats right but it works! I hope that maybe after reading this your kobo’s work better… I love my kobo and I don’t think I could live without it!!

  • Bill Hartree

    I bought a Kobo Touch two days ago after seeing good reviews about it. Within 1 hour of use it had frozen completely on the “restoring page”. I took it back to the shop, had it replaced, and within 15 minutes, the same thing happened with the replacement.

    I emailed Kobo after the first “freeze”. No reply – possibly because it’s the weekend, but having read the other posts it sounds as if it may be a long time before I receive a reply.

    My experience with ereaders has been dreadful so far. My first was a cybook opus, which became unuseable after a few months, and the tech support is dreadful. Now a couple of Kobo fiaschi ( I think that’s the correct plural of “fiasco”!). Can anyone here suggest a reasonably robust e-reader that might restore my confidence in this technology? I don’t really want to become tied to Amazon by getting a Kindle, though I fear I will end up doing that.

  • Karl

    I’ve also had many problems with page-turning since I received my Kobo Touch two weeks ago. This morning, I did a complete factory reset and then loaded two, yes TWO books and it took nearly 30 minutes before the Kobo was ready.

    Needless to say, the same problems were there before.

    Non-responsive, then two or three page turns at the same time.

    I don’t know when the next firmware is due out, but I’ll give it until then and if that doesn’t fix the problem then I’d have to say that this reader is complete junk!

  • Marie

    I’ve reached the point where I feel like ‘touching’ the screen with a hammer! My son has a Sony and he’s NEVER had an issue with the screen and can access more functions very easily and quickly. It may cost more… but only about 10% when on sale – well worth it!!!

    Kobo, you’ve lost 3 sales over the next few months: my husband’s and father-in-law’s birthday, and my mother-in-law’s gift for Mother’s Day.

  • Melanie

    Same problem. I got one for christmas, bought from a local bookstore was fab for the first 6 weeks then problems with the screen. I rang kobo and got told to reset it (this seems to be their standard solution to all problems). Didn’t work so got in touch with the bookstore I bought it for after a few day they got back to me and admitted it was a software problem I was one of many people with this issue and that kobo were being difficult to deal with so was told to return it for a refund.

  • Don

    I have been having the same power on problems listed above as well as the battery seems not to last very long now either. The Kobo will not respond and I have to put it in to charge before it will react.

    Further to this, everyone who purchases books through Kobo on line store should check to see if they were not over charged during Jan/Feb 2012. I was over charged in Feb and have received nothing short of email “Lip Service” since. They have acknowledged that there was a error which resulted in charges being process an no books received; however, I have yet to receive the credit for the charges.

  • joe

    ok folks….the tap issue is a result of you not knowing the functions of the reader….different sections of the screen are different functions…tap the right of the screen and it turns the page (the inconsistency you refer to is you inconsistently tapping in a different place each time…when reading a real book you turn the page the same way every time do you not?)….the only quirk in this unit is the hesitation (we all think the tap didn’t register and then it turns two pages)…it registered, but the unit is busy searching the wireless for updates and awards….if you have a few seconds of patience when this happens the page will turn…i believe somewhere deep in the settings you can turn this off…i ran across it long ago

  • Frustrated eReader

    I have a few hundred books on the kobo touch and its unresponsiveness is frustrating to the point of tears!

    To select a book, I have to tap the screen 3-4 times and then the page changes and launches the book on the new screen, not the one I want! Emailed kobo who gave the standard rubbish and then no more!

    I will never buy a kobo again and am busy telling all my friends the same. In the UK, they’ve just announced the kindle touch- should have waited!

  • very angry and frustrated ereader

    My Kobo also froze up all of a sudden one day. One day it was working great and then poof it froze. I did everything Kobo “support” said to do and nothing worked. Finally I discovered that my Samsung Galaxy phone had a Kobo app. I was able to use it to download all of my books from the Kobo bookstore onto it, so at least I can still read them even if the print is somewhat small. I will not be buying a Kobo again!

  • Alex

    I have a problem witht he pages freezing when I go to turn the page, But I am wondering if this is because I have it on sevearl hours a day and in the 4 weeks I have had it , I have read 60+ books, maybe I am trying to turn pages to quickly for it, I love my Kobo, and this is the only fustrating problem I have ( I tried a Kindle and a Sony in the shop, and after a few dozen pages, they got a little slow at turning as well) so I am wondering, for me , if it is the speed I read at ( I ususal can read 1000 pages in 2 and 1/2 hours to 3 hours, if I make my self slow down)

  • Tish

    I have major difficulties reading eputb books from the library. No matter where on the screen or how hard it freezes every 6 pages. When reading books purchased from Kobo the delay still happens but not as bad or frequently with other epbub books. I have replaced it and the same problem keeps occurring. I seriously regret buying this reader and would not recommend it.

  • Steve

    I have a leather cover for my Kobo touch. With the cover on, the battery will completely discharge overnight, either in standby mode or sleep mode regardless. The screen also freezes constantly when the cover is on. With the cover off, the unit is quite acceptable. The battery keeps its charge and the screen only falters occasionally. Kobos answer to this is to reset the unit and keep the battery fully charged. Not an answer really.

    • Dave C.

      I keep mine in a home-made leather case (suede side out), it doesn’t make any difference to the battery, nothing should while it’s powered off. I wonder what’s going on with yours?
      It is possible to trigger touches with a variety of substances/objects, anything with enough conductivity and mass will do it, so maybe something in contact with the screen (presumably your cover has a transparent front?) could affect it’s response.

  • William

    I bought a Kobo touch 2 months ago and have yet to read a single book. Mine bookmarks the page no matter where on the screen i touch or swipe. If I swipe, it turns the page, bookmarks, closes the book. If I tap to turn anywhere on the page, forwards or back, it just bookmarks and closes. ABSOLUTELY MADDENING.

  • paul

    Same symptoms here. Stupid page turning (two pages back instead of one forward), unresponsive menu. Random freezes. I’m very very disappointed and will probably return my kobo to get a kindle…

  • derek

    I am having the same problems. I have emailed kobo but no reply yet

  • madchen

    I got a Kobo Touch a few days ago and it’s already frozen on me twice. It’s also unresponsive to taps a lot of the time. I’m used to my iPhone which has a VERY responsive screen, so I’m going to wait a couple weeks and see if I can get used the Kobo screen before thinking about a replacement.

  • Hamishcampbell

    Kobo touch is crap – have been using it for 2 months and read 25 books, now randomly doesn’t hold a charge, clicking on the library opens the first book etc. it wont connect to a wifi network… tried a hard reset and its no help.

  • ANON

    Another Kobo Touch user here with a defective screen along the bottom. It’s as though there is a dead spot all along the bottom where the page # info is, that won’t respond to any touch.

    I sent it back on warranty and Kobo sent me a “new” refurbished model with exactly the same problem! ARG

  • Sue

    I’ve had my Kobo for 3 months and have had the occasional frozen screen but the things thats really bugging me is that over the last week the bottom half of the screen has done dark in colour, covered in horizontal lines and the writing has become fainter just on the bottom half. This effectively means thatI can’t read it.

  • Dave C.

    I bought my Touch in early June 2012, firmware 1.9.17. I’ve not had it long enough to comment on long-term factors, but so far so good. It’s locked up just once, ok after a power off-and-on, very occasionally it takes 2 or 3 touches to turn the page or does a double page turn for one touch. Apart from these minor points, not enough to spoil it, I’m very pleased with it. I find I’ve got used to the screen and it works better now than when I first got it, because I’ve ‘learnt how to touch it’. I like the built-in dictionary, the ability to do annotations – not only can you ‘dog-ear’ the page, but you can ‘un-dog-ear’ it and leave no crease!, and I really like the ability to put in new fonts. There are many thousands of free books on the net (check the Gutenberg Project, for one), I wouldn’t want to read a book on a computer screen, so an e-reader is just the thing. Didn’t want a Kindle because of the ‘locked into Amazon’ effect. Obviously not everyone has had as good an experience with the Touch as I have, but if every Kobo Touch worked as well as mine I’d recommend it wholeheartedly.

  • Dave C.

    Small P.S. to the above, I do keep the Wi-Fi switched off (Airplane Mode) all the time, I use my laptop and the Kobo Desktop to do Net stuff.

  • Dave C.

    WAS ok until 12 July, when I tried to buy another book. Screwed up completely, lost the books I had, and whenever I connected it to the PC and Kobo desktop I just got a message saying ‘downloading e-reader update’ and there it stayed. Full reset and some time on the phone to the Kobo helpdesk acheived nothing. Exchanged for another, this one won’t power up at all! Taking it back for my money back.

  • Linda P

    I bought a Kobo Touch on Friday. I set it up, as per instructions. I bought a book from the Kobo site, loaded it and then onto the device. It shows the cover. When I press the cover I get “oops….” With the USB cable plugged in, I can read the book, but if I unplug it won’t. I don’t have wi-fi but it says you don’t need it to read a book. I have read everything that I can to try and resolve this. I’m kicking myself as I was told that Kobo was the best. Ahem, no. I’m going to fight to get a refund and buy a Kindle.
    I rang the 1800 line and they said it was a technical issue they were dealing with at the moment. Oh, so I spent $$$ for something that doesn’t work?? Not sure what to do. The shop said I can return it within 14 days. Then what? I have no ereader?

  • kevin

    I understand what so many people say I got a number of kobo for friends and families and had a number of problems. I have to say Kobo customer service is the worst in the world there usless ans not helpfull they send identical emails as 11 of us sent emils on different bits and all of us got identical email back from same person not answering what any of us had asked! I hve emailed them spent over 40 minutes on the phone to them and got nowhere beware of a lazy useless customer service who just want money and nothing else!!!

  • freddie

    The most useless piece of kit I have ever bought – this crap is going back to Argos for a refund as it not fit for purpose – I bought it because it is supposed to support pdf files but the crappy touchscreen makes it a miserable experience – It is a classic case of a product marketed and sold with serious bug issues.

  • Marz

    Have to agree with freddie…..
    I’ve had nothing but frustration with the Kobo Touch….
    Same goes for the support, totally useless and robotic………….
    I got so frustrated with the page turning issue I thew mine at the wall and put a hole in the wall…. The funny thing is that that (throwing it at the wall) seemed to fix it for a while. But a few days later it started again… Smashing it on the edge of a table seemed to fix it permanently! Seeing as the issue got worse after the firmware update, I’m blaming Kobo for my frustrated solution………

  • Holly

    Argh, just getting so frustrated with my Kobo! The inconsistent touch has been happening from new, but not that often (maybe once a book), but within the past week it happens with every page. Tried tapping different parts of the Kobo, swiping, light/hard taps, cleaning the eReader, everything and nothing makes a difference! One day after an hour of reading it totally froze, (wouldn’t turn off or anything), so I had to reset it with an earring and turn it back on. Once I did, I was back to where I was the last time I turned it on (about 50 pages) so I had to turn all those pages while it has it’s stupid problems. Took about half an hour to get back to where I was before! Definitely getting in contact to see what can be done! Starting to absolutely hate it when I used to love it!

  • Holly

    To add to my last comment, it started out as slow page turns (I would press to turn before I’d finish reading the last 2 lines). Then it was that you had to press a few times for it to turn on one page, then the next few pages would be fine, then it would happen again and when you put it to sleep it would skip to the next page. Sometimes it randomly went backwards rather than forwards eventhough I wasn’t clicking anywhere near the left hand side. Now it takes so long to turn the page I could probably press at the start of the page and still be waiting for it to turn at the end! I still have 100 pages of this book left as well (and it’s a really good one!).

  • Connie F

    I have the same frustrating problem with the Kobo e-reader – inconsistent touch screen. I received a refurbished replacement unit and voila, the same problem. I am ready to toss the piece of garbage. Obviously, I DO NOT recommend this product.

  • jamfactory

    Wish I had read this thread before I purchased my Kobo Touch last week. I’ve been uploading books (in the right format) onto my Touch. I could only read the 5 books display on the home screen and when I pressed the “Library” button, the screen froze. The Touch was irresponsive when I tried to connect it to the computer. I am not sure whether I have uploaded some improper files onto my Touch or what. I haven’t tried basic reset or factory reset yet, I’ll give the Touch another go with the computer. Kindle for xmas sounds good all of a sudden…

  • Richard

    I just bought a Kobo touch and started using it today. I will return it tomorrow, get my money back, and buy something else. Setup was a nightmare. There are no useful instructions in the box. Their customer service staff don’t speak English well and are not competent. After three lengthy calls I’ve managed to get it working, sort of — I’ve loaded 4 books and can read them, sort of, But the touch screen has all the problems noted above. It just can’t turn pages reliably. Either it won’t turn the page at all, or it turns two pages. The customer service had me do a reset, which removed all my books. That’s the only advice they have to offer. This product is clearly not ready for the market yet.

  • Kc kalamity

    Hello,
    I’ve been experiencing very similar problems as everyone with lack of screen responsiveness but never as bad as today.
    I fought with my screen to the point where I wanted to throw my kobo across the room, turning it on and off and on and off, getting in to the book just to have it freeze up.
    What was different today and made all the difference was turning the wifi off. The minute I did that my kobo was faster ad completely responsive.
    So my suggestion is (if you have it on) turn wifi off unless you’re actively using it to download. ( which I prefer to do on a real computer myself) see if that helps any.
    Cheers!

  • Darkangel

    I have had my kobo for a month now and I am having the same problems with turning the pages. If I put it down for a minute then pick it up the kobo jumps back 2 or 3 pages. I will try and turn the wi fi off as suggested by Kc Kalamity to see if this helps.

  • CAS

    I bought a Kobo Glo last week and a Kobo Touch yesterday and am returning both of them. After so much frustration, I will not be buying an e-reader from Kobo again. There have been numerous problems, but I will explain a few. The Kobo Glo froze 3 times in 2 days. I phoned Kobo tech service and they said the solution was to reset the device (paperclip pressed into reset point). I also downloaded free e-books from Kobo website and the books showed in the Glo but would not open. Kobo tech service said that sometimes happens. Highlight text worked and then didn’t work anymore. So yesterday, I bought a Kobo Touch because it has been on the market longer and I expected it would be more stable, but it has problems also. Page turning (tap/swipe) was inconsistent and I had to often re-tap and/or re-swipe to change pages. I changed the reading settings for tap screen area to try to improve it, but no improvement. Highlighting text would not work and after trying everything possible, I phoned Kobo Tech Serv again and this time the tech explained “how to highlight text”. I explained that I know how to highlight text and that my work background is in IT and the problem is not the “how to highlight”and that the problem is the highlighting function doesn’t work. He still insisted on telling me how to highlight and when he finished his steps and it still (of course) did not work, then he said he would send me an e-mail for how to do a factory reset. I didn’t need an e-mail…I know how to do a factory reset but this should not be needed for a new e-reader. So both Kobos are going back to the store tomorrow and good-bye Kobo.

  • EldRick

    Don’t overlook the Nook Touch as a less-restrictive alternative to Kindle. Mine was rock-solid over the months that I had it – never a freeze or a stalled page.

  • DMN

    I am also frustrated with the page turning however since updating to 2.1.5, I can no longer purchase books from the Kobo store. I get to the confirmation screen and a blank bar hides the buttons on the bottom. Can’t scroll past it or remove it. Sent a note to support and waiting for a response.

  • Wendy

    I also have the touch screen problems with my Kobo, but I just purchased a book throught the Kobo book store, and the bottom line of each page is cut off, and you can not scroll down, so I am left with a book that is unreadable. does anyone have any suggestions?

  • Lynn

    Oh well to add to the frustrations – I am now not able to use my kobo touch either. A basic reset does nothing, I can’t do a factory reset as the fully charged kobo touch is only showing me the “smiley kobo” face (which doesn’t make me want to smile) with the boxes underneath it. The store here that sells them can’t help and funnily enough the branch I went to is waiting for someone from kobo to come and fix their display kobo touch that isn’t working. For a laugh I logged an incident (Incident:130214-000130]) on Feb 14 and after much longer than 48 hours have not heard from them (surprised – NOT). Think I might go research the Sony ereader (which was recommended by the sales person at the store I went to about the kobo touch and they don’t sell Sony ereaders – different store to get Sony.) Thanks for letting me share. :-)

  • Nancy

    Same problem as everyone else about touch working intermittently – after a few months, it was fine at first. I hoped I would find a solution here, but at least I got to laugh about the guy whose Kobo started working again when he hit it!

  • Henny

    I had the same problem with Kobo touch and it went totally dead 9 months after purchase. I had no trouble exchanging it though, and they upgraded me to a Touch Glo which has NOT given me any problems….except….it doesn’t warn me when the battery dies. It just stops dead! I wish they would fix that!

  • Jane

    Thought I was the only one!!! Tried to coop with it for a while, thinking well, maybe I am just not for this eReader thing. Wonder if Kobo Glo does the same, or is it better to just change to Kindle instead.

  • Jody

    Yes the page turns are a little difficult, but i think that’s just because the ereader is busy with something else at the time. It takes a while to start up so the first turn is always the slowest. I can deal with that. Not ever getting a kindle, far too mainstream. I have found the technical service department fantastic. I bought mine in NZ from a shop that changed ownership and nearly went bust just after I bought it so I expected problems. My Kobo Wifi became completely unresponsive at about 13 months, I contacted Kobo and they said send it back to us, but before I got around to it I received a replacement Kobo Touch (an upgrade) in the mail.
    That has worked well for over a year, but since I had to factory reset it the other day, the bookmarks aren’t working properly. They display correctly on the library page initially, but as soon as I’ve gone into that book again, the bookmark resets to 0% and nothing I do will fix it. It still opens on the right page, but it is kind of irritating, I like to know how far I’ve got to go in a book. If it was 99% and I had to get up soon, I could finish the book first. The 0% is at the bottom of the page and 1% is on the cover when switched off. I’ve even tried going back to the beginning of the book and flicking through the pages. It’s all my books and I’ve only got ones from Kobo on there at the moment. Anyone else had this problem?

  • Jeff Goran

    My Kobo doesn’t respond at all now of course when I went to WH Smiths ‘it worked fine’ but ten minutes later, completely unresponsive, tried a factory reset but now I cant even get into the home screen because I can’t select a language…
    Unless you’re willing to spend lots of time on it..

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