Gobii eReader

The Good
  • Antiglare 7″ screen promotes easy viewing
  • Included microSD card slot promotes easy expansion
  • The cheapest ereader in its category
The Bad
  • 4GB of included storage is a bit small in today’s market for eReaders
  • Navigational buttons are pretty difficult to use for many buyers
  • Complete lack of wireless connectivity – transfer of content via USB only
The Verdict

The new Gobii eReader, with its color screen and impressive support for multiple media formats, is a formidable and affordable competitor in a marketplace that keeps getting tougher.

R799+R160 eBook Voucher
Buy Now

Gobii eReader [Review]

Gobii is starting to establish itself as the local go-to company for budget-minded consumers who need an impressive eReader without paying an impressively high price. To that end, the company has succeeded in offering some of the best and most affordable products on the market, impressing eBook newcomers and winning them over with uncompromising design and technology. The latest product from the company is its all-color eReader, with a 7-inch screen that leaves the eInk days behind. It’s versatile enough to impress even the most advanced users, and it’s a viable alternative to the Kindle.


eReader design has gotten

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increasingly sleek and sophisticated over the past few years, and Gobii has worked to streamline its own eReader design in the face of renewed competition. To that end, the company promotes just a few simple controls on the righthand side of the device’s screen. The navigational buttons are great for navigating between books and other forms of media – including music and audiobooks – but they can be a bit difficult to press.

The response time of the device’s buttons also suffers occasionally, resulting in a combination that can sometimes create a usability headache for newer users. Overall, though, this compact device packs a great 7-inch screen, a simple design free of flourish, and smartly-placed navigational buttons that will delight users of all kinds.

Features and Connectivity

One thing that really sets the Gobii eReader apart from its competition is a complete lack of wireless connectivity. Instead of including cellular data, or even WiFi, the Gobii comes with just a USB 2.0 cable for transferring media between devices. That’s pretty disappointing,

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especially when considering that the device competes with internet-connected Kindles, Nooks, and other eReaders with advanced functionality.

That being said, however, the Gobii eReader does not suffer from a lack of features. Its lack of wireless data connectivity is more than made up for by its wide-ranging file format support. The eReader can display books and pictures, play music, and even allow its users to watch videos in certain formats. It’s all enhanced by the device’s all-color screen, making the Gobii a capable tablet as well as an excellent eReader.



The Gobii eReader is aimed specifically at the South African market, and has access to eBooks that can be acquired from a number of local and international sources. It has instant access to

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Kalahari.com’s eBook selection, and can read a number of other file formats found at bookstores around the world. Notably, it cannot read eBooks procured from Amazon, as the

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company restricts its eBooks to just its Kindle devices, and other devices

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Battery Life

The Gobii eReader comes with 4GB of built-in memory, placing it squarely in the middle of the eReader marketplace. Where the device sets itself apart, however, is with its inclusion of a MicroSD card slot. The ability to use removable media with the device makes it perfect for those who intend to carry a healthy mix of

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books, photos, video, and music.

The battery bundled with the Gobii charges fully in six hours, though it only lasts about twice that long. After roughly 12 hours, the battery will need to be plugged in.

Document Formats

The Gobii eReader supports eBooks in the Adobe DRM PDF, DRM ePub with reflow, TXT, FB2, PDB and RTF formats. Video formats supported include AVI, MKV, RMVB, MPG, FLV, MP4, and MOV. All major music and photo file formats are also supported.


With an impressive color screen and a simple design, the Gobii eReader is perfect for those new to reading their books on an electronic screen. It suffers from a lack of wireless connectivity and the occasional usability headache with its own buttons, but overall offers a

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satisfying experience for the budget-conscious consumer.

The Good
  • Antiglare 7″ screen promotes easy viewing
  • Included microSD card slot promotes easy expansion
  • The cheapest ereader in its category
The Bad
  • 4GB of included storage is a bit small in today’s market for eReaders
  • Navigational buttons are pretty difficult to use for many buyers
  • Complete lack of wireless connectivity – transfer of content via USB only


  1. Desmond Human says:

    The GOBII is good. However, in my experience, the battery life is nothing like the 12 hours mentioned as I find, if I try and read for a few hours, the battery needs needs charging..

    • Coleen Allam says:

      I agree. The battery life is useless

    • When I first started using the Gobii, I agree, battery was terrible, but figured out a trick. When not being used, don’t leave it in standby mode – that is what eats battery. Instead turn it off by holding the power button down for a few seconds. It still keeps your bookmarks and last read pages, and can last as long as a month.

      • Hi just got my Gobii, and I am struggling with the whole bookmark thing. I know how to add a bookmark but once I switch my Gobii off,k the bookmarks are not saved and it doesnt go back to the back I was reading??
        Please help, what should I be doing so that i can continue reading from the page I was actually on.

  2. Lené Geyser says:

    I recently bought my Gobii and I LOVE it!! It feels comfortable in my hands, I like the satin finish and the antiglare screen gives me litteraly no head aches.

    I bought the pouch and wall-charger and still paid less for the whole “package” than I would have for the Kindle only. And I really don’t feel that I could do much more with a Kindle, as downloading e-books via my laptop is not such a big deal.

    I will highly recommend this product to anyone!

    • Hi Lene

      I’m keen on getting a Gobii reader as well.
      although I love Kindle, i guess i just need a simpler solution to carrying huge novels around.

      have you watched any videos / read andy colour illustrated books on your Gobii? how has it been?

    • Please can you help with downloading webpages of free books compatible with Gobii. I tried Amason but it is only for kindles?

  3. The Gobii is a nice reader, does all it needs to and at a good price, however, the battery life is nowhere near the 12 hours suggested. Without switching on mine is dead in 2 days:-(

  4. I wuld lik to know mo about the gobii ,I want to buy it for my wife who is at unisa ,hw do I get and is there an c.o.d services

  5. my gobi when not plug into my pc to charge, keeps reseting itself. I have had the unit for 8 month. Could it be the rechargeable battery needs replacing, and if so who can I contact.?

  6. E.H ughes says:

    I have only one problem with my gobii , I had first one replaced as sometimes it wouldnt do anything not even turn off had to let battery run out and recharge no problem for few days then same problem again. My replacement worked fine for few weeks now it is doing the same still stuck in same page and battery still not empty and that is over 10 hours so far. please if anyone can tell me what problem is will be very helpful

  7. deirdrehislop says:

    If i buy a gobii can i download magazines

    • You can download anything…but first on you’re pc then with USB cable tranfer is to you’re GOBII!

      • You can yes but as the Gobii is suited for books, the text is really small and the load time for each page is very long

  8. colin glensor says:

    I wanted to buy a Gobii e reader and pay by EFT BUT IT Will not let me
    please help thank you

  9. My Gobbi’s battery can be fully charged and when i want to read the book say in a day or two it is flat?? why would this be?

  10. I really want to buy an ereader but not sure which. 1 to go 4 but gobii’s price is really affordable. But I’m a bit confused by the non wireless connection thing, hw do I doawnload books ? And wil I be able to download apps like facebook etc?

  11. Gobbi claims to support all Adobe drm epub ebooks. I have with success bought books from both Kalahari (only for the voucher, their selection is outdated and limited) and Kobo. Has anyone bought an ebook from Barnes and Noble? I donot want to spend the money and then not be able to read my book. B&N is the only provider currently selling this book as an ebook.

  12. retha terblanche says:

    hi guys

    Maybe one of you will be able to help me. I don’t know how to create collections? how do I do that?
    I downloaded a bunch of free books from amazon, converted them to Epub via calibre but as I said, I can’t create collections ie. thriller, romance, mystery… and I really need to do that because at the moment I have 129 pages of books on my Gobii, and that’s not even all of my books.

    Is it possible to create different folders (with my collection names on each folder) within a folder on the pc? If I upload this folder to my Gobii, will it keep the folders within as “Collections”?

    Hope someone understand my mumble jumble explanation…
    PLEASE Help!!!

    • hi, I connected my Gobi to the computer and then used the4 computer to create files for the different groups and i use the computer to copy paste the books into the right groups. so far it worked well.

    • Hi, Your problem has probably been solved by now, but the easiest way to do it is by treating your reader as one of the drives on your PC. Once you have uploaded your books via Calibre (a great programme!) simply use Windows Explorer to create different folders on your reader and then drag the books into the relevant folder.

  13. I love my Gobii, and will hang on to it because of the backlit screen. I love this feature, which Kindle does not have. I also like that you can download books from anywhere. I mostly use E pub bud. Retha, I know exactly what you want to do, and would like to be able to do the same, but have not figured it out either. If anyone does know, please share. I agree with everyone about the battery life too, it does not last at all, and I have my backlight turned right down. I believe Kalahari are working on a touchscree, wifi version of the Gobii, but dont know when this would happen.

  14. What is the battery life when watching a movie or listening to music. Is there a car charger?
    What music files is compatible?

  15. Cant find a way to password protect my gobii, can anyone help please.

  16. The battery is most certainly the downfall of the Gobii. Kalahari admitted that there is problem but the attitude is more or less “live with it and replace at your own cost” !

  17. aliesha says:

    As soon as I switch my Gobii on, it goes off after a few seconds and sometimes if freezes.. please help..

  18. palesa moroane says:

    Will I be able 2 hv applications such as facebook etc

  19. Does the Gobi have a built-in dictionary like the Kindle?
    With my current reader it is difficult to navigate to specific chapters/ passages unless you know the page number. If it can handle a dicitionary, then it does everything anybody could want from a reader.

  20. The battery life is definitely a problem, when compared to my Kindle. Switching off when not actively reading does preserve the charge, a bit.
    Also, I have a problem with the Gobii returning to the menu, or 1st page of the book I’m reading, and unless I keep an eye on the page number, entails a lot of toing and froing to find my place again.

  21. I have a Gobii for almost a year and love it. However, I find that the battery does not last (can one replace it and if so where can I get one?) and it freezes. Where can I take it to be fixed?

  22. hi all i just broughtt mine and would like to know if anyone can pl email me places to get free ebooks and what is epub bud where do i find that ?and what type movies and music can we download mine is in shipment so if possible want to find out as much as possible before it arrives , many tnx natalie and happy reading everyone

  23. If i watch a video it seems impossible to navigate back and forth to particular sections. Can one only go back to the beginning? (apart from it’s memory to start where you left off). Maybe there’s a secret.

  24. Somehow I have got about 100 pages of files such as .chm. .html. .txt. I have no idea where they came from and would like to know how to delete them in bulk instead of individually. even deleting them individually would work, but incredibly time consuming.

  25. Suzette van der Merwe says:

    Why does my Gobii reader suddenly have a vertical line on the screen

  26. Suzette van der Merwe says:

    Does the Gobii’s battery have to be replaced ?

    • pam williams says:

      I am asking the same question, sick of 2 hours reading and it just shuts down. battery flat. i recharge it for the required time and settle down to read and the battery does not last. why, so many people have asked this same question.???
      mine has about 60+ books on and there is no problem with downloading etc, just this battery, which is so frustrating.

  27. I own a Gobii reader and I very happy with it. The issue I have is that I cannot move ebooks from Kobo to my reader because I don’t know where Kobo downloads the books to. I can read them on the Kobo desktop reader but no where else. Please help

    • have my gobii many years now I use kobo to buy ebooks and used Kalahari ti download the books to my reader however kalahari seems to have taken that away now i’m also stuck heard that adobe can help but have had no luck so i’m stuck now as well no place to down load on reader please help

  28. Gaby Gerber says:

    Where can one replace Gobi battery replacements in South Africa?

  29. Jordan Romani says:

    Hi there. I got my Gobii for Christmas but has thus far been very disappointed. I charged it for the required time length but had to do so using my Samsung USB cable as my Gobii USB cable wouldn’t charge it. Also, once I connect either the Gobii USB cable or my Samsung cable to it it doesn’t register as a USB device on my laptop. Has this happened to anyone else? I’ve downloaded all the files and supporting documents onto my laptop and that seems to be working fine, but I don’t know what to do as I can’t share any files ….. Help ???

  30. MIchelle says:

    I thought that my Gobii was the best thing since sliced bread when I was given it as a present. However now 5 months down the line, it does not charge using my computer or the wall plug. Can I get my battery replaced?

  31. Elsebe Scheepers says:

    I have my Gobii for almost two years. I am a subscriber at My Subs where I get my magazines. I use to transfer my magazines to my Gobii but for the past two months I could not do it. I transfer the magazines but when I want to read it, there is a note on my e reader that says Invalid file format. I contacted My Subs but they say they cannot help me cause they don’t know the Gobii e reader. Is there a possibility that you can perhaps help me. Thank you.

  32. Marie-Anna says:

    Please can somebody let me know where i can get a new battery for my reader my battery dies after about 1 hr of reading
    I live in the Western Cape

  33. Ilona Bischoff says:

    Hi, I have a gobii reader for about 2 years now, I have got books, magazines,music and pictures on it, it was always fine until recently, now it takes forever to load and after a while it just switches itself off so I have to restart it every time. Where can one take it to in the Cape Town area to have it fixed if it is faulty?

  34. Where can we go to have it fixed when it’s not responding at all

  35. Hi guys. I would like to know where i can by a Gobii e-reader?

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