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If you're going to survive in the eBook reader game, you have to adapt, and quickly. Kobo seems to understand this and has gone and refreshed its eBook reader to better compete with Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook.
At a glance, you'd be hard pressed to tell which is the new and which is the old Kobo. They look the same, save for new color options (it's available in "metallic silver," "pearlized lilac," and "basic black"). So what's different? For starters, the second-gen Kobo comes with Wi-Fi, a welcome addition considering the original shipped without Wi-Fi or 3G.
There's also an improved processor pushing faster page turns (Kobo says up to 2.5X faster than the original) and navigation. The screen is supposedly better too, though there's no mention of it using the Pearl display featured in the Kindle and Sony Readers. And finally, Kobo says it improved battery life, which Kobo claims is good for up to 10,000 page turns on a single charge.
The new Kobo is available for preorder at $139 and ships in October. Those who preorder through Kobobooks.com are eligible for two free eBooks (Fear the Worst and When My World Was Very Small).