Photo of Kobo Clara 2E

The $100 Kobo Nia is considered one of the least expensive ad-free e-readers for digitizing your studying library, but it surely lacks many options that may vastly enhance your studying expertise. For simply $30 extra, the new Kobo Clara 2E brings higher display lighting that’s simpler on the eyes, plus two necessary upgrades that ought to put a dent in the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 5‘s dominance.

Though the $120 Kobo Clara HD presents extra display decision with crisper textual content than the $100 Kobo Nia, in addition to the capability to shift its display lighting to hotter tones that’s simpler on the eyes and supposedly extra conducive to falling asleep at night time, the Clara HD was launched again in 2018 and is 4 years outdated at this level. Function for characteristic, it’s now nicely behind the Kindle Paperwhite 5 that Amazon launched final October. With the new Clara 2E, Kobo is lastly taking part in catchup, and roughly matching the Kindle Paperwhite 5’s greatest options, particularly now that Amazon has restricted book downloads to a wifi connection solely.

Photo of water spilling onto Kobo Clara 2E

The Clara 2E is Kobo’s first six-inch e-reader to be utterly waterproof, permitting it to be used at the seashore, subsequent to the pool, or in the bathtub with out the threat of a tumble into the water inflicting any critical harm. Kobo claims the Clara 2E can survive up to 60 minutes submerged to a depth of up to two meters, so whereas studying underneathwater in the pool is completely believable (for those who get bored whereas practising your snorkeling, I assume), you continue to received’t need to deliver it alongside on a deep sea dive.

Photo of Kobo Clara 2E

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The opposite main improve for the Kobo Clara 2E is the addition of Bluetooth, permitting wi-fi headphones, a wi-fi speaker, or a wi-fi connection to a automobile’s stereo to be used for having fun with audiobook content material, which may be downloaded proper to the e-reader itself from Kobo’s on-line retailer.

One cause to nonetheless go for the Kindle Paperwhite 5 is that Amazon’s squeezed a bigger 6.8-inch 300 PPI show into it by shrinking the e-reader’s bezels, the placeas the new Kobo Clara 2E sticks with a 6-inch HD E Ink Carta 1200 show as an alternative. It’s not a enormous distinction, and the Kobo arguably makes up for it by together with 16GB of onboard storage as an alternative of the Kindle’s 8GB. That’s greater than sufficient storage for a lifetime of e-books, however for these utilizing audiobooks, that storage bump will probably be welcome.

Photo of Kobo Clara 2E in front of plastic trash

Kobo additionally factors out that the new Clara 2E’s housing is created from greater than 85 p.c recycled plastic; 10% of which is (was?) ocean-bound plastic. Devices like this nonetheless don’t have user-serviceable rechargeable batteries, although, which limits their lifespans and means they may simply discover themselves getting tossed again into the used plastic pile once more later. If firms like Kobo actually wished to do one thing helpful to assist the setting, they’d begin designing merchandise that may benefit from new options and performance by upgraded parts, as an alternative of encouraging us to utterly change units that already work simply superb however are a little outdated.

The Kobo Clara 2E is out there for pre-order now for $130, with official availability beginning on September 22. Additionally out there is a $30 SleepCover created from 97% recycled plastic. That one can rework into a stand, however there’s additionally a $20 Fundamental SleepCover for those who simply need to maintain your e book when you learn it.

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