Between a Kindle e-reader and Kobo, you chose Kobo. But which model suits you best? We explain everything to help you enjoy a reading experience at the top.
Best Kobo eReaders
The large format
- The large 8-inch screen
- Very responsive
If the power of Amazon has undoubtedly succeeded in making the Kindle the symbol of the digital reader, the Kobo, designed by the company of the same name, are a very credible alternative. Arriving after Amazon on the market, the Canadian company has succeeded in undermining, at least in part, Amazon’s hegemony in the segment. Absorbed in 2011 by Rakuten, Kobo was popularized in France by Fnac, to the point that some believe that it is she who produces them. It must be said that the catchphrase “Kobo by Fnac” is confusing to say the least. However, the brand’s e-readers can be found at most sellers.
If the partnership with Fnac has very clearly contributed to the success of Kobo in our region, the quality of the brand’s products also has something to do with it. Kobos generally offer very good value for money with a full range of products, where each product is aimed at a different reader. Unlike their big rivals from Amazon, they are also much more open in terms of supported e-book formats.
Don’t know which one to choose? We explain to you How to make the right choice according to your uses or your budget.
- Nice adaptive display
- Good autonomy
- … but no sealing
Available at 109 € on Baker
The Kobo Clara HD is the brand’s entry-level e-reader proposal and it’s the one we recommend. This e-reader launched at 129 euros and now offered at 109 euros already includes all the features of a good e-reader. Its 6-inch high-definition e-ink screen offers sufficient resolution to display characters finely and give the impression of reading a real paper book.
Its screen is of course backlit for reading in the evening and it also has the merit of also automatically adjusting to the light atmosphere. This is what Kobo calls ” ComfortLight and that is to vary the temperature of the backlight light. It will turn to a yellow tint in the evening, to less bother the eyes and make it easier to fall asleep. This is an element that seems very important to us for an e-reader that is often used in bed.
Since it is entry-level, the Clara HD nevertheless makes a few impasses: the two most important are water resistance, which is very practical, and a very simple design, devoid of buttons, which does not not always easy to navigate. On the other hand, like all e-readers, its autonomy is very comfortable, with several days, even several weeks on a single charge depending on your use. It has 8 GB of storage, which is already more than enough, since it corresponds to around 6000 books.
- Physical buttons
- Finally USB-C!
Available at 169 € on Baker
With its Libra 2, Kobo replaces the Libra H20 which occupied the mid-range for a few years. The manufacturer is not trying to reinvent the wheel and the two models are very similar: we stay on a 7-inch reading light with physical buttons. Among the important developments, there is a move to a USB-C connector.
The format has been slightly readjusted for a better grip and, indeed, the Libra 2 is particularly balanced despite an increased weight. The display is also improved since we switch to a 300 dpi panel. Unlike more expensive models, however, the screen is a little more recessed. However, the seal is retained.
The Libra 2 therefore stands out as one of the most balanced e-reader models of the brand, a pity however that its price is slightly up.
- A very large display
- The style works surprisingly well
- surprisingly light
Available at 349 € on Baker
The latest in the Kobo range, the Elipsa is also the largest, with a 10.3-inch screen. Although relatively light given its format, it remains more comfortable to use with two hands. On the control side, everything happens by touch, the only button present being used to turn on the device. Connectivity is limited to a USB-C port. No way therefore to go beyond the integrated 32 GB.
The E-Ink Carta screen offers good precision with 227 dpi, the only criticism we can make of it is that it does not leave the choice of white or orange lighting. A possibility however present on less expensive models of the mark… But beyond its size, it is by its stylus that the Elipsa is distinguished. Operating with an AAA battery, the latter makes it easy to annotate a book or simply to take notes.
Coupled with the large screen, this makes the Kobo Elipsa a valuable companion for those who need to read large amounts of documentation. This is also the general impression given by this tablet, especially given the lack of water resistance.
- The price
- A large number of supported formats
Available at €99 on Amazon
Released in 2020, the Nia completes the Kobo lineup with an affordable entry-level model. If it tells you something, it’s normal: it uses the same design as the Aura Edition 2 released a few years ago. We therefore find a simple and solid plastic shell, with a textured back to prevent it from slipping from your hands. It is also very light with only 172 grams on the scale.
On the screen side, there is a 6-inch panel with a fairly low definition of 1024 x 768 points. Everything obviously benefits from lighting, but the latter is a little worse than on its big sisters. In particular, it ignores the anti-blue light functions. The 8GB storage is not expandable and the eReader supports many open formats.
In short, a simple and unfussy e-reader, sold at a reasonable price.
Where to buy the
Kobo Nia at the best price?
- The large 8-inch screen
- Very responsive
Available at €240 on Amazon
We end with the Kobo Sage which therefore comes to oversee the range of readers by replacing the excellent Forma. In particular, it retains its format, with an 8-inch screen. Its definition is on the rise and therefore reaches 1440 x 1920 points. The E-Ink Carta 1200 panel is also more reactive, which improves overall responsiveness. Its design is very similar to that of the Libra 2 since we find the handle on the right with buttons, the screen is however completely flat. We also findComfortLightand sealing.
Among the other differences, there is an improved finish and above all, the possibility of taking notes. For this, it will nevertheless be necessary to invest 40 euros in the optional stylus. In use, the latter is pleasant to use, even if we still do not achieve the fluidity of a classic tablet.
This function is also particularly energy-consuming, a few hours of note-taking enough to drain the battery. Too bad for a reader, whose autonomy is normally one of the great strengths.
If we are in the presence of a very good reading tablet, its price positioning will however reserve it for the most passionate, especially if they want to take notes. For most users, a Clara HD or a Libra 2 will be better choices.
Where to buy the
Kobo Sage at the best price?
Things to know before buying a Kobo eReader
What are the advantages of a Kobo eReader over a Kindle eReader?
In addition to technical or form factor specificities, Kobos have one main advantage over Amazon Kindles: support for Epub formats. It serves as a standard for electronic books. At Kindle, they will have to be converted before they can be put on the e-reader. It’s not very complicated, but it requires an additional step that can quickly become tiresome.
To conclude, the Kobo are one of the few viable alternatives to the Kindle, a real plus if you want to avoid feeding the distribution giant a little more.
Where to buy e-books for readers?
The easiest way to buy e-books is to go to Kobo or Fnac stores. They are accessible directly from the reader if it is connected to the Internet (via Wi-Fi). You can also access them from your computer and transfer them to the eReader afterwards. Also remember that you can find many free works, fallen into the public domain, including classics of French literature.
What eBook formats does Kobo support?
A Kobo eReader supports major e-book formats, including .EPUB and .EPUB 3, as well as .PDF, .FlePub, .JPEG, .GIF, .PNG, .BMP, and .TIFF; .TXT, .HTML and .RTF then finally .CBZ and .CBR for comics.
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