Kobo Clara 2E assessment: A worthy replace to an stable e-reader, with an eco-conscious contact

For years when somebody requested me what e-reader to purchase, I’d say until they care about Amazon stuff, the Kobo Clara HD. That suggestion has wavered as I’ve examined the compact Poke 3 and ergonomic Libra 2, however the new edition of the Clara places it again within the operating for best to endorse.

When you’re in search of huge adjustments, look elsewhere: The Clara 2E is quite a bit just like the Clara of previous, however with a couple of notable updates.

First, there’s an improved display — it isn’t evening and day, however the enhancements over the previous few years are noticeable, with darker and sharper textual content and lighter backgrounds (or the inverse in darkish mode). You could not discover until you place them facet by facet, however for those who did (like me) you’d agree it’s an actual if not transformative improve. The colour-adjustable lighting is just about similar to far as I might inform.

Second, the “E” within the title signifies Eco, so far as I can inform. It is because the again plate of every machine is constituted of recycled plastic, making its exterior solely 15 % recent stuff. After all that doesn’t apply to the display, the chips inside, and so forth, however it’s at the least good to know that a tool you’re getting is notionally much less wasteful than the choice.

Picture Credit: Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch

Third, although the physique is nearly an identical to the previous Clara HD — and that’s not a foul factor — they’ve modified the baffling backside energy button to a pleasant recessed one on the again. Thank god! It additionally makes use of USB-C now, which ought to enhance cost instances and perhaps lower down on the variety of cables you might have to lug round when touring.

Final, it’s now waterproof — as in, an hour six ft underneath. So don’t fear about dropping it within the pool.

Past these recent options, it’s very much like its predecessor. Once more, although, that’s good! At $130, the Clara 2E matches neatly into the entry-level however not cut price bin stage of machine the place you get a very powerful components of costlier readers (300 DPI display, temperature-adjustable mild) however skip the pointless luxuries.

A bigger display might be each a blessing and a curse, and I’ve discovered that jotting notes on any display smaller than 8″ diagonal is extra hassle than it’s value. The one function I’d add is a display flush with the bezels, and that’s asking quite a bit at this worth.


As with Kobo’s different choices, the Clara 2E helps numerous book and doc codecs out of your favourite store or free supplier, built-in Overdrive and Pocket for library books and articles respectively, in addition to audiobooks — nonetheless solely from Kobo’s retailer, alas.

I’ve additionally discovered over the past 12 months that there’s a sturdy Kobo-hacking neighborhood placing collectively actually stable different interfaces, for those who like tweaking stuff or don’t fancy the official UI (Koreader, Plato, and NickelMenu are all value making an attempt out). Plus you possibly can drag and drop recent fonts in — I’ve added masses.

The Clara 2E comes with its personal model of the sensible sleep cowl that made the Libra 2 for me – right here’s that assessment:

The sleep cowl is a plastic protecting case with a mushy leather-esque sheath and magnets that inform the reader to sleep or wake while you shut or open it. However extra importantly, it folds up into a bit kickstand, propping up the machine at a readable angle.

Picture Credit: Devin Coldewey / TechCrunch

It really works a deal with, although it isn’t fairly as nice a grip because the Libra 2’s while you use it as a deal with. It should additionally fold flat like a standard case for those who choose that.

Evaluating this reader to Kobo’s different choices, for me there’s no competitors — the Clara 2E is one of the best deal by an extended mile. Alternatively, the Libra 2 provides buttons and a bit extra display house with a really comfy uneven fashion, although whether or not it’s well worth the soar to $180 solely you possibly can say. The Sage felt too huge for normal studying, and the Nia compromises on display high quality, which is absolutely a very powerful factor.

In Kindle world, the Paperwhite prices $160 (for those who don’t need lockscreen adverts — ugh) and doesn’t supply any actual enhancements besides entry to the Amazon ecosystem, admittedly for some folks a very important piece. The brand new Kindle is $120 and fairly comparable hardware-wise (I haven’t in contrast the screens immediately but) however all different issues being equal I all the time vote Kobo.

So for the current, my official suggestion for anybody who asks shall be to get the Clara 2E, with its folding sleep cowl for those who can spare the additional $30.

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