Kobo Clara 2E review: A worthy update to a solid e-reader, with an eco-conscious touch | TheTrendyType

by The Trendy Type

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 advice has wavered as I’ve examined the compact Poke 3 and ergonomic Libra 2, however the brand new model of the Clara places it again within the operating for best to endorse.

For those who’re in search of massive adjustments, look elsewhere: The Clara 2E is so much like the Clara of old however with a couple of notable updates.

First, there’s an improved display screen — it isn’t night time and day, however the enhancements over the previous couple of years are noticeable, with darker and sharper textual content and lighter backgrounds (or the inverse in darkish mode). You might not discover until you place them aspect by aspect, however when you did (like me) you’d agree it’s an actual if not transformative improve. The colour-adjustable lighting is just about the identical so far as I might inform.

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

Picture Credit: Devin Coldewey / TheTrendyType

Third, although the physique is nearly an identical to the previous Clara HD — and that’s not a nasty 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 occasions and perhaps reduce down on the variety of cables you need to lug round when touring.

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

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

A bigger display screen will be each a blessing and a curse, and I’ve discovered that jotting notes on any screen smaller than 8″ diagonal is extra bother than it’s value. The one characteristic I’d add is a display screen flush with the bezels, and that’s asking so much at this worth.


As with Kobo’s different choices, the Clara 2E helps a number of e-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 strong various interfaces, when you like tweaking stuff or don’t fancy the official UI (Koreader, Plato and NickelMenu are all value attempting out). Plus you possibly can drag-and-drop new fonts in — I’ve added hundreds.

The Clara 2E comes with its personal model of the good sleep cowl that made the Libra 2 for me — right here’s that evaluation:

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

Picture Credit: Devin Coldewey / TheTrendyType

It really works a deal with, although it isn’t fairly as nice a grip because the Libra 2’s if you use it as a deal with. It would additionally fold flat like a traditional case when you choose that.

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

In Kindle world, the Paperwhite prices $160 (when you don’t need lock-screen adverts — ugh) and doesn’t provide any actual enhancements besides entry to the Amazon ecosystem, admittedly for some individuals an essential 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 advice for anybody who asks might be to get the Clara 2E with its folding sleep cowl when you can spare the additional $30.

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