Kobo’s new e-readers are a minor launch that almost all can skip (with one exception).

A number of weeks in the past, Kobo launched some new e-readers: coloration variations of the wonderful Libra 2 and Claraand up to date monochrome model the final one. However having examined all of them, I can say that for many customers there isn’t any motive to change.

Firstly, coloration editions. I have been ready for coloration e-paper screens for what appears like half my life, and so they have not but reached the extent of brightness I would like to really take pleasure in comics and web sites on them. The identical goes for Clara Coloration and Libra Coloration.

These units use E Ink’s newest Kaleido 3 show, and naturally issues have modified from what we noticed 10 years in the past. However the reality is that coloration copy remains to be not excellent. Higher than it is ever been… however unhealthy in comparison with virtually all the pieces else.

I do not perceive why there’s any want for coloration on a 6-inch gadget the scale of a pulp paperback e book. I attempted studying just a few comics, however the textual content is just too small and the zooming and panning is just too awkward. And the colours, though current, are blurred in all shades. Perhaps a kids’s e book?

Now I wish to give credit score the place credit score is due: the display screen shows a variety of colours – I checked out one panel specifically that had a number of completely different however related shades of blue (not the one beneath) and I used to be in a position to distinguish them virtually as nicely on the reader as I may on my common LCD display screen. They’re, in fact, unsaturated, however they’re there.

Moire and aliasing are much less noticeable in particular person, however you get the thought.
Picture credit: TechCrunch

All of those criticisms apply equally to the bigger Libra Coloration, the newest in a line of asymmetrical 7-inch units with web page flip buttons. That additional inch offers about as a lot additional readability as you’d count on—not a lot—however the display screen itself is not any completely different.

You is likely to be pondering: why not simply purchase a coloration one so you’ve gotten the choice? In spite of everything, you possibly can nonetheless learn common books. Sure, however… sadly, the colour layer truly degrades the black and white content material.

I in contrast Clara Coloration and BW facet by facet – and for that matter… one 12 months outdated Clara 2E I sat idle. Despite the fact that they’re all nominally the identical decision, the colour seems to be as if there’s some form of gentle movie over it, barely darkening the complete show and consequently lowering distinction.

This isn’t just a few little factor that may solely be seen by way of a microscope. It is actually apparent. Coloration screens change into boring and tougher to learn. I attempted and didn’t seize it in images, however belief me, it is undoubtedly a step down.

As such, I merely cannot advocate the colour variations of those readers to anybody until you’ve gotten a particular use case the place desaturated colours and barely degraded studying high quality aren’t an enormous deal.

As for the Clara BW, it is primarily the brand new default advice I am going to give—not as a result of it is considerably superior to my beloved Clara 2E reader, however as a result of it affords modest enhancements for $10 much less.

The brand new model of this quite simple kind issue features a barely up to date Carta 1300 sequence display screen that boasts barely higher distinction and web page turning pace. In my testing of 2E, I discovered it to be noticeably sooner when turning pages rapidly, however this is not noticeable throughout regular use. And when it comes to readability and distinction, they had been roughly equal to my eye, with a slight benefit for the brand new gadget. My favourite characteristic is that it would not crash once I plug it into the pc half the time, a behavior of the Clara 2E that I’ve given up on fixing.

So that you’re truly getting what I feel is probably the most sensible e-reader in the marketplace for most individuals for simply $130, down from $140. No advertisements, add your personal fonts and paperwork, built-in library app, loads of room for experimentation and hacking. Nevertheless, when you have a Clara 2E or perhaps a Clara HD, I do not assume the improve is value it. The standard of fonts has not improved a lot over the previous few years.

As earlier than, I like to recommend buying a fake leather-based “sleeping case” that not solely protects your gadget from the standard abrasions, but additionally folds down right into a cute little stand. I like to recommend the colour Cayenne Pink so that you by no means lose it. Belief me, you will be glad you spent $30.

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