During these days we have been testing the latest Kobo by Fnac brand eReaders. The brand presented the new Kobo Sage and Kobo Libra 2 models that improve its catalog by seeking better reading quality and increasing the capabilities of these devices. The Kobo Sage is priced at € 289.99 and the Kobo Libra 2 at € 189.99.
The new models follow the design lines already featured in the Kobo eReaders . At the aesthetic level the difference between the two is the inches of each. The Kobo Sage is a larger model of 8 inches , one of its edges is bulky so that we can take it easily and with a comfortable position for the hand. It does not matter if we do it with the left or the right, the eReader automatically changes direction depending on the way we take it. On this side we also have the buttons to turn the page up to the right and down to the left, likewise, if we do not want to use them we can turn the page by touching the touch screen. Although in this case we are facing a somewhat larger model, the truth is that it is very light and comfortable to handle for a long time even in bed, where this type of device can become more tiring.
Both models have a rough back, this point seems very successful and comfortable since it avoids possible slipping if we are using it without a cover. At the back, in an accessible area, we will find a round button to turn the device on and off.
The Kobo Libra 2 has a screen of 7 inches , dimensions of 144.6 x 161.6 x 9 mm and a weight of 215 grams.
Both models have a screen ConfortLight PRO, E Ink 1200 technology and a resolution of 300 dpi that allows an automatic brightness adjustment, if we want it that way or adjustable to our needs. These are very pleasant screens, which allow us to read without straining our eyes, which adapt to our environment and also allow us to read without having to turn on the light if we don’t want to or if we can’t.
Turning the page in the new Kobo is like turning the page in a normal book, the ink will not leave any fast and the process will be fast.
Where we have found some “ink residue” is when using the “Notebooks” option of the Kobo Sage. Some traces remain when you delete a word, open and close a menu, or use the keyboard.
If there is one thing in which these two new models stand out, it is that, in addition to ensuring a comfortable reading, they provide additional features that complement it. Both models have Bluetooth to be able to listen to the audiobooks that we buy in the Rakuten store. To listen to these audiobooks we will need to connect them to an audio device with a Bluetooth connection either a speaker or headphones, the eReader itself does not have an audio output. Connecting it with a Bluethoot device gives the advantage of audiobooks and that is that we can listen to it while doing anything mechanical that does not require a lot of concentration or when we go down the street. It is true that listening to them from a smartphone is much easier, since they are smaller and allows us to do it while we are doing an activity that prevents us from being charged with the eReader, such as running or any other sports activity. But to be at home or on the way to work or somewhere, it is easy to get used to activating the audio books from the Kobo Sage or the Kobo Libra 2. At the end of the day, it is as if you had your entire library gathered, both the written as read.
Also, from the Rakuten Kobo store we can access 7 million ebooks and audiobooks that we can buy directly from Kobo eReaders.
The model Kobo Libra 2 also, being the evolution of the H2O model, is waterproof . Meets the requirements of IPX8 rating and withstands up to two meters deep submerged for one hour. So it allows you to relax in a bathtub reading without any fear.
Both models have 32GB storage , in the case of the Kobo Libra 2 the processor is 1 GHz and the Kobo Sage is 1.8 GHz multicore.
From the new Kobo eReader models we can read books in 15 compatible formats : EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF , CBZ, CBR. Also thanks to its synchronization with Dropbox we can access our files saved in the cloud to consult them whenever we want. In the case that we do it from the Kobo Sage and we have a Kobo Stylus we can also make annotations and modifications, not only in the Dropbox files, but in any ebook or file that we keep in the Kobo Sage.
The Kobo Sage is not only designed to read so that you can write and express your thoughts, its functions are complemented by those of the Kobo Elipsa that we already saw a few months ago. If we go to the “More” section, we can access “My notebooks” where we can create as many notebooks as we want, whether they are basic or advanced. In the case of the advanced notebook, it automatically converts the text you enter by hand into typography, it also allows you to add free-form sections, to draw what you want, diagrams and equations. If we compare it with the Kobo Elipsa we see some shortcomings in the Kobo Sage when it comes to processing the notebooks. Keep in mind that it is not a device designed to take notes, as the Elipsa is, but rather that its main function is to read or listen, in this sense the “notebooks” function is quite useful, although if we ask a lot errors may appear such as the entire notebook we are working with is erased.
Both the Kobo Sage and the Kobo Libra 2 can be synchronized with Pocket , this means that not only do we have at our disposal the practically infinite library of Rakuten, but we can also comfortably read from our eReader any web article that we save through Pocket.
Kobo eReaders are customizable and allow us to modify the font of the letter with up to 12 different fonts and with more than 50 styles. We can change the size of the font that we choose, the space between lines, the margins or the alignment. As I mentioned before, we can take notes in our ebooks. In the event that we do it with the Kobo Sage and we have the Kobo Stylus, these notes may be more elaborate.
When we turn on the Kobo eReader and with our session started, we will see the eBooks or audiobooks that we have. Of each one we will see a miniature of its cover and below information of the percentage that we have read or listened to and how much time we have left to finish it, a calculation that makes our book read or listen to each content. If we click once on the thumbnail we will go to it, if we click and hold it will open a submenu with different options, such as adding it to a collection, changing it to read or unread, deleting it or the annotations. In the annotations we can consult any underlining or annotation that we have made in the book and go directly to it if we wish.
Within a book, if we press quickly in the center of the book, the options will appear that allow changing the font size, blocking the page so that it does not change automatically if we change position, modify the brightness, the statistics or fast forward or backward .
The new Kobo Sage and Kobo Libra 2 also come with new add-ons that make them even more versatile. As we have mentioned previously, the Kobo Stylus is the perfect complement to get the most out of our Kobo Sage, but it also has a PowerCover that will increase the use time of the Kobo Sage. This PowerCover is easily connected by magnetic pins to the Kobo Sage, if we want to charge the PowerCover itself it must also be connected to the eReader if it will charge at the same time as the Kobo Sage. It is also a smart cover that activates and deactivates the ebook every time we open it. This PowerCover is only compatible for Kobo Sage and although it has a support to leave the Kobo Sytlus, it does not charge it, it is only powered by AAA batteries.
Returning to the PowerCover case, although it is very comfortable and pleasant and breathes more life into the Kobo Sage, it doubles the weight of the eReader when we have it connected, since it weighs 257 grams. A weight that can already be unpleasant, depending on the position in which we are reading.
On the other hand, the Kobo Libra 2 brings a new SleepCover, also intelligent and thanks to its folds it can function as a lectern for the eReader so that we can place it on a surface and read easily.
It is very difficult to stand up to a Kindle that, in addition to its extreme quality for reading, has the entire Amazon ecosystem to support it. But the new Kobo models can look you in the eye and with your chin held high. Reading is not only comfortable but is reinforced with elements that do not disturb and complement it. We see it especially in the Kobo Sage model in which we not only have an eReader, we also have a notebook that can accompany you anywhere and easily save all your annotations in the cloud to edit them whenever and wherever you want. If for whatever reason you want to abandon Kindle and are looking for an alternative that does not make you miss them, the new Kobo are the right option.
Two eReaders at the height of a Kindle, very versatile and that allow you to read comfortably.
Design and construction quality 9