Kobo refreshes e-reader line with Sage and Libra 2, adding Bluetooth and stylus support – TechCrunch


A pair of recent e-readers from Kobo iterate on the corporate’s high-end choices, adding Bluetooth audiobook and stylus support to the now acquainted asymmetrical design of its bigger gadgets. The Sage and Libra 2 additionally acquire a brand new charging cowl so that you solely should plug the gadget in each few months moderately than each few weeks.

The Sage is the higher-end of the 2 fashions, being an evolution of the Forma, which I reviewed here. The wonderful 8″, 300 PPI display and color-adjustable display gentle are the identical, so relaxation assured the studying expertise will proceed to be nice. Likewise the Libra 2 is the sequel to the Libra H2O (they’re dropping the H2O, but it surely’s nonetheless waterproof), with the identical sort of show and gentle at 7″ as a substitute. (If you need smaller, the Clara continues to be the most effective transfer.)

New in each the readers is Bluetooth audio that can be utilized completely for sending Kobo audiobooks to your wi-fi headset of alternative. While it’s at all times good to have new capabilities, it’s somewhat shocking that Kobo determined to restrict this to its personal service. The firm has usually been very open to totally different codecs and providers, letting you load no matter doc codecs you need on its readers — so it’s shocking that the method right here is extra restricted. It’s attainable that tie-ins with different providers (just like the gadgets’ stable Pocket integration) are merely forthcoming. Both readers come with 32 gigs of storage in-built to accommodate this new space-hogging function.

A man sitting on a couch reading on a Libra e-reader.

Image Credits: Kobo

Only the Sage will get support for Kobo’s new stylus, nonetheless, which was first put to make use of on the new, large-type Ellipsa. It was helpful there however primarily because of the bigger format permitting the mandatory area for sketching and jotting down notes. Whether that utility makes the leap to the smaller (however nonetheless on the big facet for an e-reader) Sage is hard to foretell — however we must always be capable to consider that after we evaluation it.

The type issue of the gadgets has, sadly, gained considerably in dimension and weight. The Forma and Libra H2O had been notable for what you may name their “side chin,” a wedge-shaped bezel you can use to carry and function the e-reader one-handed. Although as a rule I favor symmetrical issues, the shape issue (pioneered, it have to be stated, by Amazon with the Oasis) has grown on me, partly as a result of the display a part of the gadget is so skinny that it feels moderately futuristic and in fact takes up little or no area.

Side view of the Sage (top) and Forma (bottom). Truly the differences seem smaller than I made them out to be.

Side view of the Sage (prime) and Forma (backside). Truly the variations appear smaller than I made them out to be. Image Credits: Kobo

The new Sage and Libra 2 are positively chunkier, with no extra-thin display half, as a substitute being as thick as thickest part during. It’s a clear design in some methods and for all I do know it could even be extra comfy to carry, but it surely’s already powerful sufficient to discover a pocket the Forma suits in. And it doesn’t assist that each are about 20% heavier. While technically that solely quantities to a couple dozen grams and 3 or 4 millimeters, a part of the draw of e-readers to start with is that they’re skinny and gentle.

Anyway it won’t matter as soon as you place a case on this stuff — there’s a brand new evolution of the SleepCover, which robotically turns the gadget on or off once you open it, within the PowerCover, which additionally prices the gadget it protects. Of course that’ll in all probability add one other few hundred grams too.

Though I grouse about these small adjustments to design and dimensions, the display and entrance gentle are nonetheless class-leading and Kobo’s software program is nice and simple for studying. We’ll see how these new gadgets stack as much as the outdated ones as quickly as we’ve the prospect to evaluation them.

The Kobo Sage will value $260, and the Libra 2 will value $180 once they ship on October 19. You can preorder them now in the event you’re feeling fortunate.


Source: techcrunch.com