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Kobo Clara 2E review: this is not just a waterproof e-reader, but also an audio player

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Kobo Clara 2E review: this is not just a waterproof e-reader, but also an audio player
Written by madishthestylebar

© Erick Fontaine / Lesnumériques

Once again, Kobo presents a minimalist reader. Like the previous model, the Clara 2E retains this sober and simplistic side, starting with the packaging, a simple recycled cardboard box containing a brief user manual and a USB-C cord (without mains unit). The latter allows the (fast) recharging of the device, but also its connection to a PC. It also has Bluetooth to connect headphones, earphones or a speaker.

KOBO CLARA 2E digital reader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

First difference with HD, the Clara 2E is less austere with this two-tone color. Part of the back is grainy for better grip, and sports the big on/off button.

The Clara 2E fits well in the hand and is rather light (171 grams) and thin (8.7 mm thick for a surface of 15.90 x 11.2 cm). It is one of the thinnest e-readers on the market.

KOBO CLARA 2E digital reader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The 16 GB internal memory – twice the Clara HD – frees the new Kobo from a microSD memory card and can accommodate a few thousand books.

Its 1500 mAh battery gives it an autonomy of “Several weeks“, which corresponds in practice to two months, at the rate of 30 minutes of reading per day, Wi-Fi switched off. For more savings, this reader can activate the “automatic standby” function (after 5 to 60 min ).

KOBO CLARA 2E digital reader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The 6-inch HD capacitive touch screen (15.24 cm diagonal) once again uses E-Ink Carta 1200 technology. read comfortably regardless of the brightness of the environment. This function also makes it possible to reduce or even eliminate the famous “blue light” emitted by screens and harmful to sleep.

Finally, for fans of reading in the bath, the Kobo Clara 2E is IPX8 certified. It can therefore be submerged under 2 m of water for 60 min.

The removable SleepCover case (available as an option) provides better protection for the e-reader and turns it off automatically by folding the cover.

KOBO CLARA 2E digital reader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Sold for €29.99 and available in three colors (black, coral orange and sea green), the SleepCover also allows the reader to be placed vertically on a table, to read without holding it. It is eco-responsible and made from recycled plastic. Another more basic case is offered at € 19.99, but it does not allow the reader to be placed vertically.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Ergonomics

Even if the Clara 2E is not covered with a soft rubber coating, the ribbed rear panel ensures good grip for the fingers and limits the risk of falling. As we mentioned in the presentation, switching on is now easier, since the On / Off button located on the back of the reader.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Once turned on, the first thing you are asked to do is connect the reader to a Wi-Fi network. Too bad the most used network(s) are not saved, requiring you to type your password each time.

After that, the eReader will automatically perform and download the latest update. A Kobo account is required to take full advantage of the eReader.

The screen lights up fairly quickly, revealing a structure that we know well from Kobo. The upper right part presents the adjustment of the brightness, the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connection, the battery level, the synchronization to download new books and updates, and a field to perform search for a title, author, series from the Kobo store or among downloaded books.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The central part of the screen is occupied by tiles dedicated to the last works consulted, extracted or being read, with the percentage read and the time remaining to finish the book, followed by books owned and recommendations for similar reading. Obviously direct access to the Kobo store is required as well as a link to the Kobo Plus monthly subscription offer.

At the bottom of the screen are four tabs (Home, My Books, Discover, and More).

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The More section is a sort of catch-all containing the list of reading wishes, articles downloaded via Pocket, activity related to reading time as well as the rewards that go with it, beta features (web browser, large print mode, the sketchbook), the settings (eReader toolbox) and the help section.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Once the books are purchased and downloaded, they go into the collection of your choice, defined by your own themes. It is possible to turn the pages in different ways. To do this, go to the “Reading Settings” where four modes are available to you: choice of an area of ​​the screen to turn the pages and bring up the menu (in the center or at the bottom of the page). The pages are scrolled by swiping the screen from right to left and vice versa The refresh rate can be applied page by page, up to a maximum of ten, or at the end of each chapter.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Once reading has started, you can access various settings by pressing on the bottom or in the middle of the page. Two fields are open to us. The first in the lower part of the page informs us of the number of the current page and allows access to the table of contents, annotations, to search for a word or expression on the page or to display all the pages in pop-up to go more quickly to one of them.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The upper part, the most important, allows you to adjust the brightness, to choose a font (among 11) and its size and to justify the text. There are also reading statistics for the current chapter and for the entire book, without forgetting the possibility of annotating passages, the dictionary, similar readings and usage tips (reading menu, turning the pages, set a word, take notes, adjust the brightness by swiping along the screen, and sync the eReader with the mobile app).

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The Clara 2E allows you to search while reading a book. Thus a long press on a word brings up a dialog box which displays its definition via the integrated Larousse dictionary or gives its translation via one of the 21 dictionaries offered. You can also go to Google or Wikipedia. Annotations, highlighting and bookmarks are also in order.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5

Screen

The capacitive screen of the Clara HD has a diagonal of 6 inches (15.24 cm). It is an E-Ink Carta 1200 screen with a definition of 1448 x 1072 px (300 dpi) at 16 levels of gray. It occupies 63% of the front face. And good news, it is not too sensitive to fingerprints.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Lesnumériques

Kobo’s ComfortLight technology automatically adjusts brightness to daylight. Thus the “natural light” parameter makes it possible to control the light diffused by the diodes hidden under the screen. This light is very white at first then turns orange when it is dark. This reduces exposure to blue light, especially to help you fall asleep better. Hence the need to opt for the automatic adjustment which varies the color of the screen according to the bedtime that we have previously indicated.

If the brightness is adjusted from a specific tab positioned in the upper part of the screen, the reader will also be able to vary it by sliding (from top to bottom and vice versa) his finger on the left part of the screen. Very handy when reading.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Lesnumériques

White-on-black dark mode is also available, allowing you to invert the rendering of the page so that text appears in white on a black background.

The contrast ratio measured (backlight off) reveals an index of 110, which is not bad when you know that the podium is occupied by the Kobo Elipsa with a contrast index of 132.

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5

Sizes

Like the Kobo range, the Clara 2E is versatile and natively supports 15 playback formats. These include eBooks (EPub, EPub3, FlePub, PDF, TXT, HTML and RTF), images (JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MOBI and TIFF) and comics (CBZ and CBR). However, we remain on a summary management of PDFs; the screen size does not facilitate their reading and the interface is then rather slow.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Despite its formats dedicated to comics, CBZ and CBR, the Kobo Clara 2E is not the most recommended reader, especially for so-called “Franco-Belgian” comics and comics. Two reasons for this: the size of the screen and the absence of colors. On the other hand, for Mangas, the Kobo does the job.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

But what catches the eye, or rather the ear, is the compatibility with audiobooks. All you need to do is bring a Bluetooth headset or speaker and buy and download an audio book (only from the Kobo online bookstore). The sound is decent, but the display is a bit austere. Just like the mobile application, you can move the reading forward or backward by 30 seconds, speed up or decrease the speed of diction, adjust the volume, access the table of contents and carry out searches via the dictionary on a word heard.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Tools

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Kobo has abandoned games (chess, sudoku…) since the release of the Aura model. Regulars will therefore find the Activity section which contains “Reading statistics”, “Rewards” and “Pocket”.

The first allows you to view in real time the position in the book, in the current chapter, the time remaining to finish the book or the chapter. The number of pages read per minute is also displayed. We also find the number of books read as well as the number of hours devoted to reading.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The “Awards” section motivates readers with 16 macaroons to win, including “book lover”, represented by a kiss, or “social butterfly”, which makes the reader a champion of the social network after sharing 10 books on Facebook .

The “Pocket” function allows you to read articles downloaded from the Internet in off-line mode using the integrated Wi-Fi connection.

Strong points

  • HD screen.

  • Waterproof.

  • ComfortLight.

  • Compatibility with audiobooks.

Weak points

  • Complicated reading of certain comics and PDFs.

  • A little heavy with its SleepCover case.

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