Kobo’s latest eReader has just been announced – the Clara 2E is the successor to Kobo’s mid-range Clara HD tablet and retains all its bells and whistles, plus some new ones to enhance your reading experience. The selling point, however, is the environmentally conscious attitude.
For the first time, Kobo has created an e-reader made largely from recycled plastic. The Clara 2E’s chassis is, as the company promises, made from 85% recycled plastic, including 10% of ocean waste. Kobo is committed to doing its bit for the planet and we applaud the effort.
That’s not all, however. Not only does it retain the sleek design of the Clara HD with a 6-inch display, the display has also been updated to the latest E Ink Carta 1200 technology. That means it will be faster and more responsive than its predecessor. It’s the same screen used in the Kobo Libra 2 – our pick of the best eReaders out there – and boosts contrast by 15% for better text clarity and increases screen response time by a very significant 20%.
The Clara 2E also gets Bluetooth connectivity, so you can listen to audiobooks through a set of wireless headphones or a portable speaker, and doubles the internal storage by 16GB. USB-C charging is now the norm on Kobo eReaders, and the Clara 2E is no different. Most importantly, though, it’s also waterproof – something the Clara HD was noticeably lacking.
Picking one up will set you back $129.99 / £129.99 / AU$229.95, making it $10 / £10 / AU$40 more expensive than its predecessor. However, you get a whole host of new features with this model. You can already order one from Kobo’s online store (opens in new tab) in your area, but you’ll have to wait until the end of September to get it in your hands.
This also means it’s still cheaper than the latest 11th-gen Kindle Paperwhite in the US and Australia (at $10 / AU$10), although both eReaders are the same price in the UK (£129.99). You get twice the memory with the Clara 2E, so it may be worth considering if you’re looking for the Paperwhite, especially if you’d rather use that extra savings on some new ebooks.
Environmentally friendly reading
This will be Kobo’s first eReader made according to its new eco-conscious scheme. As we mentioned before, the Clara 2E is made from 85% recycled plastic, of which 10% is ocean-bound waste. That’s things like water bottles and CDs that were salvaged and transformed to make this new device. This doesn’t change the design, as it still looks like the Clara HD, but it’s nice for readers looking for more eco-friendly options.
This surpasses what Amazon has done with its latest Kindle Paperwhite models (including the Signature Edition). The 11th generation Paperwhite is also a climate-friendly product, but only 60% of the housing is made from recycled plastic.
An improvement that we are very happy with is the water resistance. Unlike the Clara HD, you don’t have to worry about dropping the Clara 2E in the tub or pool thanks to its IPX8 rating, which is in line with its competitor, Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite, and other Kobo models. such as the Sage, Libra 2 and Forma. For those who don’t know what that rating means, the Clara 2E can be submerged in two meters of fresh water for up to an hour without damage.
Kobo already offers a fantastic range of supported file formats, but access to audiobooks in the Clara 2E is another welcome addition that was also missing from all older models prior to the Libra 2. When paired with a set of wireless headphones or a speaker, you can enjoy your favorite books with this device, whether you prefer to read or listen to them. If Kobo hasn’t changed its audiobook policy yet, the only caveat is that all audiobooks you can listen to on the Clara 2E are those you bought from the Kobo Store – this is the case with the Libra 2 and the Sage.
We’ll be putting the Clara 2E to the test soon, so get in touch to see if it’s really worth the higher asking price.