Kobo Clara 2E review: it’s not only a waterproof e-reader, but also an audio player

© Erick Fontaine / Lesnumériques

Again, Kobo presents a minimalist reader. Like the previous model, the Clara 2E keeps it strong and simple, starting with the packaging, a simple recycled cardboard box containing a short user manual and a USB-C cord (no main 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 to HD, Clara 2E is less strict in this two-tone color. The back is grainy for a better grip, and sports a large on/off button.

The Clara 2E fits well in the hand and is light (171 grams) and thin (8.7 mm thick for a face 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 of internal memory – twice the Clara HD – frees the new Kobo from a microSD memory card and can accommodate several thousand books.

Its 1500 mAh battery gives it autonomy in “A few weeks“, which is practically equivalent to two months, at the rate of 30 minutes of reading per day, the Wi-Fi is turned off. For additional savings, this reader can activate the “automatic standby” function (after in 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 ambient light. This function also makes it possible to reduce or eliminate the famous “blue light” that is emitted by screens and harms sleep.

Finally, for bathroom reading enthusiasts, the Kobo Clara 2E is IPX8 certified. So it can 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 it is automatically switched off 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 restricting it. It is eco-responsible and made from recycled plastic. Another more basic case is offered for € 19.99, but it does not allow the reader to be placed vertically.

Editor's Rating: 3 out of 5

Ergonomics

Although the Clara 2E is not covered with a soft rubber coating, the ribbed back panel ensures a good grip on the fingers and limits the risk of falling. As we mentioned in the presentation, turning on is easier, because the On / Off button is 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 to connect the reader to a Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately the most used network(s) are not saved, requiring you to type your password every 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 quickly lights up, revealing a structure we know well from Kobo. The upper right part presents the brightness adjustment, the Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connection, the battery level, the synchronization of the download of new books and updates, and a field to 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, taken or read, with the percentage read and the remaining time to finish the book, followed by books owned and recommendations for in the same reading. Obviously, direct access to the Kobo store is required as well as a link to the monthly Kobo Plus 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 with a list of reading preferences, articles downloaded through Pocket, activities related to reading time as well as the rewards associated with it, features of beta (web browser, large print mode, the sketchbook) , the settings (eReader toolbox) and the help section.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

When books are purchased and downloaded, they go into the collection of your choice, defined by your own themes. It is possible to return the pages in different ways. To do this, go to “Reading Settings” Where the four modes are available to you: choose a place on the screen to return the pages and raise the menu (in the middle or at the bottom of the page). The pages are scrolled by swiping the screen from to the right. to the 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 at the bottom or in the middle of the page. Two fields are open to us. The first one at the bottom 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 show all the pop pages -up to go and it’s easier for 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, dictionaries, similar readings and tips for use (reading menu, turning pages , enter a word, take notes, adjust the brightness by swiping the screen, and sync the eReader with the mobile app).

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

Clara 2E allows you to search while reading a book. So a long press on a word brings up a dialog box that shows its definition through the combined dictionary of Larousse or provides its translation through 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’s an E-Ink Carta 1200 screen with a resolution of 1448 x 1072 px (300 dpi) at 16 gray levels. It occupies 63% of the front surface. And good news, it’s less 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 emitted by the diodes hidden under the screen. This light is very white at first then turns orange when it gets dark. It reduces exposure to blue light, especially to help you sleep better. So it is necessary to opt for the automatic adjustment that changes the color of the screen according to the time of sleep that we have shown before.

If the brightness is adjusted from a specific tab positioned at the top of the screen, the reader can also change it by sliding (from top to bottom and vice versa) with his finger on the left part of the screen. Very handy when reading.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Lesnumériques

There is also a white-on-black dark mode, which allows you to invert the rendering of the page so that the text appears white on a black background.

The contrast ratio measured (backlight off) reveals an index of 110, which is not bad if you know that the podium is occupied by the Kobo Elipsa with an index against 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 stick to a summary management of PDFs; the screen size does not facilitate their reading and the interface is slow.

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

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

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

But what catches the eye, or rather the ear, is the compatibility of audiobooks. All you have 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 stiff. Like the mobile application, you can move the reading forward or backward by 30 seconds, speed up or slow down the diction, adjust the volume, access the table of contents and make searches through the dictionary in 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. So regulars will find the Activity section with “Reading Statistics”, “Rewards” and “Pocket”.

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

KOBO CLARA 2E eReader

© Erick Fontaine / Digital

The “Awards” section encourages 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.

  • Comfort Light.

  • Compatibility of audiobooks.

Weak points

  • Difficulty reading some comics and PDFs.

  • Its SleepCover case is a bit heavy.

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