The Kobo Libra 2 is a model new e-reader that has simply turn out to be accessible in late October, 2021. This gadget has a number of main promoting factors, it has double the storage from the unique Libra 1 and it’s now potential to purchase audiobooks from the Kobo bookstore and hearken to them by way of wi-fi headphones or an exterior speaker, akin to a Sonos sound bar. It is just barely costlier than the Libra 2, by about $10 in Canada and the US.
The Libra 2 incorporates a 7 inch E INK Carta 1200 show with a decision of 1264×1680 with 300 PPI. What precisely is that this new e-paper know-how? E Ink Carta 1200 delivers a 20% improve in response time over E Ink Carta 1000, and an enchancment within the distinction ratio of 15%. E Ink Carta 1200 modules include a TFT (skinny movie transistor), Ink layer and Protecting Sheet. The touchscreen is definitely included into the module stack. Historically, the capacitive contact know-how is positioned on prime of the show module. This one is constructed into it, which helps scale back prices.
The e-reader display screen is just not fully flush with the bezel, there’s a very small incline, a small dip.. The display screen is protected by glass substrate, which protects the e-paper show. I’ve usually discovered that there are usually issues with utilizing glass that’s overlaying e-paper. I’ve observed with vibrant overhead mild, you’ll get reflections on the display screen and likewise below direct solar.
Beneath the hood is a 1 GHZ single core processor, 512MB of RAM and 32 GB of inner storage. It has USB-C to cost the gadget and has a decent 1,500 mAH battery. It is possible for you to to attach as much as the Kobo Bookstore, Overdrive and entry Pocket by way of WIFI. It has Bluetooth 5.1 to be able to join up a pair of headphones to hearken to audiobooks.
This gadget is waterproof with an IPX8 ranking, so it may be submerged in contemporary water for as much as 60 minutes and a depth of two meters. Do individuals actually learn within the bathtub? Kobo has by no means actually printed any research on it. I do know from speaking to a whole lot of individuals about waterproof e-readers through the years they respect that it they will learn with sticky fingers when consuming or dumping a glass of wine or espresso everywhere in the display screen. You possibly can merely simply wash the e-reader with faucet water and simply clear it off. Most e-readers, if they’ve numerous water droplets on the display screen or if its completely submerged, usually the touchscreen doesn’t work, as a result of the water or droplets register as touchscreen interactions. It is a moot level with the Libra 2, because it has bodily web page flip buttons, which is able to work simply high quality.
Kobo launched an audiobook subscription service in 2017 and membership prices $12.99 per 30 days in Canada and $9.99 within the US. It comes with a with a 30-day free trial interval. Prospects will get one credit score a month with their subscription and they are often redeemed for any audiobook title on the platform. You can even buy Kobo Audiobooks individually and store with confidence with their Value Match Assure. Their apps for Android and iOS have been shortly up to date with an audiobook participant. So why did Kobo deliver audiobook’s to the Libra 2 and Sage?
A few weeks in the past, earlier than the Libra 2 was introduced, I spoke at size with Ramesh Mantha, the VP of merchandise and units at Kobo. He said that offering assist for audiobooks was not expressivity achieved to compete with Audible, who has offered audiobook assist on Kindle e-readers for the previous 4 years. Though the Kindle had first mover benefit, Audible is barely accessible in a number of choose international locations, the place Kobo operates worldwide. “We need to compete in all places the place Kindle and Audible isn’t.”
The choice to supply audiobooks on e-readers was not achieved straight away. Since 2019 they’ve been asking their Kobo Insiders, a personal, invite solely group the place probably the most hardcore discuss books and e-readers, varied questions on future e-readers. There was overwhelming assist in regards to the inclusion of audio. Kobo performed focus teams, talked to customers individually and seemed on the market. “Individuals take into consideration Kobo as their ebook place, much less distractions and no popups and frivolous notification’s, one thing a telephone can’t do.” Kobo introducing audiobooks on the Libra 2 took loads of work, they needed to principally create an audiobook participant from scratch, such because the MP3 decoder and solely used a number of opensource APIS for the engine. The top consequence will likely be spectacular, customers will be capable to get pleasure from the identical advantages of the apps, akin to adjusting the pace of the playback and a nighttime mode to routinely shut playback off. The inclusion of audio on the Sage and Libra 2 was about timing, stars aligned.
When customers open up their Libra 2 out of the field and both create an account or login with an current one, clicking on the store is a gateway of digital content material. The very first thing that folks will see is the e book retailer, with a fastidiously crafted choice. There’s a model new audiobook tab, subsequent to ebooks. The choice can be currated by actual people and there are all types of classes to refine your purchases. Once you obtain a pattern or outright purchase an audiobook, it’s going to seem in your library. There are all types of sorting choices by format, writer identify, sequence or assortment. It is very important notice that you simply can’t sideload in audiobooks, the audio participant is barely appropriate with belongings you obtain immediately from Kobo.
Overdrive is a significant promoting level on Kobo, since you’ll be able to simply enter your card quantity within the settings menu after which browse your native branches assortment of digital books. You possibly can then borrow them and skim them, all in your Libra 2. Proper now, you cannot borrow audiobooks from Overdrive. A few weeks in the past, I spoke to Ramesh Mantha, the VP of merchandise and units and the impression I obtained was that this function is coming, however it’s going to seemingly be within the New Yr.
The whole purpose most individuals will gravitate in direction of e-readers is as a result of the e-paper shows are as shut as you may get to actual paper, however within the digital kind. Your eyes won’t get drained from lengthy studying periods, like they’d from gazing your smartphone, pill or pc. The lengthy battery life can be a really compelling level, you solely have to recharge it each couple of weeks, relying on utilization. In case you solely learn a number of chapters a day, you may get away with over a month.
Kobo is likely one of the greatest manufacturers on the market for sideloaded content material. You don’t have to solely purchase or obtain immediately from their bookstore. They assist The Kobo Libra 2 helps 12 fonts and 50 completely different font sizes. You possibly can sideload in your individual ebooks or purchase them from Kobo. It helps EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, FlePUB, MOBI, CBR and CBZ. Once you open a sideloaded ebook, you get the entire choices you’d in a standard ebook, akin to with the ability to regulate the font kind, font measurement, line spacing and weight. There’s additionally a sequence of superior choices to customise your studying expertise additional, supplying you with a pleasant earlier than and after view, earlier than you save the modifications. Kobo can be one of many few manufacturers that assist the sideloading of fonts, so that you aren’t caught with the defaults.
The Kobo Bookstore has thousands and thousands of free and paid titles, the corporate operates their very own self-publishing platform, Kobo Writing Life and people are additionally included within the bookstore. Kobo is principally the worldwide quantity two participant, behind Amazon and the Kindle, so they’re doing the whole lot proper. Their choice and costs are principally dictated by the writer, so there may be little to no value distinction between shopping for from Amazon or Kobo.
One of many very nice issues about studying on the Libra 2 is the bodily web page flip buttons. Many manufacturers have been axing this through the years. Kobo and Pocketbook are fairly nicely the one ones that really embody these buttons on nearly each mannequin. Bodily buttons provide a pleasant tactile really feel, and touching them, immediately turns the web page. It’s fairly straightforward to carry it with one hand, and easily hit the button to go up a web page. This pages studying on the bus, sky prepare or subway fairly straightforward.
The Kobo Libra 2 takes the entire greatest parts of the Libra 2, and takes them ever additional. You get double the storage, which makes a giant distinction when shopping for or downloading audiobooks. In case you are not a giant into audio, the additional house is nice for a giant e book or PDF assortment.
It has a fantastic design and there are all types of sleep covers which are accessible, in a wide selection of colours, which helps personalize the reader. Do you have to purchase it? If audiobooks are a giant draw, pull the set off and get it. If in case you have a Kobo e-reader extra then 2-3 years outdated, you’ll discover quicker web page turns, larger decision as a result of new Carta show.
The Libra 2 is principally a devoted e-reader, used to learn ebooks, when you want a tool that’s extra succesful, akin to a quadcore processor and stylus assist, the Sage is probably going the very best of the 2.
Kobo Libra 2
- Audiobook Help
- 32GB of Storage
- E INK Carta 1200 Show Panel
- No Audio system
- Minimal Upgrades from Outdated Mannequin
- Heavier than Final Gen
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the previous twelve years. His articles have been picked up by main and native information sources and web sites such because the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Publish and the New York Occasions. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.