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Kobo Clara HD evaluation: An ideal compact e-reader

What’s the Kobo Clara HD?

Amazon’s place of dominance on the most sensible of the e-reader marketplace is apparent to look. However a couple of competition stay, churning out units that they hope will compete with the Kindle Paperwhite, Oasis and Voyage.

The Kobo Clara HD prices the similar because the Kindle Paperwhite, which right away makes it a difficult promote. Alternatively, its compact construct does warrant investigation.

Kobo Clara HD – Design

Whilst pricier e-readers, such because the Kindle’s £249 Oasis, have tried to be a bit extra thrilling with their designs, the bulk have caught to a relatively generic blueprint. The Kobo Clara HD hardly ever strays from the predictable – except for in spaces it almost certainly shouldn’t.

It is a relatively usual black plastic rectangle, with a micro-USB port for energy and a squishy energy button flanking it. The display screen is recessed into the frame and there’s a definite loss of page-turning buttons.

At the entrance, the design is ready as generic as you’ll get. Turn it over, then again, and also you’ll see precisely why Kobo shouldn’t have veered from the ‘protected’.

Comparable: Perfect e-readers

The rear is a peculiar textured plastic that each seems to be and feels terrible. It turns into greasy and sweaty on being held for lengthy sessions, plus the development itself is solely unusual. It lacks the grip and sturdiness of the rubbery matte plastic of the Paperwhite, and even the less expensive Kindle, and feels find it irresistible would pop off if the software have been unintentionally dropped onto the ground.

The Clara HD additionally lacks any kind of waterproofing, which till the newest technology of the Kindle Oasis was once one in all Kobo’s distinctive options. Upload an IP score right here and it could right away be offering one thing that the in a similar fashion priced Kindles are missing.

What the Clara HD does have over the Paperwhite is its dimension. This is without doubt one of the maximum compact e-readers round, and it’s dinky sufficient to conveniently slip within my coat pocket. It’s about as tall as a Samsung Galaxy S9 phone, just a lot wider, and it’s super-light at simply 166g. I may just conveniently dangle the software one-handed for a two-hour educate adventure – one thing that isn’t really easy to do with the bulkier Kindle.

Kobo Clara HD – Display

The design of the Kobo Clara HD may well be odd, however no less than the display screen is a excitement to learn on. The 300ppi, 6-inch Carta E Ink display screen fits the Kindle Paperwhite for specifications and for high quality too. Textual content seems to be crisp, and because that is an E Ink show, there’s no possibility of struggling eye-strain such as you do if studying for hours on an LCD.

Alternatively, the truth that it’s an E Ink panel additionally approach it isn’t naturally backlit. As an alternative, it includes a front-light device that brightens the show and makes it conceivable to learn at midnight.

The lights device within the Clara HD is just right – it’s frivolously unfold around the show and will cross each actually gentle and actually darkish. There’s no auto-brightness, so that you’ll have to change that manually, however this isn’t a function you’d typically be expecting on an e-reader at this worth.

One helpful addition is the ‘Herbal Mild’ environment. This turns the display screen an orange hue to make it even more uncomplicated to learn at evening. The orange color is meant to be higher and kinder at the eyes proper prior to bedtime – and I feel it does make a large distinction. You’ll customize the depth of the color or even agenda it to mechanically come on each and every evening.

Kobo Clara HD – Device, Efficiency and Battery Existence

Kobo’s instrument is identical throughout its complete e-reader lineup, and there are bits I really like and others that I don’t.

Take Pocket integration, for instance. Getting access to the implausible read-it-later provider on an e-reader approach I will be able to simply save on-line articles from Chrome on my MacBook within the wisdom that they’ll be looking forward to me to learn on my trip.

I additionally recognize that I will be able to simply load EPUB information onto the Clara HD with out faffing with PC instrument. Now not best does this imply you’re no longer limited to shopping for books best from Kobo, however it permits get right of entry to to library condo schemes too. This simply isn’t simply conceivable with the locked-down Kindle.

General, the UI is relatively easy. Navigating across the retailer and establishing your books into collections is straightforward and intuitive. There are 11 fonts to make a choice from, all with dimension choices, and at hand extras comparable to a integrated dictionary and social community sharing.

Comparable: Perfect tablets

It’s only a disgrace then that navigating the interface can continuously be gradual and plodding, particularly whilst you’re looking to faucet one of the crucial unbelievable tiny motion buttons. A couple of occasions I used to be attempting to go into the Herbal Mild mode and it simply wouldn’t sign up my press, regardless of how onerous I attempted.

You’ll additionally must are living with the truth that Kobo’s retailer simply can’t fit Amazon’s for high quality. After all, you’ll have get right of entry to to all of the bestsellers, however I discovered Kobo didn’t be offering any place close to the quantity that Amazon does, plus you’re lacking all the ones Kindle exclusives by way of smaller authors. There’s additionally not anything very similar to Top Studying or Kindle Limitless – two options that have a tendency to inspire me to learn much more when I’ve a Kindle.

There’s no 4G/3G choice with the Clara HD, so that you’re caught with Wi-Fi. Downloading books was once beautiful swift, regardless that, and you’ll in fact plug the software into your pc and switch information that method.

Battery lifestyles is at all times onerous to pass judgement on on an e-reader, most commonly as a result of it might range extensively relying on how a lot you learn. All through my week with the software, which concerned about 45 mins of studying an afternoon, the battery went down from 50% to 20%. That turns out to correlate with Kobo’s declare that you simply’ll get weeks with no need to price.

Why purchase the Kobo Clara HD?

It isn’t flashy or thrilling, and nor does it do anything else specifically new. Alternatively, the compact construct of the Kobo Clara HD approach it isn’t totally with out benefit.

It kind of feels rather overpriced at £109.99 and I’d suggest the Kindle Paperwhite over it. The Clara HD is for many who actually don’t need to be locked into the Amazon ecosystem; in my opinion, this isn’t a topic for me.


A superbly serviceable e-reader that’s best standout function is its compact dimension.