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Kobo Clara 2E review: One other sensible Kindle rival, but with a catch


The Kobo Clara 2E is the newest and biggest eReader from Kindle’s biggest rival (Image: KOBO) This text comprises affiliate links, we may receive a commission on any sales we generate from it. Learn more

Kobo has updated its Clara eReader with audiobook support eventually, doubled the storage and made it more environmentally friendly

What we love

  • Easy To Read With One Hand
  • Kobo UI Is A Joy To Use
  • Audiobook Support
  • Larger Storage
  • Sustainably Made

What we do not

  • Same Price As Paperwhite
  • A Tad Heavier And Larger Than Clara HD

Kobo has once more solidified its repute as the most effective alternative to Amazon’s all-conquering Kindle range with the Kobo Clara 2E. This device is a direct rival to the favored Paperwhite and is an upgrade of Kobo’s Clara HD which Express.co.uk was very impressed with

This upgrade brings with it audiobook support, waterproofing and in addition doubles the quantity of storage from 8GB to 16GB. That extra space will are available in especially handy when you’re planning on downloading loads of audiobooks to browse in your holidays or ease the boredom on a long-haul flight.

The Clara 2E can be fitted with the newest E Ink screen which provides higher response time, improved contrasts and smoother transitions. And from our experience, the display on the Clara 2E also helped provide a more sensible white from the front light which makes things higher to read.

Elsewhere, the Clara 2E is made with sustainability in mind – with the outside produced from over 85 percent recycled plastics. That is seriously impressive and beats the Paperwhite’s eco credentials by 20 percent.

If you happen to’re planning on getting your first-ever Kobo eReader the Clara 2E needs to be the device you select.

Nevertheless, when you have already got the Clara HD the choice to upgrade will mainly boil right down to whether you really want audiobook support or not.

Kobo Clara 2E

The Kobo Clara 2E is a sustainably made eReader (Image: KOBO)

Kobo Clara 2E review

The eReader market has long been dominated by Amazon and its all-conquering Kindle range, but there are some great alternatives. Probably the most obvious candidate is Kobo with the Rakuten-owned firm having over a decade’s value of experience within the eBook and eReader space.

If you happen to’re after a comparable model to the Kindle Paperwhite then the Clara range is the choice for you.

Kobo has just released an upgrade to its Clara HD device, which Express.co.uk previously described as a “sensible” alternative to the Kindle Paperwhite. The Kobo Clara 2E is out now and is priced at £129.99 – but how does it measure as much as its predecessor and the behemoth that’s the Paperwhite?

What’s latest with the Clara 2E?

The Clara 2E brings with it quite a few key improvements over the Clara HD, and all for just £10 more. The headline addition with the Clara 2E is Kobo finally including audiobook support, which brings it in keeping with the Paperwhite.

Audiobooks could be purchased from the official Kobo store in your device and you then can listen in with a pair of Bluetooth headphones. You possibly can even put the device to sleep whilst you take heed to your audiobook to assist conserve precious battery life.

To assist you to fit all your audiobooks onto the Clara 2E, Kobo has also doubled the quantity of storage, from 8GB on the HD to 16GB on the 2E.

It also now comes with IPX8 waterproofing, which definitely is useful when you enjoy a book in the bathtub or love reading by the pool. Elsewhere, the 2E features the newest E Ink Carta 1200 screen, which has quite a few key improvements over the previous gen.

Kobo Clara 2E

The Kobo Clara 2E adds audiobook support and waterproofing (Image: KOBO)

This includes faster response time, improved contrasts and smoother transitions. From our experience, we also found the Clara 2E had a far more in-your-face front light than the Clara HD.

During our tests, the Clara 2E  offered a much brighter front light in comparison to the older model even when the very same brightness setting was turned on.

This helps provide more sensible whites and in addition means you could not must have the brightness up as high as usual, which should assist you to save on battery life.

Kobo Clara 2E vs Clara HD

We found the front light on the 2E offered more sensible whites than the HD (Image: KOBO)

Kobo Clara 2E vs HD

Here’s a comparison of the 2E (left) and HD (right) with the identical brightness setting (Image: KOBO)

The Clara 2E can be ever so barely larger and heavier than the Clara HD. Going from using the Clara HD so much recently to the 2E we could immediately feel the difference, which made reading with one hand a bit less comfortable.

Nevertheless, the more time spent with the eReader the more we got used to it, and if the 2E is your first Kobo you will not notice the additional weight.


The Kobo Clara 2E has an RRP of £129.99, which puts it in keeping with the 8GB Kindle Paperwhite.

The Kindle Paperwhite is widely considered the most effective all-round eReader money should buy, with Express.co.uk awarding it a full five out of 5 marks in our Kindle Paperwhite review.

This, together with the Kindle brand being most individuals’s go-to selection for an eReader and the way much larger the Amazon eBook store is may sway more people to a Paperwhite than a Clara 2E.

However the devices have their very own individual strengths that might make you select one over the opposite.

Kobo Clara 2E

The Clara 2E is Kobo’s direct answer to the Kindle Paperwhite (Image: KOBO)

Clara 2E vs Paperwhite

The Clara 2E and Paperwhite are each priced at £129.99 but there are some key differences between the 2 Readers. Probably the most obvious thing is the dimensions, with the Paperwhite boasting a bigger 6.8inch screen than the 2E’s six-inch display.

This alone could also be enough for some people to decide on Amazon’s eReader over Kobo’s.

If you happen to’re paying the identical price for each devices but one has a much larger screen it could possibly be a straightforward decision to make. Especially since each eReaders have the very same pixel density (300 PPI), which is an indication of how sharp the screen is.

While Amazon has a much larger eBook store, which houses over 12million eBooks in comparison with Kobo’s over six million eBooks and audiobooks.

Despite all this, there are another key differences to keep in mind.

Firstly, the £129.99 price tag we mentioned for the 8GB Paperwhite is for the version with ads – for the ad-free model you’ll need to spend an additional £10.

Kobo devices, meanwhile, don’t feature any adverts. So while you put your device to sleep you will get a pleasant screen showing the quilt of the book or audiobook you most recently opened, together with stats in your progress – as a substitute of an advert.

Elsewhere, the Clara 2E comes with 16GB of storage whereas the £129.99 Paperwhite has 8GB of space.

If you happen to’re planning on using your eReader to download loads of audiobooks this extra space will are available in really handy.

Besides this, the Kobo UI has some unique quirks which Amazon doesn’t have like easily-accessible reading stats which might super-charge your reading experience, the power to borrow library books (something which Kindle eReaders cannot do within the UK), quirky bookmarks and more.

You possibly can read more about a number of the differences between the Kobo and Kindle UI in our Kindle vs Kobo article.

And eventually, we found Kobo eReaders are inclined to have a softer front light and display which helps higher replicate the sort of experience you get from reading a daily book than Kindle does.

Woman reading a Kobo Clara 2E

The Kobo Clara 2E is an ideal alternative to Amazon’s Paperwhite eReader (Image: KOBO)

Final verdict

The Kobo Clara 2E is undoubtedly an ideal eReader, which supplies the Kindle Paperwhite a run for its money.

There are pros and cons for selecting the Kobo over Kindle and vice versa.

The Paperwhite’s larger screen and larger eBook library are major reasons to go together with Amazon, while Kobo’s unique software flourishes together with more storage and the Clara 2E being ad-free all work in Kobo’s favour (when comparing the £129.99 models).

Plus, having the ability to read easily the 2E with one hand is one other big bonus.

If you happen to’re picking up your first Kobo eReader then the Clara 2E is the standout option

If you happen to’re interested in Kobo and fancy a change from Amazon, or would just moderately try an eReader that is not a Kindle, then the Clara 2E is an ideal selection.

If you happen to’re picking up your first Kobo eReader then the Clara 2E is the standout option – offering great features at an inexpensive price. Nevertheless, when you already own a Clara HD the choice to upgrade is slightly more complicated.

It would ultimately boil right down to whether you are excited concerning the latest audiobook support, waterproofing and bigger storage.

If these sound like things you possibly can live without then you need to just persist with your trusty Clara HD.

And for any latest Kobo fans not too fussed about audiobook support the Clara HD remains to be an ideal option, and it will probably be picked up for cheaper than the 2E.

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