Rakuten Kobo’s Clara HD e-reader ($130 from Rakuten Kobo) prices $10 lower than its predominant competitor, the ad-free model of the Kindle Paperwhite (reviewed here and out there, in fact, from Amazon). The informal observer might be forgiven for mistaking one for the opposite, as they share comparable dimensions and the identical show dimension.

However Kobo’s accomplished one thing with the Clara HD that Amazon hasn’t bothered to do with its Kindle Paperwhite in a while: innovate. Boasting quite a lot of needful options that the present technology Paperwhite can’t match, the Clara HD is a superior system in nearly each manner.

Whether or not you can purchase it—or dump your Kindle Paperwhite for it—is a extra advanced query that we’ll wrestle with as you retain studying. 

Observe: This assessment is a part of our roundup of the best e-readers. Go there for particulars about competing merchandise and the way we examined them. 

The Clara HD undoubtedly wins on . With its trim dimensions (6.2 x four.33 x zero.three inches) and 5.85-ounce heft, the Clara HD is a featherweight in comparison with the Kindle Paperwhite. Add to that the textured plastic again, and the Clara HD is a cushty maintain, even one-handed, for lengthy durations of time.

The Clara HD packs a six-inch, 300-ppi Carta E-Ink show, similar to the Paperwhite does. Whereas studying the identical guide on each gadgets over the course of every week, I didn’t be aware any distinction within the sharpness of textual content. The identical can’t be mentioned, nonetheless, for pictures: the Clara HD shows pictures at a a lot increased decision.

The Clara HD’s entrance lighting bests the Paperwhite as properly. Its eight white LEDs present extra constant illumination than the latest-generation Kindle Paperwhite’s entrance lighting can. What’s extra, the Paperwhite is barely able to illuminating its show with white gentle. Not so the Clara HD. Given the propensity for white- and blue-spectrum gentle to maintain people awake at night time, Kobo’s orange ComfortLight PRO entrance lighting is a win for anybody who desires to wind down for the night time by studying in mattress.  

comfortlight Seamus Bellamy/IDG

The Clara HD’s show may be illuminated by white or soothing orange entrance lighting. 

Buried within the Kobo Clara HD is a 1GHz Freescale Solo Lite processor and 512MB of RAM. For an E-Ink system designed to serve up textual content, it is a fairly zippy chipset. As for storage, you’ll discover 8GB of flash reminiscence beneath the hood. That’s twice as a lot as a normal Kindle Paperwhite has onboard. 

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