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.
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.
Kobo makes no direct claims as to the battery lifetime of the Clara HD. Nonetheless, with its Wi-Fi turned off and its lighting set to at least 70 p.c I discovered, after roughly two hours of studying a day, unfold over a seven-day interval, the e-reader’s battery was nonetheless sitting at round 60-percent capability.
You need to know that not like Kobo’s current Aura One and Aura H2O Edition 2 e-readers, the Clara HD isn’t waterproof. With the Clara HD’s comparatively low value, this lack of water resistance shouldn’t be a shock. A Kindle Paperwhite gained’t survive a swim, both.
How you can use the Kobo Clara HD
The Clara HD can deal with EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML and RTF recordsdata.
As with Kobo’s different current e-readers, the Clara HD comes with just one bodily button, for energy. Web page turns, in addition to all different enter, are made by tapping the Clara HD’s show. The bevels across the system’s show are extensive sufficient that mistakenly touching a button takes work, however not so extensive that turning a web page one-handed whereas studying is a chore.
The e-reader’s onscreen person interface is spartan and simple to navigate. The highest of its dwelling display screen is lined with a drop-down menu that gives entry to your library, Pocket articles (extra on that in a second), and a Settings menu. There are icons for managing the system’s backlighting, Wi-Fi, and battery life, and choices for looking your system’s reminiscence or syncing your books purchased from the Kobo Retailer to the cloud.
Talking of the Kobo Retailer, you’d scarcely comprehend it’s there. Not like Amazon’s sponsored, advertising-rich interface, the Clara HD’s UI doesn’t pressure new guide ideas down your throat. If you wish to purchase a guide, the Kobo Retailer is accessible by way of a hyperlink on the backside of your system’s homepage.
Along with studying books, it’s additionally attainable to eat articles saved to a Pocket account with the Clara HD. Kobo’s Pocket interface is so slick that it makes a Kindle’s capacity to sync content material from an Instapaper look archaic by comparability.
Sadly, the way in which that the Clara HD handles e-books borrowed from an area library, by way of Rakuten’s OverDrive Service, leaves a lot to be desired. Borrowed books should be side-loaded, within the type of an Adobe Digital Version, from a pc. The tactic for utilizing the identical service on a Kindle is far much less harrowing. Contemplating that Rakuten owns each OverDrive and Kobo, that is inexcusable.
Kobo Clara HD vs. Kindle: It is the content material
There’s only one huge downside with the Clara HD: the Kindle. Amazon’s Kindle is the dominate e-reader in North America as a result of Amazon dominates the e book and digital periodical market. The corporate permits its customers to share their content material with their household and mortgage ebooks to mates. Amazon Prime members are supplied a choice of free books to learn on a month-to-month foundation.
The Kobo Retailer doesn’t come near touching any this. You may neglect about shopping for magazines within the Kobo Retailer, too.
That mentioned, some folks need nothing to do with Amazon, and Kobo’s choice of books is rising day by day. Selected your e book vendor accordingly.
Must you purchase a Kobo Clara HD?
If it have been simply in regards to the , this is able to be a straightforward choice. Regardless of costing just a few bucks greater than Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite, the Rakuten Kobo Clara HD is a superior e-reader in nearly each manner.
However Kobo can’t compete with Amazon’s expansive bookstore choices, interval. If yow will discover what you need to learn within the Kobo Retailer, you will be blissful together with your buy. If, nonetheless, you’ve got an intensive Kindle e book library, an Amazon Prime subscription, or an habit to magazines, you’d be higher served by a Kindle, such because the Paperwhite that competes intently with the Clara HD.