Kobo has released a new e-reader, the Kobo Clara HD. What is it worth? That is what we’re going to find out…
The Clara HD is more compact than its predecessor, the Glo HD, and its screen is clear and clean. It actually uses the same screen technology as the Kindle Paperwhite: A Carta e-Ink screen.
However, this is where the Kobo sets itself apart. It’s lighting, like the majority of e-readers with backlighting, is not behind the e-ink screen (like it is on a computer’s LCD screen), but rather in front of it and it illuminates the electronic ink in order to simulate “normal” light, like that of a lamp. Normally, this kind of lighting is relatively pale, and reflects a lot of blue light. Kobo innovated a feature called “comfort light” or “natural light”, which they’ve been using since the Kobo Aura One. The problem? With the Aura One, this lighting system wasn’t harmonious and well-integrated, and we could see little marks of color. This problem seems to be fixed on the Clara HD, and the lighting is high-quality and well-integrated, even at low brightness. For those who are exhausted or irritated by blue light, this is a nonnegotiable feature!
But compared to the Kobo Forma, this e-reader is smaller. It’s a 6-inch e-reader, adapted for reading novels but it has some issues when it comes to reading PDFs on this device. However, with the possibility of installing Koreader and reading PDFs in “landscape” mode, it is possible. For those who want to be able to read PDFs without having to tinker with their e-reader, we wouldn’t suggest this model, as Kobo’s default program isn’t the best: a Kindle Paperwhite is a better option, while the PocketBook Inkpad 3 currently probably is the best ereader for reading PDF documents.
However, for about 129 euros, Kobo is producing a competitive e-reader, with sufficient storage (8GB!) so that you can read all document types, while being able to install “hacks” and alternative programs more easily than on Kindles. In our opinion, it offers a great bang for the buck for anyone looking for a 6-inch multipurpose e-reader.