Kobo Forma – 8-inch multipurpose e-reader

At the end of 2018, Kobo released a new e-reader: The Kobo Forma. It has a similar software to the company’s other e-readers, but it differentiates itself as it brings back physical buttons that turn the pages, which Kobo has not used for a few years. What is this e-reader worth?

Hardware: Very good for mid-tier!

The Kobo Aura One, the last “large format” e-reader from the company, had a few problems, especially with the brightness. The Kobo Forma doesn’t have this problem as it has a good 8-inch Carta e-ink screen, with harmonious backlighting and the option to modify the screen tones to look more like natural light and reduce blue light exposure. This e-reader offers more comfort, and makes falling asleep easier since blue light can disrupt sleep cycles…

But the Kobo Forma is not simply an Aura One with better lighting. The Kobo has added buttons along the right side that allow you to change pages as well as a built-in gyroscope that lets your e-reader switch to landscape view.

Is the e-reader adapted for PDFs?

The 8-inch format allows you to comfortably see and read PDFs on the e-reader, although we would recommend installing Koreader, which can easily be done with KFM. With this, though, you must open Koreader before opening the PDF file and organize your PDFs in a hidden folder (a folder with a name that starts with a period) so that the files aren’t indexed by Kobo’s internal software, Nickel. The default PDF reader isn’t very practical, and users who often read PDFs must either keep their PDFs separate from their other eBooks or choose a different model (see our article specifically about this subject).

Software: It’s a Kobo!

Here we find the same software, Nickel, that can be found on all the e-readers by this brand. The system is light, well designed, and even if it’s a little less reactive than Kindle systems, it’s still very pleasant to use. The option to easily install outside software is also a plus.

Value for money Not bad!

At just a hair less than 300 euros, this e-reader is being sold at a price that corresponds to the market’s current trends. It’s direct competition, the PocketBook Inkpad 3, is sold for about 100 euros less. It also comes with physical buttons, its default PDF reader is better… we can begin to wonder if the Forma is worth the 100 extra euros. It’s true that the Kobo Forma’s interface is more fluid and more user friendly overall than PocketBooks’s, but once a book is actually open, the differences between the two become harder to see… That being said, the price/quality ratio isn’t bad, especially since it can read easily most document formats, which makes it a versatile reader.

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