Rakuten Kobo Clara Colour- Judge Your Books by Their Colours

If you’re like me and love to read, you have likely delved into the realm of the eReader. There’s nothing quite like curling up for a good read, and these lightweight devices are the closest thing to real books you can get without the storage space that print books take up. Designed to reduce eye strain, it is a different experience from using a computer or tablet screen. Rakuten Kobo have gone a step further by venturing into the world of colour, meaning that covers and illustrations can now be shown in their best light. Before I get too carried away, here are some of the technical specifications.

Technical Specs

Display: 6″ E Ink Kaleido™ 3 display with FastGLR and Dark Mode, 1448 x 1072

300 PPI—black-and-white content

150 PPI—colour content

Storage: 16GB

Battery: 1599mAh, providing up to 42 days of reading on a single charge, based on 30 minutes of reading per day.

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 ac/b/g/n (i.e. dual band, 2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth® wireless technology, and USB-C

Waterproof: IPX8 – up to 60 mins in 2 metres of water

Front Light: ComfortLight PRO – Adjustable brightness and colour temperature for blue light reduction

Dimensions: 112 x 160 x9.2 mm, weight 174g

Sustainable Practice: Kobo say the Clara Colour is made with recycled and ocean-bound plastic, and is repairable, allowing for the replacement of key components. This means that your Kobo Clara contains more than 85% of recycled plastic, including 10% of ocean-bound plastic. Their website explains their eco-conscious practices as well as the repairability of these devices.  

eReader Experience: Welcome back to the world of books with colour. I splashed out and downloaded one of the latest adventures of Asterix just so I could experience the full colour experience. I found the zoom-in function easy to operate, pinching to zoom in and using finger swipes to navigate the pages.   The colours have a water-colour feel to them, not quite the same as using a tablet or computer, but very easy on the eye.  eReaders with their E Ink displays are not computer screens.

I discovered too the joys of being able to highlight text on the Kobo Clara. I was forever highlighting in my paper books and was delighted to discover I can continue to indulge this practice on the Kobo Clara, with a choice of four highlight colours to use. If you read my earlier review on the Kobo Nia, I am still immersed in N T Wright’s deep dive Into The Heart of Romans and have been going back over some of the more interesting bits, discovering in the process that my theology is rather thin in places. I’m highlighting those bits in blue.

As you can see from the photo with my thumb, the Kobo Clara is a handy size, and even with the optional cover (which also doubles as a hands-free book stand), it feels lighter than my phone. I find the text on the page very restful on the eyes, which Kobo say is partly due to ComfortLight Pro, which reduces blue light. There is even a Dark Mode option, which I haven’t yet played with.

With 16GB of storage, the Kobo Clara Colour is capable of holding up to 12,000 eBooks, a delight for those of us who have cluttered our homes with endless piles of books. You can customise your reading experience by trying a range of text sizes and fonts. If you’re an audio book fan, you can use Bluetooth to connect to your headphones or speakers and listen to the range of audiobooks they have available.

I highly recommend visiting Kobo’s website to see their range of eReaders and accessories. The Kobo Clara Colour retails for NZ$289, with covers ranging from $39-$49.  I am impressed by the efforts Kobo are making to make their products sustainable and repairable. One final, personal note: it’s wonderful not to have to thumb through page after page when your bookmark falls out.  You will have loads of fun tailoring your reading experience to meet your needs.

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