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Kobo’s New Waterproof Ereader Could Give Kindle a Run for Its Money

The Kobo Clara 2E dripping with water.
Rakuten Kobo

If you want an ereader that isn’t locked to the Amazon store, the new Kobo Clara 2E might be your best low-cost option. It packs advanced features, including a gorgeous screen and waterproof design, in a $130 package. And unlike the Kindle, it lets you read any ebook file without a complicated sideloading process.

The Kobo Clara 2E, which is designed by Rakuten, uses a plastic exterior made of 85% recycled materials (10% of which is ocean-bound plastic). It has an IPX8 waterproof rating, and it offers 16GB of built-in storage. For reference, the similarly-spec’d Kindle Paperwhite costs $140 and includes just 8GB of storage in its cheapest configuration.

Rakuten also stuck a very nice display in the Kobo Clara 2E. It uses a 6-inch HD E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen panel with an integrated backlight and dark mode support. This display has a pixel density of 300 PPI (1448 x 1072 resolution) and a much faster response time than older E Ink panels.

But of course, the Kobo is most notable for its open nature. It accepts ebooks or documents from any source, which you can transfer to the ereader via USB cable. (Note that DRM-protected ebooks, such as those from the Amazon store, need to have their DRM removed before transferring to the Kobo Clara 2E.)

The Kobo Clara 2E costs $130. Pre-orders are now available at the Rakuten webstore, and orders start shipping on September 22nd.

Kobo Clara 2E

The Kobo Clara 2E features an IPX8 waterproof design, a recycled plastic exterior, and a 6-inch HD E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen with a comfortable backlight.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is the News Editor for Review Geek, where he covers breaking stories and manages the news team. He joined Life Savvy Media as a freelance writer in 2018 and has experience in a number of topics, including mobile hardware, audio, and IoT. Read Full Bio »