When it comes to reading ebooks, Kobo is a name you might not know, but you should. The Canadian-Japanese manufacturer has built a strong name for itselves in the ereader world. It’s earnt this reputation by pumping out solid products regularly since it started in 2010. Now, just six months after its latest offering in the Kobo Elipsa, the ereader maker has announced not one, but two new ebook reading devices, with the Kobo Sage headlining the launch alongside the Kobo Libra 2. Both are available to pre-order now directly from the Kobo Store, although the Kobo Sage has already sold out. If you’d like to wait till they hit stores, you’ll have to wait till October 19.
Kobo’s latest offerings are stepping up the game across the board with a whole host of welcome additions to the hardware. This cohort of ereaders finally sees Kobo add Bluetooth support for wireless headphones so you can listen to audiobooks, as well as taking the leap into USB-C for charging and file transfer. Plus both come with a whopping 32GB of internal storage.
While the Libra 2 is an update on the existing Kobo Libra H2O, the Kobo Sage is the first mainstream ereader to come with stylus support. Kobo released a stylus with the Elipsa, but unlike the bigger ereader, the pen won’t be shipping with the Sage. Instead, it’s available as an additional accessory. Interacting directly with the page brings ereaders that one step closer to matching the tactile joy of having a book in your hands. The Sage also stands out with its 8-inch display, inherited from the Kobo Forma, offering larger screen real estate to make your reading (and writing) experience better.
The final toy that Kobo brings out in this release is the nifty new PowerCover. A separate purchase, this is a magnetic cover sized for the Sage that puts the device to sleep while charging on the go with a built-in battery.
It’s clear that Kobo is carving out its own space in the ereader industry by offering devices that are competitively priced, regularly maintained with frequent firmware updates and the advantage of baked-in OverDrive, Pocket and Dropbox integration.
If you aren’t familiar with any of these, OverDrive allows you to use your Kobo to access ebooks from your local library – a similar feature is available on the Kindles but is restricted for use in the US only. Pocket is a browser extension that lets you save longform web articles for later reading, and you can easily sync your Pocket account on your Kobo to read those on the ereader. And if you can’t be bothered to plug the Kobo into a computer to transfer ebooks back and forth, then you can save your digital library in Dropbox and access all of them directly from the cloud.
Sounds like a tempting upgrade from your current ereader? You’ll be able to nab a Libra 2 for $179.99 / £159.99 / AU$279.99 or the Sage for the slightly pricier $259.99 / £249.99 / AU$439.95 direct from the Kobo Store in your region.