The Kobo Clara 2E is the latest Kobo e-reader for the year 2022. It offers a beautiful high definition screen of 6 inches and little extras that could make the difference. Here is the complete test of this e-reader. You can see it at Kobo.com or Amazon.com .
After the excellent Kobo Libra 2, we were entitled to expect something very good from Kobo. But with a price of a little less than $160 and a 6 inches screen, is the performance of this Kobo Clara 2E up to it?
I should mention that I bought this e-reader (it is not a loaner model).
This Kobo Clara 2E e-reader is sold in a nice packaging, a little less imposing than what Kobo usually offers. And there is a reason for that: everything is designed in a cardboard box made from recycled materials.
In any case, the reader is well protected and you will find in the box, in addition to the reader, a USB-C cable and a small quick start manual.
As always with Kobo, the reader seems very solid and the grip is very pleasant. It is lighter than the Kobo Libra 2 (which is normal, as it is smaller) and fits better in the hand than the Kobo Nia - which is a very good sign.
We now have a USB-C port. In addition to the fact that it is a more modern system, USB-C also has the advantage of being more solid and offering a fast charging of the e-reader.
The reader is waterproof (IPX8 certification) which is a guarantee of solidity and reliability over time. The Kobo Clara 2E is therefore resistant to water (shower, bath, pool, but not diving) and dust.
It's time to turn on the reader and the first thing we notice is that Kobo now requires an Internet connection to use its reader. Once the Wifi is set and the reader connected, an update is downloaded and installed.
Once the e-reader is running, you will have to connect to your Kobo account to continue using the e-reader and download your first books.
The 6-inch screen is described as HD. The technical reference of this screen is Carta 1200 and it is the best black and white screen offered by E Ink, which designs all e-ink screens.
In use, it is clear that the screen offers a nice definition and contrast. It was obvious on paper and it is proven in use: this Kobo Clara 2E e-reader offers a very nice screen very pleasant for the eyes.
The screen is completed by a touch overlay (no button to turn the pages) and a lighting that offers a filter of blue light (to adjust the color temperature on the reader): the Comfort Light system.
In terms of screen refreshment, we note a significant gain in speed compared to the Kobo Nia. However, the display of pages does not seem to be faster than the Kobo Libra 2. On the one hand, it is logical because the Kobo Clara 2E is cheaper than the 7-inch model, but on the other hand it is curious for a more recent reader.
Still, the experience is very satisfying and the e-ink screen is a treat for the eyes and allows for very comfortable reading in all light conditions.
We also note the welcome presence of a dark mode that allows to display white text on a black screen. A little extra for people who want to read in complete darkness.
We find the usual connectivity options on the Kobo Clara 2E:
The e-reader has a USB-C port which allows you to recharge the battery but also to connect the e-reader to a computer.
I noticed a problem that may be related to my PC (Acer brand Windows 10) but it is worth noting here: the e-reader was not recognized when plugged into a regular USB port on the computer. I had to plug it into a USB 3 port (the blue one) for the reader to be properly recognized.
Once the reader is connected to the computer, you can easily transfer EPUB files with the Calibre software (don't forget to install the last update for a perfect compatibility).
Finally, we note the presence of a Bluetooth connection option. This allows you to connect your e-reader to headphones or a Bluetooth speaker to listen to audio books.
The whole part concerning audio books will be developed later.
As always with Kobo, the interface is very simple to use. The home screen provides quick access to your library and the bookstore.
In addition to its ability to read audiobooks, the Kobo Clara 2E reader offers integration with the Pocket service.
Pocket allows you to save web pages and then access them on your e-reader. This is very useful for people who want to read long articles on their e-reader and thus take advantage of the electronic ink screen.
Kobo also has a special feature: a whole collection of statistics on its readings.
Your e-reader will record all your reading sessions to derive statistics: total reading time, reading speed, percentage of finished books, number of finished books, etc.
All this is completed by virtual "Rewards" that mark these activities. For example, you will need to read at the same time on 5 different days to receive the "Favorite Reading Time" reward. There are 16 such rewards.
When it comes to statistics, Kobo e-readers are the most advanced. So, if you are interested in this kind of thing, you should turn to a Kobo e-reader.
Navigating the menus is easy and the screen is responsive. As always with e-readers, the touch screen reacts differently and more slowly than on a tablet or a smartphone. But, after a few minutes of adaptation this is no longer a problem.
Unlike the mid-range e-readers under $150, this Kobo Clara 2E e-reader is more upscale and there is a good attention to detail.
We can now move on to reading and, as usual, we will go through the bookstore to buy a book and start reading (a book by Stephen King for example!).
Without turning around, the screen is very successful and the reading is very comfortable.
The screen is really precise and very beautiful with a very uniform lighting. We don't measure enough how much progress has been made in the last few years, but e-readers are now of a rarely equaled comfort when it comes to reading and this Kobo Clara 2E is no exception to the rule.
It's hard to make out the pixels and you have to take a picture and zoom in to make out the dots that make up the letters and words printed on the e-ink screen.
This new Kobo Clara 2E e-reader offers quite a lot of compatibility since it supports many file formats: EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ and CBR.
As always, we have interesting text customization options:
As with all e-readers, a dictionary is present. Just highlight a word with your finger and you will quickly see the definition. Simple, practical and effective!
In the same spirit, you can underline a passage to create a note and possibly enter a comment thanks to a virtual keyboard. You can also use the bookmarks.
It is therefore very difficult to fault this e-reader when it comes to reading ebooks!
If this e-reader is obviously designed primarily for reading ebooks (because of its 6-inch screen), it is interesting to try reading PDF documents.
Unsurprisingly, the experience of reading PDF files on this Kobo Clara 2E is far from flattering and the screen is often too small to read comfortably.
As soon as you have to zoom, you also have to reconcile with the rather slow interface that makes it very tedious to do so. No, this Kobo e-reader is not designed for PDF documents.
For the same reasons, the reading of "franco-belge" comics ("Tintin" for example) or comic books poses the same problems. If we add to that the lack of colors, it seems important to underline that this e-reader will not be suitable for this type of reading.
However, as soon as you load a manga, you have something largely usable. So, yes, the screen is small and I can already recommend you the Kobo Libra 2 and its 7 inch screen for reading manga.
But, if you need to read some manga from time to time, this Kobo Clara 2E will do the trick, especially thanks to its nice and sharp screen and a good contrast that renders well the drawings.
On some pages, you will find the texts a bit too small (for my forty-year-old eyes anyway) and you will have to enlarge the page a bit, but in the vast majority of cases, it will be fine.
Before we get into the part about audiobooks, you need to know that the audiobooks must be purchased from Kobo for them to work.
Then you need to have a Bluetooth speaker or Bluetooth headset for it to work. I assume it must also be possible to connect the Kobo Clara 2E to your car's Bluetooth system, but I'm not equipped and can't confirm that.
Once these two points are set, you can access your audiobooks from the library of your e-reader.
Just select an audiobook to start reading.
The reading experience works well. So you can listen to Kobo audiobooks with this e-reader. However, the audio player could have used a little more care - especially when you're used to some of the MP3 player apps for smartphones that are very comprehensive.
In the end, I find it a bit of a gimmicky feature that only has the merit of grouping all your Kobo digital books (audio or not) on the same device dedicated 100% to reading.
|Kobo Clara 2E|
|Resolution||1448 x 1072 pixels|
|Pen / Stylus||No|
|Ebook formats||EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR|
|Blue light filter||Yes|
|Other||Can read audio books from Kobo with Bluetooth speaker or headset.|
|Review||Best value for the money in the Kobo eReaders lineup ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
This Kobo Clara 2E is really a very good reader. Today, it is the best reader in the category of "compact" of 6 inches.
Its beautiful high definition screen offers a perfect rendering of characters and a contrast that ensures an optimal reading comfort.
The storage is sufficient to store hundreds of ebooks and dozens of mangas, two types of books for which this reader was undoubtedly designed. The audio book reading part is not outdone even if it is a bit of a gimmick.
There is still the price. You'll have to pay about $160 for this reader. Of course, it reads audiobooks and it is waterproof. But it's more expensive than the latest Kindle Paperwhite which has a bigger screen of 6.8 inches (which is also waterproof but doesn't read audiobooks).
We can say that this price seems a bit high even if this Kobo Clara 2E reader is undeniably a success and stands out as the best 6-inch (compact) reader of the moment.
Conclusion: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐