Available since October 2021, the Kobo Libra 2 e-reader features an all-new 7-inch screen for improved reading comfort. Here is the full test of this e-reader.
After a disappointing Kobo Nia, we were waiting for Kobo in 2021 to propose a new mass market e-reader to reconcile its loyal users with the brand.
It's done with this Kobo Libra 2 sold for a little less than $200 which offers high quality services while remaining financially accessible to most people.
I must specify that I bought this reader (it is not a loan model).
The Kobo Libra 2 is sold in a nice premium packaging that perfectly protects the reader during transport.
Inside this beautiful cardboard box, we find the reader, a USB-C cable and a small manual to get started.
As always with e-readers, the manual is only useful for the first start of the e-reader. The reader being very simple to use, it is not necessary to offer a complete manual.
The e-reader fits well in the hand and you get a good impression of quality right away.
I chose the white model, because most of my readers are black. The white plastic is very pleasant to the touch and exudes quality.
But the most striking thing is of course the 7 inch screen. When you put the reader next to another 6-inch reader, there is no photo! We want to take the Kobo Libra 2 much more than the other reader.
Contrary to the more classic reading machines (and other brands), this Libra 2 takes the style of the previous model Libra H2O.
We have a screen that is not quite in the center of the case, which allows to propose two big buttons that will be useful to turn the pages during the reading.
These buttons are very useful, even if it is a pity that they make a big "click" which, although reassuring, will disturb the followers of silence. Anyway, if the noise of the buttons bothers you, you can always use the touch screen to navigate between pages.
There is an on/off button located at the back of the e-reader which is very practical.
As a USB port, Kobo had the good idea to place a USB-C port that is more robust and allows for faster connection and charging.
The e-reader has 32GB of storage which is in the high range of e-readers.
The e-reader is also waterproof (IPX8), which should guarantee its resistance to water and various dust (breadcrumbs, sand, etc.).
The first impression is therefore excellent!
It is interesting to dwell a little on the screen of the Kobo Libra 2 e-reader.
Indeed, more than the other functions, it is the display experience of this e-reader that is the most important since you will have your eyes riveted on the screen for long hours.
This e-reader uses the latest evolution in black and white electronic ink screen.
Called Carta 1200 and designed by the company E Ink, this 7-inch touch screen is remarkable for its precision and contrast. We note a real progression compared to the previous generation.
The resolution of 1264 x 1680 pixels does wonders for reading ebooks and the displayed text is very precise.
The display is also very responsive and allows a fast refresh of the screen. We are not yet at the level of a tablet (far from it), but it is really very satisfying.
In short: the fact of having a larger surface allows a finer adjustment of the text and the definition of the screen is interesting for the reading of mangas.
Kobo has also added a dark mode that allows to invert the colors and to switch to white text on a black background - this is interesting for reading in the dark since it allows to tire the eyes less.
Finally, the lighting offers a color temperature setting that allows a good filtering of blue light.
The adjustments are fine, both of the light intensity and color temperature.
Clearly, this new screen coupled with the Comfort Light Pro lighting works wonders. This Kobo Libra 2 e-reader is a treat for the eyes!
The Kobo Libra 2 does offer the usual features available on most ereaders:
I also tested the USB connection (via a USB-C -> USB cable) with my computer.
The e-reader is very well recognized by the latest version of Windows 10.
It is also recognized by the Calibre software in its version 5.29 - the latest available at the time of writing the book reader test.
I was able to transfer digital books to the Kobo Libra 2 e-reader without any problem.
Finally, the great novelty comes from the presence of a Bluetooth connection that allows you to connect a speaker or a Bluetooth headset to the e-reader to listen to audio books.
All the part concerning audio books will be developed a little later.
In addition to its ability to read audiobooks, the Kobo Libra 2 offers an 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.
Another special feature of Kobo is the presence of a whole collection of statistics on your reading.
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 go for a Kobo e-reader.
The rest of the interface is very intuitive and easy to use.
The reader is fast and the touch screen reacts well. We feel that we are on a fairly high end e-reader - even if it is even more expensive with the Kobo Sage.
I had no trouble navigating the menus and setting up the e-reader to my liking.
Reading ebooks on the e-reader
Thanks to the screen and its precision, to the progressive lighting and to the good reactivity of the machine, you can dive into your books without any problem.
The screen is so clean that it is very difficult to see the pixels (in fact with my eyes, I could not do it without the help of a camera capable of zooming).
This Libra 2 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:
The reader also has a gyroscope that will automatically adapt the text depending on how you hold the reader (portrait mode, left or right button, landscape mode, upside down, etc.). It is also possible to lock the display if this function annoys you.
As with all readers, a dictionary is present. Just highlight a word with your finger and the definition will quickly appear. Simple, practical and effective!
In the same spirit, you can underline a passage to create a note and eventually 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!
As always with e-readers, reading PDF files is never a function you can rely on.
I have to say that this Kobo Libra 2 does not do too badly with the PDF files I tested.
On the one hand, they display correctly but they also load relatively quickly.
Of course, the difficulties start when it comes to zooming and "navigating" within the same page.
For this you will have to rely heavily on the touch screen and the user experience will not be ideal.
For everything that is comics, it will be the same thing: as soon as you have to zoom in on the pages, the reading experience will be strongly degraded.
Fortunately, if you read a small format comic book without zooming, in black and white (manga) and the lack of color does not bother you, then the precision of the screen works wonders and reading manga will be a real pleasure.
Before we get into the part about audiobooks, you should know that the audiobooks must have been 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 Libra 2 to your car's bluetooth system, but I am not equipped and cannot confirm this.
Once these two points are set, you can access your audiobooks from the library of your e-reader.
You just have to select an audio book to start reading.
|Kobo Libra 2|
|Resolution||1680 x 1264 pixels|
|Pen / Stylus||No|
|Ebook formats||EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR|
|Blue light filter||Yes|
|Review||Very good eReader, a must if you want a bigger screen ⭐⭐⭐⭐|
Unquestionably, this Kobo Libra 2 is an excellent e-reader.
If you're looking for a reading device a bit bigger than a "classic" 6", it's a very good choice.
We may regret its price a little higher than what Kobo had accustomed, but the performance is really up to the mark.
With a pleasure of reading and nothing that comes between the reader and the book, Kobo signs a beautiful premium reader.
We can regret that the PDF management part is still a bit tricky, but it should be remembered that this problem affects all e-readers.
So, if you want a very good reading machine and you also want to use it as an audio book listening system, you won't find better for the moment.
Conclusion : 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐