Kobo plans on releasing at least two new e-readers in 2024. The first device had an FCC application submitted in October and industry insiders think it would likely be the Rakuten Kobo Libra 2e. Towards the end of December 2023, Kobo submitted a second FCC application for an entirely new e-reader. Both of these devices should be released in June 2024. The second upcoming Kobo e-reader has a model name of N365. This e-reader will likely be the Kobo Sage 2e, with a much larger battery. Specs are embargoed for six months, however it does have USB-C, Bluetooth 5.1, WIFI 2/5.
The Kobo Sage and Kobo Libra 2 both came out at the same time, in October 2021. These e-readers are getting fairly old. The Sage was good at release but suffered from battery issues, primarily because Kobo stuck a tiny one in it (1,2000 mAh); things were so bad that Kobo had to develop a special case that had a battery in it, which would power the Sage, once the primary battery rain out of charge. Kobo likely knows the battery on the Sage was abysmal and will likely double it.
Rakuten Kobo has been on a substantial environmental push and told me in an interview that all future devices will be sourced from recycled plastic. I expect the Libra 2e and Sage 2e will be made of 85% recycled plastic and 10% ocean-bound plastic, such as water bottles and CDs/DVDs. They will remain waterproof so that you can use them at the beach or bathtub without worry.
Will these two new e-readers have a colour E INK screen? I don’t think so; Kobo has been firmly against Kaleido since the colours look too washed out. They told me this on many occasions during interviews. Will they adopt the new Carta 1300 e-paper screen? Kobo was one of the first companies to adopt Carta 1200 in the Sage and Libra 2, so it would make sense for the new devices to employ better quality e-paper. What are the benefits of 1300? A performance gain of 30% across the board and text in ebooks will have better contrast, so they will be darker to add better contrast between the e-paper screen and the text.
What would you like to see in these two new Kobo e-readers?
Michael Kozlowski is the editor-in-chief at Good e-Reader and has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past fifteen years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.