Kobo has just announced the Elipsa, which is their first E INK product that is geared towards professionals. You can freehand draw, jot down notes, edit and make highlights in a dedicated app, and you can also do the same thing in PDF files and ebooks. The Elipsa is your book, notebook, and bookstore combined, bundled with everything you need to make your ideas a reality.
The Kobo Elipsa features a 10.3 inch E INK Carta HD display with a resolution of 1404×1872 with 227 PPI. It has a front-lit display with white LED lights for lowlight environments and when it’s late, you can adjust brightness with ComfortLight to read and write at night or try out Dark Mode for white text on black. Easily adjust the brightness by sliding your finger along the left-hand side of the screen, for the perfect lighting in any setting.
The Elipsa has a WACOM display and comes with a Kobo Stylus to jot down notes or highlight passages in ebooks. The Kobo Stylus makes reading and marking up nonfiction reads, essays or assignments a breeze. With pressure sensitivity that mimics a ballpoint pen, the Kobo Stylus is completely customizable choose the pen type, color, line size and eraser size that suits your needs. The Kobo Stylus lets you write directly on the page, just like a pen on paper. Kobo Elipsa reacts to how much pressure you apply to adjust your writing stroke. Easily erase or highlight with helpful buttons. Use it to underline, circle, or highlight. When an idea sparks, write it down in the margins. Make every eBook and PDF your own and easily save, organize, and find all your annotations. Plus, you can create your own notebooks, where you can instantly convert your notes to clean typed text and export them off your device as needed. With Dropbox support, easily import documents and export your notebooks as your preferred file type to share with colleagues, classmates or anyone else.
Basically, there are multiple ways to take use the stylus. There is a Basic Notepad, which allows you to freehand draw and an Advanced Notebook, which will convert writing to text and math equations. You can also make annotations and freehand draw in Non-DRM PDF files. The stylus is also compatible with Kobo ebooks or sideloaded ebooks. You can do highlights with the stylus or make notes on specific words or bodies of text,.
Readers can easily borrow eBooks from most local public libraries right from their device with built-in one-touch OverDrive access. Set-up is easy and free with a library card. Through the integrated catalogue, booklovers can search for the title they want, and depending on local library availability, choose to borrow from OverDrive or buy through the 24/7 Kobo digital bookstore.
Underneath the hood is a Quad Core 1.8 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. This is the first Kobo product that has a USB-C port, which is used for transferring data to your device and also charging. You can use the Kobo internet browser to surf the web, sync your documents and notes to Dropbox via WIFI 802.11 ac/b/g/n. It is powered by a 2,400 mAh battery, which should give you a couple of weeks of usage, before having to recharge it.
Kobo is going to be competing against a lot entrenched players in the e-note industry, such as Sony, Onyx Boox, Boyue, Remarkable, Supernote and a myriad of Chinese retailers such as Hanvon and Bigme. The competitive advantage the Elipsa will have is the Linux based operating system, so it can get away with having a quadcore processor, 1GB of RAM and a smaller battery. Android devices always need a faster processor, more RAM and larger battery because they are more demanding and apps require more power, in addition to background processes. Kobo has a bookstore and world-class e-reading app, so it will be super easy to buy digital content and read it on the device, in addition to making notes and freehand drawing. Traditional Android e-readers need apps to read digital content, and Linux based devices are always more stable.
I believe the Kobo Elipsa is going to totally disrupt the digital note taking industry and they are the first large scale e-reading company to release an e-note. Professionals will find that it is a replacement for paper in the office and also great for students. The average consumer will find the large 10.3 inch screen provides a great ebook experience and Overdrive will ensure plenty of free content are available to borrow from the public library.
It will be available to ship on June 24th, but only in a few countries, such as Canada and the US, other markets will get it later this year. It will launch in Canada for $499 and in the United States for $399. If you live outside of these regions, it can be purchased from the Good e-Reader Store.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve 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.