The 11th Generation Kindle Paperwhite is one of the most popular e-readers in the world and Amazon dominates the sector. Kobo, is the global number two player and they have just released the Kobo Clara 2e. Both of these book readers have a lot in common on a pure hardware level. You will get a glorious 300 PPI screen, which makes all of the fonts look razer sharp. They are both made of recycled plastic, and the retail packaging is also made of recycled cardboard. What makes these two different and what one should you buy?
The Kobo Clara 2e is one of the most environmentally friendly e-reader in the world. The overall body is made of 85% recycled plastic, in addition to being 10% ocean. plastic. In keeping with this theme, it is waterproof, so you will be able to use it while lounging by the pool or reading in the bathtub. It is rated iPX8, so it should be good for up to 60 minutes completely submerged in fresh water. If you spill things on it, like coffee or tea, simply run it under the tap to give it a good cleaning. The Kindle Paperwhite is made of 60% post-consumer recycled plastics, 70% recycled magnesium, plus, 95% of the device packaging is made of wood fiber-based materials from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources.
The Clara and Paperwhite both employ the latest generation E INK Carta 1200 e-paper panel. This screen tech delivers a 20% increase in response time over E Ink Carta 1000, and an improvement in the contrast ratio of 15%. E Ink Carta 1200 offers the same benefits as Carta 1000. E Ink Carta 1200 modules consist of a TFT (thin film transistor), Ink layer and Protective Sheet. Kobo and Amazon have included the capacitive touch panel directly in the module stack.
The Paperwhite and Clara both have 300 PPI, the overall resolution is similar. The Clara has the advantage over the Kindle with its a sunken screen, with exposed e-paper. Reading on this is really good and the font clarity is amazing. This is because there is no later of glass, so it will not reflect overhead lights or sunlight. The Paperwhite has a flushed screen and bezel design, so it reflects sunlight. However, the Clara has a 6-inch screen, and the Kindle has a larger 6.8-inch screen.
Underneath the hood of the Clara is a 1 GHZ dual core processor and 512MB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The Kindle Paperwhite only has a single core processor and the same amount of RAM, there is also an 8GB model and a new 16GB version. They both have Bluetooth for listening to audiobooks, which are purchasable from the Kobo Bookstore or Audible Store, however you cannot sideload in your own audiobooks on any of them. You can charge and transfer data via USB-C on both too. The Kobo has a 1500 mAh battery, while the Kindle has a slightly better 1700 mAh.
The Clara and Kindle are both waterproof, so users have the ability to read it in the bathtub or the beach and should not worry about random spills of water or tea. It is officially rated as IPX 8, which should be good for around 60 minutes in fresh water.
The software experience is quite different on both of them. Kobo has a better home screen, which has the books you are currently reading and minimal advertising, whereas the Kindle has the same couple of books, but they are shoving down so many recommendations down your throat. Kobo has better library management problem and both of their stores are similar. Dark mode is available on both. Kindle has a number of unique systems such as GoodReads for social media book sharing, X-Ray, WordWise, translations and a vocabulary builder. Kobo has better options to craft a unique reading experience with a number of advanced options, such as the weight of the font.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.