The Kobo Libra 2 is one of the newest e-readers and it is now available to purchase. The major selling points is the large 7 inch screen and it is using new E INK e-paper. It has Bluetooth and has the ability to listen to audiobooks and also buy them directly from Kobo. The physical page turn buttons are a major draw, since it is very easy to turn pages with just one hand. It is thoughtfully designed and an excellent device, but is it worth buying?
The Libra 2 features a 7 inch E INK Carta 1200 display with a resolution of 1264×1680 with 300 PPI. This is the same type of e-paper technology that the Kobo Sage and Kobo Elipsa employs. Basically, it gives a 20% increase in response time and an improvement in the contrast ratio of 15%. It has both white and amber LED lights, to provide a warm candlelight effect.
Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ single core processor, 512MB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. It has USB-C to charge the device and has a respectable 1,500 mAH battery. You will be able to connect up to the Kobo Bookstore, Overdrive and access Pocket via WIFI. It has Bluetooth 5.1 in order to connect up a pair of headphones to listen to audiobooks. There is no word if Overdrive will support audiobooks, but this post will be updated when I find out. This device is waterproof with an IPX8 rating, so it can be submerged in fresh water for up to 60 minutes and a depth of 2 meters. This e-reader is perfect for the bathtub, beach or anywhere else where there is water nearby.
The Kobo Libra 2 supports 12 fonts and 50 different font sizes. You can sideload in your own ebooks or buy them from Kobo. It supports EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, FlePUB, MOBI, CBR and CBZ. You cannot sideload in your own audiobooks, the only format that it will read are ones purchased.
The retail packaging is made of thick cardboard stock, which is very durable. The color scheme is blue and white, with a large picture of the Libra 2 on the front and the product name and brand name on the sides. On the back lists some of the selling points, such as it being waterproof, WIFI, the Comfortlight Pro lighting system and audiobook support.
We received the black unit for our review and thanks to Kobo for sending us one so quickly. The first thing you see when opening the box is the e-reader and underneath that is the quick start guide, warranty information and a black USB-C cable.
The e-reader screen is not completely flush with the bezel, there is a very small incline. The screen is made of glass, which protects the e-paper display. Sometimes there are problems with glass, such as reflections and sun glare. The front has page turn buttons on the right side and the Kobo logo at the bottom. On the back is the power button, which is recessed, so you won’t automatically turn the device off if you accidently touch it while holding it. There is a argyle pattern, which is primarily used for grip. Fingerprints do not show up very easily. On the very bottom is the USB-C port. The overall design language of the Kobo Libra 2 is very sleek, with nice piano black design.
You can buy the new Kobo Libra 2 in black or white from the Good e-Reader Store.
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.