Kobo, a Canada-based ebook company, has announced the release of their latest ebook reader. They are calling it the Clara HD. The product seems to have its sights set directly on the Kindle Paperwhite, a flagship ebook reader that Amazon began selling initially selling in 2012 and refreshed in 2013 and 2015.
With the addition of the Clara HD, the company’s line-up now offers customers five ebook reader options. The Kobo Clara HD is one of its most budget-friendly options. This is not surprising since their most expensive offering, the Aura ONE, is priced between $200-$300 and is still just an ebook reader.
When comparing the price point of the Aura ONE with the competition, you can quickly realize that you would be able to score an iPad or an Android tablet for roughly the same price with the option to run apps and games in addition to reading books.
That being said, many people may prefer a dedicated reader so they can limit distracting notifications and the urge the play games instead of reading. Another reason folks choose a dedicated ebook reader is for the E Ink technology that allows them to read in direct sunlight just like a printed piece of paper.
With the more competitively priced Clara HD, Kobo may find traction with customers looking for something in addition to their existing tablet. It is priced at $129.99, making it just $10 more than the current price of Amazon’s Paperwhite.
When you take a look at specifications, the pricing seems to not be the only thing similar to the Paperwhite. Both readers feature a 6-inch display with 300 PPI. This may be where the similarities end though.
While the form-factors may seem very close, the Clara HD is about 20% lighter and has a smaller footprint in all three dimensions. Instead of a measly 4GB of storage on the Paperwhite, the Clara HD packs twice the storage at 8GB. It also offers support for additional file formats.
One of the standout features of the Clara HD is what the company is calling ComfortLight Pro. This technology is supposed to make reading late at night much easier on the eyes by using orange and red LEDs for lighting up the display. We have heard a lot over the past few years about the effect that blue light can have on our sleeping habits and this is a way that Kobo is looking to help.
The Kobo Clara HD is available for pre-order today and will ship on June 5.