The Kobo Sage is coming out next week and this device is getting a ton of attention. It has a large 8-inch display and can be used for taking notes and annotations with the Kobo stylus. Hardware performance has been significantly improved with a quad core processor and finally a USB-C port. This is the first Kobo-branded e-reader to feature an audiobook store, in addition to the usual bookstore. This will allow users to use their existing wireless headphones or an external speaker to listen to audio content through Bluetooth. This device really seems to have it all. Are you going to buy the Kobo Sage?
The Sage has an E INK Carta 1200 display. This new display technology offers a 20% increase in response time compared to E Ink Carta 1000 and a 15% improvement in contrast ratio. In addition, a faster response time allows for smoother handwriting and animation displays. This is how the technology works, 1200 modules consist of a TFT (thin film transistor), an ink layer and a protective foil. The capacitive touch screen is integrated into the stack of modules. Kobo uses the Digitizer stack, which supports robust pen integration. with the touch sensor sitting under the TFT. How does this affect the overall user experience? The background will have more shades of gray and the black fonts will really show up.
The screen measures 8 inches and has a resolution of 1440 × 1920 with an incredible 300 PPI. It has a series of white and amber LED lights that produce a beautiful candle-like effect when the two are mixed. Of course, the amber LED lights can be completely turned off and you can enjoy a crisp white screen.
Under the hood is a massive 1.8GHz quad-core processor, which is the first time Kobo has used anything other than a single core. It has 32 GB of storage and 512 MB of RAM. You can connect to the internet using the web browser via WIFI 802.11 ac / b / g / n (dual band). It has a USB-C port, so you can charge it with your PC / MAC or wall charger. It’s powered by a slightly underwhelming 1,200mAh battery, which should provide around three weeks of e-book reading and less if you’re listening to audiobooks. The dimensions are 160.5 × 181.4 × 7.6mm and weigh 240.8g. It is also rated IPX 8, so it can be fully submerged in fresh water for up to 60 minutes and to a depth of 2 meters. This should be a godsend for anyone who wants to read it in the bath or at the beach, or who is clumsy like me, and often spills things.
Speaking of audiobooks, this is something Kobo is getting very optimistic about. They have been selling them for several years and the Sage is the first e-reader that will allow users to browse the bookstore and purchase audiobooks, existing audiobooks that have been purchased will automatically sync with the library. Audiobooks cannot be downloaded on the side, but of course e-books can. The Sage supports EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, FlePUB, MOBI, CBR and CBZ. Kobo told me that Overdrive audiobooks aren’t available at launch, but I have a feeling they will be at a later date.
This device is available on October 19 in a handful of countries, including Canada and the United States. It will cost CA $ 299.99 or US $ 259. If you live outside of these areas, you can order it from the Good e-Reader Store.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post, and The New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.