First Look at the Rakuten Kobo Libra 2 eReader

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The Kobo Libra 2 is one of the newer e-readers and is now available for purchase. The main selling points are the large 7 inch screen and it uses the new E INK electronic paper. It has Bluetooth and has the ability to listen to audiobooks and purchase them directly from Kobo. The physical buttons for turning the pages are a major draw, as it is very easy to turn the pages with one hand. It’s carefully designed and makes a great device, but is it worth buying?

The Libra 2 has a 7-inch E INK Carta 1200 display with a resolution of 1264 × 1680 with 300 PPI. This is the same type of electronic paper technology that Kobo Sage and Kobo Elipsa use. Basically this gives a 20% increase in response time and a 15% improvement in contrast ratio. It has white and amber LED lights, to provide a hot candle effect.

Under the hood is a 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. It has a USB-C port for charging the device and a respectable 1500mAH battery. You will be able to connect to the Kobo bookstore, Overdrive and access Pocket via WIFI. It has Bluetooth 5.1 to connect a pair of headphones to listen to audiobooks. It’s unclear if Overdrive will support audiobooks, but this article 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 to a depth of 2 meters. This e-reader is perfect for the tub, the beach, or any place where there is water nearby.

The Kobo Libra 2 supports 12 different fonts and 50 different font sizes. You can download your own ebooks or purchase them from Kobo. It supports EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, FlePUB, MOBI, CBR and CBZ. You cannot upload your own audiobooks, the only format it will read are purchased ones.

The retail packaging is made of thick cardboard, very strong. The color scheme is blue and white, with a large image of the Libra 2 on the front and the product name and brand name on the sides. On the reverse side are some of the selling points, such as waterproofing, WIFI, 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 you open the box is the e-reader and underneath 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 low tilt. The screen is glass, which protects the display from electronic paper. Sometimes there are issues with the glass, such as glare and glare from the sun. The front has page change 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 off the device if you accidentally touch it while holding it. There is a diamond pattern, which is mainly used for gripping. Fingerprints are not displayed very easily. At the very bottom is the USB-C port. The overall design language of the Kobo Libra 2 is very sleek, with a nice piano black design.

You can buy the new Kobo Libra 2 in black or white from the Good e-Reader store.


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