Kobo's first color e-readers want to steal Kindle's thunder

Kobo Clara Colour in black on a side table
(Image credit: Rakuten Kobo)

What you need to know

  • The Libra Colour and Clara Colour are upgrades from the Libra 2 and Clara 2E and feature E Ink's Kaledio 3 module screens.
  • Kobo has enhanced processing power and battery capacity in the new models for improved performance.
  • The Kobo Libra Colour features a 7-inch display, 32GB storage, IPX8 waterproofing, and compatibility with the Kobo Stylus 2.
  • The Clara Colour offers 16GB storage and an upgraded processor, and it maintains IPX8 waterproofing.

Rakuten Kobo has introduced its first color e-readers, the Kobo Libra Colour and Kobo Clara Colour, alongside the classic black and white Clara BW.

The Libra Colour and Clara Colour are stepping up the game in Kobo's e-reader lineup, building on the company's beloved e-readers, the Libra 2 and Clara 2E. These new devices ditch the old monochrome Carta 1200 screens in favor of E Ink's Kaledio 3 module.

E Ink's Kaleido 3 screen technology boasts crisp 300ppi resolution in grayscale mode. But when you switch to color, that resolution dips to 150ppi. Still, E Ink promises a palette of 4,096 colors with richer saturation, a step up from the previous-gen Kaleido Plus display.

To tackle the extra load, Kobo has beefed up the Libra Colour's processing power compared to the Libra 2. Plus, it has upgraded the battery, now packing a 2,050mAh capacity, putting it on par with other e-readers known for their long-lasting battery life, like the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The Libra Colour rocks a spacious 7-inch display and a generous 32GB of storage, all wrapped in an ergonomic design for cozy reading sessions. It keeps the perks of the Libra 2, like its IPX8 waterproof build and physical page-flipping buttons. Plus, it's now compatible with the Kobo Stylus 2, but snagging one will set you back an extra $70 since it's sold separately.

Kobo Libra Colour in white on a table

Kobo Libra Colour (Image credit: Rakuten Kobo)

On the flip side, the Clara Colour stands out more from the Kobo Clara 2E. It sticks with the trusty six-inch display and IPX8 waterproofing but ups the ante with 16GB of storage and a beefed-up processor.

Both models provide access to the Kobo.com bookstore and seamless integration with OverDrive for snagging library books. They're also Bluetooth-ready, so you can listen to Kobo Audiobooks wirelessly.

These devices pack ComfortLight Pro-tech, which dials down the blue light, making late-night reading sessions comfy and easy on the eyes.

Kobo is also revamping the black-and-white version of the Clara, now dubbed the Clara BW, to set it apart from its colorful counterpart. It's pretty much the same as the old Clara 2E but with a speedier dual-core processor borrowed from the color models.

The Kobo Libra Colour will retail for $220, while the Kobo Clara Colour will be priced at $150. If you're eyeing the monochrome display, the Kobo Clara BW comes in at a lower price of $130. They're set to launch on April 30, and you can already pre-order them straight from Kobo's website.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.