I got my Kobo Clara HD ebook reader a couple of days ago. I’m nearing the end of reading my first novel on it and here are my observations.
The reader shipped from Canada via UPS, signature required. I’m not a big fan of signature required, but I understand it in this instance because I had no prior customer history with Kobo and suddenly I order a $130 reader. I did like the Paypal option on checkout.
You can order these from Walmart if you prefer, and Walmart has 2 day shipping.
HardwareThe Clara HD came with a USB charging cord but no transformer wall plug adapter. This seems to be common practice now. The reader is ultra thin, small and light weight. It’s smaller than a mass market paperback roughly the size of a prayer book. Small enough so it fits nicely in my large hands. The whole thing seemed well built. Setup was a breeze: just turn it on, connect to your Wifi network, sign in to your Kobo account. Done.
The screen is much higher resolution than my old Kindle Touch yet the have the same size screens. The typography is very sharp and clear.
The Clara comes with ComfortLight Pro which is a front lighting system that adjusts automatically to the light conditions around you. You can set your usual bedtime and the blue light filter kicks in an hour or so before bedtime automatically. This turns the front lighting sort of an amber color as it filters out the blue light. Blue light spectrum is what can keep you awake in bed. I’ve used this the last two nights and had no trouble reading even in a dark room. I found the front lighting to be very uniform across the screen. I like this ComfortLight Pro.
Using the default font and type size I am very comfortable reading this at the same distance I would hold a paperback. The white on the e-Ink display is pretty white so reading is comfortable.
The case from Kobo looks very nice but I thought it a little expensive. I ordered a Finite case for the Clara on Amazon for a lot less and I like it. The case has a magnet in the cover which awakens the reader when opened.
One nice touch: when the Kobo is sleeping the screen shows the book cover artwork of the book you are reading.
There are no advertisements on the Kobo readers.
SoftwareThe software is straight forward and easy to use. Kobo starts you out with a quick tutorial. You can either swipe or tap to turn a page. Tap in the center brings up your menus. Everything worked smoothly.
You don’t have to buy a reader if you don’t want to. Kobo has free apps for smartphones running Android, iOS or Blackberry 10, plus apps for Anroid and iOS tablets and free reader software for Windows 10 and macOS. Plus the Kobo ebook store has a bunch of free ebooks so you can try Kobo for free and read free ebooks. I tried the app for Android phone and it works just fine.
ConclusionI like the Clara HD. I really like the front lighting. I have no complaints. The Clara is the perfect size for somebody that always carries a book with them. The advantage of an e-ink reader is long battery life and you can read well outdoors in direct sunlight. It’s easier on the eyes than a LCD screen and lighter than any tablet.
I would buy this again.
Review of the Kobo store coming.