Kobo Announces Two New Products: Libra 2 and Sage

e ink e-reader kobo kobo libra 2 kobo sage Oct 07, 2021

Kobo is a company known for its e-readers and tablets. They have now announced two new products: the Libra 2 and Sage. The first product, the Libra 2, is an updated version of their older model, the Libra H2O. The second product they announced, Sage, is a tablet with many features, including its lightweight design, which makes it easy to carry around in one hand. It also has long battery life, so you can enjoy hours of reading without constantly recharging it. This blog post will give an initial impression of these two new devices and their expectations.

Kobo Sage and Kobo Libra 2 specs

The details below show the specs for each device as taken from the Kobo website.

Kobo Sage

  • 8-inch flush E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen for display, with 300 PPI, 1440 x 1920 resolution. The screen also has dark mode capability.
  • 32Gb of storage
  • Quad-Core CPU at 1.8 GHz
  • For connectivity, the Sage supports Bluetooth wireless technology, USB-C, and Wi-Fi 802.11 ac/b/g/n (dual band)
  • The Kobo website claims the Sage to have weeks of battery life depending on individual usage.
  • IPX8 waterproof rating. The device can stay in two meters of water for up to 60 minutes.
  • ComfortLight PRO technology for display allows for adjustable brightness and color temperature
  • 12 different fonts and over 50 font styles are available
  • Dimensions of 160.5 x 181.4 x 7.6 mm
  • Weight of 240.8 g
  • Support for multiple file formats and languages. Kobo Audiobooks is also supported but is only available to select countries.

Kobo Libra 2

  • 7-inch HD E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen for display, with 300 PPI, 1264 x 1680 resolution. The screen also has dark mode capability.
  • 32Gb of storage
  • 1 GHz processor
  • For connectivity, the Libra 2 supports Bluetooth wireless technology, USB-C, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • The Kobo website claims the Sage to have weeks of battery life depending on individual usage.
  • IPX8 waterproof rating. The device can stay in two meters of water for up to 60 minutes.
  • ComfortLight PRO technology for display allows for adjustable brightness and color temperature
  • 12 different fonts and over 50 font styles are available
  • Dimensions of 144.6 x 161.6 x 9 mm
  • Weight of 215 g
  • Support for multiple file formats and languages. Kobo Audiobooks is also supported but is only available to select countries.

Accessories and Pricing

Both Kobo products come with accessories that you can buy separately. For the Kobo Sage, there's the PowerCover and SleepCover. The SleepCover uses magnets to hold the Sage firmly in place. The Sage wakes up automatically when the cover opens and sleeps when it closes. The SleepCover also has a 2-way stand that holds the Sage upright so you can read in landscape or portrait mode hands-free. The SleepCover comes in two colors: light green and black. Then there's the PowerCover which is a nifty one. The PowerCover does everything that the SleepCover can, except the 2-way stand feature, with the addition of on-the-go charging for the Sage and a slot on the side for putting the Kobo Stylus. Unfortunately, the PowerCover comes only in one color, which is black.

The Libra 2 also has the SleepCover accessory, and it works the same way as the Sage's SleepCover. It comes in four colors: Poppy Red, Slate Blue, Lavender, and Black. There's also the Libra 2 Basic SleepCover which comes only in steel grey. Unfortunately, Basic SleepCover doesn't have the stand feature.

For pricing, the Kobo Sage is priced at $259.99 while the Libra 2 at $179.99. The company's Kobo Stylus is sold separately and can be used to write notes and ideas on your Kobo e-reader. However, note that the Kobo Stylus is only compatible with the Kobo Sage and Kobo Elipsa.

Impressions and Expectations

At the time of this writing, both the Kobo Sage and Libra 2 are newly announced, and I don't have both of them in my hands but based on what I read of both products' descriptions and features on Kobo's website, I can say that both of these devices are going to be great. Kobo produces good e-readers, and seeing the characteristics of these two new devices makes me think they will compete with other e-readers out there.

One thing I love about the new Kobo e-readers is their form factor. They are small, about the size of a book, so it's easy to take them with you and read wherever you are. In addition, the displays have a dark mode capability, so there would be less eye strain during extended reading sessions. The screens of both new devices also have good resolution. Then there's Kobo's ComfortLight Pro feature that allows for adjustable brightness and blue light control, which is very handy when you're reading during the night.

There's also Bluetooth support, which is a significant feature for listening to audiobooks using wireless headphones. Both devices sport an IPX8 waterproof rating, so there's no worry if you plan on reading while in the bathtub or by the pool. Kobo Audiobooks, Kobo's service for listening to audiobooks, is supported by both new e-readers. Do take note that the Kobo Audiobooks service is only available in selected countries.

The Kobo Sage is the one I'm looking forward to having. Its specs are a bit more potent than the Libra 2. In addition, the device has stylus support for note-taking. This feature is exciting as this makes the Sage more than an e-reader and puts it in possible competition with other note-taking devices like the reMarkable 2. Furthermore, the Sage has a built-in notebook feature that turns handwriting into plain text, and you can also write on ebooks and PDFs. There's also Dropbox support, so you now also can export documents from cloud storage.

Final thoughts

Kobo provides a good alternative if you want an e-reader that is not Kindle. These e-readers are the kind of consumer tech you want to indulge in if you read a lot of ebooks, stories, or listen to audiobooks. They are different from tablets like Apple's iPad or Samsung's, where you can download apps and use them for multimedia consumption. Both the Kobo Sage and Libra 2 have ebook and audiobook support, so they got you covered. The prices of both devices are also enticing as they are under the $300 range. So if you are looking for a new e-reader, these two new devices from Kobo are worth a look.

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