Editor choice

Kobo Libra Colour Review

Has it got hues for you?

At first glance, the Libra Colour looks identical to the Libra 2, which is a good start because that turned out to be one of the best ebook readers ever made. The page-turn buttons, curved edges and thicker bezels make this e-reader just as comfortable to hold and use in one hand.

Kobo Libra Colour

What is a departure, however, is its screen. As its name suggests, the Libra Colour is fitted with an E-Ink Kaleido 3 screen that supports no less than 4,096 tones, and is currently the best colour e-paper display. Colour illustrations and photos leap out at you, and while it isn’t as vibrant as a tablet screen, it makes browsing your library of book covers much more impactful.

Colour e-reader with note-taking option is our new favourite

Kobo has also added another new feature – the ability to write on it. It inherits most of the writing elements present in the Kobo Elipsa 2E, but with added colour.

Unlike the Elipsa, it doesn’t come with a stylus, which goes some way to explaining its lower price. If you do want to make notes, the Kobo Stylus 2 will cost an additional. We think it’s worth it if you like to jot things down or highlight text as you read.

You can choose the ink/highlight colours, the type of pen, the thickness of nib and more. We found the handwriting recognition to be excellent, but that might depend on how legible your scribbles are. If anything, writing on screen feels a little too smooth compared with the slightly textured Elipsa 2E display, which gives you more of a sense that you’re writing on paper. It’s our only complaint with the Libra Colour.

SPECIFICATIONS

7in 300ppi E Ink Carta Kaleido 3 touchscreen • 1264×1680-pixel resolution • 32GB storage • Wi-Fi 5 • Bluetooth • USB-C charging port • 2050mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery • 161x145x8.3mm (HxWxD) • 200g • One-year warranty

Reading and writing in colour takes a little extra power, so Kobo has updated the processor to a 2GHz model from the 1GHz chip in the Libra 2. And given the resource-hungry features, Kobo has decided to increase the battery capacity from l,500mAh to 2,050mAh. You still get 32GB of (non-expandable) storage, Bluetooth support to listen to audiobooks, and relatively quick USB-C charging. All this makes the Libra Colour our new favourite ebook reader.

VERDICT

10 Total Score
Editor choice Kobo Libra 2 Review

A significant upgrade for Kobo's already excellent Libra with added colour and writing capabilities.

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ALTERNATIVE

Kobo Clara Colour

A cheaper and smaller (6in screen) colour ebook reader, though it lacks the note-taking option

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3 Comments
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  1. I have had nothing but problems with this Kobo Libra. It freezes constantly, very annoying. It has now decided not to load the books that I have borrowed from the library when it had been working fine before. I am at the point of throwing it out the windows> Don’t waster your money so not worth the cost.

    • I love mine if see if you got a defective one, i traded my sage in for a libra 2 and it’s super fast, never freezes and works perfect

  2. Be prepared for hours of frustration trying to keep it connected to overdrive. You will wish you just checked out physical books from the library. Would not recommend.

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