Kobo today announced the release of the Clara 2E, an updated version of its buttonless mid-range e-reader. The Clara 2E includes many of the features Kobo has been introducing to its more high-end e-readers, including Bluetooth connectivity, increased storage capacity, and USB-C charging.
As was the case with last year’s Libra 2, the Clara 2E’s updates are fairly small — not the kind of upgrades that will send original Clara HD owners running to pre-order one. Those incremental upgrades are just enough to bring the Clara 2E up to speed with the rest of Kobo’s modern e-reader lineup, though.
The Clara 2E also marks the first time Kobo is using recycled plastics as a majority source for its devices. The new e-reader’s body is comprised of 85 percent recycled plastics, 10 percent of which was ocean-bound.
Kobo is newly committed to using certified recycled materials whenever possible while still meeting its devices’ technical requirements. Overall, the company hopes to divert more than 200,000 plastic bottles from the oceans and more than a million CDs and DVDs from landfills.
Small but necessary upgrades — The Clara 2E is nearly identical in appearance to its predecessor, with a 6” E Ink Carta 1200 screen and smooth black bezels. Like the Clara HD, the Clara 2E does not include physical page-turn buttons.
Perhaps the most notable update to the Clara is an IPX8 waterproof rating, which brings the Clara 2E up to spec with Kobo’s pricier offerings like the Sage. The Clara 2E is guaranteed up to 60 minutes of water resistance in up to two meters of water — great for the beach or the bath.
The Clara 2E also includes a USB-C port over the previous model’s micro-USB, allowing for faster charging and data transfers. The internal storage has been doubled to 16 GB — more than enough for your entire ebook library — and Bluetooth compatibility is available for audiobook listening.
Keeping up with the Kindles — Though it’s really made a name for itself in the e-reader market over the last few years, Kobo is still very much playing catch-up with Amazon. The tech giant’s Kindle lineup outsells every other e-reader company’s offerings in the U.S.
Kobo holds its own very well in matching (and even besting) the Kindles available at any given time. The Clara 2E is very similar to the Kindle Paperwhite, offering many of the same features in a very similar package. The Paperwhite runs $10 more than the Clara 2E — and that $139.99 price point includes lock screen ads.