Nowadays there are just two big-name brands making ebook readers – Amazon and Kobo. Kobo has unveiled the new entry-level Clara HD, but is it a worthy rival to the well-established Kindle?
The Clara HD, on sale for just over £100, has its closest rival in Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite, one of the bestselling ebook readers around. If you’re shopping for an ebook reader to accompany you on your commute or on holiday, we’ve rounded up the Clara HD’s key features, as well as looking at how it compares with similarly priced alternatives.
Best Buy ebook readers – perfect for a relaxing read
Kobo Clara HD – key features
If you’re in the market for a budget-priced ebook reader, Kobo’s latest offering might tempt you to reach for your wallet. At £110, the Kobo Clara HD has a 6-inch display and is claimed to last ‘weeks’ on a single charge.
Above: the Kobo Clara HD (left) next to the Kindle Paperwhite (right)
The ebook reader, which is Kobo’s smallest, thinnest and lightest yet, has an anti-glare display that means you’ll be able to use it even in direct sunlight. It has a textured back, too, making it easier to hold in one hand. Tucked inside is 8GB of internal storage, which Kobo says is enough for around 6,000 titles.
The list of pre-installed features also includes adjustable font sizes and a built-in dictionary, which means you can quickly check definitions without reaching for your smartphone.
Unfortunately, this ebook reader isn’t waterproof like Kobo’s Aura H2O, and there’s no 3G connectivity.
Read our initial impressions of the Kobo Clara HD for more.
Kobo Clara HD vs Kindle Paperwhite: what’s the difference?
Trying to decide between the new Kobo ebook reader and an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite? Our table below runs through their key differences.
As you can see, Kobo is a step ahead when it comes to internal storage: it has double the space of the Paperwhite for the same price. In fact, the Kindle Oasis is the only Amazon ebook reader with 8GB of storage, and it will set you back £229.
Both ebook readers have a 6-inch display and, unsurprisingly, each has its own book store. Kobo says its pre-installed store is home to ‘over 5 million titles’, while Amazon says the Kindle store has ‘over 5.5 million books’ and ‘over one million Kindle-exclusive titles that you won’t be able to find anywhere else’.
The Kobo Clara HD is slightly lighter than the Kindle (good news if you’re reading through a book you just can’t put down), although it doesn’t have 3G connectivity like Amazon’s gadget. It supports EPUB, EPUB3 and PDF files, but AZW files developed for the Kindle are not compatible.
To see how Amazon’s ebook reader managed in our test lab, see our full Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review.
Top three best ebook readers for 2018
While we haven’t tested Kobo’s newest arrival in our lab just yet, we’ve put older Kobo ebook readers through their paces in a bid to see if they’re worthy of being Best Buys.
We’ve had our hands on popular ebook readers including the waterproof Kobo Aura H2O (£150), Kobo Aura (£100), Kindle (£60) and Kindle Oasis (£230). For each ebook reader tested, we pay close attention to battery life, display quality and durability to make sure you’re getting good value for money.
To see which ebook readers have impressed our experts, see our guide on the top three best ebook readers for 2018.