The Kobo eReader is an e-reader produced by Toronto-based Kobo Inc. The company's name is an anagram of "book". The original version was released in May 2010 and was marketed as a minimalist alternative to the more expensive e-book readers available at the time. Like most e-readers, the Kobo uses an electronic ink screen. The Arc tablet series, released between 2011 and 2013, was based on LCD technology instead.
|Operating system||Kobo firmware|
|Power||Internal li-ion rechargeable battery|
E ink devices
|Component||Display||Input||Storage||CPU||Connectivity||Features / Notes||Dimensions||Weight||Introductory price||Released||Battery & RAM|
|Model||Type||Size||Resolution||ppi||Internal||Expanded||Make and model||USB +||(US$)|
|Kobo eReader||E-Ink||6"||800x600||170||D-Pad||1 GB||4 GB SD||Bluetooth||$199||May 2010|
|Kobo WiFi N289||E-Ink||6"||800x600||170||D-Pad||1 GB||32 GB SD||Freescale i.MX335||Wi-Fi||184 × 120 × 10 mm (7.2 × 4.7 × 0.4 in)||221 g (7.80 oz)||$199||October 2010|
|E-Ink Pearl||6"||800x600||170||Touch||2 GB||32 GB microSD||Freescale i.MX507 800 MHz||Wi-Fi||First touchscreen.||165 × 114 × 10 mm (6.5 × 4.5 × 0.4 in)||200 g (7.05 oz)||$129||May 2011||1200 mAh|
|E-Ink Pearl||6"||1024x768||213||Touch||2 GB||32 GB microSD||Freescale i.MX507 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||First illuminated display.||157 x 114 x 10 mm (6.2 x 4.5 x 0.4 in)||185 g (6.5 oz)||$129||September 2012|
|E-Ink Pearl||5"||800x600||200||Touch||2 GB||32 GB microSD||Freescale i.MX507 800 MHz||Wi-Fi||133 x 102 x 10 mm (5.2 × 4 x 0.4 in)||134 g (4.73 oz)||$79||September 2012||1000 mAh|
|Kobo Aura HD
|E-Ink Pearl||6.8"||1440x1080||265||Touch||4 GB||32 GB microSD||Freescale i.MX507 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||175.7 x 128.3 x 11.7 mm (6.91 x 5.05 x 0.46 in)||240 g (8.5 oz)||$169||April 2013||1500 mAh|
|E-Ink Pearl||6"||1024x768||213||Touch||4 GB||32 GB microSD||Freescale i.MX507 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||150 x 114 x 8.1 mm (5.9 x 5.6 x 0.3 in)||174 g (6.1 oz)||$149||August 2013||1500 mAh|
|Kobo Aura H₂O
|E-Ink Carta||6.8"||1440x1080||265||Touch||4 GB||32 GB microSD||1 GHz||Wi-Fi||Waterproofed||179 x 129 x 9.7 mm||233 g (8.22 oz)||$179||October 2014|
|Kobo Glo HD
|E-Ink Carta||6"||1448x1072||300||Touch||4 GB||No||Freescale SoloLite iMX.6 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||157 x 114 x 10 mm (6.2 x 4.5 x 0.4 in)||180 g (6.3 oz)||$129||May 2015|
|Kobo Touch 2.0
|E-Ink Pearl||6"||800x600||167||Touch||4 GB||No||Freescale SoloLite iMX.6 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||157 x 115 x 9.2 mm||185g||$61||September 2015|
|Kobo Aura Edition 2
|E-Ink Carta||6"||1024x768||212||Touch||4 GB||No||Freescale SoloLite iMX.6 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||154.5 x 109 x 8.5 mm||180g||$119||September 2016|
|Kobo Aura OneN709||E-Ink Carta||7.8"||1872x1404||300||Touch||8 GB||No||Freescale SoloLite i.MX 6 1GHz||Wi-Fi||Waterproofed,||195.1 x 138.5 x 6.9 mm||252 g||$230||September 2016||512MB RAM|
|Kobo Aura H₂O Edition 2N867||E-Ink Carta||6.8"||1440x1080||265||Touch||8 GB||No||Freescale i.MX6 SLL 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||Waterproofed,
|172 x 129 x 8.9 mm||210g||$180||May 2017|
|Kobo Clara HDN249||E-Ink Carta||6"||1448x1072||300||Touch||8 GB||No||Freescale i.MX6 SLL 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||ComfortLight PRO||159.6 x 110 x 8.35 mm||166g||$130||June 2018||1500 mAh|
|Kobo FormaN782||E-Ink Carta||8"||1920x1440||300||Touch/buttons||8 GB or 32 GB||No||Freescale i.MX6 SLL 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||Waterproofed, ComfortLight PRO||160 x 177.7 x 8.5 mm||197g||$279.99||October 2018||1200 mAh / 512MB RAM|
|Kobo Libra H₂ON873||E-Ink Carta||7"||1680x1264||300||Touch/buttons||8 GB||No||Freescale i.MX6 SLL 1 GHz||Wi-Fi||Waterproofed, ComfortLight PRO||144 x 159 x 5.0 - 7.8 mm||192g||$169.99||September 2019||1200 mAh / 512MB RAM|
|Kobo NiaN306||E-Ink Carta||6"||1024x758||212||Touch||8 GB||No||Freescale i.MX 6 ULL 900MHz||Wi-Fi||ComfortLight||112.4 x 159.3 x 9.2 mm||172g||$99.99||July 2020||1000 mAh / 256MB RAM|
This section needs expansion with: The expansion of the contents of each subsection. You can help by adding to it. (May 2021)
All Kobo e-readers share a unique pagination system giving users the option to count and reference pages separately within each chapter as opposed to the book as a whole. The latter, however, is user selectable as an alternative. All Kobo readers require connection to the Internet during the initial setup phase and will not work until they are connected to Kobo's servers. Kobo e-readers support viewing Epub, Adobe PDF, plain text, HTML, and unprotected Mobipocket (mobi, prc) e-books. They also support many other formats, such as ZIM, unofficially.
Kobo Libra H₂O
The Kobo Forma was released in November 2018. It has an 8-inch, 300 ppi E-Ink display that can be held by right- and left-handed people, and it can be flipped horizontally. It has physical page up and page down buttons to flip pages.
- Features: Waterproof IPX8 - up to 60 mins in 2 meters of water
- Screen: 8.0" 300 PPI E Ink Carta display, 1440 × 1920 resolution
- Weight: 197 g
- Size: 160 x 177.7 x 8.5 (thickness at gripping area) & 4.2 (thickness at the thinner side)
- Storage: 8 GB or 32 GB
- Front-light: ComfortLight PRO – Adjustable color temperature
- Customizability with 11 different fonts and over 50 font styles with a font weight and sharpness setting
- Supported formats: 14 file formats supported natively (EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro USB
- Battery Life: 1200 mAh, weeks of battery life
Kobo Clara HD
Kobo Aura One
The Kobo Aura One was released on 6 September 2016 and it is the first e-reader with a 7.8-inch E Ink Carta HD waterproof touchscreen display with a 300 ppi screen. The Aura One weighs 252 grams and measures 195 by 138.5 by 6. 9 mm. It has Wi-Fi, 8 GB internal storage, and 512 MB RAM. The Aura One is lit by nine white LEDs and eight RGB LEDs around the frame. The additional RGB LEDs allow the device to have a night reading mode that limits the blue light that comes from white LEDs. The Aura One was the first Kobo eReader with built-in OverDrive support.
Kobo Aura Edition 2
The Kobo Aura Edition 2 was released with the Kobo Aura One in September 2016 as "a refreshed version of a beloved classic". It has a 6-inch E Ink Carta display with a resolution of 1024×768 at 212 ppi. The exterior styling is similar to the Kobo Aura One. Unlike the original Kobo Aura, there is no MicroSD slot. The specifications are otherwise similar to the original Kobo Aura.
Kobo Aura H₂O Edition 2
The Kobo Aura H₂O Edition 2 was released in May 2017. It has a 6.8-inch E Ink HD Carta waterproof IPX8 display at 265 ppi. Its LED light, called the "ComfortLight PRO", can automatically reduce blue-light exposure during the night to lower the screen's effect on sleep.
Kobo Inc. announced its first e-reader on 24 March 2010, at the CTIA show. The device was officially released on 1 May 2010. It had expandable memory, holding an additional 4 GB via an SD slot and limited wireless connectivity via Bluetooth to select Blackberry wireless devices. It was available in black or white and came preloaded with 100 public domain books. It was manufactured by Netronix Inc., a Taiwan based company with factories in Taiwan and China.
The pricing strategy of the original Kobo, at US$149, was to rival the Amazon Kindle, which was US$110 more expensive. However, in June 2010, just after the Kobo was released, Amazon dropped the price of the Kindle to US$189. Its pricing strategy in Australia was similarly aggressive where it was available for A$199, again A$100 less than the Kindle. Borders Australia said that they hoped to sell high volumes of the Kobo to drive up sales at their e-content store.
The original Kobo received a mediocre review from CNET, which said that, while the Kobo was compact, lightweight and affordable, the lack of Wi-Fi or 3G made it outdated, especially when there were similarly priced eReaders available with those features.
A new model with Wi-Fi capability was released on 15 October 2010. It included an improved processor, screen, and new colour choices (porcelain/metallic silver, porcelain/pearlized lilac, and onyx). The SD expansion had been improved to claim a capacity for up to 10,000 books with a 32GB SD card. Other improvements included a longer battery life and a built-in dictionary.
The Kobo Touch was released in June 2011. It introduced an infrared 6-inch touchscreen interface. Other improvements compared to the Kobo Wi-Fi included an E Ink Pearl screen, a faster processor capable of smooth PDF panning, 802.11n capability, and reduced size and weight.
The Kobo Glo is an e-reader released on 6 September 2012. It is a front-lit, touch-based E Ink reader. The Kobo Glo supports most ebook standards, including EPUB. It has a 6-inch touchscreen, 1024×758 resolution, 213 ppi, 6.53 oz, 2 GB of storage, and supports microSD.
The Kobo Mini is smaller, at 5-inch, and lighter than standard ebook readers. It was released on 6 September 2012. It has 2GB internal storage and Wi-Fi. The 5" E Ink Vizplex screen has a resolution of 800x600 with 200 ppi.
The Kobo Aura is the baseline e-reader with a 6-inch E Ink ClarityScreen display with 1024×768 resolution, 16-level grey scale, and a built-in LED front-light. It has 4GB storage, weighs 173g (6.1 oz), has two months of battery life, a Freescale i.MX507 1 GHz processor, and a microSD expansion slot. It was released in September 2013.
Kobo Aura HD
The Aura HD was a limited-edition device, released on 25 April 2013, with a 6.8-inch E Ink display, with a high resolution of 1440×1080 with 265 ppi. It is 8.47 oz and has a microSD expansion slot. Other improvements compared to the Kobo Touch included a built-in "ComfortLight" LED light, a faster processor (1 GHz), twice the onboard storage (4 GB), and twice the battery life (estimated at two months).
Kobo Aura H₂O
The Aura H₂O, released on 1 October 2014, is the second commercial waterproof e-reader. It has an upgraded version of the Aura HD's 6.8-inch E Ink Carta display with a resolution of 1440×1080 with 265 ppi. While its screen is improved over the Aura HD, it contains the same processor, on-board storage, and software as the Aura HD, and has dust/waterproofing – certified to be immersed for up to 30 minutes in up to 1 meter of water with its port cover closed.
Kobo Glo HD
The Kobo Glo HD, released on 1 May 2015, is an e-reader with an E Ink Carta screen and is the successor to 2012's Glo. It has a 6-inch screen in a resolution of 1448×1072, or 300 ppi, matching the resolution of the Kindle Voyage. Internally, the device stores its operating system and content on a MicroSD card, allowing for storage upgrade. For users who open their device, this will invalidate any warranty.
Kobo Touch 2.0
The Kobo Touch 2.0 was released on 8 September 2015 as an entry level e-reader with an E Ink Pearl 6-inch display with a resolution of 800×600 and 167 ppi. The exterior is similar in appearance to the Kobo Glo HD and it has a 1 GHz Freescale i.MX6 Solo Lite Processor and 4 GB of internal storage.
This section needs to be updated. (March 2018)
The Kobo e-reading platform was, as of January 2012, the best-selling in Canada. Research firm Ipsos-Reid estimating that Kobo e-readers represented 46% of the Canadian market.
In August 2013, Kobo was the second largest ebook retailer in Japan, and Forbes estimated it at 3% of the market share in the United States.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2021)
Beta, development, and hacking
On Kobo eReaders, Kobo offers a publicly available beta channel. In older models, this included turn-based, puzzle, and word games, however this has been removed from newer models, which only feature a web browser. Kobo eReaders also feature a dev mode, similar to the android developer options setting. Within this, there are slight and untested changes meant for developers, however, in recent firmware updates, enabling dev mode by typing into the search bar devmodeon will add the games found in older hardware to the beta menu.
The Kobo hacking community hacks the device hardware for a variety of reasons.
Most Kobo eReaders (excluding the Libra H₂O and the Forma where it is soldered) have a replaceable internal microSD card, so many people replace it to get additional storage, and faster speeds.
People may also modify the hardware to fix issues, such as light banding by covering the lights with tape.
People may also replace broken components like batteries.
The motivations for Kobo software hacking vary.
There are also added features, commonly distributed through KoboLauncher. These include games, a calculator, calendar, notepad, and a sketchpad. There are many add-ons available for KoboLauncher, such as pbchess. KoboLauncher is commonly used as the first step for distributing mods.
Finally, people have developed quality of life updates, such as a script that lets you make the page refresh at custom rates, or unhide the games from the beta section
In October 2012, Kobo Inc. acquired the digital publishing platform Aquafadas to increase the content available on its e-reader devices.
- Comparison of e-book readers
- Comparison of tablet computers
- Amazon Kindle
- Barnes & Noble Nook
- Sony Reader
- Calibre – open source software to manage a digital library with support of conversion between common e-book formats
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