Kobo Libra Color review: Color e-ink screen

If you save a lot of articles using Pocket, you can read them on Kobos. Pocket integrations were supposed to go away in 2023, but Kobo updated its system to make them work and that’s no longer an issue. No matter where you read it, you can’t write on Pocket articles, but you can import the files you want to markup into Libra as PDFs. As a writer, it’s fun to break out of my old proofreading streak again.

I also tested Kobo’s SleepCover ($40), which folds into a stand. I usually don’t have covers when using e-readers because they are so durable, but I love this one so much. It keeps the device stable even when I’m writing notes.

right to repair

The tablet on the left shows a drawing of flowers, the tablet on the right shows only flowers

Photography: Medea Giordano

Reading on the Libra Color is mostly fine, but I’m getting some “ghosting” in the notebook (you can see faint traces of menus or erased text). This usually fixes itself after a few seconds, but it’s more noticeable than on other e-readers I’ve tested recently. Sometimes I have to turn the page and go back and fix it.

Libra is waterproof, made from recycled plastic, and the battery lasts about a month, depending on how much you read and write. I think the page-turn buttons included here should be standard on all e-readers. In other words, Libra Color sells for $220. Add in the $70 stylus, and it’s even more expensive for a color screen.

If it’s any consolation, the Kobo Libra Color is repairable, so your money will last a long time. Kobo has partnered with iFixit to create kits for repairing monitors, batteries, motherboards, and front and back covers. This extends to Clara Color and the original black and white Clara.

The Kobo e-reader may lack the large library of the Amazon Kindle, but it’s the perfect e-reader if you’ve been trying to get away from all things Amazon. With this new Libra, reading and writing in color becomes so much fun.

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