As you may be able to tell, I have a thing for books. I like the idea of having so many books but when it comes to reality. I realized that when you’re in an apartment there’s not too much space to put them all. So my old E-Reader broke (Kobo Aura H20) and I’ve been loafting on buying a new one. So, thank goodness I got the Kobo Clara HD as a gift and since then I haven’t been able to put it down.


Kobo Clara HD

The Good

This is an incredible e-reader that is super easy-to-use, affordable and the perfect size to carry around. It links up to your public library, the Kobo Store and lets you even upload your own files!

The Bad

I couldn’t find Kobo’s own cover that I like, so I had to use a generic one on Amazon. And I guess there’s no syncing with audiobooks. Is that a thing? Cause that would be blessed.

Overall

I had to think really hard of the bad stuff. So I think overall this is the perfect e-reader for anyone that’s looking to buy one!


The Perfect Reading Companion

Rakuten (Kobo) has a line of e-readers and they’re all pretty good. I don’t think you can really go wrong with any of them. And my personal preference is for Kobo over any other brand (*cough* Amazon Kindle). The main reason for me is that it’s not as locked down (ie. you can upload your own files etc). Not to mention the ability to join your public library with OverDrive which means that if you’re broke you can just borrow books online too. Which I find clutch, and helpful to the wallet. (Keep in mind if you live in the states OverDrive may work with Kindle as well but for Canada, only Kobo devices have access to the OverDrive app for now.)


Kobo Clara Specs

Screen Size6” E-Ink touchscreen (300 ppi – print quality)
Dimensions6.6 by 4.3 by 0.3 inches (159.6 x 110 x 8.35 mm)
Weight166 g (5.9 oz)
LightComfortLight PRO (Minimal blue-light exposure)
Battery1500 mAh Li-Ion (Lasted 3 weeks for me)
Customizability11 different fonts and over 40 font styles
Storage Capacity8 GB (approx. 6000 books)
Book FormatsEPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR
Read eBooks borrowed from Public Library

Clara HD E-Reader Pricing

So as of now, the Kobo Clara HD is around $120 ($150 CAD) and that’s a pretty decent price.

Most e-readers at MSRP range from $120-250 CAD and for the Clara HD it’s right among the average price of the most popular e-readers.


Amazon Kindle is Locked. Kobo is open

Kobo Let’s You Upload Epubs. Kindle Does Not.

Why would I choose Kobo over Amazon? Because when I first did research of e-readers back in whenever (3-5 years ago?). I noticed that Amazon started to lock up their devices. You couldn’t upload your own .epub’s (ie. if you bought an ebook anywhere else you couldn’t read it on your Kindle natively – [but you can with some tinkering]). And also, if you purchase a book on Kindle then you’ll get stuck on their system because you can’t really read the book anywhere else [again unless you do some tinkering, and I’m not sure the legalities of it all].

OverDrive = Public Library. Kobo Let’s You.

On top of that, the OverDrive app lets you borrow books from your public library! That’s amazing, this wasn’t a feature when I first got my e-reader. It’s super simple, all you have to do is just create an account and you can start borrowing books from your public library.

Specifically for the Toronto Public Library, Kobo supports overdrive, however Kindle does not. Kindle currently only supports U.S. libraries. So that’s the main reasons why I went with Kobo over Kindle.

Kobo let’s you upload EPUB’s and you can borrow books on OverDrive.

Kindle does not.


Kobo Clara Summary

Kobo Clara HD is the perfect reading companion for any book lover. It always provides the best light to read by with ComfortLight PRO, and a natural, print-like reading experience on its superior 6” HD screen. Easily customizable features help customers new to eReading to read the way they prefer. With 8 GB of on-board memory and the ability to carry up to 6,000 eBooks, Kobo Clara HD always has room for your next escape


Frequently Asked Questions About the Kobo Clara HD


Can you highlight a word and it gives you the definition?

Absolutely! You can get word definitions pretty easily. All you need to do is just highlight the word with your finger, and it will automatically show you the definition of the word.

Can you upload notes to cloud or where do notes get stored?

So this one is a little more difficult. Natively you can’t export your notes and annotations. But because Kobo is open source (at least I think this is why) there are alternative solutions out there.

No, you can’t natively export your notes to the cloud cause I think the notes and annotations are stored inside the Kobo.

However, after digging around I’ve found some solutions and the one that I find the easiest to do is from epubor. It basically allows you to take the annotations from your kobo and exports them into a .txt file which you can then download back onto your computer.

I can write a more in-depth tutorial on this but based off of epubor essentially all you need to do is:

  1. Plug your Kobo device to your Mac/PC via USB cable and make sure you can see hidden files (Cmd + Shift + .) for Macs.
  2. Open .kobo > Kobo > Kobo eReader.conf in a text editor
  3. Enter in this code at the bottom then save and exit
[FeatureSettings]
ExportHighlights=true

4. Eject safely and you should see “Export Highlights” as an option on your Kobo Device

Then the result is a note so pretty .txt file. But it does have all your highlights and annotations!

How are comics on the Kobo Clara HD?

I don’t really read comics but thought I’d give it a try! Just from what I’ve seen recently is that comics are often saved as .cbr for optimum quality. There are some in pdf and what not which will work fine on the Kobo Clara HD but I think the one you’ll want to look for is definitely .cbr.

Here are some photos with reading comic books on the Kobo Clara HD.

Kobo Clara HD: Comic Book [0% Brightness]
Kobo Clara HD: Comic Book [100% Brightness]
Kobo Clara HD: Comic Book [Some .CBR settings]

How bad is the glare on the Kobo Clara HD?

You only really get glare if you’re out in like direct sunlight like a beach (4:01 is like an extreme example usually it’s less than that), and there’s a setting that auto-adjusts the brightness for you which makes the glare almost negligible. This is a pretty awesome feature when the light is changing. (It’s called “Natural Light” auto adjust 4:29) Also, keep in mind I have a screen protector (not necessary) on right now, and the glare is significantly less without one.

With Screen Protector

WITHOUT Screen Protector

So I’m not sure if the pictures capture it enough but there is definitely less glare without the screen protector. I never had an issue with the screen protector but a lot of people were worried that it has glare but I can confirm the anti-glare screen thing is a real thing on this device.

Are you allowed to read in the dark without straining your eyes?

Normally, I don’t usually read without a light on, just cause I think it’s better for my eyes in the long term. But if you do want to read in the dark it’s most definitely doable. I think if you just max the yellowness to get rid of the blue light (Comfort Light Pro) and try not to turn up the brightness too much (4:29) I think it may help prevent your eyes from straining too much.

The reason why is I believe the more blue light you absorb before bedtime the harder it is for you to fall asleep.

How is the Back Lit Screen?

I don’t use the light often, but haven’t noticed any uneveness. These pictures are day time so I probably gotta do it again at night. But I think it’s been pretty blessed. These are both taken with 100% brightness one with the day time light and the other with the night time light. It looks pretty even.

Can I upload a pdf/epub/cbr to the Kobo?

Yes, most Kobo devices allow you to upload your files directly from your PC! They also take pretty much every single file type. For my e-reader: the Kobo Clara HD I’ve managed to upload all three of those file types; .pdf, .epub and just recently the .cbr.

More supported file types here.

Where to Find Books


More Reading/Resources
  • https://thewiredshopper.com/kindle-vs-kobo-brands/
  • https://www.cellphones.ca/ereaders/p/kobo-vs-kindle-10108
  • https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-ereaders

You can ignore this. I just wanted to keep my notes here until I finished writing up this blog post.

Kobo Clara HD YouTube Notes Again

I’ve tried filming this and I honestly don’t know if I know how to talk anymore. So I thought it would be wise to try to give myself a script.

So first off, why in the heck am I reviewing an ebook. Who still reads books? I do, so hopefully some of yall still do too.

Why Get An E-Reader

Next, why would you buy an e-reader? Well for me, I love books but realized living in an apartment your bookshelf begins to have limited space. Maybe you are also on the go all the time and carrying a few books would be tedious. Or you’re bored in the house and want to find an alternative for your screen time. So the reasons could be plentiful for purchasing an e-reader but the main focus should be that you want to read books!

Don’t get me wrong I’m still on the personal preference to listen to audiobooks but sometimes when I’m really trying to understand something I still enjoy reading.

Kobo vs Kindle

So now that we’ve clarified why somebody would want an e-reader, the next big question I had was Kobo or Kindle? These are the two main competing brands in Canada and I needed to figure out which one was best for me. Amazon has a great ecosystem that engulfs the Kindle. But it is what it is, it’s an ecosystem that keeps you pretty tied to Amazon Kindle.

For me I have a huge library of EPUBs and my main concern was wanting to be able to read those on my ereader. Unfortunately Kindle doesn’t natively support EPUBs while Kobo does. So with Kobo having the larger support for e-book files I had to go with that.

Once I got the Kobo Clara HD I was introduced to even more greatness that I wasn’t even aware of. Overdrive. This is basically an app that allows you to borrow books from your public library! I took a look into it and specifically in Toronto the only devices that currently support the app is the Kindle!

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