Kobo will launch a new 10.3-inch E Ink e-reader and writing device, the Kobo Elipsa 2E, on April 19. The new Kindle Scribe and Onyx rival Boox Nova Air C will retail for $399.99 and come with an improved stylus that you can use to write directly on the pages of eBooks and documents.
Those who want to get their hands on the latest Kobo e-reader can preorder it from Kobo starting today. As an added incentive, Rakuten-owned Kobo is launching a $25 Kobo eGift Card for customers who pre-order the device in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.
On paper, the Kobo Elipsa 2E appears to be a minor update to its predecessor, the Kobo Elipsa. Both sell for $399 with a stylus, though only the original Elipsa includes a cover. Both e-readers also offer 10.3-inch glare-free displays with integrated technology to minimize blue light exposure along with Bluetooth support. Both also have 32 GB of storage and can convert handwriting to typed text. Both integrate with cloud services so you can export notes too, and sadly, neither device is waterproof.
However, the Elipsa 2E does come with an updated stylus and other improvements that should provide “a better and faster writing experience,” or so Kobo claims. For one, the redesigned Kobo Stylus 2 attaches magnetically to the Kobo Elipsa 2E. It’s also rechargeable, which means it doesn’t come with AAA batteries that you’d have to keep replacing before. Meanwhile, the eraser is now located on the back, rather than closer to the tip near the highlight button, for more intuitive use.
Also, annotations will now always be visible, even if users change settings like font size or page layout. Previously, changing the page layout settings hid annotations inside an icon that you had to click to view, so this new update will save users an extra step. Other improvements include an easier to search built-in laptop feature, as well as increased battery life that says “should last for weeks”, although we’ll have to test it ourselves to see if this claim is true.
Like the new Kobo Clara 2E, the e-reader is also greener as part of Kobo’s broader goal of reducing its environmental footprint. The e-reader, for example, is now made from more than 85 percent recycled plastic, with 10 percent plastic from the ocean. Meanwhile, the new Kobo Elipsa 2E SleepCover, which puts your e-reader to sleep when closed, is made from over 97% recycled plastic.
Along with the Elipsa 2E, Kobo also announced the launch of its own version of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, the Kobo Plus service, in the US today. The three-tier subscription grants members access to over a million eBooks and hundreds of thousands of audiobooks starting at $7.99 per month.