Kobo has a brand-new dedicated e-reader up for pre-orders called the Kobo Clara HD, with the product being set to begin shipping in June for just $129.99. The entry-level device is expected to replace the company's previous tablet-like e-readers as a budget option for those who want to read books on the go. It also brings significant improvements as an e-reader platform in terms of screen specs and features, which could make it a real competitor in that portion of the electronics market. That's particularly true since the new 6-inch HD Kobo reader offers an ad-free experience as compared to some slightly less expensive options which often present readers with ads. Meanwhile, it holds on to at least a couple of features from previous Kobo-branded e-readers. Notably, that includes the ability to begin reading on the Clara HD or in the Kobo app on a smartphone or tablet and then to continue on another device. However, it can also store up to 6,000 eBooks thanks to its built-in 8GB of flash storage and its battery is expected to last for weeks on a single charge.
Obviously, claims about battery life and storage are mostly untested at this point and will depend on the user and content being stored. With that said, the Clara HD ships with a 6-inch Carta E-Ink touchscreen with a "print quality" pixel density of 300 ppi. At 159.6mm x 110mm x 8.35mm and weighing just 166 grams, it will arguably be one of the most portable e-reader options on the market once it begins shipping. The display is a color e-Connectivity offering available via Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n protocols or microUSB for file transfers and file support includes EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, and CBR. The fonts in those can be adjusted by font type across eleven fonts and 50 font styles, while fone weight and sharpness can be adjusted too. At the same time, Kobo has gone further to include blue light adjustment tools in the form of a new feature called ComfortLight PRO, which automatically tones down the blues with room brightness. Blue light can be harmful over long periods of time and the tone can be adjusted manually to appear warmer, in addition to the automatic adjustments.
To be sure, the Clara HD is not a monumental leap forward in terms of e-reader technologies but it is a significant improvement over previous devices. Moreover, it looks to be a fairly clean experience compared to devices that come with extra bloatware and for those who just want to read. Anybody interested in checking out the new e-reader can head over to the button below. The device will launch in the U.S., France, Canada, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and Turkey in June. It's set to arrive later in the year in Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico, while Hong Kong is expected to see a July launch.