January 18, 2022

Kobo announces two new e-readers, including $260 note-taking Sage – The Verge

Kobo has announced a pair of new e-readers: the $260 Kobo Sage, which is the company’s new top-end device, and the $180 Libra 2, an update to its mid-range Libra.

Both devices keep the asymmetrical design popularized by Amazon’s Oasis e-reader, offer E Ink Carta 1200 screens with Kobo’s ComfortLight Pro feature (which adapts the screen brightness and color based on the time of day), and add Bluetooth support for wireless headphones (though they can only play Kobo’s own audiobooks).

The Sage is the larger of the two and also functions as an e-note device. It’s compatible with the company’s Kobo Stylus (sold separately for $40), which lets users make handwritten notes on ebooks and PDFs that can be can converted to plain text. With an 8-inch (1440 x 1920) E Ink display, this makes the Sage smaller than Kobo’s dedicated e-note slate, the 10.3-inch Elipsa. It’s also cheaper, too, as the Elipsa is priced at $399.

The Sage also works with Kobo’s new $80 PowerCover, which automatically wakes and sleeps the device when opened and closed, has a place to keep your stylus, and includes an integrated battery to extend the Sage’s battery life. The Sage has 32GB of non-expandable storage, a quad-core 1.8 GHz processor, and USB-C.

The Libra 2, meanwhile, is an update to the Kobo Libra H20, keeping the IPX8 waterproof design of the former but dropping the “H20” moniker all the same (the Sage is also IPX8 rated, meaning it’s able to survive up to 60 minutes submersion in 2 meters of water). The Libra 2 has a 7-inch display (1264 x 1680) that’s supposedly faster than that of its predecessor. It also has 32GB of non-expandable storage, USB-C, and a 1 GHz processor. It doesn’t support Kobo’s new PowerCover, but does support Kobo’s $40 SleepCover, which wakes and sleeps the device and doubles as a stand.

Both devices are available to pre-order and will ship October 19.

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