Kobo Libra Colour Finally Adds a Color Ereader to the Outfit’s Lineup

While color E-Ink panels have been used in ereaders for a few years now, bigger ereader makers such as Kobo and Amazon have so far refrained from integrating them in their releases. Apparently, that changes now for one of those companies with the announcement of the Kobo Libra Colour.

Does this mean color ereaders are ready for primetime? We’re not quite sure about that. They’re still a far cry from the color reproduction you will get from an LCD panel. However, these new epaper panels supposedly work faster and display better color saturation than the last generation, which may be why they deemed it good enough to build new ereaders around.

The Kobo Libra Colour takes on the same styling as the Kobo Libra 2, with a large bezel on one of the vertical sides and a pair of physical buttons for fast, tactile page turns. It’s equipped with a 7.0-inch E-Ink Kaleido 3 display, which boasts 1264 x 680 resolution, 4,096 colors (so you can read your digital comic books will be in color), and 30 percent better color saturation than the last generation of epaper color displays. Do note, color content is only displayed in 150 pixels per inch (PPI) compared to the 300 PPI of grayscale content, so you may still opt to view most stuff in good old black and white if you prefer sharper images. Hopefully, color epaper panels can get much better down the line, especially now that a bigger manufacturer is actually going in on the format.

It also comes with stylus support, so you can highlight items and add annotations in colorful handwriting, which does sound much nicer than the plain grayscale available in the past. The ereader also comes with notebook features that let you use the stylus to write your journals, planners, and study notes right on the device, making it so much more useful beyond reading books and comics. Even better, the notebooks can be backed up to Kobo’s own cloud service or to your own cloud storage (only supports Dropbox and Google Drive).

The Kobo Libra Colour comes with 32GB of storage, so you can keep a good load of reading material in tow, along with dual-band Wi-Fi, so you can easily connect to the internet if you want to buy additional ebooks. Designed for ergonomic use, it comes with a curved griup that’s designed to fit perfectly in hand, with support for ambidextrous use, so the screen orientation and page-turn buttons automatically switch, as well. You can also read in landscape if you prefer holding the ereader from the bottom.

A built-in adjustable front light makes it easier to read in the dark, with no need to switch on a lamp while reading before bedtime. Other features include IPX8 waterproofing (up to 60 minutes submersion in two meters of water). a 2,050 mAh battery (lasts 20 days on 60 minutes of reading per day on average), audio support (via Kobo Audiobooks), and a built in browser for going online. It runs on a dual-core 2.0 GHz ARM A53 processor with 1GB of RAM.

The Kobo Libra Colour is available now, priced at $219.99.

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