Rakuten Kobo Forma e-reader review: Refined experience, flawed package

There’s a tug-of-war in the back of the design of each and every tool you personal. Firms try to search out the fitting stability of dimension, weight and contours in response to marketplace analysis and what’s labored neatly for them up to now. Rakuten Kobo’s carried out neatly with large-format E-Ink units just like the Kobo Air of secrecy One over the last few years. With the Forma, Kobo appears to construct upon this luck by means of giving virtual ebook fans extra of the similar, simplest extra so. It’s higher, lighter, and is derived packing extra options than the Air of secrecy One.

Sadly, whilst you pass higher and lighter on the similar time, one thing’s were given to provide.

The Rakuten Kobo Forma is an excellent tool held again by means of a construct high quality problems and various technical missteps. In comparison to Amazon’s most up-to-date Kindles, it’s no longer a just right glance.


Measuring 6.29 x 6.97 x zero.33 inches, the Rakuten Kobo Forma is lately the biggest e-reader presented by means of a well known emblem in North The usa. Whilst Onyx, Sony and Outstanding all promote higher E-Ink slabs which give a rudimentary e-reading revel in, they’re geared extra towards digital observe taking than they’re for keeping up a virtual library.

In its base configuration, the Forma is to be had with 8GB of non-expandable garage for $280. As long as you’re no longer stuffing it stuffed with chunky Manga, comedian books or PDF information, that is greater than sufficient garage to include hundreds of books. A 32GB iteration of the tool may be to be had for a whopping $330—the similar worth as a 32GB iPad.

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The Forma’s energy and web page flip buttons can all be discovered at the tool’s bezel, very similar to the design of the Amazon Oasis 2.

One of the vital first issues you might understand concerning the Kobo Forma is how a lot it resembles an Amazon All-New Kindle Oasis. Each units boast broad presentations with a rectangular bezel on one aspect, which hosts a couple of web page -urn buttons. Select up an Oasis or a Forma, on the other hand, and also you’ll instantly remember the fact that the similarities are shallow, at very best. The place the Oasis sports activities a battery hump on one aspect of its chassis, the Forma is flat, each back and front. One would suppose which means that the Forma packs a smaller battery. No longer so: the place the Oasis comprises a 1,000mAh battery, the Kobo tool is supplied with a 1,200mAh battery. In both case, relying on to your conduct, you’ll be capable of experience weeks of studying, on both tool, with a unmarried rate.

Luckily, because of the Forma’s IPX8 score, you’ll be capable of burn via a large number of the this time studying in a sizzling bathtub or on the seashore. The Kobo Forma will also be totally submerged in as much as two meters of clean water for 2 hours at a time and proceed to paintings simply high quality. You must know, on the other hand, that in contrast to Amazon’s Oasis 2, it’s no longer conceivable to deactivate the Forma’s contact controls earlier than exposing it to water. This is able to imply that the tool will mistake the liquid on its show for enter out of your hands. It makes for a irritating studying revel in.

With the quantity of display actual property that the Forma gives readers, Kobo had a tricky option to make: In the event that they’d opted to give you the tool with top class really feel, via the usage of heavier, extra resilient fabrics, its broad dimension and heavier weight would have made it unwieldy and uncomfortable to make use of one-handed for prolonged classes of time. As a substitute, Kobo opted for light-weight fabrics. The results of this determination is that the Forma is comfy to carry and is gentle sufficient that it’s simple to overlook it’s there when tossed in a backpack or handbag. However it feels flimsy in comparison to Kobo’s superb Air of secrecy One, and certainly reasonable when held up towards Amazon’s aluminum-bodied Oasis 2. Right through checking out, I found out that going gentle as a substitute of resilient may no longer had been the most efficient concept.


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