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Kobo Clara 2E vs HD (2023): Which E-Reader Is Better?

Kobo continues to expand its catalog of e-readers with the release of the Kobo Clara 2E. However, unlike its other products, Kobo markets the Clara 2E as an eco-conscious purchase. The new e-reader is made from ocean-bound and recycled plastic and is shipped using recycled packaging. But while it’s promising to the environment, how well does it perform?

In this Kobo Clara 2E review, we compare the latest Kobo e-reader with a top-rated albeit older model, the Kobo Clara HD. And if you want to know more about what brand of e-reader to buy, check out our Kobo vs Nook vs Kindle review.

Kobo Clara 2E vs Clara HD E-Reader Comparison Chart

ModelKobo Clara 2E E-ReaderKobo Clara HD E-Reader
 
Price
Dimensions6.26 x 4.41 x 0.33 in.6.28 x β€Ž4.33 x 0.33 in.
Weight171g166g
Display6 in.
HD E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen
1448 x 1072p
6 in.
HD 300 PPI E Ink touchscreen
1448 x 1072p
IP RatingIPX8β€”
Storage16GB8GB
ConnectivityWi-Fi, BluetoothWi-Fi
Adjustable LightYesYes
Audiobook SupportYesNo
Dark ModeYesNo
Charging InterfaceUSB-CMicro USB
Battery LifeWeeks of battery lifeWeeks of battery life

Design and Screen

Unlike the Kobo Clara HD, the Kobo Clara 2E uses recycled plastic in its construction and now boasts a waterproof design.

Kobo Clara 2E vs HD Design
Here’s a look at the Kobo Clara 2E (left) and Kobo Clara HD (right)

Although the Kobo Clara 2E is a new model, its design is hardly a departure from other Clara e-readers, including the Kobo Clara HD. Both devices feature a symmetrical design that does away with an extended side bezel. They’re also lightweight and have similar matte black finishes on the front. But look at the Clara 2E’s back, and you’ll see the changes.

The E on the e-reader’s name stands for Eco, suggesting Kobo’s emphasis on the eco-friendly build of its latest tablet. On the Clara 2E, the textured back plate is largely made from abandoned plastic waste. It also comes in a winter sea blue color instead of a matching black.

Kobo’s Clara 2E and HD enjoy ample screen estate with their 6-inch displays. Both use E-Ink Carte technology and have a display resolution of 300ppi. The screens also support Kobo’s ComfortLight PRO feature, so you get adjustable brightness and color temperature.

If anything, the Clara 2E is slightly wider and shorter than the Clara HD. That means their covers are not interchangeable. Nonetheless, if you upgrade to the 2E, you’d be happy to know the e-reader is IPX8 waterproof rated.

Storage and Features

The Kobo Clara 2E has twice the storage of the Clara HD but share the same screen customization features.

Kobo Clara 2E vs HD Storage and Features
Kobo’s Clara 2E can store up to 12,000 titles, while the Clara HD can hold up to 6,000

With e-readers, a little storage goes a long way. Most ebooks only take up 2MB of room on your device. Meanwhile, single issues of graphic novels and comic books are about 45MB in file size. As for audiobooks, files can take up anywhere between 150MB to 300MB, depending on the quality.

The Kobo Clara HD comes with 8GB of storage. However, some of this built-in storage is allotted for system and operating files. Still, even less than 8GB of storage can hold up to 6,000 ebooks. If you keep fewer titles, there would be ample room for high-res files.

On the other hand, Kobo’s Clara 2E boasts twice the capacity, thanks to its 16GB storage. That’s enough space to keep an entire library of content.

As for features, these are limited to on-screen customizations. As mentioned in the Design and Display section, the Kobo Clara 2E and Clara HD have adjustable front light brightness and temperature. Users can also change fonts across 13 options and over 50 font styles.

File Formats and Connectivity

Unlike the Kobo Clara HD, the Kobo Clara 2E has support for audiobooks and comes with the more ubiquitous USB-C port.

Kobo Clara 2E vs HD File Formats and Connectivity
The Kobo Clara 2E comes with audiobook support (left) and, like the Clara HD, has access to OverDrive

One of the biggest draws of Kobo e-readers is their support for several file formats. This interoperability is missing on Kindle devices. With the Kobo Clara 2E and Clara HD, 15 file formats are natively supported. These include EPUB, ONG, PDF, MOBI, and JPEG files.

Kobo’s Clara 2E also supports audiobooks, although these are limited to purchases from the Kobo Store. However, the device doesn’t have a speaker or a headphone jack. Instead, the Clara 2E relies on Bluetooth to connect your wireless headphone or speaker. Kobo has also equipped the e-reader with Wi-Fi, along with a USB-C port instead of a Micro USB like on the Clara HD.

Fortunately, you can take your Kobo Store books if you switch e-readers. It’s another advantage the brand has over others. Moreover, the Kobo Clara 2E and Clara HD have access to a built-in OverDrive feature, allowing readers to borrow free ebooks from public libraries.

Battery Life and Accessories

Both the Kobo Clara 2E and Clara HD enjoy weeks of battery life.

Kobo Clara 2E vs HD Battery Life and Accessories
A look at the eco-friendly SleepCover for the Kobo Clara 2E (left) and the impressive battery life offered by the Kobo Clara HD (right)

Kobo is coy in detailing the actual battery life of its e-readers. Looking at their product specs, the Kobo Clara 2E and Clara HD are simply marketed as having weeks of battery life. In real life, it does deliver on this promise. Users have mentioned being able to read on and off for weeks at a time with these e-readers.

As far as accessories go, you can only get a cover for the Clara 2E and HD. Kobo sells what it calls a SleepCover for these e-readers. Aside from protecting the devices, the SleepCover features a flap-like stand. In the case of the Clara 2E, the cover is also made of 97% recycled plastic to reassure eco-conscious readers.

And if you’re not fond of the options from Kobo, third-party suppliers abound.

Verdict

The Kobo Clara 2E is a better e-reader than the Kobo Clara HD.

If you’re keen on getting one of these Kobo E-Readers, the Kobo Clara 2E is a much better option than the Kobo Clara HD. The latest entry-level offering from Kobo brings some decent upgrades to the bargain-friendly Clara lineup. While it looks identical to the Kobo Clara HD, the Clara 2E boasts an eco-conscious design. It’s also waterproof, an increasingly important quality among consumer tech.

Now, the feature set of the Clara 2E and Clara HD is more or less the same. However, the new e-reader has double the storage capacity of its predecessor and now supports audiobooks. If these updates aren’t enough, the Clara 2E ditches the Micro USB port in favor of USB-C and includes Bluetooth connectivity β€” all with the same long-lasting battery.

FAQs

πŸ“Œ What are the main differences between the Kobo Clara 2E and Clara HD?

The Kobo Clara 2E boasts an eco-friendly construction compared with the standard design of the Kobo Clara HD. In addition, the Clara 2E is waterproof, supports audiobooks, and adds Bluetooth to its connectivity options.

πŸ“Œ What does the IPX8 waterproof rating of the Kobo Clara 2E mean?

With an IPX8 rating, the Kobo Clara 2E is waterproof up to 60 minutes up to a depth of two meters.

πŸ“Œ Does the Kobo Clara HD use dual-band Wi-Fi?

No. The Kobo Clara HD comes with single-band Wi-Fi.

πŸ“Œ Does the Kobo Clara 2E support different languages?

Yes. The Kobo Clara 2E supports 21 languages.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.