There are only really two names when it comes to eReaders in South Africa — there’s Amazon’s Kindle and then Kobo, the other way to read books without having to convert any oxygen-producing biomass into very thin slices. On the heels of Amazon’s reveal of a new pair of readers, Kobo has revealed a fine pair of its very own.
First, there’s the Libra 2, a successor to the company’s Libra H2O eReader, followed by the Kobo Sage, a high-end bit of hardware that appears to be a shot across the bows of Kindle’s equally-snooty Oasis.
Cobble a couple of Kobos together
Both new eReaders share a similar design but the Libra 2 is a 7in 1,264 x 1,680 waterproof slab of plastic and glass, packing 32GB of storage and Bluetooth support so you can take advantage of audiobook support using your reading device. Because who needs to look at words anymore, right? The only downside? You can only use the company’s audiobooks with the feature.
The Sage is a shade larger, with an 8in 1,440 x 1,920 display. It includes an E Ink Carta 1200 screen and Kobo’s ComfortLight Pro adaptive brightness and colour tech, in addition to also being waterproof (IPX8), but where the Sage stands out is that it supports the company’s Kobo Stylus. Users can take notes on the Sage’s screen, converting them to plain text for later use. It’s a handy feature, particularly if you’re using the Sage for studying purposes, and it’s cheaper than the company’s previous markup-able eReader, the Eclipsa. You still have to buy the Stylus separately, though.
Where can you buy them? That’s a little less certain. Kobo maintains a South African website but users can’t buy any hardware from it. The company’s hardware turns up every so often but the only reliable place we can locate at this point is speciality importer Connected Devices. Pricing isn’t certain but it’ll likely be a little more than the Libra 2’s $180 (R2,700) and the Sage’s $260 (about R4,000). The Libra H2O will set you back at least R4,400 in SA at the moment, so expect these new options to be at least a shade more costly. The Libra 2 and Sage launch from 19 October.