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Using the Kobo Clara 2E eReader (2024)

My thoughts on using Kobo Clara 2E: great readability, enough storage, waterproof.
Jim Grendler

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


December 2, 2023


I recently got my hands on the Kobo Clara 2E eReader (which is made of recycled materials). In this review, I’ll share my view on its design, material usage, reading experience, and some of its key features like waterproofing, storage capacity, and battery life.


Property Value Property Value
Brand Kobo Model Name Kobo Clara 2E
Display Technology Electronic Ink Connectivity Technology Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
Screen Size 6 Inches Memory Storage Capacity 16 GB
Battery Life 3 Hours Included Components Kobo Clara 2E
Color Deep Ocean Blue Product Dimensions 6.26”L x 4.41”W x 0.33”Th


Eco-Friendly Design and Material Usage

A close-up of the kobo clara 2es recycled plastic exterior highlighting the eco-friendly materials

In my journey toward a more sustainable lifestyle, I’ve been consciously choosing gadgets that align with my eco-friendly values. So, when I heard about the Kobo Clara 2E and its emphasis on recycled materials, my interest was piqued. Here’s my take on its design and material usage:

  • 85% recycled plastic exterior: It’s reassuring to know that the device I hold for hours is made from materials that could have otherwise ended up in landfills.

  • 10% ocean-bound plastic: Given the state of our oceans, every bit of retrieved plastic counts. This initiative by Kobo not only helps the environment but makes me feel like a responsible consumer.

  • Commitment to divert over 200,000 plastic bottles: The fact that Kobo set a tangible goal for ocean plastic diversion shows a commendable commitment to environmental sustainability.

However, while the sustainability angle is a big win for me, there are some drawbacks. The lack of a case made from similarly recycled materials or a recycling program for when the eReader reaches its end of life are areas where Kobo can still improve. Also, it’s important to remember that while the eReader itself is a step towards sustainability, the whole production and distribution cycle come with environmental costs that shouldn’t be overlooked.

On a lighter note, the Deep Ocean Blue variant touches subtly on its ocean-friendly endeavor, which is a nice thematic tie-in. This feels like a step in the right direction for tech companies, and I’m all for supporting brands that align with my values.

While I ponder the environmental implications of my purchase, I can’t help but feel that supporting sustainable product design is crucial. We live in an era where every choice counts, and the Kobo Clara 2E offers a blend of ethical choice and technological convenience. It’s not just an eReader; it’s a statement of support for eco-conscious manufacturing.

In the landscape of gadgets where most brands rarely emphasize environmental concerns, Kobo stands out. They’re not perfect, but they’re making strides, and that matters to me. As I flip through the pages of my latest read on the Clara 2E’s HD screen, I’m content knowing that my passion for reading now contributes, in a small way, to less plastic in our oceans and a slightly greener footprint on our planet.

Reading Experience and Screen Features

A sunny park bench with a kobo clara 2e on it showing a readable screen despite the bright outdoor conditions

As someone who relishes the feel of a good book in hand, the idea of an eReader always felt a bit foreign to me. But the Kobo Clara 2E certainly changed that perception. Its glare-free HD touchscreen is a marvel, mimicking the appearance of actual paper – simple and easy on the eyes even in the brightest sunlight. The level of adjustment you get with the ComfortLight PRO is really something else. Now, anyone who’s ever been victim to the harsh blue light of screens would understand how important this is.

Here’s a quick rundown of the screen features that stood out for me:

  • Glare-Free HD Touchscreen: Just like reading off paper, even under the sun.

  • ComfortLight PRO: Adjustable brightness and color temperature for a personalized reading atmosphere.

  • Blue Light Reduction: Great for night readers like myself, aiming not to disrupt sleep patterns.

However, it’s not without its quirks. I’ve noticed occasional lag in response time when I’m eager to flip to the next page. It can break the flow, you know? And while the touchscreen is mostly responsive, there are moments when it ignores my swipe or tap completely, which can be a tad bit frustrating.

But, for every small hitch, there’re features that make up for it. The screen contrast is deep, the fonts are crisp, and the fact that it’s an E INK Carta 1200 screen with such rapid page turns - it’s a reader’s delight. And let’s talk about night mode – the Clara 2E totally gets it right. Flipping the screen to a dark background with light text doesn’t compromise on clarity, and it’s a soothing alternative for reading in dim environments.

I have to say, the 6-inch size is perfect – large enough to prevent straining my eyes but compact enough to make it feel intimate and book-like. Switching between books is seamless, and I appreciate how it gracefully handles different file formats. Epubs, PDFs, and text files all render well, which is crucial because I’m all about the options.

Even with its occasional sluggishness, the Clara 2E’s display has largely been a joy to use. It’s these reading-centric features that stand out to me over any other bells and whistles. Sure, there’s a wish list I could start – like maybe more responsive touch control to make the user interaction flawless – but as of now, this eReader has been a game-changer in how I consume books. It struck the right balance between technology and the traditional reading experience, without feeling like it’s trying to outshine the content itself, which is, after all, why we’re here in the first place.

Storage and Battery Life

A bookshelf filled with books to indicate the large storage capacity of the kobo clara 2e

When considering the storage and battery life of the Kobo Clara 2E, there are a few points to take into account that I find particularly notable:

  • 16GB of internal storage: This is a generous amount of space, considering that eBooks generally take up very little space. I can carry around an extensive library of up to 12,000 eBooks, which is more than I’ll ever get through.

  • Non-expandable storage: While 16GB is plenty for me, the lack of a microSD slot might be a deal-breaker for some.

  • Battery life: I’ve noticed that the battery can last weeks on a single charge with moderate use, which is fantastic. However, it’s worth mentioning that the “weeks” claim very much depends on your usage patterns.

Now, let me give you a bit more detail on these aspects. I was thrilled about the 16GB of onboard storage, since I’m the kind of reader who likes having a variety of genres at my fingertips. Hopping from a mystery thriller to a science textbook is a breeze without worrying about running out of space.

On the flip side, if you’re someone who wants to carry around an extremely large library or plenty of graphic-heavy files like comics or PDFs, the lack of an expandable storage option might be slightly underwhelming.

Moving to battery life—honestly, this feature has been a highlight for me. Long reading sessions on vacation without the constant need for a charger has been liberating. The claim that it can last for weeks isn’t far-fetched, but heavy users should temper expectations; a week or so is more realistic for power readers.

I also found the USB-C charging to be a huge perk. It means I don’t have to carry an extra cable since it uses the same one as my phone. No rummaging through drawers for a specific cable or worrying about bringing the wrong one when I travel.

Overall, the Kobo Clara 2E has met most of my expectations regarding storage and battery life. While I would have appreciated an expansion slot for storage, the generous internal memory compensates adequately. And the long battery life, barring the occasional marathon session, means I’m not constantly tethered to a power source. Sure, the occasional slow processing can challenge my patience, but this efficient little device has reshaped my reading habits for the better.

Waterproofing and Durability Considerations

A kobo clara 2e resting on a wet surface with droplets of water to demonstrate its waterproof feature

As a final note in my exploration of the Kobo Clara 2E, I find it’s the robust features like waterproofing and durability that truly stand out, ensuring both longevity and peace of mind during my reading sessions. Diving straight into what matters, let’s consider these aspects:

  • Waterproof Gadgetry: The IPX8 rating is a godsend. Sinking into a good book in the tub without fear of damage from splashes enhances the whole experience. Plus, the idea of reading by the pool or on the beach no longer comes with the anxiety of water ruining my device.

  • Durability Factor: The sturdy build gives a sense of reliability when taking the Kobo Clara 2E on the go. However, a protective case might be a sensible addition, considering the occasional rough tumble from a nightstand or getting jostled in a bag.

  • Maintenance: Keeping it clean is a breeze. A simple wipe down with a damp cloth, and the reader looks as good as new, thanks to the water-friendliness.

While the benefits are strong, every silver lining has a cloud. For one, the touchscreen’s responsiveness can falter at times, leading to unnecessary fiddling when you just want to turn the page and continue your story. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but it can interrupt the flow of a relaxing read.

Interestingly, while the device is water-friendly, it isn’t immune to the laws of electronics – prolonged exposure to water or moisture might still invite trouble if the seals are compromised over time. In other words, it’s waterproof, not indestructible.

Nevertheless, the Kobo Clara 2E has accompanied me poolside, to sandy beaches, and amidst the steamy humidity of a hot bath, without so much as a hiccup—impressive feats for a trusted reading companion. The assurance that a splash of water won’t send me to the electronics store is where the Clara 2E adds real value beyond its eco-conscious design and reading capabilities.

In saying that, anyone heavily into their e-reading would find the waterproofing feature particularly liberating. It’s almost an invitation to read more adventurously, knowing that your device is designed to survive the splashes and spills of everyday life. Especially for those like me, who are prone to accidental drops or love reading by the water, the Kobo Clara 2E’s resilience is a major boon.

Closing this review, it’s the combination of environmental mindfulness and practical durability that cements my affinity for the Kobo Clara 2E as a top-notch e-reader. Despite the occasional lag or responsiveness issues, its robustness in the face of watery encounters is a genuine delight – a fitting companion for anyone’s reading journey.