Kobo has been showing us for a long time that there is not a single competitor in the market for e-book readers. Your eReaders are affordable, capable and have a catalog that should not be underestimated. We have seen it with the Clara HD and the Aura H2O Edition 2.
And now we can take a good look at the Kobo Forma, the premium e-book reader of the brand we already gave you some first impressions. Will this way get among the most avid readers? The strategy of selling an expensive reader has been here for some time, so we are not faced with any pioneer if not with one more competitor. Let’s look at this Kobo Forma in detail …
Kobo Forma, Technical Specifications
|KOBO FORM, MAIN SPECIFICATIONS|
|DIMENSIONS||160 x 117.7 x 8.5 millimeters|
|SCREEN||8-inch electronic ink (300ppp) with adjustable color temperature|
|WATERPROOF||Yes (IPX8 specification, withstands depth from 2 meters to 60 minutes)|
|DRUMS||1200 mAh, “weeks” of duration depending on the use|
|COMPATIBILITY WITH FILES||EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR|
|CONNECTIVITY||Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n (WiFi 4)|
|CONNECTIONS||Micro USB for data transfer and charging|
I do not want this analysis to be a constant comparison with him, so let’s just say it once and very clearly: the Kobo Forma is extremely similar to the Kindle Oasis. It is a clear answer to Amazon to compete in the field of expensive eReaders for those intensive readers looking for the best features.
Now, its price is about 30 dollars more expensive than that kindle. For that extra money you get certain advantages, but with some sacrifice. It is something that the buyer will have to decide, so we will review the characteristics of Kobo Forma one by one.
The Kobo Forma is frankly large, but still retains the key lightness so that it can be held with one hand.
If there is something that the Kobo stands for, that is its size. It’s the largest e-book reader I’ve ever held in my hands, staying away from the more “pocket-sized” sizes we’re used to seeing in an eReader. If you are looking for something that can fit in the smallest compartments of a backpack or purse, the Kobo Forma is not for you.
But that size does not imply a greater weight. The 194 grams of the Form make it very light for those 8 inches of screen, so that we can take advantage of the design with a lateral “hump” to hold it for hours with one hand without ever getting tired.
Where we do not have the lateral “hump” we find a lot of thinness, 8.5 millimeters that give the shape a very stylized look. Here we can also say that Kobo has been concerned about providing resistance and some flexibility to the device, so that even with that thinness there is no feeling of fragility.
Its plastic finish gives it a rather smooth texture, not as metallic as we have in other readers. That does not give a feeling of fragility, in fact it gives the impression that the form is capable of resisting blows and falls. Another point in favor is that this plastic has a good grip, does not slip yet holding it with one hand.
On the thicker side, the Shape has two buttons accessible from the thumb to turn the page. They are easily clicked and do not give problems for those who prefer to use those buttons instead of touching the screen to turn the page. On the side we have the on-off button on the device, along with the Micro-USB connector to charge the reader.
Another thing to highlight the Kobo Form: its IPX8 resistance to water and dust. Perfect for the device to resist the water, salt and sand of a beach, or even accidental falls at the bottom of a pool where the depth is up to two meters.
Does that mean you can bathe with the Form? At a theoretical level, yes, but the best thing is that we take this resistance IPX8 as an insurance against accidents and not so that you dive with it or leave in the bottom of a bathtub without worrying. In our tests the form screen stops working intermittently when it is under water, but the buttons continue to work without any problem.
Some manufacturers dare to promise up to a month of battery with their e-book readers. In the case of Form, Kobo tells us that the 1,200 mAh battery can last “weeks”. We can guess that given the larger screen size we may not have that whole month.
Anyway, I would not count it at all as a negative thing. As with all eReaders, the advantage we have is the low consumption of the electronic ink screen compared to the LCD or OLED of the tablets. We will continue to be able to worry about the load, because even if it lasts 3 weeks instead of 4 it is still a good number of days in which to read books without stopping.
As we said before, what is most surprising about the Kobo Forma are its dimensions. Its 8-inch screen allows us to read a large amount of text on each page, and the density of 300 pixels per inch makes it impossible for us to distinguish the pixels in that text. As with all readers with that density, we seem to be reading on well-printed paper.
This is where we can find a remarkable point of the Kobo Form that no other reader has: we can place the reader in horizontal position to read the text in landscape, so that the “hump” is below. Precisely for this design prepared to hold it with one hand we found this way of reading text somewhat strange for this reader (it gives us the sensation that the screen is not used as well as when we hold it vertically), although it is not bad that offer as one more option in case someone prefers it that way. Hold as we hold, the Kobo Form will reorient the text.
With this reader Kobo insists on its ComfortLight PRO technology, being able to change the color temperature of the screen to accommodate the view in darker environments and / or at night. Theoretically that helps you reduce visual fatigue and improve sleep, although as we said at the time we do not see much advantage when the screen is electronic ink and in itself does not tire the eyes as much as LCD panels.
But even with this color temperature modified or not, the Kobo Forma perfectly fulfills the basics we ask an eReader: comfort to read text in dark environments and a good contrast to read directly in the sunlight without problems.
No change compared to the other Kobo readers in the services and applications section. We can install the official reader application in macOS, Windows, iOS, Android and even BlackBerry 10, so we can alternate reading our books from virtually any device. From the desktop versions you can synchronize the books you purchase, although from the form itself those purchases will be automatically detected and downloaded.
Kobo Rakuten has a catalog of 6 million books, although if we reduce to the Spanish language we go to approximately 130,000 books. It is a limited catalog, which is going to grow little by little according to what Kobo officials have told us.