Amazon will soon bring a new version of its standard Kindle to market, with pre-orders now open and shipping to begin on 12 October 2022.
Rakuten's rival Kobo brand also recently introduced a new eBook reader, the Cara 2E, which will be available from 22 September.
Both have similar specifications, bar one or two differences. Here we explain what those are to help you make a choice between them.
Amazon Kindle vs Kobo Clara 2E design
- Amazon Kindle (2022): 108.6 x 157.8 x 8.0mm, 158g
- Kobo Clara 2E: 112.05 x 159.02 x 8.66mm, 171g
In terms of physical design, there seems to be very little to choose between the new Kindle and the Kobo Clara 2E.
They are similar sizes, with the front of each looking almost identical in shape. They also both come in black, although you can get a "denim" (blue) version of the Kindle as well.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Clara 2E design is that it the exterior is made almost entirely from recycled plastics (over 85 per cent), including around 10 per cent that were ocean-bound.
The Amazon Kindle has been crafted with the environment in mind too, having been built with 75 per cent recycled plastics and 99 per cent recycled magnesium (the black version, anyway - the denim one is 30 per cent recycled).
Both devices come in eco-friendly packaging too.
Amazon Kindle vs Kobo Clara 2E display
- Amazon Kindle (2022): 6-inch glare-free display, 300ppi, front lit, dark mode
- Kobo Clara 2E: 6-inch glare-free display, 300ppi, front lit, dark mode
The display on each of the eBook readers is also very similar.
Both feature 6-inch touchscreens with 300 pixels-per-inch (ppi). That results in a sharp, clear presentation on each.
They are each "glare-free", front lit and come with a dark mode that can invert the text colour to prevent eye strain.
Amazon Kindle vs Kobo Clara 2E features
- Amazon Kindle: Audiobook support (Audible AAX format), 16GB storage, Bluetooth, dual-band Wi-Fi, USB-C
- Kobo Clara 2E: Audiobook support (Kobo Audiobooks), Waterproof (IPX8), 16GB storage, Bluetooth, dual-band Wi-Fi, USB-C
The Kobo Clara 2E has waterproofing for up to 60 minutes in 2-metres of water. Apart from that, they share a similar feature set, with Bluetooth support to connect wireless headphones, dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5.0GHz), plus USB-C for charging.
They both also support audiobooks, although the format differs. The Kindle supports the Amazon-owned Audible audio format (AAX), of course, while the Clara 2E is restricted to audiobooks purchased on the Kobo store.
It's also worth noting that the Kobo device supports a much wider range of file formats, although the Kindle is still compatible with the most common ones. They each offer 16GB of storage that is capable of holding "thousands of books".
Amazon Kindle vs Kobo Clara 2E battery life
- Amazon Kindle: Quoted at 6 weeks on single charge
- Kobo Clara 2E: Quote at just "weeks"
It's hard to pitch the two devices together when it comes to battery life as only Amazon goes into specifics.
It claims the new Kindle lasts up to 6 weeks based on half an hour of reading time per day and having the light setting at 13. Some use will drain battery life quicker, such as listening to audiobooks over Bluetooth.
Kobo just says the Clara 2E battery lasts for "weeks".
Amazon Kindle vs Kobo Clara 2E price
- Amazon Kindle: Starts at £84.99 (with ads)
- Kobo Clara 2E: £129.99
Perhaps the biggest difference between the two eBook readers is price. The Kobo Clara 2E is considerably more expensive for similar specifications. It does add waterproofing, which is important if you plan to take it to the beach, for example, and it's a tad more eco-friendly. Whether that's worth the extra cash is up to you.
You also need to consider that the cheapest offer on the Kindle includes advertising. It costs £94.99 if you don't want to be served ads.
That price might be the biggest denominator when it comes to choosing your next eBook reader, although you also need to take into account where you get your eBooks from. If you purchase them from Amazon already, you'll likely look no further than the Kindle. However, the Kobo Clara 2E will recognise a wider selection of file types, including MOBI, so not only will you be able to enjoy titles bought through Rakuten and the Kobo store, you might have third-party books you want to transfer to it too.
Waterproofing is also not to be sniffed at, with only the Kobo offering protection. Either way, both brands are clearly stepping up their respective games when it comes to their latest devices.