Kobo Announces 2 New Waterproof E-Readers

From PC Mag: Kobo finally discovered audiobooks! Your public library's favorite e-reader now comes in two models that have Bluetooth support for audiobook playback, something Amazon's competing Kindles have done since 2009.

The Kobo Libra 2 and Kobo Sage have other things going for them, but Bluetooth audio support is the biggest change. It's pretty basic; it only supports Kobo's proprietary audiobook format and doesn't have anything like Amazon's read-along Immersion Reading feature. But it's a start.

Otherwise, the main impetus for releasing the Libra 2 appears to be a next-gen screen from E Ink. The E Ink Carta 1200, released in July, improves response time by 20% and contrast by 15%. The Kobo Elipsa was the first e-reader to use it, and now it's coming to the less expensive models. The Libra 2 is waterproof, weighs 7.5 ounces, and has a 7-inch, 300ppi screen.

The Sage is an 8-inch e-reader that pulls a track that Amazon's Kindle Oasis can't match: it's stylus-compatible. At 8.46 ounces, this may be a more manageable alternative to Kobo's larger Elipsa, or for that matter the Remarkable note-taking tablet. The Sage also supports a new "PowerCover" case, which has a secondary battery that charges the e-reader when it isn't being used. (There's a similar case for the Oasis.)

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