At $149, Kobo brings colour to its e-reader for the first time

  • Both of Kobo’s new readers feature E Ink’s Kaleido 3 screen technology, which renders 4096 colours with greater colour saturation than its predecessor, the Kaleido Plus.
  • Kobo has also updated the Clara with a black and white version called the Clara BW, which is essentially the same as the old Clara 2E model, but with a faster dual-core processor in the colour model.

It’s exciting that Kobo is about to release two colour e-readers. E-readers are predominantly black and white displays, which are excellent for reading text but relatively limited in the presentation of content such as pictures and charts. With the introduction of colour e-readers, it is able to better present all kinds of colourful books, magazines, comics and other contents, making reading more vivid and interesting. All in all, the development of colour e-reader provides consumers with more choices, and we expect it to achieve good performance in the market.
– Summer Ren, BTW Report

Colour e-readers have been around for a while, but the major companies only sell black and white models. On April 30, Kobo will release two colour e-readers: the Kobo Clara Colour and Kobo Libra Colour, which will be priced lower than other colour e-readers and are waterproof, among other things, and use E Ink’s Kaleido 3 screen technology.

Kobo releases colour reader

Kobo launched its first colour e-readers, the Kobo Clara Colour and Kobo Libra Colour priced at $149.9 and $219.9 respectively. Both devices are similar to their black-and-white predecessors, the Kobo Libra 2 and Kobo Clara 2E, in that they feature colour rather than black-and-white screens. This marks a significant shift in the colour e-reader market.

Kobo is introducing the Clara BW, a black-and-white version of the Clara, which is priced at $129.99, $10 cheaper than the Clara 2E. The Clara BW is similar to Amazon’s black-and-white Kindle Paperwhite and undercuts colour e-readers on Amazon and other platforms. Both models run Android, potentially providing access to most major e-book stores, but the added cost and complexity make them less appealing. The Clara and Libra models are also available for Android, which may offer access to most e-book stores but may be more expensive and complex.

The Clara and Libra e-readers have a 6-inch and 7-inch screen, respectively, with physical page-turn buttons and Kobo Stylus support. They are waterproof, have Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth compatibility, a USB-C port, and a dual-core processor. Both have a frontlight with adjustable color temperature and use E Ink’s Kaleido 3 screen technology, offering 4,096 colors and improved color image resolution from 100 PPI to 150 PPI.

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Competition and development of colour readers

The improvements aim to address color e-reader issues while maintaining their outstanding battery life and easy-to-read screens, ensuring their continued viability amidst the rise of smartphones and table.

Amazon has not introduced a colour Kindle e-reader, instead focusing on Fire tablets. However, the Paperwhite is set for a refresh, last updated in late 2021. Despite Amazon’s hardware business being slowed down, users can expect periodic updates for its e-readers.


Summer Ren

Summer Ren is an intern reporter at BTW Media, covering tech trends. She graduated from Cardiff University and had experience in the financial industry as well as video production skills. Send tips to

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