Kobo Elipsa 2E evaluation: A note-worthy successor

It has been virtually two years because the unique Kobo Elipsa was launched, beating Amazon’s Kindle Scribe to the E Ink tablet chase by some 18 months. Now its main rival has its stake within the sport although, and with the introduction of the Outstanding 2 as well, the corporate has determined it is time for an improve on its largest ereader, to make sure its staying aggressive.


This time spherical, it affords a extra eco-friendly design, a quicker processer, new upgraded note-taking expertise and a much-improved stylus. However does it maintain its personal on this rising market? This is our full evaluation.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

There’s loads to like within the Kobo Elipsa 2E. It won’t supply the perfect writing expertise nor essentially the most premium design, however it affords a better collection of writing instruments, higher format assist and helpful options like Dropbox and OverDrive integration. For those who aren’t already within the Amazon ecosystem, this can be a improbable various.


  • Massive display screen with adjustable brightness
  • Vast format assist
  • Improved stylus
  • Nice collection of writing instruments
  • Dropbox and OverDrive integration

  • Plastic-y design
  • Writing expertise is a hair off of the competitors
  • Amazon’s ecosystem nonetheless has the sting


  • 193 x 227 x 7.5mm, 390g
  • 10.3-inch E Ink contact display screen
  • Constructed from 85 per cent recycled supplies

The Kobo Elipsa 2E does not look massively totally different to its unique mannequin, and in reality, its dimensions are virtually similar. Its weight is just too, give or take a few grams, however there’s nonetheless loads to speak about right here.

Much like its Clara 2E ereader, Kobo has made this second era of Elipsa all about eco-conscious supplies and sustainability. The result’s an exterior is created from 85 per cent recycled supplies, together with 10 per cent ocean-bound plastic.

After all that is improbable, however there is not any getting away from the actual fact the Elipsa 2E’s plastic physique lacks the premium really feel of the Kindle Scribe’s aluminium exterior – which can be recycled. Nonetheless, the upside is that it is lighter, at 390g in contrast with the Scribe’s 433g.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

Like the unique Elipsa, and its Amazon competitors, there’s a thicker edge on one facet of the show, so you may maintain it with out blocking the display screen – and this could sit on both facet to go well with each right- and left-handed folks. This part can be now magnetic too, so you may retailer the stylus right here whilst you learn, or alternatively within the designated slot within the hinge of the protecting Sleep Cowl.

That Sleep Cowl got here bundled with the final Elipsa, however it’s now an added further, out there for $69.99/£69.99/€69.99. It is out there in black solely and is created from the identical recycled plastic because the Elipsa itself – and 95 per cent of it too.

It snaps firmly to the facet of the Elipsa 2E and folds throughout the display screen to maintain it protected when not in use. It’s going to additionally routinely put the Elipsa 2E right into a sleep mode when closed, after which wake it up once more when the quilt is peeled again.

It could be good if it doubled as a stand when folded again, however it does not – it simply sits flush. Nonetheless, we would suggest setting the price range apart to purchase it, or the stylus might discover itself going walkabouts pretty rapidly.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

From a navigation perspective, this can be a totally touchscreen system, with no buttons on the show for serving to you navigate or flip pages. You possibly can determine whether or not faucets or swipes will flip the web page – or each. There’s only one textured button on the underside proper hand facet for locking, unlocking and energy.


  • 10.3-inch show
  • 1404 x 1872, 227ppi
  • ComfortLight Professional for adjustable brightness and temperature management

The Elipsa 2E has a ten.3-inch E Ink display screen with 227ppi. Meaning it is ever so barely larger, however much less crisp than the Kindle Scribe at 300ppi. We definitely do not feel just like the Elipsa 2E is dragging its ft on that entrance although – textual content is completely crisp and clear, with no complaints from us.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

The ComfortLight adjustable backlight from the unique Elipsa has had an improve to Kobo’s ComfortLight Professional this time spherical, and may now regulate its temperature routinely, relying on the time of day. You might be additionally in a position to set a bedtime, so the show will eke out as a lot blue mild from the show properly prematurely, after which swap to full orange candlelight when you get there.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

There’s additionally a darkish mode, which you’ll have activate routinely or manually.

From a studying perspective, there’s pinch to zoom on textual content dimension (or you may set manually) and a alternative of 12 studying fonts to select from, plus all the standard choices to determine about display screen controls, page-turning mechanics, studying orientation and refresh fee.

Word-taking expertise and new stylus

  • 25 per cent lighter
  • Rechargeable by way of USB-C
  • Improved writing really feel

A big a part of why somebody will need to purchase this e-reader over others is its note-taking capabilities, so we figured it is solely proper we take a complete part to let you understand what that have is like.

Firstly, the brand new and improved Kobo Stylus 2 comes within the field with the Elipsa 2E, and is now rechargeable by way of USB-C – a giant enchancment on the bodily AAA battery necessities of final era. You possibly can keep watch over its cost standing by way of the battery menu on the Kobo and it lasts for fairly some time – although it is a disgrace it will probably’t cost wirelessly just like the Kindle Scribe’s stylus can.

This lack of bodily battery helps it to be 25 per cent lighter than final era, with a extra ergonomic form, and also you get two substitute ideas for the stylus within the field.

Actually, it feels actually snug within the hand, and making notes with it has a fairly genuine writing really feel that is been improved because the final era too – we notably just like the eraser on the highest of the stylus, which you should use to rub issues out rapidly and simply. We have seen this on Amazon’s premium stylus and it is a welcome addition right here.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

It is nonetheless maybe a fraction behind the velocity of the Kindle Scribe, so it does not really feel fairly instant sufficient to neglect you are writing on E ink. There is a tiny bit extra friction right here too, so it may be fairly tiring to write down for any nice areas of time – it’s worthwhile to put simply that little bit extra strain on than you’ll with an actual pen and paper to make sure all of the finer strokes of your writing are captured.

General although, it is a stable writing expertise and that is improved additional by the additional options round it – and options that the Kindle Scribe continues to be falling behind on. That features issues like a big selection of pocket book templates (about 20) and pen varieties you may select from, the addition of subfolders for extra precisely storing your notes and Dropbox integration for exporting them to be used exterior of the Elipsa 2E. Kobo says Google Drive assist is coming quickly too.

There are two totally different pocket book varieties to select from too – Fundamental or Superior. In Superior, you may entry much more instruments, like handwriting recognition, the power to insert a free-form drawing into your notes and even digitise a diagram out of your scribbles. You possibly can even insert a maths equation and have the Elipsa 2E work it out for you.

The handwriting recognition, particularly, is improbable. Even from our most rushed scribble, the Elipsa managed to make sense of it and with one double faucet, transformed all of it to textual content with unimaginable accuracy.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

You might be then in a position to undergo to edit and format this textual content in a extremely satisfying method – by merely scribbling phrases out, underlining them to daring them up and circling them to focus on them. It is very intuitive, and all of it provides to the authenticity of the writing expertise. It exhibits actual consideration to element by Kobo that you could be not discover in every single place else.

Away from notebooks, you’ll be able to annotate books as you learn and spotlight sections by holding down the stylus’ button, then discover all of those annotations in a single place.

Studying and content material

  • Kobo eBookstore
  • Audiobooks by way of Bluetooth
  • OverDrive library books
  • Kobo Plus – from £8.99 monthly for limitless books/audiobooks

The studying expertise on the Elipsa is pretty much as good as every other – textual content is crisp and clear and web page turns are about as quick as we have skilled.

The UI can be easy and straightforward to work round, with sections for “My Books”, “My Notebooks” and “Uncover” – the place you may browse for brand spanking new content material. A “Extra” tab offers you entry to settings, your wishlist and beta options, plus the power to sync up your Dropbox and Pocket accounts, for studying articles from throughout the net.

Kobo’s eBookstore is constructed into the Elipsa 2E as ordinary, and whereas it generally affords a extra US lean within the content material it surfaces for suggestions, a spot examine of titles meant we discovered related titles to these on Amazon. Irrespective of the place on this planet you are studying from, we won’t think about you may come up quick – although we would argue Amazon has the sting on discovery.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

What the Kobo continues to have over Kindle, although, is its in depth file assist, with over 15 codecs supported. You possibly can even sideload EPUB titles when you have an present e book assortment – one thing that continues to be a no go on Kindle.

Solely audiobooks from Kobo will be listened to on the Elipsa 2E although, and there’s Bluetooth inbuilt for playback – there is not any bodily headphones jack. That is not going to be an issue for almost all of individuals, and the Bluetooth connection works properly. There’s not the identical alternative right here that you will discover on a service like Audible although, however it’s nice to have the choice to purchase particular person audiobooks while not having a subscription.

Kobo does supply a subscription service service, if you want, known as Kobo Plus – at the moment out there within the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal.

This provides you entry to over 1.3 million ebooks and 100,000 audiobooks from as little as £8.99/$7.99 a month. You get a option to both hear or learn for that, or you may pay £11.99/$9.99 to get limitless entry to all of the Kobo Plus content material.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

This goes head-to-head with Amazon Kindle Unlimited, which sits in the midst of these two pricing choices at a value of £9.49/$9.99 a month. For that, you do not get audiobook entry however you do get free rein on as much as two million books – so a good few extra.

Equally to Kindle Limitless, you are not going to get the big-name reads in right here – a lot of the books you may learn as a part of your subscription could possibly be purchased for 99p or £1.99 – nevertheless, you are not restricted on what number of you may borrow like you might be with Amazon’s providing. And do keep in mind, you might be borrowing these – if you happen to cease paying for Kobo Plus you’ll lose entry to your titles.

The one difficulty is that the invention of Kobo Plus titles feels slightly restricted – you might have 5 discovery rails within the Kobo Plus part, together with “New and Sizzling” in each studying and audio, a collection of well-liked Crime, Thriller and Thrillers and a fairly obscure “Web page Turners”.

If you understand a title you need to search for you should use the principle Kobo search and filter by Kobo Plus however it will be nice to have a better collection of searching and discovery choices inside Kobo Plus itself.

Lastly, OverDrive integration stays lively right here – regardless of the actual fact the cell app has been retired. This lets you borrow ebooks remotely out of your public library totally free. You simply want an lively library card to log in and you’ll then select to borrow or purchase.

This works rather well, and the UI is nice for discovery, although you might be offered with shopping for choices entrance and centre, slightly than borrowing – you may must click on the three dots to see the borrow choice. You possibly can borrow titles for 3 weeks, or put a maintain on titles which can be already booked out by another person.

{Hardware} and battery life

  • Twin 2GHz CPU
  • 2,400mAh battery life
  • 32GB storage

The Kobo Elipsa 2E has a brand new twin 2GHz CPU, which means web page turns are a contact quicker right here than its predecessor, although you’d in all probability be pushed to note. There may be additionally quicker pan and zoom for photographs, comics and PDFs.

Kobo Elipsa 2E

For storage, there’s 32GB on board, with no choices to go larger or smaller, or the power to broaden by way of microSD. The truth is, it needs to be loads for most individuals, however anybody with a very massive e book library could also be higher contemplating the 64GB providing from Amazon.

Battery life has been prolonged right here from the primary era, with a 2,400mAh battery this time spherical. Kobo hasn’t acknowledged precisely how lengthy that ought to final however has mentioned it needs to be good for “weeks” on a single cost. We managed round an hour a day for round a month earlier than it wanted a recharge, so even the heaviest of readers ought to get a couple of weeks earlier than they should hook it as much as energy.

This may even be changeable relying on what you are doing on it – solely studying will last more, however when you begin writing or listening to audiobooks, you may anticipate it to empty a bit faster. We would say it was about on par with our expertise with the Kindle Scribe, though that has a barely larger 3,000mAh battery.


There’s lots to like concerning the Kobo Elipsa 2E, because of various up to date options that make it a compelling proposition in a rising market. At £349.99/$399.99, it is competitively priced in opposition to the Kindle Scribe contemplating the higher stylus that is included – although it is a disgrace the Sleep Cowl is not included to make it a whole bundle.

The writing expertise on the Elipsa 2E will not be fairly as pure because the competitors, however the performance it affords makes up for that. A bigger collection of pocket book templates, Dropbox integration and improbable handwriting recognition all give the Kobo some actual plus factors for people who – as you’d anticipate – actually need to use this for observe taking, in addition to studying.

The design does not seize us in the identical method the extra premium Scribe does, and the Amazon discovery expertise and ecosystem is arguably extra polished – however the wider file assist for sideloading an present e book library shall be actually helpful to the bookiest of bookworms.

For those who’re not already reliant on the Amazon ecosystem in your ereading wants, and can make loads of use of the handwriting performance, the Kobo Elipsa 2E may supply – on steadiness – among the best total experiences for such a hybrid system, and could be very a lot price a glance.

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