I’m loyal to my e-reader. It keeps me company as I try to distract myself from the vagaries of life. It watches me fall asleep before reaching my goal of 20 reading pages, at night. It also helps me tick off my Goodreads goals for the year. Okay, at least some years! It doesn’t let me get distracted by shiny new reels and bounce from one Wikipedia page to another. It keeps me from sacrificing 30 minutes to random nothingness when all I wanted to look up was the definition of one word. You can see why I love it, right? So, there’s almost no reason for me to switch devices for reading. That was only till the new Kobo Libra 2 landed on my desk. 

After muttering a quiet, “Sorry, professional hazard” to my Kindle, I ripped out the package for the Kobo, and here’s how we’ve been spending time together.


A 7-inch e-reader can get tricky to hold unless designed well. The Kobo Libra 2 thankfully offers a firm grip on the side, especially on the rear with a matte perforated design. The device weighs 215 grams but feels light enough to hold and read for a long time.

There are three physical buttons on the device - two to the left of the display for page navigation, and a dedicated power button at the rear bottom right corner. A quick press on the power button also serves as a sleep/wake-up button when I want a short break from reading. The device is also fairly waterproofed - it’ll withstand being submerged for up to an hour in 2 metres of water. Safe enough to take along on my next beach holiday.


I decided to start with Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese, pleasantly surprised by how captivating it turned out to be. Tucking into bed, I switched off the lights and realised the screen looked too yellow. Thankfully, the Libra 2 lets me change the colour temperature and I slid left for a cooler, comfortable tint to read with.

There is a slider to tweak brightness, but the sliding transition isn’t the smoothest owing to e-ink. I could also tap to increase/decrease the brightness. The niggle here is if I tap normally it tweaks the brightness by 1 (on a scale of 1 - 100), if I tap rapidly, after a couple of taps, it goes to the absolute maximum or the very minimum level (depending on which direction I’m tapping in). 

The display has a pretty standard resolution of 300 dpi and offers the choice of around 13 fonts. Initially, I’d had the auto-rotate option on and soon realised the gyro sensor was way too sensitive. It’d change orientation with the slightest unintended change in angle and became more inconvenient than helpful. Once turned off, the experience was much smoother.


There’s 32 GB internal storage, which can hold roughly 10,000 books, if not more. That’s more than most people will read in a whole lifetime! The device is powered by a 1 GHz processor. The page turns are smooth and snappy enough, as far as e-readers go. Some functions seem to take an extra second or so, which makes the overall in-device browsing user experience a bit of a mixed bag.

The Kobo Libra 2 supports a few more media formats than the Amazon Kindle Oasis, which is a more premium offering. Another leg-up that the Kobo Libra 2 has over the higher-end Kindle Oasis is the ability to charge via USB-C, which just makes life much easier.

Like many other e-readers, I could go weeks on end without having to charge the device. To give you a glimpse of how slow the drain was, the battery life has decreased by 10 per cent after 3-4 days of usage.

While I hate numbers, I do love going through reading stats, which is easily accessible on the device. One more feature that the Kobo offers which my current e-reader doesn’t! There’s also an option to switch on note-taking and annotation mode where I can do ugly scribbles before switching to my second book of the month The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood.

I also love that the Kobo gives me little award badges for keeping up my reading habit. There are awards for simple things like starting or finishing my first book on the device or figuring out certain controls, but there are also more meaningful ones that take more effort. There’s an ‘Afternoon Rush Hour’ badge for reading at the same time over five different days. ‘I Eat Books for Lunch’ is given to me when I read two books at the same time. It’s wonderful to get these little encouraging nudges on the device itself.


Although it took me a day or two to get used to the Kobo experience, I’m so glad I gave this a shot. Not only is reading on the Kobo Libra 2 easy and enjoyable but there are also enough features packed into the device that make it easy to overlook any small niggles I experienced along the way. It also helps that it’s priced fairly reasonably, compared with more high-end readers, whose offerings fall short in comparison to the Libra 2. 

Price - ₹19,999 

Pros - Bright display, choice of warm and cool tones, reading badges, ample storage, physical buttons for navigation, well-built

Cons - Sensitive gyro sensor, processing time not uniform