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Kobo Continues to Play Catch Up With the Launch of the 10.3″ Elipsa eReader

by Nate Hoffelder

After a decade of running The Digital Reader, Nate is a veteran web publisher with experience in design, maintenance, recovery, and troubleshooting. What little he doesn't know, he can learn.

May 20, 2021

When it comes to ereaders, Kobo has always been either a day late or a dollar short (or both).

Their first ereader was both far less capable and launched long after the Nook and Kindle, and their first Android tablet was about half as powerful as the Kindle Fire and was beaten to market by a month. The asymmetrical Kobo Forma launched a couple years after the similar-looking Kindle Oasis. (And let’s not forget that Kobo still doesn’t have a model with a color E-ink screen.)

And now Kobo has released a 10.3″ ereader four or five years after the screen first starting appearing on ereaders.

Meet the Kobo Elipsa.

This 10.3″ ereader has all the features which competitors like Onyx added to their ereaders long ago.  It has a stylus, a color-shifting frontlight, 32GB internal storage, and a smartcover.

It’s equipped with both BT and Wifi, and bears a striking resemblance to the Onyx Boox Note Air, a 10.3″ Android E-ink device which launched last summer (retail is $479).

I know that some fans will be upset that I trashed Kobo, but come on, they released what is basically a less capable copy of a competitor’s device a year after the competition.

Kobo could not even come up with an original placement for the logo, for pete’s sake, so it is no wonder I am underwhelmed.

The Kobo Elipsa ships on 24 June. Retail is $399.

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Hi, I'm Nate.

I build and fix websites for authors, and I am also a tech VA. I can build you a website that looks great and turns visitors into fans, and I can also fix your tech when it breaks. Let me fight with tech support so you don’t have to.

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6 Comments

  1. Xavier Basora

    Nate,

    So the Onyx is far more capable? What about its price in comparison to the Elipsa?

    xavier

    Reply
  2. Daniel

    I guess the Kobo software is probably less wonky, on the other hand Kobo is probably even more closed down. I don’t like the fact everything on books devices is so locked down, if I sketch something on my Nova I can’t easy export it as vector graphics on my PC.

    Reply
  3. Chris

    The pricing seems just a little optimistic. A bottom end iPad (running the Kobo app) is cheaper, probably much better made, and you don’t have to put up with eink.

    Don’t get me wrong I like reading on eink, but they’re simply poor for anything interactive like Kobo is trying to push.

    Reply
  4. Thomas (Paris)

    It’s still a first for an e-reader with an e-book ecosystem. Since I have a Kindle Oasis and buy Amazon e-books, I would dream of a 8 or 10 inch Kindle with a stylus, and 300 ppi definition. Maybe Kobo is showing the future way for the best e-readers? Here in France Kobo has a poor selection of English e-books, or otherwise they are over-priced, and Amazon is excellent on that point.
    P.S. I really like your blog, I read it every week.

    Reply
  5. Thomas

    It seems to me that the strength of the Elipsa is that is has the Kobo eco-system, allowing one to read a book on an e-reader, continue it on a laptop, or phone. But Kobo has a very small offer of English books in France, and Kobo’s French partner Fnac over-prices them. So I use a Kindle Oasis, but would dream of an Elipsa-like Kindle…

    Reply

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