New Kobo Clara HD Now Available to Order

Kobo Clara HD

Kobo has announced the upcoming release of a new 6-inch ebook reader called the Kobo Clara HD.

It’s up for pre-order at for $129 USD and it will get released on June 5th.

Kobo decided to go back to using a 300 ppi E Ink screen on this model instead of the 212 ppi screen on the Kobo Aura 2.

Like the Kobo Aura One and H2O, it has a frontlight with adjustable color temperature, and you can set it to automatically adjust as the day turns to night.

Here’s more from the press release:

“The Kobo engineering team took the lighting design even further, to replicate a colour temperature that more closely reflects natural incandescent light sources when set at the warmer end of the spectrum; this was achieved by using a warm custom designed LED (2600K).”

One of the most impressing aspects of this Clara HD is the fact that it only weighs 166 grams. By comparison the Kindle Paperwhite weighs 205 grams.

Unfortunately there’s no built-in OverDrive support like on the Kobo Aura One so you’ll have to use ADE and a computer to transfer library books. It’s disappointing there aren’t any page buttons once again. Kobo just keeps redoing the same basic design over and over again since 2011.

Kobo Clara HD

Kobo Clara HD Specs

  • 6-inch E Ink Carta Screen with 300 ppi
  • Capacitive touchscreen
  • Comfortlight Pro to adjust frontlight color
  • 8GB internal storage
  • Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Micro USB port
  • Supported formats: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR
  • Languages supported: English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish
  • 159.6 x 110 x 8.35 mm
  • Weight: 166 grams
  • Price: $129 USD at Kobo

43 Responses to “New Kobo Clara HD Now Available to Order”

  1. Great review!! I almost pre-ordered this until I read that there is no OverDrive!! Deal breaker for me. What a bummer!!! I have the Paperwhite, and it’s really good….I just get tired of being stuck in the Amazon eBook ecosystem all the time. I am learning (amazing for an old man!! HA!!) what you can do, and what you can’t do with the Paperwhite. I know I’d be stuck in the Kobo system too, and with the Glow Light 3, stuck in Barnes and Noble, Had a Samsung Nook back in the day with B&N, and it was pretty bad (Like awful even!! smh)

    • If you download Calibre and the Alf de-DRM plugin you don’t have to be locked into any one system (well, except Apple; there’s no way out of that walled garden).

      • I tried that Calibre thingy and couldn’t figure it out. Blame it on the age thing for me. HA!! The videos on it use an older program version, so I was totally lost. I don’t know why someone can’t make a video that is plain and simple and to the point about Calibre, and not get totally off track.

      • Nathan,
        Can you pop the back cover off and see if the 8GB card can be removed?
        I put a 32 GB card in my Kobo mini and my Kobo Glo HD. works great!!

  2. Hallo Nathan, do you know of the screen of the Clara is as grey as the screen of the new H2O with the lights off?

  3. Does anyone know how Kobo’s screen texture compares to Kindles? Is it rougher/more paperlike like the base Kindle and Paperwhite, or smoother/slightly glossier like the Voyage and Oasis? I couldn’t stand the little bit of extra glare on the Voyage compared to the Paperwhite.

    • The Voyage and Oasis have a glass front screen so it’s going to be more like the Paperwhite.

      • Wonderful, thank you. It looks like this should be the ereader I’ve been waiting for: Light, compact, plastic screen, Japanese support, and day/night lighting.

  4. I thought for sure we wouldn’t see a new eReader this year based on what the e-ink CEO mentioned about orders being down this year. This is a pleasant surprise Although aside from the light weight, I’m not really stoked about the design and especially another 6 inch e-reader with a basic design, no waterproof, no page turn buttons and especially that distracting logo in the front. Still its nice to see Kobo in the mix with new offerings whereas the Kindle Paperwhite hasnt seen a design change in 6 freakin years ugh!

    • The E Ink thing was more for the first half of the year so things can (hopefully) start getting interesting again this summer and fall, although I doubt the Clara HD is going to be a very big seller (nothing compared to a new Kindle, anyway). I hadn’t thought about the logo. I hope it doesn’t distract the eye while reading. The other Kobos all have dark logos.

  5. I was really hoping this would be an IR touchscreen. Carta IMO is not as clear or inky as IR.

  6. The Amazon page for the Paperwhite now sports a “there is a newer version of this item” link, which goes to a test product page:

    I assume this means a new paperwhite model realease is imminent and that they posted this intentionally to generate a little buzz.

    • I saw that too but it might just be a mistake of some kind. Why would the new page direct to a product page from 2015, as noted in the date first listed by Amazon. They had similar dummy pages up for the Kindle Oasis 2 covers a while back after they stopped selling them and nothing ever came of that—they still aren’t available a few months later. Hopefully they do have a new model but I need more evidence.

  7. So apart from the comfortlight, whats the dofference between this and the Glo HD?

  8. Nate, if I had to choose between the B&N Glowlight 3 and the Clara HD, which would you prefer?? I’m partial to the Glowlight 3 as it has turn buttons, etc, on it. Not to badger Kobo, but the Clara HD almost looks like a watered-down version of the Glowlight, but that’s just my opinion. I think the Glowlight has 8 gb storage now, the same, but don’t quote me on that. And sometime, when you’re really ambitious, would you do a video on YouTube for us “oldsters” that follow you on the basic use of the Calibre app thing, so I can download it and figure it out………PLEASE!!!!???? Some of us aren’t as tech savvy as the younger generation that was brought-up on stuff like this, including the eReader scene!! Thanks bunches!!!

    • I definitely prefer Kobo’s software to the Nook because it’s a lot more advanced and refined, but I do like the Glowlight 3’s hardware better with the page buttons, the soft rubbery back, and the power button on top. But I’m far from being an expert Calibre user—I rarely use it anymore—so I’m probably not going to be doing a video on it anytime soon. The folks in the Calibre forumn can help you better than I can.

      • I definitely prefer Kobo’s software to the Nook because it’s a lot more advanced and refined,,

        Kobo has better choice of fonts. B&N does a better job with PDFs.

        • Personally I consider the Nook awful for PDFs, probably the worst possible option, especially compared to KOReader on Kobos. The Nook doesn’t even have any way to zoom or crop the page, and there’s not even an option for landscape mode. Even Kobo’s built-in software offers those features.

          • The Nook was better for straight reading. You could change font size on PDFs on the Nook. Can’t do that on a Kobo, last I checked. \

          • The Nook Touch had PDF reflow but they removed that feature on the newer models.

  9. I really wish Sony would get back into the e-reader game.

    I do have to say Kobo is making a nice small step forward. Which is good.

  10. If my old Kobo Glo ever decides to call it a day, this looks like a good replacement.

  11. Hello Nathan, I ordered 2 Kobo Clara ‘s but sent them both back because the led lamps on the bottom (left and right edge) were bleeding. Do you know if that is a common problem with the Clara or did I just have bad luck twice ?

  12. hello Nathan,
    I mean that the led lamps shine very hard (on the bottom, left and right edge) and thas is very distracting when you are reading in the dark. That’s why I sent both Clara’s back. I would like to trie another one but I am afraid that it will have bleeding lights too…

  13. I had 3 units here in Holland from 3 seperate sellers. All of them have the bleeding. I’m thinking of sending the last unit back, just like the first two.
    Throughout the years I’ve send 20+ Kobo’s back for refund as I want ereaders with even lightning, but they’re very hard to find I guess 😉

  14. My Clara also has light showing brighter in spots on the left and right side at the bottom. I have found that after first being distracting – I am now able to block it out when reading. I am not sure if I want to go thru the hassle of the return procedure and if others are having the same problem, there is no guarantee the replacement would be better. Mobilereads had someone who provided pictures of the screen of two Claras both with the ‘bleeding’ and she is trying to decide which one to accept.

    • It’s a shame to hear it’s such a common issue. My Clara HD disappeared into the US postal service a week ago and hasn’t been seen since. No tracking updates or nothing. This is why Walmart needs to hurry up and start selling them. It would make it a lot easier to buy one and it would be ten times easier to return one when there’s a problem.

    • I pressed hard on the bezel by where the light bleeds were and they went away. Not sure for how long but I am happy with the Clara now.

  15. yes, it’s a real shame that Kobo still doesn’t manage to manufacture ereaders with even lightning! I hope the Clara of Nathan will be delivered soon, maybe the units that are sold in the US have better lightnings than those sold in Europe (I live in Belgium).

  16. I don’t understand why they cannot manage to get even lighting after having so many years of experience in producing front lit devices. I was disappointed in the screen on the Clara. My H2O second edition has a beautifully even light. I really thought with the smaller screen of the Clara it would also be perfect.

  17. Yes, apparently all the Claras have that problem. I bought three and returned two. And then I got fed up and opened it up.

    If you want to stop the sideways light bleed, you have to take the back plate off, and then unscrew the tiny little screws (4) in each corner. Then you start pushing the screen off the frame, starting with the top, to detach the sticky substance they applied to the frame. Once it’s almost separated, slide the screen upwards and out (because of the charging port). It’s not attached to anything down there, it’s just the glue. Don’t worry, the glue won’t come off the frame.
    Next, you clean the screen, then you cut two strips of BLACK electrical tape that are as long as the side of the screen (or longer – cut off the excess). You make sure to apply the edge of the black tape to correspond with the light grey inside edge of the frame. Basically, where your visible screen ends. Then you stick it down so it covers the outside edge of the screen. Make sure it is stuck down well. Then cut off the rest of the tape (don’t bend it over and around on the backside. Cut it off at the metal edge.). Put the screen back onto the frame, and screw it back on. Apply the backplate, and voila. No more bleeds.

    The should have applied two strips of blackout tape on each side of the reader. It’s a very big omission. Sadly.

    • Great tip! Thanks for the directions. Most people probably aren’t willing to do that themselves but I’m sure tech savvy Clara HD users will appreciate it.

      • I’m more OCD than techsavvy – and ultimately my OCD won. I guess I just got lucky. 🙂 It really isn’t as difficult. You just have to have the right mindset. I was in the mindset of being THIS close to throwing the device against a wall because of those stupid light bleeds. I think this attitude made it possible. 🙂

        • Thank you for your video. That was very useful. Fantastic mod, I can’t believe that two strips of tape would completely eliminate the problem. It went from one of the worst screen uniformities to perhaps the best.

  18. Hi could anyone please tell me the shipping time in the US. Sorry Nathan that yours is MIA . thanks in advance

    • Mine did end up arriving a few days ago. I ordered from Chapters and they send through the post office and it got stuck in customs for a week so it took about two weeks total after it shipped. But they didn’t have the cover at the time so I ordered it directly from Kobo’s website and it arrived in just a few days via UPS. Both require a signature, which is rather inconvenient but at least with UPS you can do it online. So my experience is Kobo is faster but it’s slightly cheaper ordering from Chapters if you’re in the US because of the exchange rate.