Now that PocketBook has released the PocketBook InkPad Color with a 7.8-inch color E Ink screen, and with Onyx expected to release a Nova Color next month, could Kobo’s upcoming new ereader also feature a 7.8-inch color E Ink screen?
There’s a discussion over at MobileRead about a new Kobo model (N604) recently showing up on the FCC website, and I think there’s a good chance it could be Kobo’s first color ereader.
The only thing the paperwork reveals about the new Kobo is it has 32GB of storage and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so it’s hardly worth mentioning, but it does indicate that Kobo is planning to release a new model soon.
Given the fact that it has 32GB of storage space, it’s not going to be a budget model. Some people think it’s going to be a Kobo Forma replacement since that’s the oldest Kobo on the block, but it doesn’t really make sense to replace the Kobo Forma unless they’re going to ditch the design. It’s still the only device on the market with an 8-inch Mobius screen, and Kobo doesn’t do minor spec upgrades like Onyx does, so what would they change to make it better?
Some think the addition of Bluetooth means the new device will support audiobooks, but if that’s the main thing they are going to change then it would be a pretty lame upgrade, especially since virtually nobody wants to listen to audiobooks on an ereader.
What makes more sense is for Kobo to release a new model using E Ink’s latest 7.8-inch Kaleido screen. If they market it as a manga and comic reader then having 32GB of storage would be key.
There’s also the fact that Kobo just redesigned the ereader portion of their website, and one interesting thing is they now list the screen size and type at the top of the description, and if you look at their main list of ereaders that’s the first thing that stands out.
If they’re going to be adding a new model with a color E Ink screen to the list, then it would make sense to list the size and type of screen first.
Nobody really knows what Kobo is going to do next, but I think jumping on the color E Ink bandwagon early is something that could benefit them. Releasing a new Forma that supports audiobooks isn’t going to catch anyone’s attention; releasing an ereader with a color E Ink screen would be a lot more interesting and more likely to catch people’s attention.
The PocketBook InkPad Color sold out in one day, and so did the Onyx Poke2 Color when it was first released. We don’t know how many they had available, but people are clearly interested enough in color E Ink to drive sales. The 6-inch PocketBook Color is the #1 best seller in the ebook reader category at Newegg and the new InkPad Color is the #2 best seller.
Steve H. says
Nathan, you may be right, possibly partially. Kobo had/has a custom 8″ screen from E ink and may be able to obtain a an 8″ color screen to fit a Forma case and internal structure.
Pocketbook’s device has captured more attention than I expected. If a color 10″ device with 300 dpi emerges this year, there may be a market.
Most likely there will be no 10″ color e-readers with 300 dpi this year simply because such a panel doesn’t exist at that resolution. Earliest possiblity is sometime in 2022.
That would be super cool! I’m hopeful. However, I’ve seen too many times eReaders go very much incremental upgrades.
Color is a maybe, but the Forma has a lot it can incorporate from the Libra H2O:
– Better power button (one of the biggest issues Forma users have) – placement mostly
– Fixing the lightband issue
– Better page turn buttons (huge difference to me with the Forma and Libra H2O. The former felt really kinda mushy and unstable whereas the Libra H2O page turn buttons are solid)
So almost a Libra H2O design in a Forma 8 inch screen package.
James P Updike says
Comic reader needs to be 10 inches minimum…
Totally agree. I use the PocketBook InkPad X (10.3″) to read comics and I have to put the screen in landscape mode. In portrait mode (which has the same page width as a 7.8″ e-reader in landscape mode) they look very small.
With small screen e-readers (6″, 7″, 8″) you need to split the screen and enlarge the images. Or use a reading program that recognizes the bullets and scrolls between them. But in these cases the screen size is not so important because you no longer have a global view of the page.
Sportbike Mike says
I want to hear more about the Nova Color releasing next month.
No news yet, other than what was posted in the Pocketbook InkPad comments. They’ll probably announce it officially sometime after the 26th. The problem with Onyx, though, is the price will be astronomical. The regular Nova is already the most expensive 7.8-inch ereader by far at $339. Add color and they’ll probably want well over $400 for it.
I’m starting to believe that Amazon has abandoned the Kindle. No meaningful updates in ages, no new Kindle models. Meanwhile companies like Kobo and Onyx continue to blaze trails
They let other companies do their market research for them. What home runs have other companies really hit though? At best, Kobo has a model that’s one inch larger – that’s a niche market, and AMZ is in this game to sell content more than devices.
I don’t disagree that it’s disappointing. I just don’t see a feature they could take from someone else and use it to sell more e-books.
You said it yourself. Larger
Ereaders are a niche. Niche customers are the ones that spend the most money and therefore purchase the most content. It benefits Amazon to get their heads out of the sand.
I just got a text message from Rakuten Kobo saying “We’re getting a new number! Look out for our next text”. Anyone else receive the message? Is the new number a 10 inch reader?
Totally hopping on here to ask your opinion.
I received a Kindle Oasis this week for my birthday. As exciting as it sounds I’m going to return it simply due to the fact that I can’t instantly download books from my library to it. I have no interest in converting files and getting complicated.
So…..which Kobo to get? I’m not sure why I was gifted the reader as I have my own Kobo Touch (dinosaur I know) and have been using my daughters Kobo Aura H2O. She wasn’t really using it, and my mind was blown when I saw it was lit!!
I think she wants her Aura back and mentioned to my dad I need my own new reader, et voila.
I’ve looked at the Forma online. Am I right that it looks like it curves up on the button side? Not sure about the point of that ? Anyway, I would LOVE your opinion.
I’m in Canada, if that makes a difference.
I’d look at the Kobo Libra if I were you, same concept as the Forma but “second tier”. I don’t want a big screen or fancy frame material,
so the Libra specs (and price) suit me fine.