If you’re looking to get an ebook reader with a larger screen for a reasonable price, the Kobo Forma is currently on sale for $40 off.
The Kobo Forma is Kobo’s previous generation 8-inch ereader. It was released in 2018 and was recently replaced by the Kobo Sage.
In some ways the Forma is better than the new Kobo Sage. The Forma has a flexible E Ink Mobius screen so it’s lighter and more durable than the new Sage. In fact it’s over 40 grams lighter so the weight difference alone is significant, and it seems to have better battery life too.
The new Kobo Sage has a faster quad-core CPU, a Carta 1200 screen with improved contrast, USB-C, 32GB of storage space, and it supports using Kobo’s stylus.
When you list it all out like that spending $50 more for the Sage sounds pretty reasonable, but the Kobo Forma is still a nice ereader as well, and it just depends on what you need and how much you want to spend.
See my Kobo Forma review for a closer look at the details.
The Kobo Forma is on sale for $209 with free shipping from Walmart and Amazon. It rarely goes on sale but with the new Kobo Sage now available it makes sense to lower the price.
Sportbike Mike says
I felt the Forma has a cloudy screen. I assume this is due to the plastic mobius screen, other plastic screens were also cloudy, think paperwhite 4. I’m sure the Sage is much clearer with glass and Carta 1200.
I’m pretty sure the Sage has a plastic front layer too.
My Forma does not feel cloudy in use. It’s a nice screen. However, I do think the text is just slightly blacker with better contrast on the Kobo Aura One, which does have a glass screen, so there may be something to the glass vs. plastic thing.
Otherwise, the Forma screen is comparable to the Kobo Aura One, except the front lighting is brighter on the Aura One! In other words, With the Kobo Aura One on 50% brightness, I have to adjust the Forma to 78% brightness to match it, so there’s probably some hit to the Forma’s battery life because of that.
I feel the lighting on the Forma is slightly more uniform, however. At any rate, the Forma is a very nice reader and I’ve been enjoying mine! $209 is the lowest price I’ve seen, though I’m not sorry I bought mine in September at $219.
Besides, reports for the Sage suggest that the front lighting is dimmer than the Forma, which is alarming, as I often read at the 50% mark during the day here in the cloudy Pacific NW! Reports suggest that battery life on the Sage is not great, and having to ramp up the light would likely make it worse. Forma is a nice deal at this price.
Steve H. says
I have both, the Forma and the Sage. There is no comparison, the Sage blows away the Forma in contrast and clarity(I also own an Oasis and Voyage and my Sage has the best screen of all my devices….that said-beware that there seems to be a MUCH lower capacity in Battery Life.
What about Sage’s fragility? Its screen is not Mobius.
Awaiting Sage’s review
There are others owning both devices that says otherwise… Forma and Sage are very very close but the sage uses 25% more battery per hour in reading mode. The sage is also heavier and bulkier. I am not sure this Sage really blows the Forma out of the water….
Steve H. says
On max the Forma is Slightly brighter…but do you use it on max?
The illuminated contrast is where you notice the biggest difference in contrast and clarity. With the light off the contrast difference is not as striking as when lit. The Sage screen just Pops.
I have not needed to use the Forma lighting on max yet, I mostly use around the 45-50% mark, but occasionally go higher. Depends on the day, the available lighting, how my eyes feel, etc….
But with the reports on the Sage battery life not being so hot, if I had to use 60-75% light on Sage, that would worry me. At any rate, I may yet get a Sage when my Kobo Aura One battery gets worse, but I’m in no rush. I can wait until Sage goes on sale at a future date. By then, any kinks will likely have been worked out.
The battery life for Sage is definitely a concern. I read a LOT! 2-5 books per week. And that’s in addition to proofreading books I’m digitizing for myself! If it’s not good when the device is new, one wonders how it’ll be once the device is older.
Has anyone compared the contrasts between the Sage and the Forma? I’m curious whether there’s any degradation on the Sage (relative to Forma) due to the writing layer.
Steve H. says
No! The Sage has a much higher illuminated contrast and clearer screen.
I own the Forma, Sage, Oasis and a Voyage…the Sage has the best screen in both regular and dark mode. I do expect that the Libra is even better though(no writing layer, Nathan also concluded as much).
One HUGE caveat…beware of a much shorter battery cycle than the Forma.
Good to know. Thanks Steve.
Just got one. Don’t know if unique to my hand but my thumb naturally rested in-between the two buttons which made it somewhat unpleasant to use. The weight is near perfect though. I plan on returning. Warning to others thinking of buying from Amazon that returning may be quite costly (I have to pay for shipping and think I might end up having to pay 20% restocking + shipping costs for them sending it to me too – did not realize this when I purchased).