Updated: May 12, 2020
In this article, we will assess the best Kobo e-readers in 2020, compare features and prices, suggest places where to buy Kobo in Canada and, hopefully, our reviews will help you make a decision about which Kobo model is right for you.
The best place to buy Kobo e-reader in Canada is to buy it directly on the Rakuten Kobo store. Only Kobo website offers all Kobo models. KoboCanada delivers ereaders to any address within Canada except Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Also, there are no customs fees since the Kobo e-reader is not crossing the border. Canadians can pay with a Canadian credit card and in Canadian dollars.
The Kobo eReader store allows customers to purchase Kobo devices and accessories while the Kobo eBookstore allows customers to purchase and download e-books and add them to their Kobo library.
Rakuten Kobo website also offers Kobo accessories, including covers for Kobo devices and battery chargers. After you buy a Kobo device, you can track your order status including shipping information.
Besides the Kobo website, Canadians can buy Kobo e-reader in several retail stores. The following stores offer Kobo e-reader in Canada:
These stores offer some models of Kobo e-reader, but they do not offer all Kobo models. Usually, they offer lower-end and cheap Kobo models such as Kobo Clara. Sometimes stores do not have Kobo devices available in the store, but they may have them in stock online. Some older and refurbished Kobo e-readers are sold on eBay.
Kobo award-winning e-readers are available in over 20 countries, including Canada. Kobo brand name is an anagram of “book”. Kobo Canada is one of the world’s fastest-growing eReading services.
Rakuten Kobo Inc. is a Canadian company with headquarter in Toronto, Ontario. It is a subsidiary of the Japanese conglomerate Rakuten. Kobo is the second-largest manufacturer of e-readers in the world.
Only Amazon produces and sells more e-readers than Kobo. Kindle e-readers from Amazon have had a domination of the e-book reader market in Canada for several years. Kobo is the only other company to come close to Amazon. Both Amazon and Kobo offer a full line of e-readers, from the cheapest low-end model to the high-end premium model, with a variety of features, sizes, apps, and prices.
Amazon and Kobo Canada have not left much room for other companies to enter into the e-reader market in Canada. American bookstore company Barnes & Noble has its line of e-readers called Nook. Barnes & Noble is the third manufacturer of e-readers in North America, but it is far below Amazon and Kobo. Nook new models are released much less frequently than Amazon and Kobo models.
The first Kobo e-reader was built in May 2010. Since then, Kobo has released over a dozen e-readers. Some of the most popular Kobo ereader Canada models were Kobo Mini, Kobo Aura One and Kobo Glo. The Kobo Mini was the first Kobo model to use a 5-inch screen instead of the traditional 6-inch screen used on most other e-readers.
Over the years, Kobo re-designed and improved e-readers with front light systems, a color-adjustable light, and integration of the Overdrive library. Now, in 2020, Kobo produces three different e-readers and offers more than 5 million Kobo books and several magazines across 77 languages.
Kobo ereader Canada comes with some great features that Amazon’s Kindle ereader doesn’t have:
Each day Kobo is adding more titles to its library, so now it is almost impossible to find a new best-seller e-book that is on Amazon but not on Kobo.
Regular Kobo price is the same or very similar in most of the online and retail stores in Canada (for the same Kobo model). Kobo Canada sale could happen in one store while the other stores do not offer a discounted price for any Kobo model. Kobo Canada never announces sales ahead of time. It could be a while between any good deals on Kobo e-readers.
Kobo does not put on sale all models of e-readers at the same time – usually, Kobo gives a discount on one or two models at the time. It is not easy to predict which Kobo model will go on sale – it could be the most recent model that Kobo wants to promote or any other Kobo e-reader.
A trend that I noticed for Kobo sale in Canada is that there is a discount of about $20 around Black Friday on lower-end models. It could be a sale just for Black Friday – Cyber Monday weekend or this sale can continue till Christmas.
The sale price of Kobo Clara HD can go below $ 100 – that is the perfect time to buy this Kobo e-reader since its regular price is $139. Kobo Clara is one of the cheapest Kobo models, but it is a decent e-reader with an HD screen, built-in front light, and 8GB storage space. It is one of the latest Kobo models – it was released in June 2018. All new Kobo models, including Kobo Clara and Libra, are equipped with front light. Front light illuminates the screen and lets you read the text in the complete dark ambient.
The main function of all Kobo e-readers is to read books.
There are three Kobo models currently available in Canada:
(Kobo Aura was discontinued in 2019)
Today’s best Kobo models come very close to match the print book experience. They offer E ink displays with sharp HD resolution, clean text, and long battery life. In addition, they have features that print textbooks can never match, such as waterproofing, built-in front light and a huge memory space where you can store thousands of books.
Side by side comparison of all 3 models of Rakuten Kobo e-readers currently available in Canada is made in several categories including resolution, dimensions, weight, storage capacity, display, battery life, processor, front light, etc.
Kobo offers e-readers in three different screen sizes:
All Kobo models use E-ink Carta screens. E Ink Carta delivers a 50% increase in contrast over earlier generations of e-reader. Reading an e-book on the E-ink screen is close to reading a paperback book.
The storage capacity of Kobo e-readers is in the range from 8GB (Kobo Clara) to 32GB (Kobo Forma).
Most of Kobo models come with 8GB storage space. Storage is never a concern when you are going to buy an e-reader. E-reader equipped with 8GB storage space can carry between 500 and 1000 e-books what is more than enough for most of the users. You need more storage space only if you wish to read comics on the Kobo e-reader.
All new Kobo models currently available in Canada come with a built-in Overdrive library feature. If you use an older Kobo model, you have to download e-books to your computer and then transfer to your Kobo device via USB cable.
Prices of e-book readers have fallen considerably in the last couple of years, while, for comparison, prices of tablets are still high.
There are a lot of good e-readers you can buy in Canada for less than $200. And Kobo e-readers are no exception – you can purchase almost all Kobo models for less than $200.
Only a large 8-inch high-end, Kobo Forma is expensive and costs more than $200, but it is a good buy for dedicated users. Kobo Forma is probably the best e-reader in the world. It is the largest e-reader in Canada since it comes with 8-inch screen- most of today’s e-readers come with 6–inch screen. The bigger screen on Kobo Forma, the adjustable color of front light, waterproofing, high-definition E ink touch screen, and several other features are the reason for the high cost of Kobo Forma.
Kobo price depends on the Kobo model and the size of storage space.
Let’s take a look at the regular prices of all Kobo models and versions you can buy right now in Canada:
If you like to relax and read a book by the pool or on the beach, you might want to consider buying a waterproof Kobo reader. Two Kobo models are waterproof: Kobo Forma and Kobo Libra H2O.
Kobo H2O ereaders are all rated to withstand submersion in water to some degree. You do not need to worry anymore that someone can accidentally splash water on your ereader- water will not damage it.
The Kobo Forma has physical buttons for turning pages forward and backward so you can quickly flip between pages even when your hands are wet.