Kobo Sage E-Reader Review : An Impressive But Flawed Note-Taking E-Reader

Kobo Sage E-Reader Review

The Kobo Sage is reportedly a sleeker version of the now three-year-old Forma, beating out Amazon’s Kindle Oasis by offering an 8-inch display that also offers stylus support. His Kobo e-reader is the first “mainstream” to feature the latter, but unlike the Elipsa (a larger, niche device), the Kobo stylus must be purchased separately. To further justify the premium price, Sage’s chassis has been significantly improved. Even though it’s still plastic (as opposed to the Kindle Oasis’ metal body), it’s an evolution of the Forma’s slightly judder design. The body has a cleaner, more elegant look in the low profile sections. It’s basically a front and back piece that slides together neatly. Lets Start Kobo sage E-reader Review .

Kobo Sage E-Reader Review : Price & Availability

The 8-inch Sage is Kobo`s maximum top class e-book reader (now no longer counting the 10-inch Elipsa, which we do not forget a note-taking tool first and E-reader second) and as such it carried a high-ish rate of $259.ninety nine / £239.ninety nine / AU$439.ninety nine on release. As of February 2023, there was a moderate boom throughout all markets, and the Kobo Sage is now priced at $269.ninety nine / £259.ninety nine / AU$459.95. For comparison, Amazon`s 32GB Wi-Fi Kindle Oasis is a hint greater steeply-priced at $299.ninety nine / £259.ninety nine / AU$449, however the Oasis does encompass an aluminum chassis, while the Sage makes use of soft-contact plastic (now no longer to say greater capability way to stylus support);

the Kindle is undeniably the greater top class alternative here. Depending on wherein you live, the Sage`s rate remains a sizable 50-60% step up from the following Kobo version down – that`s the 7-inch Libra 2, which sells for $189.ninety nine / £169.ninety nine / AU$299.ninety nine and stocks a completely comparable layout in a barely smaller (and arguably greater convenient) size. The Sage is now widely to be had throughout the foremost areas that Kobo E-readers are bought in (North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania) and may be bought without delay from the Kobo on line save in pick out markets.

Kobo Sage E-Reader Review : Design & Display

In many ways, the Kobo sage E-reader Review is a refined and refined version of the 2018 Kobo Forma. Both are primarily drawn to the asymmetrical design and her large 8-inch screen, with the latter a notable advance from her 7-inch sibling in terms of visual space. That size difference may not sound like much on paper, but when comparing Sage to his 7-inch Libra 2 to the naked eye (as you can see in the comparison image below), the former is surprisingly It turns out small. Large.

Sage and Forma displays offer about the same amount of physical space as a paperback page, with larger screens providing more flexibility in font sizes and larger images on screen. A more comfortable reading experience. The larger display also makes reading comics and graphic novels more enjoyable, with fewer frames and callouts than the Libra 2. From a tech standpoint, the Sage`s screen has had a generational upgrade from the Forma – employing an E Ink Carta 1200 panel versus a Carta 1000 one – however both displays share the same 1,440 x 1,920 pixel resolution, so


they`re essentially the same in terms of sharpness, packing in 300 pixels per inch (ppi). In many respects that generational jump is a subtle one. As mentioned earlier, Kobo claims a 15% improvement in contrast on the Carta 1200 and while it`s true that when compared side by side, black text on the Sage appears ever-so-slightly darker than on the Forma, we suspect some of that may be down to the Sage screen`s panel being fractionally darker overall – it`s whitepoint is slightly yellow, as compared to the Forma`s marginally bluish hue. One area where the Sage`s screen upgrade does become apparent is with images; there`s a clear improvement when rendering gradients, in particular.

On the Forma, subtle changes in color (like you`ll see on clouds, clothing and skin tones) can often result in what`s called `banding`, where similar colors get smooshed together and rather than blending into one another, you end up with distinct different colors separated into clear layers or `bands`. Sage’s next-generation display largely eliminates this problem, making reading image-heavy content (comics, online articles saved in Pocket, books full of photos, charts, graphs, etc.) a more natural experience. increase.


The Kobo sage E-reader Review also undergoes some notable changes, not all of which are positive. Effortlessly clean, friendly, and charming. A lot of this comes from the new seamless one-piece front, where only the two page turn buttons are broken. The hand-held page-turning key is, at least physically, one step above Forma. They’re pretty much in the same position, but they’re slimmer and more prominent, very reminiscent of the Kindle Oasis, and offer a cleaner, more satisfying click action. The page turn buttons are similar to Oasis’s, but Sage’s are slightly longer and more widely spaced. Like the Forma, the durable, soft-touch plastic back wraps around all four sides and remains a single molding that extends to the screen, flush with the bezel like the Kindle Oasis.

I’m here. Kobo designers moved the power button to be on the back of the reader instead of on its back. It’s also round and fairly large (similar to the Kobo Libra H2O and Libra 2 models). The charging/data port is now much more convenient USB-C. E-readers are one of the last categories to stick with the (now obsolete) USB Micro-B, so this change is definitely late. One is Sage’s thicker body. This probably accounts for most of the extra weight of the device. At 241g versus 197g, it is 20% heavier than the Forma. And that’s what you’ll definitely feel in your hands. When you use it with a sage-pointed cover at 400g, it’s almost doubled. It is quite heavy.

Kobo Sage E-Reader Review : Features & Ease of Use

Sage brings the same flexibility and features you’d expect from a Kobo e-reader. On the hardware side he means IPX8 waterproof, and on the software side there are nice features like support for a wide range of file formats (ePub, PDF, TXT, RTF, Mobi, CBZ/CBR, BMP, PNG, etc.). Ability to subscribe to Adobe Digital Editions to read DRM-protected ePubs or PDFs purchased from third-party e-book stores and sync web articles via Pocket’s Read Later service (in new tab open). A recent addition is Dropbox integration. After debuting on Forma,

it’s only available on Kobo’s premium e-reader. It allows you to store your personal digital library in the cloud and exchange e-books and files wirelessly without having to connect your e-reader to your computer. And let’s not forget the built-in overdrive support, a typical Kobo feature. All Kobo e-readers, including Sage, have this, and most libraries in countries where Kobo is available now allow users to check out e-books via the app. Audio book support is new, but requires Bluetooth headphones to be paired. Luckily, this is as easy as using your phone. However, there is one big caveat with audiobooks.

Kobo Sage

Kobo is the first to shut down its open and inclusive ecosystem by only allowing Sage (or Libra 2) to play audiobooks purchased from its own store. Still, the catalog is substantial, and there are many popular titles in the studio store. To accommodate these audiobooks, the Sage comes standard with 32 GB of internal storage. This new generation of E Ink screen technology also adds a dark mode. Available in the Settings section. This allows you to invert the default colors to show white text on a black background…or similar to how dark mode works on phone and computer screens. It’s important to note that Dark Mode only inverts the colors of the eBook you’re reading.

The home screen remains the usual white-on-black. For those who don’t like dark mode, reduce eye strain with his Comfort Light Pro technology, exclusive to Kobo . It’s available on almost all Kobo e-readers and includes a series of white and yellow LED lights recessed just below the bezel. If you enjoy reading at night, you can set the light to automatically change from cool to warm yellow. However, if you prefer a bright white screen, all orange LEDs are turned off. The technology works really well, with no gradients, bright spots or shadows, the light is projected perfectly evenly across the screen.

Kobo Sage E-Reader Review : Reading Experience

Reading sage is almost always a first rate experience. A large, sharp, high-contrast screen offers great-looking text and images, and a fast new processor makes page-turning and other his UI actions fast and responsive. In many ways, though, Sage’s improvements to Forma are negligible, and depending on your tastes, they’re definitely a step back. I feel heavy. Its weight isn’t much greater than the Libra 2’s 215g, but spreading it over a larger surface area subjectively makes it feel heavier and more tiring in the long run.

By comparison, both the Libra 2 and the Forma were able to stay high on their own for long periods of time, but the Sage ultimately feels heavier, even if not in the standard case (which weighs in at 241g). This is not the only physical problem with . To make sure the “improved” page turn button registers, you need to press it firmly. It’s possible to press hard enough to actually “click” under your thumb, but it doesn’t actually trigger a page turn. Most of the time the button works as intende, but the page isn’t turn.

Always Clear

Things aren’t always clear and you end up re-reading and re-reading the page, which frequently leads to broken buttons becoming frustrating and interrupting your reading flow. Go two lines above him on the old page before you notice the error. It’s a bug that I’m honestly surprise it pass the quality assurance test. In the end, we tried to avoid Sage’s page-turn buttons and just tap the screen all the way – at least that element works fine. Redesigning the Forma’s power button was a good move for Kobo.

It’s located on the back, so it’s easy to find with a touch. It also gives you a distinct click that you won’t accidentally press. However, the new position means it’s not so easy to use with one hand unless you have a place to put something on it (it’s a bit of a pain when standing in public transport, for example). And when use with Kobo specially design sleep cover for Sage, it’s completely covered, unlike his Libra, which has two cutouts to access the cover. This may seem like a minor annoyance, but if your device goes to sleep due to inactivity, the only way to turn it back on is to sleep instead of reaching for the button. It is to close and open the cover.

Kobo Sage E-Reader Review : Writing & Drawing Experience

As mentioned above, the Sage’s centerpiece hit is its pen support. This is a completely optional add-on, with the Kobo stylus sold separately and priced at $39.99 / £39.99 / AU$69.95. If you decide to get a stylus, you’ll quickly discover that you have nowhere to store it safely (you’ll need to buy a $79.95 / $69.95 / AUD$129.95 Power Cover with battery for that). It can roll over and hide under furniture. Once you get your hands on it, you’ll find it’s power by a single non-rechargeable AAAA battery (thinner than a standard AAA battery), has a replaceable plastic tip, and sits 2 inches off the barrel .

Bottom – The same pen that comes with Elipsa. The all-metal body fits comfortably in your hand and provides a natural writing experience. Using it also feels quite intuitive and you get use to the buttons very quickly – one lets you highlight text while reading, the other allows you to erase whatever you`ve done on the screen. Writing or drawing with the Kobo Stylus is almost real time, with minimal lag before marks appear on screen – a few milliseconds at most. However, the 8-inch screen is still relatively small, so the margin space you have is limit on screen, and scribbling marginalia can feel cramped.

Kobo’s Devs

That said, Kobo`s devs have been clever enough to realize that changing things like font style/size or margins will mess with the placement of notes, and have built in an option to switch back to the settings that in place when the note made. As well as being able to scribble in the margins of selected books (including side loaded and Kobo Store-bought ePubs – with marginalia available under the Annotations section), the Sage also provides a dedicated

My Notebooks app as on the Elipsa. This lets you create virtual notebooks, each with its own title and (theoretically) infinite pages inside it – a new blank page is create as soon as you enter anything on the `last` one. There is also an option within the notebook to convert handwritten notes to digital text, which generally work well (even with less-than-perfect handwriting), but depending on how well the conversion done, it could take may take 20 seconds or more.

Kobo Sage E-Reader Review : Battery Life

One of the main reasons for choosing a dedicated e-ink reader over a small tablet (such as the iPad mini or Kindle Fire) for e-books is that e-readers offer, or at least are design to do so. . The Sage has the same size lithium-ion battery as the Forma (1,200mAh battery), but unfortunately doesn’t have the battery life of its big brother. In my initial tests, I got up to 15 hours of use on a full charge (which limits usage to reading, not writing or browsing his Kobo store).

The screen’s new quad-core processor and new digitizing layer (both required for pen support) are likely the main contributors to the increased power consumption, but using the stylus (or even unpaired) ), the Sage drains the battery much faster than its predecessor. A firmware update that arrived late in testing slightly improved battery life, increasing the Sage’s read-only time from around 18 hours to 20 hours, depending on backlight brightness and usage.

Improved Battery

This is a nice improvement, but a far cry from the 35-40 hours you get with Forma, or the 50+ hours you get with Libra 2 devices with much more powerful processors (Forma has a single core ). Sage switched to a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU, especially since the Libra 2 had a 1,500mAh battery. The response was to create the aforementioned Power Cover. Double the battery capacity.

He wasn’t sent a Power Cover for testing, so I don’t know how long it will last, but in theory it should last another 15-20 hours. The Sage’s short run time isn’t the only disappointing factor when it comes to batteries. We also know that a full charge can take up to 3 hours. Despite its shiny new USB-C port, the Sage generally takes longer to charge than the Forma, which charges from about 10% to full in two hours. It charges at a fast rate, but seems to switch to a very slow trickle charge setting once it hits the 90% mark. So the last 10% takes about an hour.

Should I Buy It ?

Buy It If….

They prefer e-readers with larger screens

Kobo Elipsa’s 10.3-inch might be a little too bulky for an everyday e-reader, but Sage’s 8-inch doesn’t take up too much screen real estate, It’s just the right size, not too small. For fans of comics and graphic novels. A little extra screen real estate compared to a 6-inch or 7-inch e-reader also means more room for white space.

For those who like to take notes while reading

He is one of the few widely use e-readers that supports a stylus. There are other options, such as some of his Onyx Boox models, but depending on where you live and availability, they can cost more than the Sage and Kobo styluses combined. The writing and drawing experience in Sage is generally very fluid…you need to figure out how to keep your pen safe.

Don’t Buy It If….

Battery life is important to you

It`s our one major complaint – considering we`ve come to expect between 4-10 weeks of battery life from most e-readers, the Sage`s dismal 15-20 hours is disappointing. The Libra 2 got a significant battery upgrade over its forebear, so it`s somewhat perplexing that Kobo has stuck to a 1,200mAh capacity pack for the Sage, particularly given its more-powerful processor. Some of this battery drain could potentially be handle by adding a Power Cover accessory, if you`re willing to spend extra and can handle the additional weight.

You spend long hours reading

We think the Kobo sage E-reader Review 8-inch screen is the perfect size for reading, but its weight distribution isn`t quite even. During our testing, we found that holding the Sage for over an hour can cause wrist and arm fatigue, making the Libra 2 a more compelling option if stylus support isn`t important to you.

On a Budget

The Sage is pack with features, but it has drawbacks that make it not recommend at retail. And then there are the extra extras that you should consider if you want to get the most out of the Sage, especially the Kobo stylus. In the current e-reader market, the Libra 2 offers a much better price/performance ratio despite the lack of stylus support and a 7-inch display.



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