While it’s not nearly as popular as smartphones and tablets, ebook readers definitely have a niche audience that’s keeping the category alive. Enough of it, in fact, that both Amazon and Kobo regularly release new models. The latter’s newest release is the Kobo Forma, which reimagines the ebook form factor into one that, the outfit claims, is their most comfortable design yet.
You know how ebook readers tend to mimic the profile of paperbacks, so it will feel like you’re reading a regular book? Well, you can still do portrait-style reading here, although this particular model appears to favor reading in landscape, making it a better option for those who prefer reading like they would on a laptop.
The Kobo Forma has a large curved bezel at the bottom in landscape orientation, which allows you to hold it with two hands in a comfortable manner, all while keeping your fingers off the screen, so you can clearly see the book, article, or graphic novel you’re reading. You can use the same bezel to comfortably hold the book in one hand when you’re reading in portrait, while physical buttons on that same bezel allow you to turn the page without touching the screen. No word on whether the reader can be used with the bezel positioned on the left or the right, but we’re hoping that’s the case to make it ambidextrous.
It meets all the requirements of the IPX8 standard, allowing it to withstand immersion in up to 66 feet of water. That means, this is perfectly safe to use whether you’re soaking in the tub, lying on a floater in the pool, or riding on a speedboat with friends. We don’t know if it will float or sink, though, so best not let it linger in water too long, in case you ever drop it.
The Kobo Forma has an 8-inch E-Ink Mobius Carta display with a 1440 x 1920 resolution, so this should make for a nice e-reader for comic books and magazines, on top of being great for consuming books. That display, by the way, comes with a flexible plastic layer within it, which helps beef up its durability. According to the outfit, the device can survive drops of more than six feet, apart from shrugging off all the bumps, twists, and pressure it gets when packed inside overloaded bags. For reading in the dark, it comes with adjustable front lighting, complete with blue light auto-reduction when you’re reading late at night.
A 1200 mAh battery is housed inside the reader, giving it weeks of battery life between charges, while 8GB of storage allows you to store a large amount of reading material. It has native support for 14 file formats, namely EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and TIFF, along with 11 different fonts, 50 different font styles, and a variety of custom font settings. There’s also an integrated book borrowing mode, so you can borrow books from public libraries straight from the device.
The Kobo Forma will be available this month, priced at $279.99.