Kobo Clara Colour review: a great affordable color e-reader!

Author: Nicolas ᚚ

kobo clara colour e-reader review

Thrilled to introduce the review of the Kobo Clara Colour, a 2024 standout among e-readers featuring a next-generation 6-inch Kaleido 3 color E Ink display.

Please note that this e-reader was kindly provided to me by Kobo. A big thank you to them for making this review possible!

Kobo Clara Colour

kobo clara colour

6" e-reader - 1448 x 1072 pixels (Black and White), 724 x 536 (color) e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR

Best value for the money in the Kobo color e-readers lineup ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Unboxing and Presentation of the Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader

The Kobo Clara Colour arrives in a neat and compact cardboard box that effectively protects the device.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

In line with recent trends for e-reader packaging, Kobo has opted for a minimalist design, with the box containing only the essentials: the e-reader itself, a quick start guide, and a USB cable.

Upon removing the e-reader from its packaging, one is immediately struck by its high-quality plastic construction.

Part of this plastic is made from recycled materials, contributing to the Kobo Clara Colour's eco-friendly credentials. The design closely resembles that of its predecessor, the Kobo Clara 2E, with the power button located on the back of the device.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

Compared to the Kobo Clara 2E, the Kobo Clara Colour is only about a millimeter thicker, a difference that is barely noticeable and doesn't affect the feel of the e-reader in hand.

Given the focus on incorporating a color Kaleido 3 screen, it's understandable that there are no major design changes.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

The Kobo Clara Colour retains the essential features of its predecessor, including audiobook playback via Bluetooth connectivity, a USB-C port, Wi-Fi, an IPX8 waterproof rating, and a touchscreen display with front lighting and blue light filtering.

6-inch Color Display of the Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader

The 6-inch screen of this Kobo Clara Colour uses E Ink technology, which provides a paper-like reading experience.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

Kobo has opted for the latest technological advancement with the Kaleido 3 screen (read more here), which is the best currently available. This e-reader therefore integrates the best of color E Ink.

That being said, one can only appreciate the quality of the colors offered.

Admittedly, it is still a bit short of a paper print and has nothing to do with the dazzlingly bright and flattering colors of smartphones.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

Picture: the colors are very good and not far from a paper experience

The goal is to reproduce the paper experience, not the tiring reading experience on a tablet or smartphone screen!

It is therefore quite usable and allows you to find color ebook covers.

The screen is obviously tactile and has ComfortLight Pro lighting, which reduces the harmful effects of blue light by tinting the brightness to yellow/orange.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

On the black and white part, we are clearly behind the previous generation of Kobo e-readers.

Yes, you read that right, it's not as good as the Kobo Clara 2E or the new Kobo Clara BW.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

Pictures: Kobo Clara Colour (left) and Kobo Clara 2E (right)

But it's logical: color screens add a "filter" to black and white E Ink. This filter slightly darkens the screen, which then loses contrast and brightness. So, it's objectively less good, but is it a problem for reading ebooks?

E-book Reading Experience: A Satisfying Display

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

When I compared the screen to other e-readers, I noticed a noticeably darker display with less impressive contrast.

However, in practical use, this difference is not a significant issue. It is only apparent when placing the two e-readers side by side.

To compensate for this, the Kobo Clara Colour employs a highly precise lighting system that allows for increased brightness to restore good contrast.

Personally, I find the display to be very satisfactory, providing a comfortable reading experience that doesn't feel like reading on a screen.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

At 100% brightness, the contrast is even quite high, although the overly strong lighting can make reading less enjoyable.

The Kobo Clara Colour's display features a responsive refresh rate, ensuring smooth page turns and a comfortable reading experience.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

Additionally, the e-reader offers a wide range of customization options to tailor the reading experience to individual preferences:

  • Font Type: Choose from a variety of font styles to suit your reading style.
  • Line Spacing: Adjust the line spacing to create the desired reading density on the page.
  • Font Size: Resize the font to your preferred level for optimal readability.
  • Margin Size: Adjust the margin size to control the amount of white space around the text on the page.
  • Page Number Display: Choose to display page numbers, remaining book time, or remaining chapter time for easy navigation.
  • Dictionary: Access an integrated dictionary to look up unfamiliar words.
  • Word Highlighting and Note-taking: Highlight text passages with four different colors and add notes to capture key thoughts or ideas.

You'll have everything you need to read your ebooks.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

The Kobo Clara Colour supports a wide range of file formats, including PDF documents.

While PDF files can be read on the device, it's important to note that frequent zooming can lead to slower navigation within PDF documents.

Due to this, the e-reader is primarily recommended for reading ebooks, where the customization options and responsive refresh rate shine.

Color E Ink: A Valuable Addition or a Gimmick?

The Kobo Clara Colour introduces a color E Ink display, a notable upgrade compared to traditional monochrome E Ink displays.

While the color representation is impressive, the question arises: does the 6-inch screen size make it suitable for enjoying color content, such as comics and graphic novels?

For comics and manga, the 6-inch screen of the Kobo Clara Colour feel somewhat restrictive.

comic book on kobo clara colour e-reader

The smaller display size limit the ability to fully appreciate the artwork and details that are often characteristic of these genres.

Larger screens, such as those found on 7-inch or 8-inch e-readers, are more suitable for comics and manga.

Despite the limitations for comics and manga, the color E Ink display offers some distinct advantages.

The vibrant colors bring book covers to life, adding a touch of visual appeal to the reading experience.

Additionally, the ability to highlight text passages in multiple colors can enhance note-taking and organization.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

Ultimately, the decision of whether the 6" color E Ink display is valuable depends on individual preferences and reading habits.

For those who primarily read text-based books and appreciate the enhanced cover display and note-taking capabilities, the color E Ink can be a valuable addition.

However, if comics and manga are a significant part of your reading repertoire, a larger e-reader with a monochrome (for manga) or color (for comic books) screen might be a more suitable choice.

Kobo Clara Colour E-Reader review

Audiobook Listening Experience

The Kobo Clara Colour supports audiobook playback, but it is important to note that only audiobooks purchased from the Kobo store will work on the device.

kobo clara colour e-reader audio book player

These audiobooks can be accessed through the e-reader's library, similar to other ebooks.

To enjoy audiobooks on the Kobo Clara Colour, users will need a Bluetooth speaker or a pair of Bluetooth headphones. It is also possible to connect the e-reader to a car's Bluetooth system, although this functionality was not tested due to limited equipment.

The overall audiobook listening experience on the Kobo Clara Colour is satisfactory. However, the audiobook player could benefit from further refinement, especially for users accustomed to feature-rich MP3 player apps on smartphones.

While audiobook playback is a functional feature of the Kobo Clara Colour, it may not be a deciding factor for most users.

The ability to listen to audiobooks on the device is convenient, but it does not offer significant advantages over using the Kobo app on a smartphone.

Additionally, the audiobook player itself could be improved in terms of features and user experience.

Additional Features and User Interface of the Kobo Clara Colour

The Kobo Clara Colour operates on the same software platform as other Kobo e-readers, maintaining a consistent user experience.

The interface is straightforward and intuitive, offering essential features without overwhelming users with excessive settings. This makes it an ideal choice for beginners, older users, or those seeking a hassle-free transition to digital reading.

Beyond audiobook playback (discussed previously), the Kobo Clara Colour offers integration with the Pocket service.

kobo e-reader with pocket

Pocket allows users to save web pages and access them later on their e-reader, making it convenient for reading long articles on the comfortable E Ink display.

The Kobo Clara Colour provides comprehensive reading statistics, tracking various aspects of your reading habits. These statistics include total reading time, reading speed, percentage of books completed, number of books finished, and more.

kobo clara colour settings

kobo clara colour settings

Additionally, the e-reader offers virtual "Rewards" to gamify the reading experience. For instance, reading at the same time for five consecutive days earns the "Favorite Reading Time" reward. There are 16 such rewards in total.

Navigating through the menus on the Kobo Clara Colour is simple and responsive. As with most e-readers, the touchscreen response is slightly slower compared to tablets or smartphones. However, a brief adjustment period should eliminate any noticeable lag.

Kobo Clara Colour e-reader specifications

The Kobo Clara Colour has all the technical features of the high end Kobo e-readers, but with a new color screen:

  • 16 GB storage
  • 6-inch E Ink Kaleido 3 color screen (150 PPP in color and 300 PPP in black & white)
  • Waterproof e-reader
  • Reading light made from recycled plastic
  • Lighting with ComfortLight (blue light filter) and FastGLR
  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth
  • Audio book playback
  • Audio formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR
  • This e-reader should be easy to repair with repair kit from Kobo available

Conclusion and rating: a good, affordable color e-reader

kobo clara colour e-reader review

With an introductory price of $149.99, you get what you pay for.

It's hard to give a particularly clear-cut opinion on the Kobo Clara Colour.

On the one hand, the color is convincing, much more so than the color screens available a few years ago.

On the other hand, the 6-inch screen isn't big enough to take full advantage of color for content that requires it the most, such as manga or comics.

The price is also very reasonable for a color e-reader.

I therefore recommend this e-reader for users who want a good first e-reader to discover digital reading in the best possible conditions.

If you already have a good experience with digital reading and don't need color, you'd be better off with a black and white e-reader like the Kobo Clara BW, Pocketbook Verse Pro or Kindle Paperwhite.

I therefore give this Kobo Clara Colour a rating of 4/5: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


  • Price
  • Color screen


  • Reading of black and white ebooks not as good as on a black and white e-reader
  • Screen a little small to take full advantage of beautiful colors

Kobo Clara Colour

kobo clara colour

6" e-reader - 1448 x 1072 pixels (Black and White), 724 x 536 (color) e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR

Best value for the money in the Kobo color e-readers lineup ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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