CONSIDERING that these days we can do ‘everything’ on our phones, from playing games to reading, is there still room for standalone e-reader devices? According to Rakuten, there most certainly is, and its recently launched Kobo Elipsa 2E, an upgrade from its earlier Elipsa e-reader, is hoping to showcase why.
For one thing, the Elipsa 2E is not just an e-reader, it is also a note-taking device, letting you jot down your thoughts in its built-in notebook feature, or in the margins of the pages of the books you read.
All this is thanks to the accompanying Kobo Stylus 2, a USB-rechargeable device that both looks and feels like a pen.
On the surface, the Elipsa 2E has a 10.3-inch glare-free E Ink touchscreen, with a wide bezel on one side that makes it easy to hold.
Both the sides of the device are magnetised, allowing you to rest your stylus upon it when not in use.
At the edge, there is only the on/off button, and a single port for charging. In a nod to Rakuten’s efforts at sustainability, the device’s exterior is made from 85% recycled plastic, including 10% ocean-bound plastic.
After turning on the device and linking it to your wi-fi, you are immediately taken to the homepage, where you can access Rakuten’s extensive e-book and audiobook library, either by tapping on the screen or using the stylus, depending on your preferences.
The device contains 32GB of storage, giving you plenty of room for all your favourite books.
My review unit came with several titles already pre-loaded, so I spent some time reading a few pages, while using the stylus to write down my thoughts.
I was able to adjust the font size by pinching the screen, and adjust the brightness and level of natural light to make the device easier to read.
I found the stylus easy to hold, although it did take me a few moments to get used to actually writing with it, and to learn not to press down too hard on the screen.
But once I did, I found that writing with the stylus was quite fun.
I was able to jot down notes anywhere on the page, and highlight key passages just by pressing a button of the side of the stylus and dragging it across the words. The stylus also has a handy ‘eraser’ at the end, making it easy to correct any mistakes.
Aside from the e-book library, the device also has a section for notebooks, and this is where I found myself making the most out of the device.
The pages of each notebook provide a selection of backgrounds, ranging from single line to grid form.
You can also switch your pen style from ballpoint to fountain to calligraphy, offering many options for note-takers and journallers.
I found myself drawing doodles and jotting down work plans for the coming weeks.
If there are any notes that you want to keep, you can either upload them to your Dropbox account, or transfer them to your computer using a USB cable.
The review unit also came together with a useful SleepCover, which can be attached to the device by a magnet at the side, and helps to protect it when you carry it around.
It also helps put the device to sleep when you close it – rather like a book – helping you to save on battery life. The SleepCover is also made with 97% recycled plastic, including 10% ocean-bound plastic.
Overall, I found the Elipsa 2E and the accompanying Kobo Stylus 2 very handy companions to have, whether carrying them around to read on-the-go, or at my desk at home.
If you’re thinking of getting yourself an e-reader, or are looking for digital options that can closely mirror the feel of a physical notebook, you should definitely consider these very innovative options.
The Kobo Elipsa 2E, complete with Kobo Stylus 2, is priced at RM2,019 can be found at www.kobo.com/ereaders and select retailers.