Kobo’s Elipsa is the latest in the Amazon rival’s e-reading line, and it’s a big one. The 10.3-inch e-paper display brings it up to iPad dimensions and puts it in direct competition with the reMarkable and Boox’s e-reader tablets. It excels on the reading experience, gets by note-taking and drawing, and falls short on versatility. Kobo has been creeping upmarket for a few years now, and though the cheaper Clara HD is still the pick of the litter, in my opinion, the Forma and Libra H2O are worthy competitors to the Kindle lines. The $400 Elipsa represents a big step up in size, function, and price, and it does justify itself — though there are a few important caveats.
The device is well designed but lacks any flourishes. The tilted “side chin” of the Forma and Libra is flattened out into a simple wide bezel on the right side. The lopsided appearance doesn’t bother me much, and much of the competition has it as well. (Though my favorite is Boox’s ultra-compact, flush-fronted Poke 3)
The 10.3″ screen has a resolution of 1404 x 1872, giving it 227 pixels per inch. That’s well below the 300 PPI of the Clara and Forma, and the typography suffers from noticeably more aliasing if you look closely. Of course, you won’t be looking that closely, since as a larger device, you’ll probably be giving the Elipsa a bit more distance and perhaps using a larger type size. I found it perfectly comfortable to read on — 227 PPI isn’t bad, just not the best.
There is a front light, which is easily adjustable by sliding your finger up and down the left side of the screen, but unlike other Kobo devices, there is no way to change the color temperature. I’ve been spoiled by other devices, and now the default cool grey I lived with for years doesn’t feel right, especially with a warmer light shining on your surroundings. The important part is that it is consistent across the entire display and adjustable down to a faint glow, something my eyes have thanked me for many times.