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Kobo’s Forma e-reader takes on Kindle Oasis with an asymmetric design and premium price

Kobo’s latest e-reader is a complete about-face from its anonymous, cheap, and highly practical Clara HD; the Forma is big, expensive, and features a bold — not to say original — design. It’s clearly meant to take on the Kindle Oasis and e-reader fans for whom price is no object.
The $280 Forma joins a number of other e-readers in using a one-handed design, something which is, we might as admit up front, isn’t for everyone. That said, I’ve found that my reading style on these devices has been able to adapt from one form factor to another — it’s not like they made it head-mountable or something. You still hold it like you would any other small device.
It uses an 8-inch E-Ink Carta display with 300 pixels per inch, which is more than enough for beautiful type. The frontlight — essentially a layer above the display that lights up and bounces light off it to illuminate the page — is a Kobo specialty, adjustable from very cold to very warm in cast and everywhere in between.
Kobo’s Forma e-reader takes on Kindle Oasis with an asymmetric design and premium price
The Clara HD, Kobo’s best entry-level device, left, and the Forma. (The color cast of the screens is adjustable.)
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