The Elipsa 2E is a Nice Do-Over of Kobo’s First E Ink Pill

I used to be excited when the Kobo Elipsa was introduced two years in the past, because it was the primary e-note pill from an organization identified for glorious e-readers and a large e book retailer accessible proper from the machine. I, sadly, was left dissatisfied with the unique Elipsa, however the lately introduced Elipsa 2E seems like a do-over for Kobo, delivering a a lot improved e-note machine that additionally doubles as a wonderful, super-sized e-reader.

Each the Elipsa and the Elipsa 2E share a really comparable design, making them laborious to tell apart simply by them. Most of the enhancements are underneath the hood or must do with the stylus. So as a substitute of reviewing the Elipsa 2E from scratch (I encourage you to learn my evaluate of the unique Kobo Elipsa first), I’m going to delve into its welcomed upgrades, but additionally tackle the place I believe there’s nonetheless room for enchancment.

Two Small Elipsa Design Adjustments That Make a Huge Distinction

When you’re utilizing a tool with a folio fashion case that robotically wakes it once you open the lid, its energy/sleep/wake button is kind of irrelevant till you wish to utterly flip it off. More often than not, I desire to make use of e-readers and e-notes with out the added bulk of a case, which suggests I’m usually reaching for that button, and on the unique Kobo Elipsa, it sat flush on the sting of the machine and was usually laborious to seek out by really feel alone.

The Kobo Elipsa 2E’s energy/sleep/wake button (prime) has been upgraded with some welcome bumps making it simple to seek out by sliding your finger alongside the sting of the e-note.
Picture: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo

On the Kobo Elipsa 2E, the facility/sleep/wake has been merely upgraded with 4 bumps, making it extremely simple to seek out by simply sliding your finger alongside its facet edge.

A close-up of the back panels on the Kobo Elipsa and the Kobo Elipsa 2E showing added texture on the newer tablet.

The rubberized again panel on the Kobo Elipsa 2E (entrance) options added texture making the pill simpler to grip.
Picture: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo

The opposite welcome improve, extra helpful to those that additionally plan to make use of the Elipsa 2E as an e-reader held in a single hand, is the pill’s again panel. The unique Elipsa featured a rubberized floor, however with a clean floor that restricted grip, and picked up greasy fingerprints. The again panel on the Elipsa 2E feels prefer it’s constructed from the identical rubbery materials, however is now completed with a textured sample that’s simpler to carry on to, whereas additionally making serving to to cover fingerprints.

One factor nonetheless lacking from the Elipsa 2E, nevertheless, are bodily web page flip buttons. I don’t assume gadgets like reMarkable 2, which is at the start a note-taking machine, want them, however the Elipsa 2E additionally doubles as a wonderful e-reader, and I personally discover bodily buttons a greater different to tapping the display to show pages.

The Elipsa 2E’s Screen Can Do Warm Light

Some of the compelling causes to decide on the unique Kobo Elipsa over different e-notes obtainable on the time, together with the reMarkable 2, was that it got here with direct entry to Kobo’s on-line e book retailer, which is stocked with over 1.3 million titles obtainable for buy. It labored effectively as each an e-note machine and a big display e-reader, however lacked Kobo’s ComfortLight PRO know-how for making shade temperature changes on the display’s lighting.

The Kobo Elipsa 2E with a warm tinted screen sitting atop the original Kobo Elipsa with a cool tinted screen.

The Kobo Elipsa 2E (entrance) lastly consists of display lighting with shade temperature changes. On the unique Kobo Elipsa (again) you can solely regulate the display’s brightness.
Picture: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo

The jury continues to be out on whether or not screens with cooler, blue-ish toned glowing screens will really hinder your potential to go to sleep when it’s essential, however many customers do discover hotter tones simpler on the eyes when utilizing digital gadgets after darkish, and the flexibility to regulate the heat of the Elipsa 2E’s display is well its greatest promoting level.

Sadly, two years after the unique Elipsa debuted, the Kobo Elipsa 2E arrives to some stiffer competitors, particularly from Amazon, whose Kindle Scribe incorporates a 10.2-inch, 300 PPI E Ink display that’s nonetheless unique to its gadgets.

A close-up of text displayed on the Kobo Elipsa 2E's E Ink screen.

Look shut and also you’ll positively see jaggies on textual content on the Kobo Elipsa 2E’s ageing 227 PPI E Ink display.
Picture: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo

So, the Kobo Elipsa 2E arrives with the identical 10.3-inch, 227 PPI E Ink Carta 1200 digital paper display as the unique did, two years in the past. It’s beginning to really feel a little bit dated subsequent to the Kindle Scribe’s 300 PPI display, and the 300 PPI screens on Kobo’s personal e-readers just like the Forma. I don’t assume it’s essentially a deal breaker as a result of the dimensions of the display means you possibly can enhance the font dimension of textual content and make jagged edges much less apparent, however they’re positively there in the event you look shut sufficient.

A graphic novel displayed on the Kobo Elipsa 2E's screen.

The bigger display dimension helps to make up for the restricted display decision, making the high quality textual content on graphic novels simple to learn.
Picture: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo

However the distinction between the Kindle Scribe’s 300 PPI display and the Elipsa 2E’s 227 PPI display just isn’t just like the distinction between video games operating on the Nintendo Swap versus 8-bit titles on the unique NES. Even small textual content, like that featured in graphic novels, continues to be very legible and crisp on the Elipsa 2E’s display, so I don’t assume it’s a motive to not take into account Kobo’s upgraded pill.

A Higher E-Word Stylus and Writing Expertise

I are likely to advocate e-note gadgets that depend on Wacom’s stylus’ know-how as a result of it means there are many suitable third-party choices to select from if the included stylus doesn’t meet your wants. Each the Elipsa and the Elipsa 2E use a proprietary stylus, and it was one of many causes I walked away dissatisfied with the unique.

A close-up of the tips of the Kobo Elipsa, Kobo Elipsa 2E, and Kindle Scribe's styluses.

The Kobo Elipsa 2E’s stylus (center) now has a chunkier tip just like the Apple Pencil. It feels higher than the tip on the unique Elipsa’s stylus (left) however not fairly pretty much as good because the tip on the Kindle Scribe’s stylus (proper).
Picture: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo

I appreciated the high quality tip of the primary Elipsa’s stylus, however I felt it had an excessive amount of give as it will retract into the stylus underneath stress to imitate the sensation of a writing instrument like a ballpoint pen. The Kindle Scribe’s stylus makes use of an identical strategy, however provides a greater really feel and writing expertise. For the Elipsa 2E, Kobo has gone a very completely different route and included a stylus with a chunkier tip just like the Apple Pencil’s design. I positively prefer it higher than the unique Elipsa’s stylus, and the change to a chargeable battery inside makes the Elipsa 2E’s stylus really feel sleeker and lighter.

A close-up of the eraser buttons on the Kobo Elipsa 2E and Kindle Scribe styluses.

The Kobo Elipsa 2E’s stylus (proper) strikes the eraser shortcut to the underside of the stylus, making it seem like an precise pencil eraser that feels higher to make use of than the eraser button on the Kindle Scribe’s stylus (left).
Picture: Andrew Liszewski | Gizmodo

Switching to the spotlight textual content mode with the Elipsa 2E’s stylus continues to be completed by urgent a shortcut button close to the tip, however the second shortcut button discovered on the Elipsa’s stylus, which was used to modify to eraser mode, is now gone and changed with a devoted eraser button on the tip of the 2E’s stylus that really appears like a pencil eraser. It appears and feels significantly better than the eraser on the tip of the Kindle Scribe’s stylus, even when there’s a small a part of me apprehensive it’s going to put on away over time like an actual eraser—it received’t.

The make or break function for any e-note machine is how the simulated pen on paper expertise feels. Is it responsive sufficient in order that the strokes you make with the stylus instantly seem on display, or is there noticeable lag that makes the pill really feel prefer it’s struggling to maintain up along with your handwriting? Laggy stylus response was my greatest grievance with the unique Elipsa, and whereas software program updates improved the efficiency, the Elipsa 2E, due to a sooner processor underneath the hood, feels actually good to jot down with. I don’t assume the writing expertise is pretty much as good as what the reMarkable 2 or the Kindle Scribe provide, however it’s very shut, and improved sufficient to make the Elipsa 2E an e-note I positively advocate.

Kindle and Kobo Nonetheless Have Room For Enchancment

One space the place most e-note gadgets will be improved is getting paperwork, significantly your self-written notebooks, off the pill. The Elipsa 2E will be related on to a PC with a USB-C cable to perform that, or notes will be emailed, however I discover each to be clunky options. Its built-in Dropbox help might be one of the simplest ways to go, guaranteeing paperwork are synced to whichever of your gadgets has the Dropbox app put in. But as somebody who lately stated goodbye to Dropbox, I’m as a substitute patiently ready for Kobo’s promised Google Drive help to reach.

I’d prefer to see Kobo and Amazon, two firms already depending on the cloud, introduce extra strong methods to entry content material created on their e-notes on different gadgets. Annotations made to ebooks on the Elipsa 2E are synced to Kobo’s cloud and accessible by way of the corporate’s web site, however from my testing, solely with ebooks downloaded from the corporate’s on-line guide retailer. By comparability, proper out of the field, reMarkable makes notebooks created on its E Ink pill simply accessible on different gadgets by way of cellular and desktop apps by way of its personal cloud providers (and makes it very simple to add different paperwork and e book recordsdata this fashion), and I believe Kobo and Amazon must observe go well with. As is stands now, it seems like it’s essential bounce by way of pointless hoops until you need all of your notes trapped on their respective e-notes.

Regardless of these complaints, I believe Kobo has delivered a a lot improved e-note machine, and the Elipsa 2E is admittedly what we should always have gotten again in 2021. The pen on paper expertise is lastly superb, and the pill provides superior options like handwriting to textual content conversion, a stylus with stress sensitivity, and, as with Kobo’s higher-end e-readers, audiobook help with connectivity to Bluetooth headphones. It’s at present a display improve away from being among the best e-notes available on the market, however in the event you’re already a Kobo person with an enormous library of bought books, that is positively the e-note to decide on.

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