Friday, 21 May 2021

The Kobo Elipsa pack is an attractive value proposition

The Kobo Elipsa is a well-priced pack. First, Kobo did the right thing by selling the device with its necessary accessories - a case and stylus. In my view, the £349 price for the e-reader and its bundled accessories makes it, at the moment, the best value note-taking e-reader. To compare, the reMarkable - another Linux-based e-reader - costs £517 with a sleeve and stylus (the reMarkable bundle with a folio case costs more). Being designed for reading and note-taking, the reMarkable 2 is the direct competitor to Elipsa. Both focus on note-taking, but the Elipsa has the added advantage of running Kobo's mature e-reading software (reMarkable continues to neglect the e-reading side). Add a front-light, more storage and costing significantly less, the Elipsa becomes an attractive proposition. 

I don't think it is entirely fair to compare the Kobo Elipsa to Android-based note-taking e-readers. Android e-readers are more versatile devices that are more powerful, can do more, and are configured with more RAM. Understandably they cost more. The Onyx Boox Note Air - bundled with a cheaper stylus and with no case - costs £430. However, for users who don't need the possibilities that Android e-readers offer and want a more refined and user-friendly user experience for note-taking and reading, the Elipsa is a better proposition. Again, it is a question of the use case scenario. 

It will be interesting to see what specific changes Kobo's software team made to support the note-taking functionality and bigger screen of the Elipsa. Two areas are noteworthy: (1) Considering Kobo's terrible PDF support, what changes were made to accommodate note-taking support and the larger screen?; (2) To what extent and do all e-books support note-taking

If Elipsa's PDF support is restricted, then it will become necessary to install KOReader. As KOReader, at the moment, doesn't support stylus input, this will mean losing the ability to write annotations into PDFs. 

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