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Sunday, 12 December 2021

Is Kobo Sage a note-taking e-reader?

What exactly is Kobo Sage? Kobo has created some confusion by releasing an e-reader that, on paper, is an update to the Forma. Yet, it is more than the Forma as it supports note-taking too. Is Kobo Sage, with its note-taking capability, a shrunken Elipsa? 

Further adding to the confusion is the small battery capacity (1200 mAh) for a note-taking e-reader. Note-taking consumes more battery than a conventional e-reader, requiring a bigger capacity. For perspective, other than Kobo Sage, the lowest battery capacity for a note-taking e-reader is the Onyx Boox Nova Air, which has 2000 mAh. 

As note-taking uses more power, there is no way around the problem of a 1200 mAh capacity. Consequently, this is confirmed in continuous note-taking that drains the battery in 2.5 - 2.7 hours. Another dimension adding to the confusion is the upgraded 1.8 GHz quad-core processor. Clearly, a better processor was chosen to support note-taking. Thus, Kobo has sent contradictory messages with these two conflicting hardware choices. 

According to Kobo, the Sage is an e-reader first. The added note-taking functionality is to provide the option to annotate e-books. If the user wants to expand battery capacity, it is possible to purchase the power cover. It is a strange decision as a hardware decision has rendered a key software feature - the ability to create and extensively write in notebooks - an afterthought. 

Kobo's logic is convoluted. It seems they first made an ergonomic decision to keep the Forma's slim profile, and thus a smaller battery was configured. The added note-taking feature is meant to differentiate and justify the updated model. With colour E Ink not ready, the other option is to support note-taking and a capable processor to support the feature was chosen. 

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