Kobo is introducing a new entry-level e-reader to its lineup, the $99.99 Nia, which slots in beneath the $119.99 Clara HD model (which is sticking around). While both models have a 6-inch display, the Nia’s $20 savings come with slightly worse specs in a few areas compared to its slightly pricier sibling.
Specifically, the Nia has a slightly lower-resolution display (212 ppi, versus 300 ppi on the Clara HD), a standard backlight (versus the Clara HD’s color temperature-changing options), and weighs 8 grams (about a quarter of an ounce) heavier. The Clara HD also has a painted finish, while the Nia does not.
But the comparison to Kobo’s own products is less important than how the Nia matches up against Amazon’s Kindle lineup. And while the $99.99 Nia costs $10 more than Amazon’s $89.99 entry-level Kindle, it does offer a better bang for your buck. The base Kindle still has an unfortunately low-resolution display (at 147 ppi) and offers just half the storage of the Nia (which has 8GB of onboard memory, versus 4GB on the 2019 Kindle).
It’s a tougher choice compared to Amazon’s latest Paperwhite model, though, which matches the Nia on storage, has an even better 300 ppi display, and offers IPX8 waterproofing. At $129.99, it’s markedly more expensive than either the Nia or the Clara HD, but it can regularly be found on sale for as low as $84.99, which makes the choice a bit harder.
The Kobo Nia will be available on July 21st, with preorders starting today.