Kobo eReaders until now have only had the Sleep Cover as an official case option to protect it in your bag but their new Sage eReader also has a Power Cover option.
Kobo Libra 2 – Sleep Cover
The Kobo Libra 2 has only the traditional Sleep Cover as a case option and it weighs 140 grams. The Libra 2 weighs 215 grams so if you read with the case on that’s 355 grams total.
As with all Kobo Sleep Covers for different eReader models their awesome feature is being able to fold the front cover up so the magnets stick together and act as a stand so you can read ebooks on the Libra 2 on a table or other flat surface “hands-free”, with just a button press or swipe to turn each page.
As you can see above, the handy folding mechanism and auto-rotate feature let you read whichever way you want, portrait or landscape with buttons at the top or bottom.
The Libra 2 Sleep Cover has a cutout for the power button so you can press it without removing the eReader from its case. This is handy because the Sleep Covers secures the Libra 2 by sliding it into slots on the top and bottom of the case, which is not as easy to remove as the magnetic securing method in the Sage Sleep Cover.
The Kobo Sleep Cover for Libra 2 costs about $49 from Kobo online, JB Hi-Fi and other retailers.
Kobo Sage – Power Cover vs Sleep Cover
With the new Kobo Sage Reader, you have the option of a Sleep Cover or a Power Cover.
As the name hints, the Power Cover adds battery life to the Sage as well as protects it from bumps and drops. It also has a handy slot to securely store a Kobo Stylus if you have one. It takes at least 2 hours to charge both the Sage and Power Cover via the USB-C port depending on the USB power adaptor you use. The reader has to be in the Power cover to charge both.
A spokesperson for Kobo Australia confirmed:
“The PowerCover battery is the same kind of battery as in the Sage itself. It’s 1,200 mAh and increases battery capacity by 85%.”
You might be thinking wait a minute the Sage has a 1200mAh battery and so does the Power Cover, so how come battery life is only increased by 85% instead of 100%? Kobo tells us that this is because of “technical implementation reasons”, so it sounds like they are being conservative and allowing for battery capacity deterioration over time which happens to all batteries.
The Power Cover weighs 262 grams and the Sage weighs 241 grams so the total of 503 grams is quite heavy. Personally, I found it too heavy to hold while reading for an extended time. As a result, I only kept the Sage in its Power Cover while it was in transit or on my bookshelf.
In comparison, the Sage Sleep Cover is 161 grams for a total of 402 grams if held with the eReader in its case which is still quite heavy. Both cases use strong magnets to hold the devices in them and the magnets trigger sleep mode automatically when you close the cover.
Interestingly, neither of the Sage cases have a cut out for the power button on the back of the device. It’s potential that this is a design oversight, or Kobo is expecting users to use it as a battery and take the eReader out of the case to commence reading.
Luckily for users, the magnetic securing mechanism makes it easy to quickly remove or store the Sage in either cover when you hop on or off a plane, train or bus. As handy as the Sage Power Cover is, at over double the cost of the Sage Sleep Cover I would consider buying the Sleep Cover instead and recharging the Sage on the go with an existing USB power bank you own. This has the bonus capability of topping up your phone as well as your eReader.
That solution is certainly not as elegant as the Power Cover but for some people, it could be more practical and would enable you to use the Sleep Cover folding stand functionality for mostly hands-free reading at home. The Kobo Sleep Cover for Sage costs $59 and the Power Cover about $129 from Kobo online, JB Hi-Fi and other retailers.
Kobo has allowed Ausdroid to keep these cases for Covid safe hygiene reasons