Kobo Forma Vs Libra H2O: Which to Buy?

kobo forma vs libra h2o (1)

The Kobo Forma and Kobo Libra H2O are compared here. Both the E-readers are very similar and also popular in the Kobo devices. So, to make the decision that which one you have to buy will be a little bit tough. Before taking any decision, check out the detailed review.

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Kobo FormaKobo Libra H2O
8-inch touchscreen.
Vertical and horizontal orientation supported.
Lightweight and comfortable to hold.
Adjustable front-light color.
Excellent format support.
Physical page-turn buttons.
Color-changing front light.
Light, water-resistant design.
Shadows from the front light.
No library subscription option.
No audiobooks.
Can’t read Kindle books.


ModelFormaLibra H2O
Screen Size8 inch7.0 inch
TechnologyE Ink CartaE Ink Carta
Pixel Density300 PPI300 PPI
FeaturesComfortLight PRO, water-resistantIPX8 waterproof, Front-light design
ColorBlackBlack, white
Storage8 or 32 GB8 GB
Supported Still Image FormatsBMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFFJPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP
Features11 different fonts, 50 font styles, font weight and sharpness settings, page flip buttonsPage flip, over 50 font styles, 12 different fonts
ConnectivityWiFi 802.11b/g/n, 1T1R and Micro USBWiFi 802.11b/g/n, 1T1R and Micro USB
Width6.3 in5.6 in
Depth0.3 in0.19 in
Height7 in6.2 in
Weight6.9 oz6.7 oz
Battery LifeWeeks of battery lifeWeeks of battery life
Battery Capacity1200 mAh1200 mAh
FeaturesWith an ergonomic curved design, and lightweight enough to hold for hours, Kobo Forma is our most comfortable E-reader yet.

Whether you’re right-handed or a lefty, try Kobo Forma’s new page-turn buttons to move through your story. Read in portrait or landscape mode, or set the text to automatically change orientation depending how you hold your E-reader.

Kobo Forma immerses you in your reading more than ever before, with a sturdy 8.0” HD Mobius Carta E Ink screen that feels lighter than air.

Kobo Forma is fully waterproof from the inside out with HZO Protection™ and safe for the beach, the pool, or a soak in the tub.

Connect to your local public library right from Kobo Forma with built-in OverDrive. Search for the eBooks you want and choose to borrow or buy — it’s that simple.
The perfect balance between innovative digital technology, a comfortable reading experience, and modern design is here.

Offered in black or white, and with four colourful accessories to pair with, Kobo Libra H2O lets you choose the model that best suits you.

Read longer than ever before with its comfortable ergonomic design, the option for landscape orientation, and easy-to-use page-turn buttons.

With ComfortLight PRO and full waterproofing, Kobo Libra H2O lets you enjoy your books day or night, in any environment.

Kobo Libra H2O is designed for a better reading life.

Detail Review


Kobo Forma

Kobo Forma is the high-end E-reader in the Kobo devices and it’s almost like the Kindle Oasis model. It provides a maximum of every feature that Oasis providing. The price is also something as high as the features and customizations are.

Kobo Libra H2O

This retains a lot of the same features from the past but with a slimmer profile this time. To make the Libra H2O, Kobo went back to the basics of putting together a couple of different devices from the past and coming up with this. So, if you have the Forma or if you know of the Kobo Forma, you’re gonna find this really familiar and I think you’ll find some of the same things if you were using an Aura H2O, one of the devices that Kobo had in the past that introduced water resistance.

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Kobo Forma

It’s got an 8-inch e-ink screen and it’s the first Kobo to have a flexible plastic base screen, So for added durability and lightness. It’s also the first Kobo to have page buttons. You can rotate it left or right-handed, the screen has that sensor so it’ll automatically rotate, it also rotates to landscape mode. You got the power button on the bottom, it’s very hard for some reason, it’s not easy to accidentally press in that position. You’ve also got a regular USB port. This device is waterproof as well. The design sort of tapers down to a smaller point there and then you’ve got that sort of like flair for the page buttons then on the back, it’s got this texture to it. It’s got like a rubbery coating, it is comfortable to hold.

By the comparison between the Kobo Forma and the Kobo Clara, you get a lot more text on the screen with the 8-inch E-reader and it’s not a whole lot heavier since they’re using the plastic base screen, it’s less still under 200 grams.

Kobo Libra H2O

The Forma is the one that it actually is the most alike largely because of the design on the side which enables both one-handed readings for ergonomics and of course the page turn buttons that are physical. The only differences really are that the Forma had an 8-inch display the Libra H2O has a 7-inch display. There are a couple of other differences too.

It’s smaller than the Forma, it’s a little bit easier to carry. If you have a jacket pocket that’s wide enough, you can actually kind of slot it in a winter jacket ideally but either way, it’s just easier to transport and I think it’s easier for smaller hands as well.


Kobo Forma

The text is got the 300 PPI, so it looks nice and clear. It has the front light with adjustable color temperature, so you can use the cool light and you can also switch over to a little bit more of warm color. It’s showing a little bit more yellow, it’s definitely more yellow than it was on the Kobo Aura One wears a lot more orange.

It also has an automatic adjustment for the natural light, it uses a time-based method or goes based on the time of day. You can adjust the front light by swiping up and down on the left side.

Kobo Libra H2O

The Comfort Pro that the type of display is the same. The technology in the display is the same, so whether you’re reading in bright sunlight or reading in the pitch darkness, you’re gonna be able to read wherever you want to do.

There are 300 pixels per inch, so the text and images will look clear and crisp. There are also many customizations and settings for light and brightness. So, you can set the screen as per your choice and flexibility.

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Kobo Forma

The Kobo Forma is actually the first Kobo that supports the landscape mode and it does it well because if you wanted to use large font sizes, for instance, this is a device to get because you get a lot more words on the page in landscape mode than you do like a typical six-inch E-reader. So, you don’t have to page forward so much, you get more text on the screen and it also has very small font sizes as well if you want to use small fonts. The good thing with the Kobo is they always have a lot of font sizes, you got several fonts to choose from and you can also add your own fonts to a font folder on the Kobo itself if you wanted to add some other fonts. They also got an advanced menu where you can go in and make the text bolder or sharper if you want, so that’s always been a strength with Kobo as far as the layout options and you’ve got some good ways to customize the text or how you want it to look.

In the settings menu, you can actually change which page forward and which one for pages back. You got some different tap zones for using the touch screen. You can set the page for it if you didn’t wanna use the buttons to swiping only or tapping and swiping. So, we’ve got some new settings in here we got the title and show footer, this is new with the Kobo Forma, previously you used to always to have the header and footer visible unless you used a hack to get rid of it but now you can come in here, put them in if you don’t want to. You can also lock the reading orientation to portrait or landscape but you can’t lock in one specific spot. So, you’ve also got some different options for your reading progress indicator which is shown. When you have the footer on and it’ll show you how many pages you got left to the chapter or it’ll give you a percentage depending on what you have a set as. Just having the footer without the header, you get some more text on the screen but then you can still see how many pages are left in the chapter.

On top of the screen, you got your Wi-Fi, your battery percentage indicator, sync with your Kobo account and then you’ve got search up, then when you run searches on the Kobo, it’ll give you a list which they used to have like limited to 100 results but they got rid of that limitation a while back with some of them with a software update. Search results do work pretty well in the Kobo. From the lower menu, you’ve also got the option of a library book, so you got the option to return it and you can view your annotations list which has all your notes, highlights, bookmarks stuff like that. You can also view the details of the book.

On the menu list, you got some other options like your home screen, your library view, so one annoying thing about like the entire interface is portrait mode only. So, even when you’re using landscape mode, when you’re reading anytime you go anywhere else, it’s gonna switch it to portrait mode, so none of that stuff supports landscape mode just reading does.

Kobo Libra H2O

The Libra H2O has eight gigabytes of storage, the Forma also had 32, so it’s four times the amount. Other than that the battery life is very similar, there are a couple of minor changes for example like the power button is on the back as opposed to the side on the Forma, the water resistance is the same. So whatever you got in the Forma is the same thing you are gonna gets on Libra H2O as well.

Access is the same as well Kobo store, even overdrive to link up with your local public library that works as well, not to mention the pocket innovation so that you can bring in articles that you’re reading online and then read them here offline. So, the services are the same, even the recent updates at Kobo launched related to how you read, so for example, if you wanted to go back to a certain point in the book, you can actually use a scrubber to do that, I really like that feature a lot. I just like how much easier it is to get to annotations or even to the table of contents. There’s not a huge difference here, I mean in terms of the Forma and the Libra H2O.

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Kobo Forma

The thing Kobo have is the reading indicator down there, so this estimated reading time where it’ll give you like an estimate of how long it’ll take you to finish the chapter or the next chapter in the book, and it also kind of gives you this like visual graph of like how long the chapters are a relationship to each other, you got the table of contents to jump back and forth between and you know different locations of the book. You can actually hold down the page buttons in a little fast scan through the pages which are really nice, so I really like the feel the page buttons.

The Kobo home screen, here you got some different things like your related recommended titles and like the titles in your recently read. You can check out your section for your books which goes to your library view, you got a couple of different views cover to view and list view, you’ve got some different sorting and filtering options which is nice, you can filter by authors and collections as well. One thing I like about these page buttons the way they’re implemented is you can actually use them to scroll through your library and you can also use them to scroll through the Kobo Store.

Kobo’s devices for ePub keep up a bunch of formats, it still has that problem with sideloaded ePubs where has a huge waste of space at the bottom, it’s an issue with the Adobe Reader. You can get rid of that if you code the books yourself but it’s just kind of an annoying thing. Also, you got some different translation dictionaries you can install, it comes with some dictionaries pre-installed and then you’ve also got the notes and highlights. So, people often wonder about how highlighting works on Kobo’s devices because it used to be really poor, it’s definitely improved a lot over the years but if you have to adjust at all that’s where things come kind of get wonky. If you want to highlight it works well but If you want to go ahead and readjust it after you’ve already put it down, that’s where things get weird, so it starts getting all laggy.

Obviously with the larger screen, content like Manga as well as comics are going to be well suited for this type of device. It does look good, pages forward relatively quick, it also supports CBR and CBZ files. So, another thing with this Forma has large print mode actually all Kobo do here it’s in the beta features. So, obviously, with the larger screen, it’s more suited for this mode if you have poor eyesight or something you can come in and turn on large print mode then everything gets scaled up in the menus, your home screen everything gets larger. The text will remain the same depending on how you have a set but like your menus, everything else gets larger easier to read. So, it’s definitely an advantage.

Kobo Libra H2O

This is an excellent E-Reader, it falls in the footsteps of the ones that preceded it. Kobo didn’t change anything drastically, they didn’t necessarily need to in this particular case for the type of device that they were trying to make.

Everything feels the same as the Kobo Forma and Kobo Aura but there are just some ergonomic differences. Likewise, the performance of the features and customizations is also very similar and good. 


Kobo Forma

The battery life is also the same as all the Kobo E-readers. It may survive about weeks, it’s actually depends on your settings and reading time per day. Approximately, if you read about 30 minutes a day, it will survive about 1 month in a full charge. 

Kobo Libra H2O

The battery life is similar to the other models like Kobo Forma and Kobo Aura. It will sustain about weeks. If you turn on the airplane mode, then you can also save the battery life a little more, you should try this for a little longer battery life. 

Kobo Libra H2O  (1)


Both the E-readers are very similar but a little bit different in ergonomic. In my opinion, the Libra is also nice to have because of that price range which is very low for these all features and options that’s about $170 but it’s a bit smaller than Kobo Forma. If you want the bigger screen, then you should go for Kobo Forma which has 8 inches and that’s very pricey about $100 more than the Libra H2O. The Kobo devices will be great not only for reading ebooks but also for other formats.

Expert Reviews of Kobo Forma:

By Lifewire
If you want to take e-reading up a notch, the Kobo Forma is worth considering.The Kobo Forma is a solid e-reader with an upscale sensibility. It’s not packed with the many extras that Amazon Kindle e-readers throw into the mix, but the features it…

By Expertreviews
Amazon’s Kindle Oasis faces fierce competition from Kobo’s latest luxury ebook…

By PC World
There’s a tug-of-war behind the design of every device you own. Companies strive to find the right balance of size, weight and features based on market research and what’s worked well for them in the past. Rakuten Kobo’s done well with large-format…

By Goodhousekeeping
A large but lightweight e-reader thats simple to use. It comes with some handy extra features like blue light level adjustments. It’s waterproof and can withstand drops from up to two feet too! It is expensive and regular readers will get the most from…

By Trusted Reviews
A few decent features aren’t enough to justify the Kobo Forma’s steep…

Expert Reviews of Kobo Libra H2O:

By Lifewire
A portable e-reader for the long-haul customer.If you’re just considering dabbling in the e-book world, the Kobo Libra H2O is more than enough for what you’re looking for. But if you know you’d like to be all in for the digital reading game, this is one…

By Trustedreviews
A strong, reasonably priced e-reader with a great screen and physical page buttons – but UI glitches haunt the Libra H20 almost as much as Amazon does.Trusted ScoreUnlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard…

By Mobilesyrup
“Even though you can get cheaper e-readers that get the job done, the Libra H20 outclasses them all and even outclasses more expensive options…

By Zdnet
The Libra H2O is a new 7-inch e-book reader from Kobo, which at £149.99 (inc. VAT; or $169.99) sits below the company’s flagship 8-inch, £239.99 (or $249.99) Kobo Forma. Perhaps just as importantly, the Libra H2O is positioned between Amazon’s top-end…

By Gadgetnutz
At a significantly lower price than the top-tier ebook readers, the Kobo Libra H20 goes toe-to-toe in the features department, making it a tempting proposition. Kobo had to compromise on the design and build quality, but this is still a compelling…