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Old 09-18-2019, 11:20 PM   #1
tomtin
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Kobo Forma or Libra H20

Hi all,

I have a first generation Kobo aura H20 that I have used for a little over 5 years. It has served me well and honestly, it still works pretty great. Nonetheless, I was considering upgrading to a Forma or Libra. I'm curious to see which one people would suggest getting. I understand that the Libra just came out but still would like to know your thoughts.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:31 PM   #2
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Depends whether the difference between the 8'' flush screen of the Forma and the 7'' recessed screen of the Libra is important for you. And the Forma has a 32GB version, the Libra doesn't.

Me, I'm getting the Libra. Don't need a 8'' screen.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:32 PM   #3
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Barring manufacturing variations, which you won't be able to predict, the two are essentially the same save for the size.

I'd say the color, but you can get skins from sites like DecalGal which can make the Forma white. I'd imagine they do not yet have skins for the Forma, they have generally responded positively when I've asked them via Facebook to add devices.

They are both mark 7 devices, both are 300 dpi screens, both will run the same firmware, the Forma has a 32GB model while the Libra does not, but if storage was an issue for you I don't think you'd be considering the Libra.

So do you want a bigger screen at the cost of a little extra weight, or do you want a bit more portability at the cost of screen size?
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post

So do you want a bigger screen at the cost of a little extra weight, or do you want a bit more portability at the cost of screen size?

There's also the cost of the actual cost, too - the Forma is significantly more expensive. My Xiaomi Pocophone is a fairly high spec'd phone with a 6.4 inch screen and running Android 9, and it cost me LESS than the Forma (a single-purpose e-reader) would have. Here, at least, the Libra is exactly the same price as the H2O2 it replaces, requiring 190 fewer of our currency units to acquire it. Perhaps the situation is similar where you are?
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:56 PM   #5
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There's also the cost of the actual cost, too - the Forma is significantly more expensive. My Xiaomi Pocophone is a fairly high spec'd phone with a 6.4 inch screen and running Android 9, and it cost me LESS than the Forma (a single-purpose e-reader) would have. Here, at least, the Libra is exactly the same price as the H2O2 it replaces, requiring 190 fewer of our currency units to acquire it. Perhaps the situation is similar where you are?
The Forma comes in at 249.99 USD, the Libra at 169.99 USD, while you're right about the difference in the pricing, I'd assumed the original poster had taken the price into account and was okay with either price. Otherwise they'd have opted for the Libra.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:52 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
The Forma comes in at 249.99 USD, the Libra at 169.99 USD, while you're right about the difference in the pricing, I'd assumed the original poster had taken the price into account and was okay with either price. Otherwise they'd have opted for the Libra.
Price isn’t much of an issue...although of course, it’s always better to spend less. I was more curious to see if there were any benefits to either one aside from the obvious size difference. I think I would prefer a screen that is not recessed but it’s not a deal breaker. Looking at videos, I actually thought the forma might be too big. And the buttons look like they might be better on the libra.

Some of the major reasons that I want to upgrade is for the physical buttons and overdrive support. Overdrive is not native on my aura H2O nor does it have the natural light setting for nighttime reading, which i could really benefit from.

I think I might grab the libra but I haven’t decided for sure yet. Thanks for the responses.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
Barring manufacturing variations, which you won't be able to predict, the two are essentially the same save for the size.
[...]
So do you want a bigger screen at the cost of a little extra weight, or do you want a bit more portability at the cost of screen size?
They are not "the same" apart from size. The Forma has a flexible substrate, meaning it is more drop-resistant and much lighter for its size. The Forma weights 197 grams, the Libra 192 grams - almost an imperceptible difference in weight.

In addition, because of the flexible substrate, a reasonable person could read the Forma without having it always in a rigid cover, whereas I'd never recommend that with a glass-substrate reader like the Libra. So in practice the Forma is not only bigger and more resilient, but it can feel significantly lighter (since it can be used without a cover).
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:06 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by meeera View Post
They are not "the same" apart from size. The Forma has a flexible substrate, meaning it is more drop-resistant and much lighter for its size. The Forma weights 197 grams, the Libra 192 grams - almost an imperceptible difference in weight.

In addition, because of the flexible substrate, a reasonable person could read the Forma without having it always in a rigid cover, whereas I'd never recommend that with a glass-substrate reader like the Libra. So in practice the Forma is not only bigger and more resilient, but it can feel significantly lighter (since it can be used without a cover).
I'd question "reasonable person", until the Forma I only used a case for a Nook and that was a silicon shell which really just made it a bit easier to hold (better grip), and added a smidge of shock absorption though not much.

I never used one with my Aura H2O edition 1, or Aura One, and I only used the sleep cover I bought for my Forma for a little it proved to be of little use to me and once Kobo added the ability to have screensavers of whatever image we wanted it was relegated to a shelf somewhere.

I've also only had one ereader break on me, and it was one of the NST line maybe the NSTG? but that was due to the battery going bad not the screen.

Yes the plastic substrate is nice, and I worry less about it breaking. But I personally never really worried about breaking the substrate on any ereader I've owned. Despite having them take some falls on to both carpeted and wooden floors.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:16 AM   #9
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Due to some magical combination of size, weight, and shape my Forma feels much lighter to me than any of my other devices, even those that weigh considerably less. It might not seem that way to everyone though; my hands are somewhat small and weak and the Forma just balances well in my hand. I wish Wal-Mart had a Libra so I could see one in person.
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
I'd question "reasonable person", until the Forma I only used a case for a Nook and that was a silicon shell which really just made it a bit easier to hold (better grip), and added a smidge of shock absorption though not much. [...]
Yes the plastic substrate is nice, and I worry less about it breaking. But I personally never really worried about breaking the substrate on any ereader I've owned. Despite having them take some falls on to both carpeted and wooden floors.
To be fair, on that portion I didn't say "no reasonable person would...", I said "I would never recommend it", and I still don't. You were lucky (and I assume you also made an informed decision based on your ability to quickly replace a reader rather than a breakage being a financial crisis for you). Substrate breakages are one of the commonest complaints about glass-substrate ereaders, and the substrate difference between the Forma and Libra isn't trivial or to be ignored IMO - the Libra is not just a baby Forma.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by meeera View Post
They are not "the same" apart from size. The Forma has a flexible substrate, meaning it is more drop-resistant and much lighter for its size. The Forma weights 197 grams, the Libra 192 grams - almost an imperceptible difference in weight.
In addition, because of the flexible substrate, a reasonable person could read the Forma without having it always in a rigid cover, whereas I'd never recommend that with a glass-substrate reader like the Libra. So in practice the Forma is not only bigger and more resilient, but it can feel significantly lighter (since it can be used without a cover).
Personally, I'm not comfortable holding a naked Libra with its slippery plastic back as I have done systematically with the Forma with its slightly rubbery back. So I read with a covered Libra: total Libra weight 234 g, heavier than the naked Forma.
That might be due to my very dry and very arthritic hands. Others might have a better grip.

Another choice factor not mentioned here is that the Libra screen is crisper - probably a difference between plastic and glass.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
I'd question "reasonable person", until the Forma I only used a case for a Nook and that was a silicon shell which really just made it a bit easier to hold (better grip), and added a smidge of shock absorption though not much.

I never used one with my Aura H2O edition 1, or Aura One, and I only used the sleep cover I bought for my Forma for a little it proved to be of little use to me and once Kobo added the ability to have screensavers of whatever image we wanted it was relegated to a shelf somewhere.

I've also only had one ereader break on me, and it was one of the NST line maybe the NSTG? but that was due to the battery going bad not the screen.

Yes the plastic substrate is nice, and I worry less about it breaking. But I personally never really worried about breaking the substrate on any ereader I've owned. Despite having them take some falls on to both carpeted and wooden floors.
I didn't use a cover on my Aura h20 either for at least the first 6 months, and due to being in my briefcase with lots of other papers and stuff actually caused a bunch of scuff marks and tiny scratches around the screen that I really can't stand. The screen was unaffected though. So, I bought a cheap cover on amazon and the beating stopped lol.

This brings me to another inquiry - those of you that have the forma, do you find yourself needing a sleep cover? Not just to protect the screen but the device as well?
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:45 PM   #13
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That's weird. I just posted a reply and it says it needs a moderator approval. Have my posts regarding a new Kobo Forma or Libra been provocative in any way? lol
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:23 PM   #14
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I pulled the trigger on the libra because I think I prefer the smaller form factor and this may sound silly, but I really like the white. I may have tried the forma first if there was another color option. I should receive it on Saturday...
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:07 AM   #15
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This brings me to another inquiry - those of you that have the forma, do you find yourself needing a sleep cover? Not just to protect the screen but the device as well?
I don't have mine (yet), but my plan is to keep it out of a cover at home - where I do at least 95% of my reading - then put it in a soft quilted sleeve in my bag when I go out. If I think it may be likely to undergo any unreasonable forces in my bag (it doesn't usually), I'll tuck a small hardback in with it.
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