Kobo’s latest eBook reader is a premium device with an 8 inch, 1920 x 1440 pixel E Ink display, 8GB of storage, and a front light with adjustable color temperature.
The Kobo Forma goes up for pre-order for $280 on October 16th and should be available in select stores a week later.
The Kobo Forma also bears a more than passing resemblance to the $250 Amazon Kindle Oasis.
Both devices have relatively slim top, left, and bottom bezels, but a thicker bezel on the right side to accommodate physical page turn buttons.
The Kobo Forma supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi, features a 1200 mAh battery, and IPX8 water resistance that will let it survive a dip to depths of up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) for up to 60 minutes.
At launch the Kobo Forma will only be available with 8GB of storage in most markets. But Kobo will offer a 32GB model in Japan starting October 23rd, and it’ll eventually make that version available in other regions as well.
Amazon’s tablet has similar features, but a smaller 7 inch display and a lower starting price — although it’s worth noting that Amazon’s Kindle starting prices include “special offers,” or ads on the lock screen. If you want an ad-free Kindle Oasis you’d have to pay at least $270 which makes the price difference between the Kobo and Kindle devices pretty small.
Kobo says the Forma also uses E Ink’s Mobius technology which involves using a flexible plastic layer to the screen to decrease weight and improve durability. The Forma should survive drops of more than 6 feet, twists, and bumps.