The 10.3-inch Kobo Elipsa brings back super-sized e-readers

Kobo has a new e-reader out, and its the company’s biggest yet: the Kobo Elipsa, which features a 10.3-inch, 1404 x 1872 resolution (227 ppi) E Ink display, a bundled stylus, and the ability to not just read books, but to annotate, underline, and mark them up just like a real paper book.

Gigantic e-readers, like the 9.7-inch Kindle DX, once were more common, but recent devices have trended towards more pocketable formats — Amazon’s Kindle’s max out at 7-inches, and Kobo’s Forma (its previous largest size) offers an 8-inch display.

But the Elipsa is one of the largest mainstream e-readers yet, offering a massive display that presumably isn’t just good for reading — it’ll also feature a bundled stylus, a first for the company. The new Kobo Stylus allows the tablet to be used to note-taking and annotations as well, complete with an OCR feature that promises to convert written notes into typed text.

Functionally, that makes the Elipsa not too dissimilar of a product than other giant E Ink tablets, like the reMarkable 2, which also features a 10.3-inch E Ink panel and a stylus that allows it to be used as a note-taking device. But there’s a big different in intent: the reMarkable is a device focused on note-taking, one that’s designed to replace a paper notebook, but happens to also support eBooks.

The Elipsa, on the other hand, is still an e-reader first, with access to Kobo’s eBookstore of over 6 million books, as well as best-in-class OverDrive support for easily browsing and borrowing library books from compatible libraries.

And while the note-taking aspect makes the Elipsa a unique entry for mainstream e-readers, there’s some caveats: PDFs with DRM can’t be marked up or annotated, and while OverDrive-borrowed books can be scribbled on, you’ll lose those notes when you return the book to the library (much like a real library book, although you probably shouldn’t write on those.)

In addition to the supersized screen, the Elipsa also offers a built-in “ComfortLight” system for reading in the dark, 32 GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, and a 2,400 mAh battery. The Elipsa also features Dropbox support, to allow for easy importing and exporting of documents.

The big screen and stylus will cost you, though: the Kobo Elipsa is set to cost $399.99 for a bundle that includes the e-reader, the stylus, and a cover. Preorders will start on May 20th ahead of a June 24th release date.

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