Kobo Forma Review: An E-Reader That Takes Reading Seriously



The Kobo Forma stands out with its sleek and modern design, making it a stylish and aesthetically pleasing e-reader. The device features an 8-inch E Ink display, with thin bezels on the sides to maximize the screen real estate. The Forma is also incredibly lightweight and well-balanced, making it comfortable to hold for prolonged reading sessions.

One standout design feature of the Forma is its unique asymmetrical shape. The e-reader has a thicker side that houses the battery and adds weight to give it a more ergonomic feel. This design choice allows for a natural grip and reduces strain on the hand while reading.

The Forma also boasts a high-quality build, featuring a durable aluminum frame that provides excellent protection against accidental drops or impacts. The device is also waterproof with an IPX8 rating, meaning it can be submerged up to 2 meters deep in water for up to 60 minutes without any damage.

One of the standout design features of the Forma is its adjustable front-lighting system. This feature allows users to customize the color temperature and brightness of the screen to their preference, ensuring optimal reading conditions in any lighting environment. Whether you prefer warm or cool lighting, the Forma has got you covered.

The Forma also comes with physical buttons on one side of the device, providing users with an alternative way to turn pages and navigate through the e-reader’s interface. This tactile feature is especially useful for those who prefer the feel of physical buttons over touchscreen gestures.

In terms of overall design, the Kobo Forma is a sleek, lightweight, and comfortable e-reader that combines functionality with a modern aesthetic. Its durable build and adjustable front-lighting system make it a practical choice for avid readers.


The Kobo Forma boasts an impressive 8-inch Carta E Ink display, providing users with a superior reading experience. The high-resolution screen offers a crisp and clear display of text, making reading for extended periods easy on the eyes.

One of the standout features of the Forma’s display is its adjustable brightness and color temperature. Users have the flexibility to customize the lighting conditions to suit their preferences, ensuring optimal comfort and readability in any lighting environment. Whether you’re reading in bright sunlight or a dimly lit room, the Forma’s display can be fine-tuned to provide the best viewing experience.

The E Ink technology used in the Forma’s display offers several advantages over traditional LCD or OLED screens. The E Ink screen closely resembles the appearance of printed ink on paper, resulting in minimal eye strain and a more natural reading experience. Additionally, E Ink displays eliminate screen glare, allowing for comfortable reading even in bright sunlight.

The Forma also features a capacitive touchscreen, which is responsive and accurate. Navigating through the device’s user interface is seamless, with intuitive gestures such as swiping and tapping to turn pages or access menus. The touchscreen is highly responsive, ensuring smooth interaction with the device.

Furthermore, the Forma’s display also supports a wide range of fonts and font sizes, allowing users to customize the reading experience to their liking. Whether you prefer a larger font for easier readability or a smaller font to fit more content on each page, the Forma offers flexibility to accommodate various reading preferences.

Battery Life

The Kobo Forma is equipped with a powerful battery that delivers exceptional battery life, allowing users to enjoy long reading sessions without the need for frequent recharging.

With moderate usage, the Forma’s battery can last up to several weeks on a single charge. This impressive battery life is due to the low power consumption of the E Ink display, which only uses energy when the screen refreshes. When compared to devices with LCD or OLED screens, e-readers like the Forma offer significantly longer battery life.

Another notable feature of the Forma is its quick charging capability. With the included USB cable and power adapter, the device can be fully charged in just a few hours. This is especially convenient for users who need to top up their device’s battery quickly before a long trip or reading session.

The Forma also comes with a power-saving mode, which further extends the battery life by limiting background processes and reducing power consumption. This option is ideal for users who want to maximize their reading time without the need for frequent recharging.

Overall, the Kobo Forma offers an impressive battery life that allows users to indulge in their reading habits without constantly worrying about running out of power. Its long-lasting battery and quick charging capability make it a reliable companion for bookworms on the go.

User Interface

The Kobo Forma features a user-friendly interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate. The device comes with a touch-screen display, providing a seamless and interactive user experience.

The home screen of the Forma displays the user’s library, making it simple to access their collection of e-books. The interface allows users to easily sort and organize their books based on various criteria, such as author, title, or genre. This makes it convenient to locate specific titles or browse through their reading options.

Navigation through the Forma’s interface is straightforward. Users can swipe or tap on the screen to turn pages, allowing for a seamless reading experience. The responsive touch screen ensures smooth and precise interaction, making it easy to navigate through menus and settings.

One notable feature of the Forma is its ability to display book covers in a visually appealing manner. When browsing through the library, users can view high-resolution book cover images, enhancing the overall reading experience and adding a touch of visual appeal.

The Forma also supports a variety of reading customization options. Users can adjust font sizes, font styles, line spacing, and margins to personalize their reading experience. The device even offers a built-in dictionary and translation feature, allowing users to quickly look up definitions or translations while reading.

In addition to the touch screen, the Forma also includes physical buttons on the side of the device. These buttons provide an alternative method of page-turning and menu navigation, offering users the flexibility to choose their preferred input method.

Overall, the user interface of the Kobo Forma is user-friendly and intuitive. Its responsive touch screen, customizable reading options, and easy navigation make it a pleasure to use for readers of all levels of experience.

Reading Experience

The Kobo Forma offers an exceptional reading experience, making it a top choice for avid readers. With its high-resolution E Ink display and ergonomic design, the Forma aims to provide a comfortable and immersive reading experience.

The 8-inch Carta E Ink screen of the Forma delivers sharp and clear text, closely resembling the appearance of ink on paper. This makes reading for extended periods easy on the eyes, reducing eye strain and fatigue. Whether you’re enjoying a gripping novel or diving into a textbook, the Forma’s display ensures a pleasurable reading experience.

The adjustable front-lighting system of the Forma allows readers to customize the brightness and color temperature of the screen, ensuring optimal reading conditions in various lighting environments. This feature is particularly useful for nighttime reading or in situations where external lighting conditions may be less than ideal. With the ability to tune the lighting to your preference, the Forma keeps your reading comfortable and enjoyable.

Page-turning on the Forma is quick and seamless, whether you choose to swipe the touch screen or use the physical buttons. The device’s responsive interface ensures a smooth transition from page to page, enhancing the reading flow and immersion.

In addition to its core reading functions, the Forma offers several features that enhance the overall reading experience. The built-in dictionary allows users to look up word definitions instantly, without the need for a separate dictionary or online search. The device also supports annotations and highlights, allowing readers to mark important passages or jot down notes as they go.

Thanks to its customizable reading settings, such as font size and style, line spacing, and margins, the Forma caters to individual reading preferences. Whether you prefer a larger font size for easier readability or a specific font style for personal aesthetics, the Forma provides flexibility to make your reading experience truly your own.

Overall, the Kobo Forma delivers an immersive and comfortable reading experience, thanks to its high-quality display, adjustable front-lighting, and intuitive interface. Whether you’re a casual reader or a dedicated book lover, the Forma ensures a pleasurable reading journey with every page turned.

File Formats and Connectivity

The Kobo Forma supports a wide range of file formats, making it compatible with various types of e-books and documents. Users can easily load their favorite books in EPUB, PDF, MOBI, and other popular file formats onto the device for convenient reading.

In addition to standard e-book formats, the Forma also supports a variety of image formats, such as JPEG, PNG, and GIF. This enables users to view and enjoy image-based e-books or comics on the device, expanding the reading possibilities beyond traditional text-based content.

When it comes to connectivity, the Forma offers both Wi-Fi and USB options. Users can connect the device to their home Wi-Fi network to access and download e-books directly from the Kobo bookstore. The Wi-Fi feature also enables seamless synchronization of reading progress and bookmarks across multiple devices, ensuring a smooth reading experience regardless of which device you’re using.

The USB connection option allows users to transfer e-books to the Forma from their computer or other compatible devices. This is particularly useful for users who have e-books in their personal library that they would like to enjoy on their Forma. The USB connection also provides a convenient way to charge the device or update its firmware.

In addition to Wi-Fi and USB connectivity, the Forma also includes Bluetooth functionality. This allows users to pair the device with compatible Bluetooth headphones or speakers for a wireless audio experience. Users can listen to audiobooks or have text-to-speech functionality enabled, enhancing the accessibility and versatility of the device.

Overall, the Kobo Forma supports a wide range of file formats and offers convenient connectivity options. Whether you prefer to download e-books wirelessly, transfer content from your computer, or connect with Bluetooth devices, the Forma ensures flexibility and easy access to your favorite reading material.

Storage and Library Management

The Kobo Forma offers ample storage space to accommodate a large collection of e-books. With 8GB of built-in storage, users can store thousands of e-books on the device, ensuring they always have a wide selection of reading material at their fingertips.

In addition to the generous internal storage, the Forma also provides cloud storage options. Users can take advantage of the Kobo Cloud, allowing them to store their entire e-book library online. This feature ensures that even if the device is lost or damaged, users can easily access their e-books from any Kobo device or using the Kobo reading app on their smartphones or tablets.

The Forma also offers seamless library management, making it easy to organize and navigate through your collection of e-books. Users can create custom shelves or collections to categorize books based on genres, authors, or any other criteria they prefer. This allows for quick and efficient navigation, especially for users with extensive e-book libraries.

The device’s search function enables users to find specific books quickly by title, author, or keywords. Users can also sort their library based on different criteria, such as recently read, author, or publication date, further enhancing their ability to locate and manage their e-books.

Thanks to its intuitive interface, borrowing e-books from public libraries or purchasing books from the Kobo store is a breeze. The Forma seamlessly integrates with OverDrive, a popular digital library lending system, making it easy to borrow and read e-books from your local library right on the device.

Overall, the Kobo Forma offers generous storage space, cloud storage options, and efficient library management features. With its seamless integration with libraries and convenient sorting options, managing and accessing your e-book collection is effortless and enjoyable.

Customization Options

The Kobo Forma provides users with a range of customization options, allowing them to tailor the reading experience to their preferences and needs.

One of the key customization features of the Forma is the ability to adjust font size, font style, and line spacing. This allows users to personalize their reading experience, ensuring optimal readability based on their individual preferences. Whether you prefer a larger font for easier reading or a specific font style for personal aesthetics, the Forma offers flexibility to make the reading experience truly your own.

In addition to font customization, the Forma also allows users to adjust margins. This feature is particularly useful for readers who prefer more or less white space around the text. By adjusting the margins, users can optimize the reading layout to suit their visual preferences.

The Forma also offers different reading themes, including day mode and night mode. Day mode provides a clean and bright background for reading in well-lit environments, while night mode offers a darker background with reduced brightness for reading in low-light or nighttime conditions. These themes can help reduce eye strain and provide a more comfortable reading experience based on the lighting conditions.

Furthermore, the Forma allows users to create highlights and annotations while reading. This feature enables readers to mark important passages, jot down notes, or make references for future reference. These annotations are automatically synced across devices, making it easy to access and review them whenever needed.

Another notable customization option is the ability to set reading goals and track reading progress. Users can set daily or weekly reading goals, motivating them to read more consistently. The Forma tracks the reading progress and provides statistics on reading speed and overall progress, allowing users to monitor their reading habits and stay motivated.

Overall, the Kobo Forma offers a range of customization options that allow users to personalize their reading experience. From adjusting fonts, margins, and themes to setting reading goals and tracking progress, the Forma ensures that readers can tailor their e-reading enjoyment to their unique preferences.

Additional Features

The Kobo Forma comes with several additional features that enhance the overall reading experience and offer added convenience to users.

One standout feature of the Forma is its built-in OverDrive integration, allowing users to borrow e-books from their local public libraries directly on the device. With a valid library card, users can browse and borrow e-books without the need for a separate app or device, making it easy to access a vast collection of titles.

The Forma also supports Pocket integration, enabling users to save web articles and blog posts to read later on the device. With the Pocket feature, users can curate their reading list and enjoy articles offline, making it a handy tool for staying up-to-date with online content.

For readers who enjoy audiobooks, the Forma offers compatibility with audiobook services such as Audible and Kobo Audiobooks. This allows users to listen to their favorite audiobooks directly on the device, offering a versatile and immersive reading experience.

Another convenient feature of the Forma is its built-in translation capability. Users can select words or phrases from e-books and have them translated instantly into their preferred language. This feature is particularly useful for language learners or those reading books in foreign languages.

The Forma also supports X-Ray, a feature that provides contextual information for characters, locations, and terms mentioned in e-books. This feature allows users to delve deeper into the content they are reading, providing a richer and more engaging reading experience.

Furthermore, the Forma offers social sharing options, allowing users to share their reading progress, favorite quotes, or book recommendations with friends and fellow readers. This feature adds a social element to the reading experience and encourages discussions and interactions based on shared interests.

Overall, the Kobo Forma comes with a range of additional features that enrich the reading experience. Whether it’s borrowing e-books from libraries, saving web articles, enjoying audiobooks, translating words, or engaging with others through social sharing, the Forma offers added convenience and options to enhance your reading journey.

Comparison with Other Kobo Models

When considering the Kobo Forma, it’s helpful to compare it with other models in the Kobo lineup to understand its unique features and advantages.

Compared to the Kobo Clara HD, the Forma offers a larger and higher-resolution display, making it suitable for users who prefer a more immersive reading experience. The Forma also boasts a waterproof design, allowing users to read worry-free near water or in humid environments. In terms of design, the Forma’s asymmetrical shape and physical buttons provide a more ergonomic and tactile experience compared to the more compact and touchscreen-only Clara HD.

For those considering the Kobo Libra H2O, the Forma shares many similarities in terms of display size, resolution, and waterproof capability. However, the Forma offers a more premium build quality with its aluminum frame and larger storage capacity. The Libra H2O, on the other hand, features a more lightweight and balanced design, making it comfortable to hold for extended periods. Both models have adjustable front-lighting and support for OverDrive and Pocket integration.

In comparison to the base Kobo Nia, the Forma offers a larger E Ink display, a more durable build, and physical buttons for navigation. The Forma also includes features like customizable front lighting and more storage capacity, making it a more advanced and versatile choice for readers who want a premium e-reading experience. However, the Nia offers a more budget-friendly option for readers who prioritize affordability.

When comparing the Kobo Forma with the Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2, there are a few key differences. The Forma comes with a larger 8-inch display compared to the Aura H2O’s 6.8-inch display. The Forma also boasts a more modern design with its asymmetrical shape and physical buttons, while the Aura H2O offers a more traditional, uniform design. Both models have similar waterproof capabilities, adjustable front-lighting, and support for OverDrive integration.

Overall, the Kobo Forma stands out among other Kobo models with its larger display, premium design, and customizable options. It offers a superior reading experience for those who prioritize a spacious screen, ergonomic design, and additional features. However, it’s worth considering personal preferences, budget, and specific requirements to determine which Kobo model best fits individual reading needs.

Pros and Cons

Like any e-reader, the Kobo Forma has its own set of advantages and drawbacks that are important to consider when deciding whether it is the right device for you.


  • The 8-inch E Ink display provides a spacious and high-resolution reading experience.
  • The adjustable front-lighting system allows for comfortable reading in various lighting conditions.
  • The asymmetrical design and physical buttons provide a more ergonomic and tactile experience.
  • The Forma is waterproof with an IPX8 rating, offering added durability and peace of mind.
  • The device offers generous storage space for thousands of e-books.
  • Kobo’s integration with OverDrive allows for easy access to borrowing e-books from public libraries.
  • The Forma supports various file formats, including EPUB, PDF, MOBI, and image formats.
  • Customization options such as adjustable fonts, themes, and margins cater to individual reading preferences.
  • Users can save web articles and enjoy audiobooks through Pocket integration.
  • The device offers additional features like translation, X-Ray, and social sharing options.


  • The higher price point of the Forma may be a deterrent for budget-conscious readers.
  • The larger size and asymmetrical shape may not be as comfortable for some readers, particularly those with smaller hands.
  • The physical buttons, while providing an alternative navigation method, may not be preferred by those who prefer a touchscreen-only experience.
  • Although the battery life is impressive, it may still require occasional recharging, especially with heavy usage.
  • The device’s weight may be a consideration for readers who prefer a lighter e-reader.
  • While the Forma supports various file formats, there may be occasional compatibility issues with specific e-books or documents.
  • Some users may find the interface or menu navigation to be less intuitive compared to other e-readers.
  • The device does not offer built-in cellular connectivity, relying solely on Wi-Fi and USB connectivity.

Considering these pros and cons, it’s important to weigh the features and functionalities against personal preferences and reading habits to determine if the Kobo Forma is the right e-reader for you.