The 6-inch Kobo Aura is an easy to navigate, lightweight and sleek e-reader. At 174 grams, the Aura weighs less than its competitor, the Kindle Paperwhite, and is thin enough to be comfortably held in one hand. The Wi-fi enabled Aura boasts a collection of over 4 million books, comics and childrens titles in it’s Bookstore.
Key Information & Features:
- PRICE: US $149
- RETAILERS: Kobo, Independent Booksellers
- LANGUAGES: English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Portuguese, Japanese
- STORAGE: 4 GB, or 3,000 e-books. With a microSD card it can xpand up to 32 GB, or 30,000 e-books.
- BATTERY LIFE: Over 2 months, when used for 30 minutes a day.
- DISPLAY: 6″ High-res Pearl E Ink ClarityScreen with low-flash waveform
- COMFORTLIGHT: The best, most even, built in front-light for comfortable reading in any lighting
- TYPEGENIUS: Customise your reading experience with the choice of 11 fonts, 24 sizes, and exclusive weight and sharpness settings
- KOBO APP: Free app for Mac and PC, Apple®, Android™, Blackberry 10 smartphones, and tablets. Stores your e-books in the cloud to be retrieved and read across any of your devices, at any time.
- KOBO READING LIFE: Unique to Kobo, a way to read, share, discover, collect and organise your books and articles.
Design & Functionality
The thin, lightweight Kobo Aura fits comfortably into your hand, and can hold up to 3,000 books (or 30,000 with a microSD card) making it great for travelling.
The Kobo Aura has an easy to use interface, but also includes a help section with tutorials if needed. The home screen, seen below, is easy to navigate, and includes recently read books, recommendations, personalised reading statistics and links to the library and bookstore.
The display, with the Pearl E-Ink Clarity screen and ComfortLight, makes the text of the e-books appear just like ink on a page. The light can be turned on or off via a button on top of the Aura and brightness can easily be adjusted by swiping two fingers up or down the screen.
The Aura has two buttons located on the top of the device, one to put it to sleep or power off, and one to turn the ComfortLight on or off. When in sleep mode, or even when powered off, the Aura displays the front cover of your most recently read book, along with reading stats, telling you what percentage of the book has been read and when it was last read.
The Aura comes in black or pink.
Kobo Aura has numerous features that add to the reading experience. If an unknown word is encountered in a text, by holding down the word, a dictionary definition appears, as well as a list of all the times the word appears in the text. You can also highlight and annotate texts, as well as share quotes straight to your Facebook wall, as seen below.
Other features include reading statistics and awards that give you an insight into your reading habits, as well as encouraging you to read more, by letting you know what percentage of the e-book you have read, and how many minutes until the next chapter/end of the e-book.
A great feature offered on the Aura is Beyond the Book, which finds the key words and topics in the text, and links you to definitions, and further information online, leading to a deeper understanding of the text. Beyond the Book also provides information about the author.
TypeGenius allows you to choose between a range of font styles and sizes, meaning that while the Aura’s screen may be smaller than the page of an average paperback, texts can be enlarged so screen size is barely an issue. Font weight and sharpness can also be customised to make reading comfortable for anyone’s eyes.
Kobo vs Kindle
Kobo Aura’s biggest competitor is the Kindle Paperwhite. Both boast the same battery life, of two months when used for 30 minutes per day with Wi-Fi turned off. The Kobo Aura is more expensive, at US $149, compared to the Kindle Paperwhite, US $119. However, for the extra $30 you get a lighter, more portable device, with double the storage capacity.
The Kobo Aura, while one of the more expensive e-readers on the market, has the design and features to make it well worth the additional price. The lightweight design makes the Kobo Aura highly portable, able to be slipped into your bag unnoticably, making for a great travelling device. The display and ComfortLight meant that the Aura could be read day or night, indoors or outdoors, just like a book. The additional features such as Beyond the Book, dictionary and Kobo Reading Life enhanced and enriched the reading experience. I especially liked the addition of the Kobo App, enabling reading across a range of devices. Overall, the portability, ease of use and features of the Kobo Aura managed to convert a book lover like me to the world of e-readers.