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Kobo Aura review

Sam Loveridge

By

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Textured back adds grip
  • Even backlight
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • A little expensive
  • No standby sync

Key Features

  • 6-inch 1,024x768 resolution display
  • 212ppi 16 level grey
  • 1GHz processor
  • 4GB memory with microSD card expansion
  • Over two month battery life
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Manufacturer: Kobo
  • Review Price: £119.99

What is the Kobo Aura?

The Kobo Aura is the smaller brother of the Kobo Aura HD. It's a light-up ebook reader. The Kobo Aura HD has a 6-inch high-resolution front-lit display, but its real selling point is the over-two-month-long battery life, giving it more than enough power to compete with the Kindle Paperwhite.

Kobo Aura

Kobo Aura – Design & Build Quality

Kobo has worked hard to separate its Aura ebook reader from the competition. It has a recognisable, chiselleled back panel and a textured finish. And comes in black and white shades.

At 174g, the Kobo Aura is one of the lightest front-lit eReaders on the market too, a noticeable 32g lighter than the Kindle Paperwhite. This makes it very comfortable to hold for long periods - an important factor for commuters.

The 6-inch screen has a slim bezel, which should make it more difficult to hold and use. But it actually allows Kobo to cut down the dimensions of the Aura for an easier grip. Kobo hasn’t used a raised bezel on the Aura either, meaning the front surface of the device is completely flat - a nice design feature that keeps the Kobo Aura compact.

Those 150 x 114 x 8.1mm dimensions also mean you can fit it in the back pocket of your jeans or your coat pocket without stretching the fabric. It's smaller than a Kindle Paperwhite.

The Kobo Aura doesn’t creak or flex when put under pressure and its straight edges and squared-off corners only add to its rigidity.

Kobo Aura

Kobo Aura – Features and Battery Life

One of the defining features of the Kobo Aura is its outstanding battery life. It lasts for over two months with a half hour's use a day, beating the Kindle Paperwhite by more than a fortnight. The Kobo Air makes a great travel buddy - it lasts an age and weighs less than a single hardback.

The Kobo Aura is packed with useful software features, including access to a variety of reading stats that explain how long you have until the end of the chapter, and what percentage of the book or chapter you’ve churned through.

All the features are well presented and easily accessible from the Kobo Aura's home screen. You are immediately presented with your latest reads and how far you're through them, as well as a brief blurb about the author of the text you’re currently reading.

Kobo Aura

While you're reading, the Beyond the Book button offers definitions and further information about key figures and places in novels. This can be filtered for individual chapters or the book as a whole.

What’s great about Beyond the Book is all its info is available offline, apart from any 'further reading' it suggests you should buy from the Kobo Store.

Within the Store you can also buy Kobo’s Collections, which offer a range of content on a specific topic or author. These are handy and very interesting if you are particularly passionate about a certain writer and want to learn more about them. They are reasonably priced to boot.

Kobo Aura

Kobo has also added Pocket integration, letting you wirelessly sync any articles you’ve saved for offline reading on other devices. Pocket is available for iOS and Android too, making this pretty handy.

Reading Life is a quirky final feature. It has a selection of reading-related achievements that you can unlock, Xbox 360 style. We can’t imagine any user over the age of 18 actually using this feature, but it could be a way to encourage the younger generations to get actively engaged with reading.

Dan

October 15, 2013, 7:17 am

Where can I buy one of these?

Annamoon

November 1, 2013, 9:20 am

Very nice review, thanks. I'm going to buy one :)

Ryan Cua

May 9, 2014, 2:54 pm

Ms./Mrs. Loveridge, I would like to point out that in the First Pargraph-Third Sentence of Kobo Aura – Features and Battery Life. The word Kobo "Air" appears. The reprehensibility of Apple's information economy dominance has really shown some results...especially through this kind of subversion of the human brain. (Ah, conspiracy theories.) However, my actual concern in this post is about the typo. Cheers,
Ryan Reisen Cua (柯金水)

Ryan Cua

May 9, 2014, 2:56 pm

Amazon website friend. I know I'm 7 months too late hahahaha, and yes I know this isn't the kindle, but yeah it's Amazon.co.uk stocks this thing. However, since I don't live in the UK I don't know who their official UK retailer is so take a look at their website. I do hear Kobo is popular in EU so no real problem for you. I live in Asia, and have only found one distributor in my country (since the bureaucracy of shipping in my place is exorbitant and can be termed as legitimized usury.)

Russ Roberts

May 21, 2014, 7:57 pm

WH Smiths deal on at the moment for the HD too 129 or 109 fron non hd http://www.whsmith.co.uk/dept/...

finn3333

December 13, 2014, 8:38 pm

I purchased 4 wifi KOBO's from Chapters. $139.00 each. Two of the four quit working in under 16 hours of reading. The year warranty is up on these 2 units and when consulting the KOBO support, they go through the reset techniques and once that is done and it does not work you are out of luck. Once a KOBO is out of warranty, there is no help from KOBO. Toss the item in the garbage and be done with it.

From this experience, I would suggest to shoppers to look for an ereader that is more reliable and the customer support people care about the user. KOBO does not! This product is not worth $139.00.

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