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Kobo Aura Review

Sam Loveridge

By Sam Loveridge



  • Recommended by TR
Kobo Aura


Our Score:


Kobo Aura – Usability

The Kobo Aura is a responsive and easy-to-navigate ebook reader thanks to its 1GHz processor. You can also customise to turn pages using the Settings Menu, so that tapping different sections of the screen relates to different tasks. Making your way through the pages is swift and you won't notice any signifcant lag either, next to other eReaders.

Of course, there’s a noticeable performance difference if you're used to handling a tablet, especially the speed you can input text, but the Kobo Aura is easily on par with any of its rivals.

You can purchase books directly using Wi-Fi onto the Kobo Aura, or automatically download any books bought from the store on your PC or other Kobo-app-wielding device over Wi-Fi to the Aura. However, unlike the Amazon Kindle range, you can’t sync any of your purchases when the device is on standby. It has to be on. This is a rather irritating feature that has been an issue in other Kobo devices too. It isn’t a deal breaker, but is something the Kindle range offers.

Unlike its Aura HD brother, we had no freezing issues with the Kobo Aura when inserting or removing memory cards. However, it won't play ball with all kinds of Wi-Fi security - if it requires logging in using a browser, it probably won't work.

Kobo Aura

Kobo Aura – Screen

The Kobo Aura has a 6-inch E Ink display that blends-in neatly with the surrounding bezel without any ridges, making for a pleasant viewing experience. The screen refreshes automatically happen at every chapter unless you set them to be more frequent, which makes the whole experience easier on the eye.

The ComfortLight glow light is fantastic, spread evenly across the display and is easily adjustable. You can run two fingers up and down the screen to adjust the brightness, and even in pitch black lighting conditions the backlight is never harsh or overpowering.

You can change the font, font size and line spacing to get exactly the reading experience you want from the Kobo Aura, and there’s even a specially-created Dyslexie font for readers who suffer from Dyslexia.

Kobo Aura

Should I buy the Kobo Aura?

If you’re willing to spend a bit extra on your ebook reader, the Kobo Aura is a great choice, but there are alternatives that offer similar experiences for a lower price.

The obvious alternative choice is the Kindle Paperwhite. It sells for £109, £10 cheaper than the Kobo and offers the same 6-inch 212ppi display. It is a little larger than the Kobo Aura, measuring up at 1.9cm taller, 0.2cm wider and 1mm thicker, but we doubt it's that noticeable a difference. The Paperwhite is quite a lot weightier than the Kobo Aura at 206g compared to 174g. However, the real selling point is access to the Amazon Kindle store and all its various perks.

For those looking for a backlit eReader on a budget, there is the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Glowlight, which now retails for just £49. It has a 6-inch lower-resolution screen and is the largest of the three backlit eReaders, but for that price you can’t really complain. It actually weighs less than the Kindle Paperwhite too at 197g. You’ll still get over a month’s worth of battery life too.

Kobo Aura


With the longest battery life of any eReader on the market, you can overlook the slightly higher price of the Kobo Aura. It has a great and even backlight, clear text and loads of software features that will let you enjoy your chosen book with ease. Certainly a very strong contender for your Christmas list.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Build Quality 9
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Usability 9
  • Value 8


October 15, 2013, 7:17 am

Where can I buy one of these?


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/de...


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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