If you're looking for an ereader, you're probably familiar with the big names.
But if you're in America, the Kobo Aura might not be on the top of your list. We'll let you know all about this intriguing little product. And you can determine how well it stacks up against your leading contenders.
There are lots of quality products out there for your downloaded ebooks. Each model attracts a different type of consumer. Some want a lot of features. Others just want to mimic a paper book as closely as possible. Only you know what you're looking for in a new ereader.
And if you're not sold on the Kobo Aura after reading our review, keep reading. We've also selected several other options we think are worthy rivals of this product. But each one is unique in its own way. So we think that whatever you're looking for, we think you'll find it somewhere in our guide.
A Little About the Kobo Aura
Kobo has already unveiled a range of clever ereaders. Butthe Kobo Aura might be the most elegant of the bunch. It's got some really innovative features that compare favorably to others in this segment.
We'll get into the details in a bit. But by way of an introduction, let's make it clear that this device is a pleasure to hold. It looks great and feels nice in your hands. Downloading reading material is a breeze and you can tote this thing just about anywhere. Find out exactly what makes it stand out from the crowd after some helpful background information.
Background About Kobo
Chances are the Kobo Aura isn't quite as recognizable a brand as, say, the Amazon Kindle. Even the Barnes & Noble Nook might have more name recognition than this brand. But around the world, Kobo is a leading manufacturer of ereaders.
Even though it is headquartered in Canada, the majority of its business comes from outside of North America. Nevertheless, it is gaining market share against some of the biggest names in the U.S. And we think the Kobo Aura might be the model to propel it into household name territory nationwide.
Who is the Kobo Aura Great For?
Anyone who loves to curl up with a good book should find something to love with this product. It's got a high tech feel while remaining easy to learn and use for just about any reader. There are several intuitive features we'll get into below. But for the task of downloading and reading ebooks, you'll have everything you need.
It's got some functionality that you won't find in a simple ereader. And the Kobo Aura is built by integrating many of the impressive details from previous models. The result is a sleek and stylish product that avid readers young and old will surely enjoy using.
What are the Best Uses for the Kobo Aura?
Naturally, the Kobo Aura is a natural fit for those looking to read books -- or just about anything else. It's compact and easily portable, so you can take your favorite material wherever you go. And with plenty of power to keep going for hours and hours, you can read to your heart's content.
Great features give you important feedback about your own reading habits. So you can plan out the best way to take on the next chapter. And it's easier than ever to download new books to add to your collection.
Features & Benefits of the Kobo Aura
Now let's get to what makes this ereader so impressive. As you might imagine, part of the appeal is its power and portability. But the Kobo Aura offers a lot more than what you would expect. Here are a few of the details we think you should probably know about before deciding.
1. Glare-free reading experience
Previous Kobo products have helped lead the way in distraction-free viewing. The unique ComfortLight feature provide the right type of light for any situation. It was introduced in the Glo ereader and remains very functional in the Kobe Aura. You can manually turn the ComfortLight on to aid in reading no matter where you are.
These LED lights are located in the front of the device rather than a traditional back light display. It's similar to the design of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. It might not be quite as effective as that model, but it provides good resolution and easy reading all day.
This display doesn't really mimic physical paper like the Paperwhite and some others do. That might be a good or bad thing, depending on your preference. But we did find that regardless of personal tastes, it's easy to read what's on the screen. It has high resolution and plenty of contrast between lights and darks to make everything clear. Plus, there's plenty of power underneath the surface to load each page quickly.
In addition to the clever lighting system, there's also another layer of glare protection. You can find a glass covering that adds a matte finish to the screen of your Kobo Aura. In direct or excessive light, you can still find a glare in just about any ereader display. But for one so close to the design of a typical tablet, this one does a great job of minimizing the distraction.
2. Compact and portable
Books were made to be carried. And the best ereaders make it even easier to take a great novel on the road or to the beach. Basically, wherever you are when the mood to read strikes, the Kobo Aura will be there.
With a new six inch model, the design is more compact than ever. But since the screen covers most of the face, you get more functionality in less space. Since we compared it to the Paperwhite above, we'll note that this product is smaller. It also weighs less and is easier to pack away wherever is most convenient.
It's also lighter than previous Kobo products including the Glo. Strictly speaking, there is a Kobo ereader with smaller dimensions. But that's an entry level Kobo Mini. While it will get the job done, we think the Kobo Aura is a better all around purchase. If you don't absolutely need the five inch model, opt for the upgrade.
Great resolution numbers belie the small size of this product, though. And a responsive screen means you'll get instant access to the page you're trying to read.
3. Sleek design
Much of the design is geared toward giving you the biggest reading surface as possible. But a great side effect is a great look that ranks it among the most aesthetically pleasing ereaders. Count on the Kobo Aura to provide what it calls and edge to edge display.
Of course, there is still a frame around the actual screen. But the way it is design makes it look seamless as the edge flows flawlessly into the glass covering. There are other helpful features, including an easy user experience.
Use the included micro USB port to get everything done. You can charge the battery, which is among the longest lasting in the market. Even though this is a thin, lightweight ereader, it can stay charged for months. That is with limited use and no Wi-Fi capabilities, but that's an impressive result in any case.
You can also change details like the language and fonts of the material you're reading. Choose from 13 languages and a wide array of size and style choices for the fonts themselves. A translation dictionary also offers some additional help along the way. And finally, you receive access to an innovative tool called Reading Life. This will give you handy insight into the speed of your reading and other important metrics.
4. Easy to hold and use
We've already discussed the compact size of this product. But the Kobo Aura is actually an even better design than that might suggest. For starters, it's a touch screen. So you might feel as if you're using your favorite tablet rather than just an ereader. It never forgets what it is, however, and doesn't try to do too much.
Instead, it's a handy and easy to understand tool to allow you to read ebooks at your speed. Simply connect via Wi-Fi to make purchases directly from the Kobo bookstore. And if you want to add titles from the library or other sources, it's a simple process. Plus, you've got plenty of space to store whatever you want to read. Need more room? Just add a micro SD card to expand up to 32 gigabytes of internal storage.
Then there are the basics, which Kobo Aura get right. One of our favorites is the rubbery cover surrounding the back of the device. It is easy to grab and hold onto, even with one hand. The entire ereader is shaped well and makes sense from the first time you pick it up.
What Readers Have to Say About the Kobo Aura
Whatever you need out of an ereader, this product likely attempts to address. From a touch screen to easy downloads, it's highly intuitive. But we've taken a look at some of the most common reviews online to get a complete look. Below are the pros and cons we found during our research.
If that sounds like a product you'd like to use, the Kobo Aura might be perfect for you. But if you still want to cover all your bases, consider some of its top rivals. We've selected three e-readers we believe will give the Aura a run for its money.
Alternative E-Readers to Consider
Still not convinced the Kobo Aura is right for you? You're in luck. There are tons of other options in this realm. And we've picked three contenders that could be the perfect product for your ebooks.
1. Sony DPT-RP1
The Kobo Aura has many features that might rival even some tablets on the market. But if you really want to get the most out of your device, consider the Sony Digital Paper. For starters, you can treat the product like actual paper in a lot of ways.
Write on it, share data, search documents and much more right out of the box. Among the functions are some security features that keep all your information safe and secure. Pick either a 10 inch or 13 inch size model, depending on your needs and desires.
Barnes & Noble was able to navigate a changing industry by introducing the Nook. And like the Kobo Aura, it performs well as a utility player in the ereader market. If you're looking for a reliable product to download and read documents, check it out.
It has a few limitations, including the fact that it's not waterproof. But that is to allow for a design that also includes some helpful features. Among them is great lighting and an ergonomic design. And you can choose custom fonts and a lot of other details on your device. A small screen size might be a negative to some readers. But it provides for a compact and very portable ereader.
Kindle has largely dominated the ereader market since it came out. And the latest versions are evidence that Amazon hasn't rested on its laurels. This one is thinner and more capable than you might imagine.
It's easy to use and fun to hold. Plus, you can personalize it with a variety of colors for the removable cover. And the benefits of an Amazon Prime membership can really help you out, too. Get free books to download. Then, when you're reading them, enjoy great lighting and a high resolution display.
The Kobo Aura is just one of several competent ereaders on the market.
And you know best what you want out of your next gadget. So whether it's the Kobo Aura or one of the other devices listed above, companies are competing for your dollars. We hope our article has made you a little more confident about how you'll spend them.
If so, share this article with the avid readers in your life. And leave us a comment if you have any final thoughts or questions.
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