- Max Parker , TrustedReviews
Instead of trying to mimic a Kindle, it offers something different.
- Malarie Gokey , Digital Trends
Snuff out your Kindle. Kobo's Aura One is a bookworm's new best friend.
- Crisp screen
- Good battery life
- Ambient light sensing
- Color temperature adjustments
- IPX8 water resistance
- Overdrive integration
- Large display
- Exceptional file support
- Lack of hardware page buttons
- No storage expansion
Kobo is known for pushing the boundaries with their eReader designs. One look at the Aura One’s sizeable screen shows that it’s going to be a little different than most models currently available, but that comes with a bigger price tag as well.
What else does the Aura One offer and what are reviewers saying? We’ve dug through the best reviews out there so you don’t have to. Let’s see what everyone thinks of this behemoth of an eReader!
Reviewers were quick to point out that though the Aura One was bigger, it was still easy to use. Everyone loved the rubbery grip coating on the back of the device. TechCrunch described the eReader as “big, but not unwieldy.” Digital Trends summed up opinions nicely, saying, “Despite its size, I had no problem reading one-handed on the subway with the Aura, though two hands are best. Swiping the screen to turn the page will be intuitive enough to anyone with a smartphone, but hard buttons would feel better.”
The Aura One is also IPX8 certified for worry-free use poolside or in the bath.
The eReader is bigger than most thanks to its 7.8-inch Carta eInk display. Running at 1872-by-1404 pixels, it keeps the same pixel density as its high-end Kindle competitors, so you shouldn’t need to worry about text clarity.
Where the Aura One begins to distance itself is lighting. Good eReader points out, “Unlike every other e-reader on the market, Kobo is using RGB lights, instead of white bulbs.” This means the adaptive lighting on the device won’t just adjust brightness but can also adjust color temperature as well. Reviewers loved this feature.
Tom’s Guide put the Aura One’s adaptive lighting to the test and declared, “The Aura One's ambient-light sensors enable the most comfortable reading I've experienced on an e-reader. With the Automatic settings enabled, the Aura One's Comfort Light Pro sensors always presented me with appropriate amounts of light, enabling comfortable reading in all situations.”
The Aura One uses a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM to keep pages flipping smoothly and books loading fast. PC Magazine notes, “The Aura One awakens from sleep mode instantly.” Even with the top-of-the-line internals, it also manages up to a month of usage on a single charge according to Kobo. No reviews had any issue with battery life.
Reviewers were quick to point out the Overdrive support as well. While most eReaders require you to sync files through a computer, the Aura One has a special version of Overdrive built in making it easy to browse library catalogs and start reading straight from your eReader. With 8GB of internal storage, you can store plenty of reading material with no worries.
Overall, reviews were positive if you don’t mind the price. TechCrunch summed up overall opinions well, saying, “While the Aura One probably isn’t worth the price of entry for most readers, the devoted few will find a lot to love, including a massive screen, blue-light shifting, a nice design and a whole lot of storage.”
Reviews (8.2/10 Avg. rating)
A big e-reader full of big ideas
An ereader to rival the top-end Kindles
The Kobo Aura One is generally a great ereader, but it does have some issues. If you’re looking for specialist books, the Kobo Store may not be the best choice for you. Your best bet is to take a look at the store, and Amazon’s ebook collection, before you decide which ereader is the better buy. The battery life on the Kobo Aura One isn’t fantastic either. It will last the length of the average paperback book with the backlight on, but if you’re going to be using it a lot you may find it slightly limiting – and if you’re on holiday you'll defini... Full review
Goes easier on the eyes
More akin to reading a paperback
An e-reader that will last you many years
Sharp, easy-to-read screen but straightforward design
A great Kindle alternative
The Kobo Aura One may have its downsides, but this is still one of the best Kindle competitors we’ve seen in recent years. Its ComfortLight Pro feature goes one better than the Kindle Voyage’s ambient light sensor and its waterproof protection means you read in more places without risk of breaking it. Its wide file support also makes it more flexible than a Kindle, but Amazon still has the edge when it comes to pricing and overall range. Of course, at £190, it’s not exactly cheap, but if you’re after a book-sized eReader for reading at night, then it’s de... Full review
A solid waterproof ebook reader with an extra large display
A bookworm's new best friend
I thought ebook readers couldn’t get any better than Amazon’s Kindle Oasis, but Kobo’s Aura One has beaten the former best. You’ll still prefer the Oasis if you’re deeply embedded in Amazon’s Kindle ebook system, but if you don’t, the Aura One is objectively a better reader. It has several killer features that the Kindle Oasis doesn’t have: It’s waterproof, it stifles blue light, it supports more ebook formats, it has a larger screen, and it has built-in borrowing from your public library. And it’s more than $60 cheaper! What more... Full review
Not worth the price of entry for most readers
Darn, there are no reviews yet for this phone.
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