Thank you Kobo
for providing me with a product to review, free of charge.
These are my own honest opinions.
I’ve always been an avid reader. I usually try and take time for myself at the end of the day and read before going to sleep. This routine has been somewhat disrupted since the arrival of our daughter because 1. she likes books and LOVES the sound of pages being ripped to pieces, 2. she likes to cuddle in bed with me and turning a reading light on usually means making her up.
eReaders has always intrigued me, just like I’m drawn to most new techno gadgets, but I don’t own one so I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to review the Aura HD eReader from Kobo.
The Aura HD comes in 3 different colors: Ivory, Onyx (black), and Espresso (dark brown). In terms of the size and weight of the Aura HD, Kobo made sure to design an eReader that would fit perfectly in you hand. It measures approximately 7 x 5 inches and it only 0.46 inch thick. It weighs a little over 8 oz. I find that I can hold it comfortably in one hand or by balancing it with one hand while it rests on my lap or on a pillow.
The Aura HD was very easy to set up. You simply follow the simple on-screen instructions and you’ve done in a few minutes. You can either set it up from your computer or directly from your Aura HD using a Wi Fi connection.
The Aura HD comes with 4 GB of built-in memory which lets you carry approximately 3,000 ebooks. In case you feel you need more space and want to carry around over 20,000 eBooks, you can easily expand to 32 GB with a micro SD card. Kobo has over 3 million ebooks, magazines, and newspaper. They have all the latest releases and bestsellers as well as classics. Kobo eReaders upportsePub and Adobe DRM so you can even read ebooks borrowed from your public library.
It’s easy to purchase ebooks on the Kobo Library either directly from your eReader wirelessly or by plugging it into your computer. Your ebooks are safe in the cloud and can be retrieved at any time. Any ebook that you purchased can also be read on your smartphone, tablet or computer by downloading the Kobo app. Kobo will synch your devices and will remember where you left off no matter the device you choose.
The Aura HD eReader has many great features. First of all, it has a special paper-like E Ink display that is almost totally glare-free. Compared to a laptop or tablet screen, the screen reflects virtually no light which makes it easy to read outside, with a reading light, or basically anywhere. The screen is also one of the most durable in the face of scratches and drops. I’m very careful with mine Aura HD so I haven’t ‘tested’ this first hand but I trust independent testing on the matter.
The Aura HD has an extra large black and white screen with 1440 x 1080 resolution and 265 dpi. This translates into a high-resolution incredibly crisp reading experience. The screen can also be lit thanks to the revolutionary ComfortLight technology. The brightness is easily adjusted so the screen will never bit too bright or too dim allowing you to read under any lighting conditions. For example, at night, where there is no light in my bedroom, I only set the light to 5-10% brightness, whereas in a rainy afternoon, I set it a 20-30%. I actually find the light coming from the Aura HD less tiring to my eyes than a regular reading light because it doesn’t reflect at all on the screen and because I can adjust it depending on the conditions.
The 1 GHz processor makes page turns very smooth and seamless. I also really like that you can customize the look the pages which is of course impossible with a typical paper book. TypeGenius lets you choose from 10 style fonts and 24 sizes. You can also adjust the sharpness and weight of each font as well as set the margins. I personally decided to narrow the margins and decrease the font size a little because I didn’t like to have to flip pages all the time. Chapters went from 40+ pages to about 15 pages. Of course, there is nothing wrong with using a larger font but it just goes to show you how flexible the Aura HD is.
The Aura HD comes with a built-in Meriam-Webster’s Collegiate® dictionary which is very helpful since you can get the definition of a word with a couple clicks.
As for the battery life, I have to say I was very impressed by how long it stays charged. I typically read with the built-in light turned on (5-10% brightness),with the wireless off, and I do turn it off completely (instead of putting it to sleep) when I’m not using it. I was able to read through a whole book without the battery showing any depletion. At first, I actually thought the battery indicator was defective because how could the battery be 100% charged after 15 hours of use? But eventually, the battery life started going down slowly. Now I’m about half way through my second book which means 20-25 hours of reading and the battery life is about 85%. I find it quite impressive!
Another interesting feature of the Kobo Aura HD eReader is that is tracks your reading habits. It can tell your your average reading speed with a graph and estimates how long the next chapter should take you to read. You can highlight text, takes notes, and share them on Facebook. The Aura HD has a few games that you can play if you get tired of reading such as Solitaire and … and you can also go on the internet although it’s not very fast. You also get funny rewards when you reach certain reading milestones. For example, you get the ‘Better in Bed’ award if you read 5 times between 10pm-12am. I won’t tell you what all the awards are because I don’t have them all yet and it’s kind of fun collecting them and receiving surprise ones every once in a while!
Overall, I really like the Aura HD. The reader experience you get from this device is unique and very versatile and customizable thanks to the built-in lighting and many display options. I would have liked the screen to be in color but that only really matters if you want to play games or browse on the internet. If you are looking for a device that lets you play music, watch movies, and Skype, while giving you the same great Kobo reading experience, the Kobo Arc might be a better option for you. It’s like a tablet but made for readers. If you’re only planning on reading books though, the Aura HD would be perfect for you.
Head over to Kobo to see for yourself their selection of eReaders. Don’t forget to like them on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and promotions.
This post currently has 5 responses.
I have a Nook that I pretty much can’t live without. The kiddo wants his own ereader… this one would totally be cool!
Love my kobo, yet this screen size is nice! Bet it’s easier on the eyes when reading too.
I had a Kobo and loved it! Such a great size and a fun ereader. Isn’t it amazing how many books you can carry around with you on an ereader? I think I’m reading 3-4 books at the same time right now and it’s light as a feather.
I have never heard of this. It looks like the right size for kids!
This is so neat – I haven’t heard of this brand before now!