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Kobo Aura HD review

An ereader 'reimagined', but not really

Our Verdict

If you're happy to buy into the idea that this is the ereader for more sophisticated book worm, then this is the device for you. However, the screen is often desperately, throw-it-across-the-room slow and the book store is more expensive than its Kindle rival.

For

  • Crisp HD screen
  • Ergonomic premium design
  • 2 month battery life

Against

  • Touchscreen not responsive
  • Sluggish interface
  • Hefty price tag
  • Pointless social features

We liked

The sleek , comfortable and ergonomic design makes the Aura HD a pleasure to hold. It genuinely feels like you're holding a book and your hands won't tire after extended use.

The high resolution screen does away with that faded look some ereaders suffer from and smaller icons are clearly visible.

The impressive battery life takes away some of the charging worry and you'll be able to carry this around in your bag for weeks without plugging it in.

We disliked

The sluggishness of the screen is a big drawback and you'll find yourself constantly frustrated at the time it takes to do basic actions.

Cynically, the price of Kobo books are more expensive than they are on the Kindle. Consumers won't be saving money on the hardware either since the Aura HD is £30 ($50) more expensive then the Kindle Paperwhite which is £109 ($119).

Verdict

If you're happy to buy into the idea that this is the ereader for more sophisticated book worm, then this is the device for you.

You'll be able to do some good peacocking on public transport because the device is visually very attractive. There's no doubt that it looks and feels like it's worth the high price-tag it commands. But if you scratch the surface, the picture isn't so rosy.

There's no escaping the fact that the screen is, at times, unacceptably slow – and you will, at some point, be enraged when using this device.

The book store, too, sells books at a higher price than the Kindle store and some customers will find it difficult to part with hard-earned money for a book, in full knowledge that they could buy the same product for a lot cheaper at another store.

And, at a price of £139.99 ($169.99), it might be worth looking elsewhere if you plan to make lots of purchases.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Text Reader
Flash Memory Capacity4 GB
TouchscreenYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD Card
Brand NameKobo
Product LineAura HD
Screen Size17.3 cm (6.8")
Display Resolution1440 x 1080
Graphic ModeWXGA
Wireless LANYes
Display Screen TypeE Ink
Text FormatsePub, PDF, MOBI, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR
Height175.7 mm
Width128.3 mm
Depth11.7 mm
ColourBrown
Operating SystemAndroid
Image FormatsJPEG, GIF, PNG, TIF
FeaturesDictionary, Library, Game
Language SupportedEnglish, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese
ManufacturerKobo, Inc
Product NameAura HD Digital Text Reader
Processor Speed1 GHz
Manufacturer Part NumberN204-KBO-N
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.koboereader.com
Marketing InformationEnhanced eReading

Kobo Aura HD is the only premium eReader on the market. Designed for the discerning reader, Kobo Aura HD offers a completely immersive reading experience and the most paper-like E Ink display. Get lost in your favourite eBooks thanks to Kobo Aura HD's advanced, high-resolution, extra-large screen and elegant, inspired design. For readers who want the best, Kobo Aura HD is your eReader of choice.

Host InterfaceMicro USB
Weight (Approximate)240 g