When it comes to reading books, almost everyone has their own preference on how they consume their reading. Some prefer to have a physical book, some prefer to have it on their smartphone or a tablet device like an iPad, some like to have a dedicated eBook reader and the list goes on.
After using the Aura One for a while, it’s clear that Kobo wanted to design something that suits almost everyone. The screen is bigger for those like a physical book to have the feeling of having a book in hand, although they didn’t compromise on size. It features an ambient light sensor and the ability to change colour temperature so you can read anywhere, and it’s IPX8 rated for use by the pool without worrying about getting it wet.
That paragraph was getting too long to list everything that makes it great, let’s not forget that Kobo doesn’t lock you in an ecosystem, meaning you can load your device with content from anywhere but Amazon (a competitor), making it as versatile and accessible as possible for use.
The Aura One is not your average sized eBook reader, but does size really matter? it would depend on who you’re talking to. For me having used a larger tablet before, having a 7.8-inch display wasn’t too much of a bother for me. Even with the larger display, it’s still packed with a high-resolution screen with a 1,876 x 1,404 resolution (300ppi).IPX8, meaning it’ll survive a dunking down to 2m for up to 60 minutes
For those that want to take their reading everywhere including wet places, the Aura one is certified at IPX8, meaning it can handle water up to 2m deep for up to 60 minutes – hot tub reading anyone? Weighing just 230g, it’s light enough for prolonged reading without making your wrist ache or if you accidentally drop it on your toes, it won’t end up with a trip to the A&E.
One of the biggest reasons people buy eBook readers is the storage size, and with 8GB of onboard storage, there’s enough space for 6000 books. I mean I just about get through two books a month, so you do the maths. I also like the rubberised rear panel for extra grip which also makes it feel extra comfortable to hold. Oh and the battery lasts up to 4 weeks, although I haven’t had it for that long at the time of this review, but I can assure you it’s still going strong.
Kobo’s software is easy to get used to, everything is clearly labelled and there’s hardly any lag at all. You can connect to the internet via WiFi and you have a clear layout for your library and Kobo also launched a library service called OverDrive which allows you to borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and more from your local public library – anywhere, anytime using a library card.
So is it worth the purchase?
This is the best so far from Kobo and with waterproofing, ambient light sensor and a bigger screen, it definitely puts the Aura One ahead of the ones from Amazon. It does exactly what it says on the tin and can’t really fault it, however, to put myself in a buyer’s position, though, I would say the only deciding factor is whether you want something bigger and if you can deal with not being able to buy from Amazon.
Even if Kobo doesn’t offer a book you really want, you have plenty of other places around the web for buying eBooks, including OverDrive. Oh, and you get no advertising on Kobo’s platform!