Although the rise of high-end tablets in the market has hugely captivated the fancies of its audience, the world might still have a place for another e-reader – Kobo’s latest Aura HD. “This is something that is designed for this most passionate, voracious reader,” says CEO Mike Serbinis during an interview with engadget.com. But considering the vast pool of competitors out there, with two main players dominating the market, is Kobo’s latest innovation still worth the purchase?
The seemingly impressive hardware
It appears that the e-reader market is composed of a number of companies that just utilize the same parts for their products over again, with processors designed by a similar company as well, so there’s not really much to brag about when it comes to the hardware. However, Serbinis is determined to give the new Aura a place in the market.
Aura appears to have a larger screen, and in a tow, a bulkier reader. With a footprint of 6.97×5.05×0.46 inches, the device is noticeably larger than the Glo or Kindle’s Paperwhite. It’s much heavier than its competitions as well, and avid e-readers could immediately attest to that. Although the design appears to be just convenient to hold, it can be little slick, as well, especially if you have sweaty hands.
Boasting the HD screen
The screen also boasts a resolution of 1,440 x 1,080 – something that could definitely put many tablets to shame as it promises a 20 percent upgrade to clarity than most HD readers on the market – so it’s an extremely sharp reader. Battery-wise, it can last up to over a month, already with its light and Wi-Fi on. That’s plenty of time.
Atop the reader is a dedicated button for the device’s built-in front light. Just like the impressive technology from Glo, it wouldn’t fail its users once it’s on – showing off that evenly-distributed light across the whole display. The company isn’t really a fan of the standard micro-USB cords, as they’ve built a pretty good-looking cord solely for the device. It also holds a micro-SD slot for you to add up to 32GB storage to device’s 4GB built-in storage. That would certainly mean a lot to committed e-readers.
The not-so impressive software
With the goal of most e-readers to make the hardware “disappear” as much as possible, Kobo exerts an awful lot of effort to lifting the software. There’s nothing really much to expect with the software, just that it isn’t as user-friendly as other e-readers in the market. It can still read a multiple selection of file formats, including EPUB, PDF, JPEF, GIF, HTML, TXT, and a lot more. Although you will get by for some time, the company would really need to do some tweaks to its operating system to make a name in the market.
It was just the right move for the company to make the Aura HD a limited edition product, considering the e-readers bulkiness and the whopping $169 price tag. With Kindle and Nook on the market, the Aura HD is even much more difficult to sell.