Digital bookseller Kobo’s latest eReader features a 6 inch, 768 x 1024 pixel E Ink display, and a built-in front-light. If that sounds familiar, it’s because I could have been describing the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.

But the Kobo Aura also has 4GB of storage (twice as much as Amazon’s eReader), and a microSD card slot for up to 32GB of additional books or other content.

Kobo also says the Aura has the “most even front-light on the market,” and an edge-to-edge display.

Kobo Aura

The $30 question is how much you’d be willing to pay for those extras: Kobo is asking $150 for the new Kobo Aura in the US and Canada. Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite sells for $119 and up.

Kobo’s new eReader features 802.11b/g/n WiFi, up to 2 months of battery life (if you read for 30 minutes a day), and a 1 Ghz Freescale i.M507 processor.

The Kobo Aura measures 5.9″ x 4.5″ x 0.32″ and weighs 6.1 ounces.

It’s actually the second eReader to wear the Kobo Aura name. The first was the Kobo Aura HD, a 6.8 inch eReader with a 1440 x 1080 pixel display and a $170 price tag. The company positioned that model as a limited edition device when it hit the streets earlier in 2013. But it looks like Kobo may have learned that people are willing to pay a little extra for quality.

What’s less clear is if they’re willing to pay just as much money as they would spend on one of Kobo’s cheapest Android tablets.

The Kobo Aura is due out September 16th.

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4 replies on “Kobo ups its game with the $150 Aura eReader”

  1. Too bad this device (or any Kobo, or Barnes nad Noble device, or software, for that matter) has text-to-speech (TTS). There are Android and iOS apps that provide text-to-speech capability, and since most ereaders are based on Android, this feature should be relatively easy to implement. Sadly, Amazon has discontinued TTS on its ereaders, only featuring TTS in its higher end tablets.

    Even now Amazon, Kobo, and Sony have petitioned the FCC to permanently exempt their ereaders from providing accessibility in their ereaders, which could mean a permanent absence of TTS in ereaders.

    1. I meant this device (or any Kobo, or Barnes and Noble device, or software) does not have TTS.

  2. I have never seen the value of carrying around a lot of books on a SD card, although some do apparently. Especially since it takes me about 3 months to finish a book.

    1. Suspect that you don’t put reference books on your device. I only buy tech books from oreilly.com since they sell in drm free epub. Storing that sort of thing on a removable card makes a lot of sense. When I tire of my current ereader I know I can buy any other ereader (with a memory slot… leaving Google and Amazon off my list) and just move the card over.

      On my current Nook Simple Touch it is totally pointless to enable WiFi since it only talks to B&N’s storefront, which does help battery life but makes it 100% a reader device. Would love to find a tablet that could display books well. Of course what I really want is something that can display PDFs formatted for Letter size paper readable when shown full page. And that doesn’t cost more than a laptop. Or something that doesn’t really exist yet, but perhaps soon.

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