Kobo Aura vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2

kobo aura - amazon kindle paperwhite 2

Amazon and Kobo have some of the deepest digital ecosystems in the world and have millions of books, magazines, newspapers, graphic novels and manga. The Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Kobo Aura are the best e-readers currently in the world and have raised the bar with their innovative glowlight technology and showcasing the largest generation e-Ink internals. How do these two devices stack up against each other? Today we look at the hardware, software, front-lit display and ecosystems.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 features a six inch e-Ink display screen with a resolution of 1024×768. The front-lit display has received a small upgrade and gives a better illumination experience then the previous model. One of the neat little features is a software enhancement called “Max” which instantly brings the brightness level to the maximum.

Overall the touchscreen is more responsive and text has higher contrast to make text more legible. This is most noticeable on the homscreen when you are sweeping through the eBooks Amazon is trying to sell you. There is less flickering, which makes it a little more more responsive. This is due to e-Ink Regal, which is new technology.

Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ processor and 256 MB of RAM. There is 2 GB of internal storage and the majority of your content will be held in the cloud. Amazon has never included a Micro SD as an avenue to manually expand your memory. During our review session, we were actually having having storage issues with a three larger PDF files and a number of sideloaded eBooks.

The Kobo Aura maintains the standard six-inch approach that the company made famous with their entire product line. It currently has the same resolution found on the Kobo Glo, with 1024×768. This e-Reader has the exact same front-lite technology that was found on the original Kobo Aura HD. This will allow readers to adjust the brightness settings to suit their environment. Currently, Kobo has the best front-lit screen in the business and has surpassed Amazon in terms of quality. To turn the screen light on, there is a button at the very top and then a virtual slider bar to control the brightness. One of the most notable additions to the Aura is Pocketbook integration, for read it later articles. Also, Beyond the Book is fairly cool, which bears some resemblance to X-Ray for the Kindle.

It is powered by aFreescale i.MX507 1 GHZ processor and has 1 GB of RAM. There are 4 GB of internal memory, which can be enhanced via the Micro SD Card. This is something that separates the two brands, as Amazon has never offered expandable memory via SD since the Kindle 1.

Side by Side the front-lit display is better on the Aura then it is on the Kindle. The Kindle has a better storefront experience with Kindle Worlds, Singles, Serials and other interesting aspects. It also is designed better in terms of ease of use and intuitiveness.

In the video below we document the entire hardware and software experience. We show you how both readers handle PDF and eBooks, and even sideloaded content.

Michael Kozlowski (5207 Posts)

Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about electronic readers and technology for the last four years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the Huffington Post, CNET and more. Michael frequently travels to international events such as IFA, Computex, CES, Book Expo and a myriad of others. If you have any questions about any of his articles, please send an email to michael@goodereader.com

  • http://swiatczytnikow.pl Robert Drózd

    “Amazon has never included a Micro SD as an avenue to manually expand your memory.”

    Kindle 1 had an SD slot.

  • TheJeebus

    No mention in videos on the screen difference. Weird.

  • Claude Champagne

    One question with your night reading test. The Kobo Aura is much brighter, maybe to much at 100%. But why don’t you try to show us the sweet spot, like at 80% or whatever it may be ? You only show us full or half power on both device. I think the Kindle has predetermined that sweet spot with not having its screen too bright. And I agree with TheJeebus, you could have done a little bit more more screen comparison. We see it in the night test, but not really in day time light.

    That said, I’m still not sure which eReader I’m gonna get… Both are tempting and I think you can’t really go wrong with either.

  • HarryGeez

    You forgotten to mention Kobo Aura’s killer feature — Pocket integration. Seriously, this will decide which e-reader to get for many people. Anyway, great review and thank you so much for helping me decide which one to get.

  • http://goodereader.com/blog/ Good E-Reader

    Not really, did not mention it in this video, just as we did not really talk about “send to kindle” with all the little features videos can end up fairly long.

  • http://goodereader.com/blog/ Good E-Reader

    we’re more or less talking about the modern era. Who still has a Kindle 1.

  • Peacen1k

    You specified the screen resolution for the Kindle and the pixel density for the Kobo. How about some consistency to make your review useful?

  • http://goodereader.com/blog/ Good E-Reader

    sure we updated it, thanks for bringing it to our attention

  • James

    Thanks for the great comparison! I realize covering every feature of both e-readers is not feasible, but for me personally the biggest selling points in favor of the Kindle were the Page-Flip and footnote features. I see these as core reading experience improvements, similar to how being able to adjust font weight is a big selling point for the Kobo.

  • fuli

    That’s exactly why I’m getting the Kobo! Pocket integration!

  • Reinder

    Overall I love your reviews, but there a some inconsistency´s between the video and the text.
    First In the video you mention that the aura has 1014*768 and the PW2 1024*768. The text states that the aura has 1024, while it should be 1014.
    Second in the video you mention that the PW2 has 800mhz and the Aura 512Mb Ram, while the text states PW2 1Ghz and Aura 1Gb Ram.
    Except for this, its a pretty good review overall.

  • BD

    Thanks for the great comparison.
    But a detailed comparison of the possibilities to push web content to the reader would be great. I think many people are looking for a solution to push web content to the reader quick and easily.
    Kobo has Pocket integration
    Kindle has ‘send to kindle’ , instapaper and readability.
    But how good/fluent do these features work? Pocket integration seems more streamlined, but still, an in depth look on this would be great.

  • Dicky

    true, but you said never, which is inaccurate

    how about just correcting the article, instead of having a dig? “Who still has a kindle 1” – I see as many as other e-readers on the bus to work tbh

  • Kyle Schellenberg

    No mention of the physical size of the devices? I haven’t checked the actual dimensions, but doesn’t it seem from the pictures that for the same screen size, the Kobo is physically smaller? Wouldn’t that be considered a plus by most people?

    I’ve never really considered an ebook reader, but I played with a Kobo Aura on the weekend and it felt great in the hand. With the addition of Pocket, a service I use extensively on my smartphone – this becomes a very compelling product.

  • saraswathi


    I like to share one think happy recently i brought this Nokia Lumia 520 in Ezeekart with 20% discount.Its one of the best online shopping for mobiles


  • Robert

    What about the weight, how it feels in your hands, and, most importantly, what the actual reading experience is. This is a terrible comparison and feels like one of those pages meant to get clicks for advertising revenue.

  • Astral Planes

    I do – the Kindle mini

  • simblanco

    crap review