Kobo Aura HD and Kobo Aura Comparison
Aug
31

Kobo Aura HD and Kobo Aura Comparison

By

kobo aura and kobo aura hd

Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison Video. Today we take a look at the Kobo Aura HD and the recently announced Kobo Aura. Obviously they both have the same name and could be a bit confusing on what these devices bring to the table. The essence of this comparison is to dispel the myths and rumors and give you a solid indication on the core differences and put them head to head.

The Kobo Aura maintains the standard six-inch approach that the company made famous with their entire product line. It currently has a super high resolution e-Ink “Clarity Screen” with 212 DPI and sixteen levels of grey. Really, the resolution is the exact same on the Glo, and has not broken any barriers on using a next generation e-Ink display. 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. You can also take advantage of the capacitive multi-touch display and use two fingers to change the brightness.

It is powered by the quintessential Freescale 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. It seems that Kobo e-Readers still have expandable memory, which makes adding books to your collection fairly easy and painless. It also has over two months of battery life, which is ideal.

The Kobo Aura HD features a 6.8 inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1440×1080 with 265 DPI. This e-reader is seriously the best in the business with its high-definition display. The Kindle Fire HD 7 has 1280×800 and the Nook HD has 1440×900. What this means is that as an e-reader, it actually has better image quality than the majority of mainstream tablets on the market. The Aura HD also has a built in comfort light, which allows you to read in the dark with a front-lit display.

The Kobo Aura HD is using a 1GHZ CPU processor and has 4 GB of internal memory. This is 2 GB more than what the Glo offers, and you can expand the memory up to 32 GB via the Micro SD card. Battery life is fairly respectable at a solid month of normal use.

Aside from the marginal hardware differences the software is also quite different. The six inch Aura has some useful enhancements with Pocket – Formally Read it Later and Beyond the Book. Pocket is sort of like Instapaper and allows you send articles to your account from Flipboard, Pulse and social media networks. Beyond the book is really neat, it hyperlinks specific words throughout a novel and gives you a greater insight on people, places, and things. Instead of just your standard dictionary you can pull up biographies and related eBooks. The video below documents fairly extensively all of the core differences.


Michael Kozlowski (3742 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


  • rkmr

    i wanted to ask that is the pdf viewing in landscape mode possible in aura like in aura hd and is there pinch and zoom in landscape mode? one more thing i wanted to ask is when would kobo aura hd be receiving the software features of kobo aura? pls reply.thanks

  • antiplex

    thank you very much for your detailed comparison revealing many details/changes between the two devices, well done!

    nice to see the pinch&zoom improvements, really hope that will also get rolled out with the upcoming aura hd firmware update as i would definitly opt for the larger screen (as mentioned before, i’d so much wish for a 8-9″ version of the aura hd with the otherwise identical specs).
    not sure if i really like the flush bezel/screen of the aura as it may make it more prone to catch scratches but the more flat design looks nice indeed.

    regarding the font sideloading feature: which font-format is supported here? otf?

  • antiplex

    can’t find it right now but i seem to remember an older video review of the aura hd which demonstrates the pdf-experience also in landscape-mode. guess that was around april/may 2013…

  • TheJeebus

    There wasn’t really any mention on whether the higher resolution makes a difference.

  • Albert

    I went to the Kobo site and looked up the Aura HD to see how much it retailed for and where I could buy it. In the US it showed two options, and both give exactly zero results. (“Oops! Sorry, we’re unable to locate the content you’re looking for”) Methinks that may make sales difficult.

    A big issue I have with the ereader (and all these brand-specific ereaders) is that I have a significant library in Amazon, as well as some books in others. As a result, my prime reading tools are my smartphone and my Nook HD+ (high-res and cheap), which do not force me to shop at one vendor only.

  • Albert

    It makes a difference. I recently bought a Nook HD+ (1920×1280) as an upgrade to my Nook Color (1024×600), and I was impressed, I never had any issues reading on the Nook Color (rooted and Androidified), and read on it every single day, but the difference is very clear and a definite improvement.

    Somehow it is easier on the eyes, even when reading plain ebook texts, and if using a PDF, the smaller details are all super sharp instead of slowly becoming so out of focus they are no longer recognizable.

  • TheJeebus

    That makes sense, since it’s twice the resolution. But AuraHD doesn’t have that high a resolution, nor is the difference between the two as great.

  • Albert

    That isn’t exactly true. The Nook HD+ is about four times the resolution of the Nook Color, while the Aura HD is just over double the Aura. Also bear in mind that the AuraHD is close to Retina display resolution density.

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

    not exactly sure, i side-loaded wingdings in the aura a few months ago though.

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

    well most vendors sell books in EPUB and you can use adobe digital editions to side-load them into the kobo.

  • TheJeebus

    I’m just saying that the medium is vastly different and so is the resolution. You comment, while valuable, does not apply to what I asked about.
    Comparing backlit high contrast LCD display to low contrast e-ink is just not that helpful.

  • Albert

    You asked whether the higher resolution made a difference. It does and I said why. I specifically commented on how this affected reading ebooks and PDFs. How much more relevant can the reply be? The contrast levels have no affect on the usefulness of higher or lower resolution.

  • Albert

    Don’t get me wrong. My reservations are not exclusive to the Kobo. It is for the same reason I do not own a dedicated Kindle reader either.

  • TheJeebus

    I asked specifically about the difference in resolution between the Aura and the AuraHD. You replied on the difference between two devices other devices with different resolution differential AND a different screen type.
    Sorry, but that does not answer my question whatsoever.

  • Albert

    The benefits of reading with a higher resolution are independent of the display type.

  • TheJeebus

    Of course, but that is not the point. The question here is, is the higher resolution 1) Noticable?, 2) To what degree?, 3) Enough to justify paying more? 4) Enough to justify missing out on the new Aura features?
    Your response does not answer any of that.

  • Albert

    I just got back from the Brazilian National Book Fair, currently being held in Rio de Janeiro (http://www.bienaldolivro.com.br/), and Kobo had a stand there. They had the AuraHD on display as well as many other Kobos (tablet and others). The HD retails for about US$270, whereas the Kobo Glo (same size and resolution as the Aura) retails for US$160.

    Is it worth a 60% price increase? No, definitely not. The higher resolution is nice, but I compared the two and could barely tell the difference unless you reduced the font to microscopic sizes. What I liked most about the AuraHD was the extra size, but it is not worth such a big cash difference to me.

    Mind you, I found both to be wonderful reading experiences, and it was my first contact with e-ink devices. It really does make a difference, and I will no doubt pick one up come Black Friday. Who gets my money is undecided yet.

    The demo person there tried to convince me the extra resolution was great to read manga, but I found the idea ludicrous. Manga on a 6.8 inch black and white screen? Give me a break. I have a Nook HD+ which cost me $150 with a 8.9 inch screen and 1920×1280, and having read several comics to see how they look, let’s just say I rolled my eyes at her and laughed.

    I asked about book availability, and she started by telling me there were millions of titles, and I told her that Chinese, German, and Russian, don’t count. Her bluff having been caught, she admitted that in Brazil there were only about 20 thousand titles. FWIW, I was posing as a local and did not tell her I was not Brazilian. Obviously, I do not suffer from this issue, but penetration here will be an uphill battle until they expand on that catalog.

    In conclusion, the larger higher resolution is definitely better, especially for the size, but the difference is not worth the 60% extra they are charging here. If there you find it at a much more reasonable rate, feel free to consider it.

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

    thanks for sharing, did you take any pictures of the book fair, would love to see them if so.

  • TheJeebus

    Thank you, this is exactly what I was looking for: “The higher resolution is nice, but I compared the two and could barely tell the difference”

    BTW, the AuraHD sells for $170 on kobo.com and the Aura can be pre-ordered for $150.

  • Lori

    Hi. Is there anything that the HD version is better at? Also, which is better for reading in the sunlight (least amount of glare)? Thanks.

  • Lori

    Hi. Is there anything that the HD version is better at? Also, which is better for reading in the sunlight (least amount of glare)? Thanks.

  • Jess

    Great comparison of both models. I’m getting my first e-reader and after reading dozens of reviews on e-readers, have come down to the Kobo Aura HD and Kobo Aura. Your review and the comments by Albert about the difference of the screen between the two is very informative. Thanks.

  • psy

    is there any ereader which is better and newer (april 2014)?