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Kobo Aura review

6.7/10 AVG.

Kobo Aura
Kobo Aura
Kobo Aura
Kobo Aura

Informr score
The Kobo Aura currently has an Informr score of 6.7 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 9 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The Kobo Aura is a new backlit eReader from its new owner, Rakutan. With a 6-inch E Ink panel, 212-pixel per inch display, 4GB of internal storage and support for microSD cards, the reader is ready to handle your entire eBook library plus more. According to Brian Heater of Engadget, “All told, the Aura's hardware isn't perfect, but this is easily the nicest mainstream standalone e-reader we've seen, though the $150 price tag may be a lot for all but the most devoted bookworms to stomach.”

The device supports most popular eBook formats, including Adobe DRM, ePub, PDF, TXT and MOBI. The display features even backlighting, a hardware switch to control the light without having to dig into settings, a largely clutter free case design and feels exceptionally light. At just 6.14 ounces, the Aura is smaller, thinner and lighter than the Amazon Paperwhite. It also features integration for the Pocket service. This means that by installing an extension in your favorite browser, you can export web pages in a book-like format to your Aura with just a few mouse clicks. Wi-Fi support makes it easy to sync your book collection and import your Pocket clippings as well. The Beyond the Book feature allows supporting titles to integrate background information on important themes, events and characters, much like Amazon’s X-Ray feature. Digital Trend’s Matt Sanford says “At best, the Aura is just slightly better than the Paperwhite or Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight.”

There are a few drawbacks to the device. The first being the page turn speed. Though this is a universal problem across many eInk eReaders, the fading effect as you turn from page to page makes the problem a little more noticeable on the Aura. There is also the issue of the Kobo bookstore. Although you can easily sideload books from another store onto the device, if you choose to go with Kobo’s store you might find books to be slightly pricier than the competitors. The Kobo store also lacks the magazines and newspapers of other eBook stores. As long as you are willing to overlook the few minor quirks, Engadget sums up the device well by saying “This is a seriously nice piece of hardware -- and mind you, that's not the kind of compliment we often bestow on e-readers.”

The Good: Sleek case design, very bright backlight, extensive battery life, Pocket integration and support for many file formats.

The Bad: Price, lack of newspaper and magazine content, many settings buried in menus and lack of 3G/4G connectivity.

Screen Size
4 GB
Reading Time
30 hours

What the Critics Are Saying...


The Kobo Aura is a good reader with little added functionality, but that may be the intended point of it. There's no web browser, scant few games, and little distraction from the task at hand -- reading.

- Mike Wuerthele, Electronista
The Inquirer

The Kobo Aura is very good ereader for the price, mainly due to the extensive range of ebook file types it supports, the reading features it has and its decent backlit display that presents ebooks clearly, offering a good replacement for physical books. The Aura also brings a nice update in ergonomi...

- Lee Bell, The Inquirer
PC Pro

The Kobo Aura is a competent ebook reader. With the Kindle Paperwhite offering a similar set of functions with a better display for less money, we can’t see these flying off the shelves.

- Robert Harris, PC Pro
The Next Web

it doesn’t offer much in the way of bells-and-whistles, but then that’s what an e-reader should be like.

- Paul Sawers, The Next Web

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Screen Size

The Kobo Aura's screen size is 6 inches with 758 x 1014 pixels resolution.


There is a built-in backlight for reading in the dark.

4 GB

Internal memory is 4 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


This model has no 3G wireless capabilities.

Reading Time
30 hours
Battery life is rated for up to 30 hours reading time according to Kobo's.

Kobo Aura Specs

Release Date September 30, 2013
Regions Available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
SIM Card Size No
Operating System Unknown
Processor 1 GHz
Internal Storage 4 GB
SAR Unknown
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Battery Capacity Unknown
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Reading Time Up to 30 hours
Standby Time Up to 60 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Black, Pink
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15 x 11.4 x 0.8 cm (5.9 x 4.5 x 0.3 in)
Weight 174 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Grayscale
Technology E-ink
Colors Unknown
Resolution 758 x 1014 pixels
Pixel Density Unknown
Size 6 inches
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Anti Glare Unknown
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Page Turn Key Unknown
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock No
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Wi-Fi Encryption No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization Yes
Audio / Video
Audio Playback No
Video Playback No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack No
Vibration Alert No
Additional comments
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Kobo Aura Reviews
Where to buy Kobo Aura
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