Kobo Aura One review

8.2/10 AVG.
RATING



8.2/10
Informr score
The Kobo Aura One currently has an Informr score of 8.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 15 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Crisp screen
  • Good battery life
  • Ambient light sensing
  • Color temperature adjustments
  • IPX8 water resistance
  • Overdrive integration
  • Large display
  • Exceptional file support

What's bad

  • Price
  • Lack of hardware page buttons
  • No storage expansion

Kobo is known for pushing the boundaries with their eReader designs. One look at the Aura One’s sizeable screen shows that it’s going to be a little different than most models currently available, but that comes with a bigger price tag as well.

What else does the Aura One offer and what are reviewers saying? We’ve dug through the best reviews out there so you don’t have to. Let’s see what everyone thinks of this behemoth of an eReader!

Reviewers were quick to point out that though the Aura One was bigger, it was still easy to use. Everyone loved the rubbery grip coating on the back of the device. TechCrunch described the eReader as “big, but not unwieldy.” Digital Trends summed up opinions nicely, saying, “Despite its size, I had no problem reading one-handed on the subway with the Aura, though two hands are best. Swiping the screen to turn the page will be intuitive enough to anyone with a smartphone, but hard buttons would feel better.”

The Aura One is also IPX8 certified for worry-free use poolside or in the bath.

The eReader is bigger than most thanks to its 7.8-inch Carta eInk display. Running at 1872-by-1404 pixels, it keeps the same pixel density as its high-end Kindle competitors, so you shouldn’t need to worry about text clarity.

Where the Aura One begins to distance itself is lighting. Good eReader points out, “Unlike every other e-reader on the market, Kobo is using RGB lights, instead of white bulbs.” This means the adaptive lighting on the device won’t just adjust brightness but can also adjust color temperature as well. Reviewers loved this feature.

Tom’s Guide put the Aura One’s adaptive lighting to the test and declared, “The Aura One's ambient-light sensors enable the most comfortable reading I've experienced on an e-reader. With the Automatic settings enabled, the Aura One's Comfort Light Pro sensors always presented me with appropriate amounts of light, enabling comfortable reading in all situations.”

The Aura One uses a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM to keep pages flipping smoothly and books loading fast. PC Magazine notes, “The Aura One awakens from sleep mode instantly.” Even with the top-of-the-line internals, it also manages up to a month of usage on a single charge according to Kobo. No reviews had any issue with battery life.

Reviewers were quick to point out the Overdrive support as well. While most eReaders require you to sync files through a computer, the Aura One has a special version of Overdrive built in making it easy to browse library catalogs and start reading straight from your eReader. With 8GB of internal storage, you can store plenty of reading material with no worries.

Overall, reviews were positive if you don’t mind the price. TechCrunch summed up overall opinions well, saying, “While the Aura One probably isn’t worth the price of entry for most readers, the devoted few will find a lot to love, including a massive screen, blue-light shifting, a nice design and a whole lot of storage.”


Screen Size
7.8"
Storage
8/32 GB
3G
No
Reading Time
15 hours


What the Critics Are Saying...


Good E-Reader

The Limited Edition is the best Kobo device currently on the market. You can borrow books from Overdrive, the Comfortlight system has been refined and shopping is very intuitive. The rapid page turn engine is very compelling for people who read comics, manga or ebooks on a regular basis.

- Michael Kozlowski, Good E-Reader
Good E-Reader

All the little extras, from the larger screen, warmer lighting, and proper chapter page counts, have really brought the joy back into ereading, and instead of buyer’s remorse, I find myself wanting to share my pleasure and experience with others.

- Albert Silver, Good E-Reader
Tech Advisor

The Kobo Aura One is way ahead of Amazon on waterproofing, for one thing, and that's no small matter for a big section of eReader users - anyone reading by the beach or swimming pool on holiday, or in the bath back home.

- David Price, Tech Advisor
PCWorld

The Kobo Aura One is a robust, versatile e-reader suitable for anyone who's not already heavily invested in the Amazon ebook ecosystem.

- Séamus Bellamy, PCWorld
TechRadar

The Kobo Aura One is generally a great ereader, but it does have some issues. If you’re looking for specialist books, the Kobo Store may not be the best choice for you. Your best bet is to take a look at the store, and Amazon’s ebook collection, before you decide which ereader is th...

- James Peckham, TechRadar


Prices (Where to Buy)




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Quick view

Screen Size
7.8"

The Kobo Aura One's screen size is 7.8 inches with 1404 x 1872 pixels resolution.

Backlight
Yes

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

Storage
8/32 GB

Internal memory is 8/32 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

3G
No

This model has no 3G wireless capabilities.

Reading Time
15 hours

The e-reader is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1200 mAh battery. Battery life is rated for up to 15 hours reading time according to Kobo's.

Aura One Specs

Overview
Release date September 6, 2016
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Operating System Custom
Processor Solo Lite iMX6 1 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 8/32 GB
RAM 512 MB
ROM No
Flightmode No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1200 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 4 hours
Reading Time Up to: 15 hours
Standby Time Up to: 30 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 19.5 x 13.8 x 0.7 cm (7.7 x 5.4 x 0.3 in)
Weight 230 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Grayscale
Technology E-ink
Colors Unknown
Resolution 1404 x 1872 pixels
Pixel density 300 pixels
Size 7.8 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 Yes
Home Key No
Page Turn Key Unknown
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 3.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Audio / Video
Audio Playback No
Video Playback No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers No
Headset Jack No
Vibration Alert No
More
Additional comments
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Kobo Aura One Reviews
Where to buy Kobo Aura One
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Critic Reviews


Good E-Reader

Best designed e-reader that Kobo has ever produced

from Good E-Reader

The Limited Edition is the best Kobo device currently on the market. You can borrow books from Overdrive, the Comfortlight system has been refined and shopping is very intuitive. The rapid page turn engine is very compelling for people who read comics, manga or ebooks on a regular basis.

Read full review

The Limited Edition is the best Kobo device currently on the market. You can borrow books from Overdrive, the Comfortlight system has been refined and shopping is very intuitive. The rapid page turn engine is very compelling for people who read comics, manga or ebooks on a regular basis.

Read full review

Less

Good E-Reader

A near perfect eReader

from Good E-Reader

All the little extras, from the larger screen, warmer lighting, and proper chapter page counts, have really brought the joy back into ereading, and instead of buyer’s remorse, I find myself wanting to share my pleasure and experience with others.

Read full review

All the little extras, from the larger screen, warmer lighting, and proper chapter page counts, have really brought the joy back into ereading, and instead of buyer’s remorse, I find myself wanting to share my pleasure and experience with others.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

Exceptional water-resistance and good night-time reading features

from Tech Advisor

The Kobo Aura One is way ahead of Amazon on waterproofing, for one thing, and that's no small matter for a big section of eReader users - anyone reading by the beach or swimming pool on holiday, or in the bath back home.

Read full review

The Kobo Aura One is way ahead of Amazon on waterproofing, for one thing, and that's no small matter for a big section of eReader users - anyone reading by the beach or swimming pool on holiday, or in the bath back home.

Read full review

Less

PCWorld

A big e-reader full of big ideas

from PCWorld

The Kobo Aura One is a robust, versatile e-reader suitable for anyone who's not already heavily invested in the Amazon ebook ecosystem.

Read full review

The Kobo Aura One is a robust, versatile e-reader suitable for anyone who's not already heavily invested in the Amazon ebook ecosystem.

Read full review

Less

TechRadar

An ereader to rival the top-end Kindles

from TechRadar

The Kobo Aura One is generally a great ereader, but it does have some issues. If you’re looking for specialist books, the Kobo Store may not be the best choice for you. Your best bet is to take a look at the store, and Amazon’s ebook collection, bef...More

The Kobo Aura One is generally a great ereader, but it does have some issues. If you’re looking for specialist books, the Kobo Store may not be the best choice for you. Your best bet is to take a look at the store, and Amazon’s ebook collection, before you decide which ereader is the better buy. The battery life on the Kobo Aura One isn’t fantastic either. It will last the length of the average paperback book with the backlight on, but if you’re going to be using it a lot you may find it slightly limiting – and if you’re on holiday you'll definitely want to take your charger with you.

Read full review

Less

WhatsYourTech

Goes easier on the eyes

from WhatsYourTech

At $250, it’s not for the budget-conscious, but it is the largest E Ink display currently available. It’s also one of the few that is waterproof, a design feature Amazon still hasn’t added with any Kindle units.

Read full review

At $250, it’s not for the budget-conscious, but it is the largest E Ink display currently available. It’s also one of the few that is waterproof, a design feature Amazon still hasn’t added with any Kindle units.

Read full review

Less

TrustedReviews

More akin to reading a paperback

from TrustedReviews

A big-screened, water-resistant Kindle alternative – but it's let down by a poor ebook ecosystem.

Read full review

A big-screened, water-resistant Kindle alternative – but it's let down by a poor ebook ecosystem.

Read full review

Less

Good E-Reader

An e-reader that will last you many years

from Good E-Reader

The Kobo Aura One is the best e-Reader currently on the market. It is waterproof, dustproof, has the best front-light in the business and is the only e-reader with a RGB lights to change the color of the screen. The design is really good and the build quality is high.

Read full review

The Kobo Aura One is the best e-Reader currently on the market. It is waterproof, dustproof, has the best front-light in the business and is the only e-reader with a RGB lights to change the color of the screen. The design is really good and the build quality is high.

Read full review

Less

Recombu

Sharp, easy-to-read screen but straightforward design

from Recombu

The Aura One might not be sexy in any way, but the sharp screen, waterproof design and well-stocked online store make it a solid purchase for book lovers. If you want an e-book reader you can enjoy in the bath, this is your Huckleberry.

Read full review

The Aura One might not be sexy in any way, but the sharp screen, waterproof design and well-stocked online store make it a solid purchase for book lovers. If you want an e-book reader you can enjoy in the bath, this is your Huckleberry.

Read full review

Less

Expert Reviews

A great Kindle alternative

from Expert Reviews

The Kobo Aura One may have its downsides, but this is still one of the best Kindle competitors we’ve seen in recent years. Its ComfortLight Pro feature goes one better than the Kindle Voyage’s ambient light sensor and its waterproof protection means you read in more places without ris...More

The Kobo Aura One may have its downsides, but this is still one of the best Kindle competitors we’ve seen in recent years. Its ComfortLight Pro feature goes one better than the Kindle Voyage’s ambient light sensor and its waterproof protection means you read in more places without risk of breaking it. Its wide file support also makes it more flexible than a Kindle, but Amazon still has the edge when it comes to pricing and overall range. Of course, at £190, it’s not exactly cheap, but if you’re after a book-sized eReader for reading at night, then it’s definitely worth the extra investment. It wins a Recommended award.

Read full review

Less



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