Kobo Aura review

Price when reviewed

With the recent launch of Amazon’s updated Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo has its work cut out with the Aura.

It’s the company’s first new ebook reader since the Aura HD earlier this year, and sits below that device in the range. It’s much smaller than the HD, though, with a 6in, 758 x 1,014 resolution E Ink display – instead of 6.8in and 1,080 x 1,440 – and a capacitive touch layer instead of optical sensors.

The Aura’s display can’t match the clarity of the Aura HD’s, and the capacitive layer adds a little extra grain, but it still produces a sharp, readable image.

Kobo Aura

There’s a bright, built-in LED light, which can be toggled on and off via a button on the top edge of the device. However, there’s a noticeable amount of light bleed from the top of the device’s screen, which some might find irritating.

Kobo has also trimmed the fat from the Aura HD, resulting in a reduced weight of only 174g. Impressively, the Aura is 32g lighter than the Kindle Paperwhite, and the benefits of the smaller device are noticeable: it can be held comfortably with one hand for extended periods, and it slips snugly into a back pocket.

The reduction in size hasn’t led to compromises inside, however: the Aura’s 1GHz processor makes navigating around its UI fast and responsive. The screen refresh time is only slightly slower than the Aura HD’s 0.6 seconds, and its 4GB of internal memory is double that of the Paperwhite. There’s also a microSD slot in case capacity for 3,000-plus ebooks isn’t enough for you.

Kobo Aura

The user interface is slick, and we especially like the range of stats it compiles regarding your reading habits. As with the Aura HD, we also like the way books can be bought from the Kobo store using the device (over Wi-Fi), or loaded from third-party ebook shops via Adobe Digital Editions.

All in all, the Kobo Aura is a competent ebook reader, so it’s a shame it’s £120. 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.


Screen size6.8in
Resolution758 x 1014
Colour screenno
eBook screen-refresh time0.7 seconds


Integrated memory4.0GB
Memory-card typemicroSD


Dimensions114 x 8.1 x 150mm (WDH)

File format support

Plain textyes

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