[eReader] Review: Kobo Aura

Recently, I was asked if I would be interested in trying out the new Kobo Aura. Naturally, I jumped at the chance — the new Aura was said to have frontlighting capabilities, which I knew would come in perfect when the baby comes around. I love my old Kobo’s paperwhite function, but adding this little something extra really made me excited.

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Why I wanted to try out the new Kobo Aura: 

I may be a die-hard physical book fan, BUT I’ve slowly grown accustomed to reading on an ereader at night. My problem? I am ALWAYS dropping books on my face when I fall asleep. Ereaders lessen the blow a little bit (even though they still hurt when they fall on your face). It’s also really nice when I wake up in the night and want to read — I can use my nice little ereader, with its little light, to read without having to turn on the big light and wrestle with a big book, inevitably waking up my husband.

Trying the new Aura meant that I wouldn’t even have to bother with a little light because the light is BUILT IN. How cool is that? And it wasn’t going to be like reading on my iPad, where even when I turn the brightness down it still hurts my eyes. So yeah. I was excited to try this. It sounded PERFECT.

I also have to say that with my pregnancy, I looked forward to using this ereader in the wee hours of midnight feedings …

First impressions: 

It’s pretty. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s brand new, but I loved the look of it instantly. I also liked the size of it. It fit easily in my hands, wasn’t too heavy, and seemed like it wouldn’t maim me when it fell on my face at night (Because, you know, I fall asleep while reading. Trust me. This has happened. Thankfully, it’s never left a mark.).

I love the paperwhite function and that it still is easy on the eyes, even with the ComfortLight.

What I Like: 

  • The size. Seriously. It’s smaller than my old Kobo or my Kindle. Of course, this means I’ll have to get something new to put it in for protection, but that’s kind of like buying a new dress. Easy.
  • The ComfortLight! YES. This was something I was really, really looking forward to and it works so well. Actually, after using the ComfortLight on the Kobo I told myself that I need to get a Kindle with the same capability because how awesome would that make my life?
  • I love that I don’t have to have ALL the books in my Kobo library on my Kobo. When I’ve finished reading a book, I can remove it from the device, but still leave it in my library.
  • Highlighting! I never thought I’d be someone who highlights in my books (because I obviously don’t do it in my physical books) but I love highlighting my favourite passages on my Aura. And since it’s a touch screen, it’s super easy.
  • Having the store right on the reader. Yeah, yeah — it just makes it THAT MUCH easier to find and buy a book, but it’s nice to be able to do this over wi-fi.
  • The search function. While I don’t like the swiping between pages when I look through my library on my Aura, it’s nice that I can have it set to search ONLY the books on the device and not ALL the books in my library (UPDATE: Since I wrote this, it seems like my Kobo updated and now I can’t search only on my Kobo. I hope they bring this back!). I can also search right from the home page if I wanted to (though, I’m a shelf browser. I rarely know what I want to read!).

What I Don’t Like: 

  • I think it’s only natural that when I connect my eReader to the computer that it connects, but it seems that every time I’m asked to confirm. Kind of like the old Kobo, or a camera.
  • It would be nice to have a letter system for searching, so I could select the first letter of an author or the book title, for easy searching.
  • I wish that the device was Twitter friendly because I use Twitter more for sharing my books. My personal Facebook account isn’t used for that.
  • I really wish I could send books directly to the Aura, rather than having to plug it into the computer every time. It can be a pain to get the cable, load up Digital Editions — it’s a HASSLE. That’s one reason I still use my Kindle quite a bit.
  • I do wish that there was a physical home button. That’s something that’s on my old Paperwhite Kobo — easy to go back to the front page if I want to select a new book. Without it, I have to tap the screen, tap the home button in the top corner, and go back to the main page. Seems like a lot of steps.
  • I don’t really like that I can only tap the page to turn in a book, but not when browsing the store or my bookshelf. It’s kind of a pain to remember when to swipe and when to tap.

Overall impressions? 

While Kobo in general still has its quirks, it’s slowly starting to catch up with the other ereaders out there and with the ComfortLight capability, I can see myself using this one a LOT. My biggest gripes with the product probably rest in the fact that it’s not super easy to transfer books onto the Kobo — if they’d update that capability, I would be a very happy camper!

Big thanks to Alexa over at Edelman for sending me a Kobo Aura to try out — I’m really enjoying the experience!

Have you tried the new Kobo Aura? What are your thoughts?

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9 thoughts on “[eReader] Review: Kobo Aura

    • It’s like a front-lighting, as opposed to back-lighting like in an iPod. It’s a little easier on the eyes! I’m not really sure about the Kobo Glo … I’ve only ever had the Touch.

  1. Really? You have to tap to turn the page? I don’t on my Kobo Glo, so it seems weird that they would change that feature. Maybe it’s in the settings? I dunno. Also, do you just mean adding books that aren’t on your Kobo App? I get that that is a bit of a pain, but any books I buy from Kobo on my computer I can just sync and it laods them on wirelessly.

    The ComfortLight is great, I absolutely love it, especially right now when I want to go lay in bed but not have to get up and turn off the light when I start to get tired. As for dropping it on your face, it is much lighter than a physical book! Also much lighter when you drop it on baby’s head (I’ve done it a few times 😦 ) Sometimes you just get drowsy. I think there are always going to be things one person likes that someone else doesn’t. I just installed the newest updates for my Kobo Glo and a lot change in the look of it, so I’m still getting used to that..lol

    Maybe the more you use it, the more you’ll figure out little things that you can’t do without. Also, does it have Sudoku on it? Love it!

  2. I want to know more about the annotations, because that’s one of my pet peeves with the Glo – they’re almost impossible to make, and reviewing them after the fact is a huge pain too. Sooo many “clicks” required to go through them all. If the Aura fixes those things it might be worth it for me.

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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