Kobo makes a splash with big, waterproof Aura One
Think of eReaders, and Amazon Kindle is likely the first name that springs to mind. Look beyond Jeff Bezos' best, though, and there are plenty of impressive eReaders coming from smaller brands like Kobo. The Canadian company's latest creation is the Aura One, a 7.8-inch eReader designed not to disturb the circadian rhythm of late-night bookworms who like reading in the bath.
One of the biggest things setting the Aura One apart is its size. Most eReaders come with compact 6-inch (15-cm) displays, but the Aura's 300-ppi Carta E-Ink touchscreen measures up at 7.8-inches (20 cm). Kobo says running with the bigger screen allows for larger fonts and wider text spacing, as well as cutting down on page turns.
Even though it's the biggest dedicated eReader on the market, the Aura One is still slim and light. It measures up at 195.1 x 138.5 x 6.9-mm (7.7 x 5.5 x 0.27-in) and weighs just 230 g (8 oz), both of which are comparable to the slightly smaller Kobo Aura H2O that launched back in 2014 with a 6.8-in display. In spite of this slim design, it's also waterproof to the IPX8 standard, meaning it can be submerged for an hour in up to two meters (6.5 ft) of water without a problem.
It's not just the Aura One's e-ink screen that is designed to make it easier on the eyes than tablets for reading, with Kobo also working to cut down on the blue light it puts out. Too much blue light from screens can throw our circadian rhythms off, making it more difficult for late-night bookworms to sleep after reading a few chapters. According to Kobo, the ComfortLight PRO on its latest eReader cuts down on blue light, making it less likely to disrupt user sleep patterns. There's also an ambient light sensor to modify the brightness depending on the time of day.
As is the case with most eReaders, there's a range of font sizes and designs to choose from, as well as options regarding text weighting and sharpness. Readers are also able to adjust the page margins, highlight certain passages and use the inbuilt dictionary to define words they don't understand. With 8 GB of storage, the Aura One can hold up to 6,000 books, and the 512 MB of RAM and 1 gHz processor make for smooth and speedy page turns.
The Aura One will retail for US$229 when it launches on September 30.
You can check out Kobo's launch video below.