So I finally bought a Kobo e-reader…

I finally bit the bullet and bought a Kobo Aura One. (Yes, I know I am not exactly new to the party, LOL!)  I had been thinking about this purchase for quite a while. I really, really love my Kindle Paperwhite but the Aura One had several features that sounded really attractive, including a larger screen, and more choice in font sizes, weights and styles. As I have been reading a lot of library books, the feature that sounded the most interesting was the integration with Overdrive for library books. I also wanted a device that would work with books purchased from the Google Play bookstore that I can’t read on my Kindle.

First, a few unboxing pictures:

The Kobo Aura One has a really nice box within a sleeve:

Sleeve

Box Front

Box Rear

The Kobo is nicely packaged inside the box:

 

The cable and inserts are underneath a tab in the box:

I like third-party covers that I can affordably swap out when I am in the mood. Rather than the Kobo branded cover, I bought the HUASIRU Ultra Slim Case from (ironically) Amazon.

The cover fits well and has a sleep-wake feature.Here’s a picture of the cover alongside the e-reader.I found the setup of the WiFi and the Overdrive to be a little tedious, but that is probably because Amazon makes set up really easier on their devices.

While I am still putting the device through its paces, here are a few early thoughts:

First, the WiFI on this device is just wonky. Maybe its my setup, but even after several updates, the WiFi is still a problem. It can’t seem to find the connection and doesn’t remember the network passwords unless reboot my router. That makes downloading content inconvenient to say the least. This is probably my biggest frustration with this e-reader.

I had also hoped for more out of the Overdrive integration. Unfortunately, the Overdrive feature only allows you to have one library account connected. Since I have accounts with three different libraries, this doesn’t offer the seamless experience that I had hoped for. The first update to the device changed the search the library catalog feature and has made it harder to use. If I have also sent a book to my Paperwhite or Kindle app, then I can no longer return the book from the Kobo.

In my opinion, I also found that the promise of better font weights did not live up to the hype I’d heard in the way I had hoped. While you can do some customization of fonts and sizes, the overall darkness of of Kobo Aura One fonts left a lot to be desired for me.

Both the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kobo Aura One have 300 ppi screens. The Paperwhite screen seems clearer to me, possibly because of the font weights.

Here is a picture comparing the screens on the KIndle Paperwhite (left) to the Kobo Aura one (right). The book is Thin Air from the Shetland mysteries series by Ann Cleeves. Both device are set to maximum brightness. The Kindle font is Helvetica and the Kobo font is set to Avenir Next. There is a decided difference in the lighting between the two devices.The font on the Kobo appears lighter than that of the Paperwhite, even though the Kobo font is set at almost the maximum weight.I am enjoying the larger screen size a lot. The larger size works really well on a stand so that I can use it without having to hold it. Since I am vision impaired and use a fairly large font, I also like having more text on the screen before a page turn.

I am still getting used to the interface on the device and have yet to try out some of the other features like the orange light and the waterproofing.

While I have been a bit disappointed in some of the extra features of the device, the actual reading experience has not been bad. I will get more of a feel for the device after I have read a couple of books on it.

So, what do you think?

You can now pre-order the Kobo Aura One and Aura

Kobo_aura_oneTwo weeks ago, I wrote about the details on Kobo’s two upcoming  e-readers, the Kobo Aura One and the Aura Edition 2. Both e-readers are now available for pre-order at the Kobo store.

The Kobo Aura One features a 300 ppi 7.8″ Carta E Ink screen with 8GB of memory. It has an enhanced IPX8 rating making it waterproof for up to 60 minutes in two meters of water. It also features a lighting system called ComfortLight PRO which allows for adjustment of the front-lighting and includes an orange nighttime reading light to cut down on blue light emissions which can interfere with sleep. It also directly integrates OverDrive library software with the Kobo store.

The Aura One retails for $229.99 and includes free shipping for pre-orders.

The Kobo Aura Edition 2 has a 212 ppi 6″ Carta E Ink screen, 4GB of memory and ComfortLight adjustable front-lighting (without the orange nighttime reading light). The e-reader seems to be a newer version of the Aura HD.

The Aura Edition 2 will retail for $119.99 and includes free shipping for pre-orders.

I am very interested in the Aura One because of the Overdrive library integration, although I really don’t want a bigger e-reader. I am going to watch this one to see what the reviews are like once the Overdrive component goes live.

What about you? Are you interested in either of new Kob e-readers? If you get one, please leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Kobo announces Kobo Aura One and revamped Aura Edition 2

Kobo_aura_oneA couple of weeks ago, we got the confirmation that Kobo planned to be releasing a new e-reader in mid-August. Today, Kobo announce not only one, but two new e-readers for their line up.

The big news is the announcement of the Kobo Aura One. The device has a 300 ppi 7.8″ Carta E Ink screen with 8GB of memory. It has an enhanced IPX8 rating making it waterproof for up to 60 minutes in two meters of water. It also features a lighting system called ComfortLight PRO which allows for adjustment of the front-lighting and includes an orange nighttime reading light to cut down on blue light emissions which can interfere with sleep.

One of the most interesting features promised for the new device is the direct integration of OverDrive library software with the Kobo store. OverDrive is owned by Rakuten, Kobo’s parent company and will be available for use in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. The simplification of of library borrowing is a big, big plus in favor of this device.

There are already a few early reviews on the tech sites:

The Kobo Aura One will be available for pre-order on August 30, 2016 for $229.99. It will be available in the US on September 6, 2016.Specs and more info on the product page here.

Also announced today was the Kobo Aura Edition 2  The device has a 212 ppi 6″ Carta E Ink screen and seems to be a newer version of the Aura HD. You can see the specs here. The Aura Edition 2 will retail for $119.99 and will also be available for pre-order on August 30, 2016.

Anybody else excited to see how the OverDrive integration works and if it is coming to the other Kobo devices? That’s the feature I’m the most interested in. How about you?