Kobo Aura 2016 e-readers: tech specs, comparisons, pics, and more

Kobo Aura e-readers 2016: Aura One and Aura Edition 2

Find below a detailed info about 2016 Kobo e-readers: the 7.8-inch Kobo Aura One, and the 6-inch Kobo Aura Edition 2.

In August 2016, Kobo announced two new Aura models. The bigger is a waterproof 7.8-inch Kobo Aura One. The smaller one, Kobo Aura Edition 2, is a refreshed model from 2013.

In the following article, you will find launch details, major features, comparisons with the closest competitors, pictures, and full specs.

You can skip to the specific e-reader right now:

Before we move to details, let’s have a look at the highlights:

Kobo Aura One 2016 – designed from scratch, the e-reader costs $229.99 and is packed with unique features. It has the highest waterproof level among e-readers (IPX8), and has a built-in solution for borrowing ebooks from public libraries. On top of that, Kobo Aura One sports a blue light control thanks to which the screen gets a warmer shade in the evening.

Kobo Aura Edition 2 (2016) – the ereader is an improved version of the classic Aura e-reader released in 2013. It costs $119.99. For this price you get the front lighted screen, and 4 GB of internal memory.

The back panels of both devices are made from textured rubber and feature a large turquoise power button. They will be released continually in the international markets. Find the details below.

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Kobo Aura One (2016) – 7.8-inch

Kobo Aura One 2016

Kobo Aura One – launch details

The high-end Kobo Aura One was announced on August 17, 2016. Its launch price is $229.99, what places it between Kindle ($200) and Kindle Oasis ($290).

While prices of Amazon devices are set for being premium, the price of Kobo Aura One is driven by functionality. Continue reading to learn about Aura One’s unique features.

The new waterproof e-reader from Kobo is available for pre-order from August 30. The official launch date is September 6, 2016.

The timetable for international releases is shown in the table below.

Launch date Countries
September 6, 2016 Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Japan, Turkey
October / November 2016 Australia, New Zealand, Mexico
March 2017 Brazil

Kobo Aura One – major features

Kobo Aura One has a large 7.8-inch HD e-paper screen. It has the size of a spacious hardcover book, where you can additionally increase the font size without the need to decrease line height and margins. The end benefit is that you can comfortably read without turning the pages too often.

The device comes with an 8 GB internal memory, compared to 4 GB in every other e-reader from popular brands. It means you can store twice as many ebooks on Kobo Aura One than on competing devices. Actually, it’s even more than twice, when you take into consideration a portion of the memory (the same in 4 and 8 GB) devoted to system files.

There are three more features worth discussing – and it’s thanks to them Kobo Aura One is a truly unique device:

  • night mode,
  • IPX8 waterproof certificate,
  • built-in library borrowing solution,

What is night mode in Kobo Aura One?

Don’t expect the night mode that is a standard in book-reading apps – where the color of the background is switched to black or dark, and letters to white or light.

Night mode in Kobo Aura is a part of ComfortLight Pro. It’s the same functionality as Night Shift in iPhone and iPad, or Blue Shade in Amazon Fire tablets.

To put it simply, the screen gets warmer when the sun goes down and in the evening. The feature optimizes the exposure of the blue light emitted by LED lights around the screen. It’s shown in the animated gif we made using images from Kobo Aura One product page on Kobo website.

Kobo Aura One - ComfortLight Pro reducing blue light exposure

While the blue light control is becoming common in tablets and smartphones, Kobo Aura is the first e-ink e-reader to feature it.

Is changing the warmth of the screen light important? Let’s quote Colleen Carney, Director of the Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University:

Getting the right amount of sleep is extremely important, and is just as valuable to your health as a balanced diet and daily exercise routine

Which waterproof level does Kobo Aura One offer?

The 2016 waterproof e-reader from Kobo meets requirements of IPX8 rating.

The system of waterproof certificates is quite complicated. Enough to say that Kobo Aura One is waterproof even when you put it into water 2 meters below the surface and keep there for up to an hour.

The waterproof level is twice as higher as offered by Kobo Aura H2O or Nook GlowLight Plus (IP67). It was achieved thanks to HZO Protection, a coating technology applied to the interior of the device.

This solution is highly comfortable. There is no need to close the ports with waterproof caps every time you want to read in the bathroom.

How can I connect Kobo Aura One to my public library?

Kobo Aura is the first Kobo e-reader that has a built-in solution that lets borrow ebooks from your public library. All you have to have is a library card from any OverDrive-powered library.

After the set-up, you can access library ebooks with just one tap.

With one integrated catalog, Kobo and your local library make it easy to search for the ebook you want and choose to borrow or buy, it’s that simple.

Kobo Aura One – comparisons

Kobo Aura One 2016 is the second waterproof e-reader from Kobo, after the 6.8-inch Kobo Aura H2O, introduced in October 2014. And there is also Nook GlowLight Plus from Barnes & Noble.

It’s quite obvious that users who want to buy a waterproof device for reading ebooks will compare these three models.

Comparison of waterproof e-readers

Feature Kobo Aura One Kobo Aura H2O Nook GlowLight Plus
Waterproof rate IPX8
Waterproof in fresh water for up to 60 minutes at a maximum depth of
6.56 feet / 2 meters
IP67
Waterproof in fresh water for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of
3.28 feet / 1 meter
IP67
Waterproof in fresh water for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of
3.28 feet / 1 meter
Screen size 7.8 inches 6.8 inches 6 inches
Pixel density 300 ppi 265 ppi 300 ppi
Screen resolution 1872 × 1404 px 1430 × 1080 px 1430 × 1080 px
Grayscale 16-level 16-level 16-level
Front light Yes Yes Yes
Blue light control Yes No No
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes
Weight 8.11 oz
230 g
8.20 oz
233 g
6.90 oz
195 g
Dimensions 7.68 × 5.45 × 0.27 in
195.1 × 138.5 × 6.9 mm
7.05 × 5.08 × 0.38 in
179 × 129 × 9.7 mm
6.40 × 4.70 × 0.34 in
163.6 × 119.6 × 8.6 mm
Storage 8 GB 4 GB 4 GB
Colors Black Black Gold
Price $229.99 $179.99 $129.99

As you see, the 2016 Kobo Aura One is the clear winner. It has the largest screen (7.8-inch), with the biggest resolution (1872 × 1404 px).

While featuring the largest screen, Kobo Aura One is the thinnest of the three compared devices. Its depth is only 6.9 mm – almost 3 millimeters less than Kobo Aura H20.

The new Aura One is also the only e-reader that sports 8 GB on-board memory. It’s twice as much as in two other models. That means it can store more than twice as many book files as the competitors. Kobo claims 6,000 ebooks should easily fit the device’s internal disc.

Most importantly, Kobo Aura One meets a higher waterproof standard than competitors. It’s rated IPX8, and that means it’s waterproof when you keep it for one hour 2 meters under the water surface.

Add to it a unique feature that comes with ComfortLight Pro – the blue light adjustment depending on the time of a day – and the price tag above $200 is entirely justified.

Kobo Aura One – pics

We’ve collected the highest quality pictures of the Kobo Aura One 2016 in the gallery below.

Kobo Aura One 2016 - front and back

Kobo Aura One 2016 is waterproof up to 2 meters of water

Kobo Aura One 2016 - night mode

Kobo Aura One 2016 is a perfect e-reader for the beach

Kobo Aura One 2016 supports library ebooks via OverDrive platform

Kobo Aura One - ComfortLight Pro reducing blue light exposure

Kobo Aura One 2016 - reading in the evening

Kobo Aura One 2016 - a view from angle

Kobo Aura One – full tech specs

What are tech specs of the 2016 Kobo Aura One? Check out the complete list in a table below.

Screen 7.8-inch HD Carta E-Ink
Screen resolution 1872 × 1404 px
Screen density 300 ppi
Touchscreen Yes
Front light Yes, ComfortLight Pro. Reduces blue-light exposure and protects your eyes for the best nighttime reading experience
Waterproof Yes, rated IPX8. Waterproof for up to 60 minutes in up to 2 meters of water
Weight 8.11 oz / 230 g
Dimensions 7.68 × 5.45 × 0.27 inches / 195.1 × 138.5 × 6.9 mm
Storage 8 GB on-board memory, holds up to 6,000 ebooks
Customizability TypeGenius: 11 different fonts and over 50 font styles. Exclusive font weight and sharpness settings
Supported formats Text: epub, epub3, pdf, mobi, html, rtf, txt
Image: jpeg, gif, png, bmp, tiff
Comic: cbz, cbr
Library ebooks Yes, built-in OverDrive support
Connectivity Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro USB
Battery life Up to 1 month (depends on individual usage)
Languages English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish
Ads No

Kobo Aura One – product info

Interested in what Kobo says about the new e-reader? Here are the highlights.

Kobo Aura One 2016 - thumbnailKobo Aura One 2016

8 GB / Black

The clearest screen
Become immersed in a superior print quality reading experience on the book-sized Kobo Aura One. With fewer and more seamless page turns, the sleek 7.8-inch Carta E-Ink screen has a thin, edge-to-edge design that’s lightweight and comfortable to hold for hours of reading.

ComfortLight Pro for nighttime reading
By reducing blue light exposure, the enhanced front light technology protects your eyes and provides the best nighttime reading experience. The automatic setting mimics the sun’s natural progression, emitting the optimal brightness and hue based on the time of day.

Waterproof for the ultimate escape
Sink into a good read while in the bath or take it poolside without worry. Your Kobo Aura One has HZO protection, making it waterproof from the inside out and is ready to go places other devices can’t. The coating technology applied to the electronics inside allows it to be fully submerged without the need for port covers.

Borrowing ebooks from the public library
Get connected to your local public library right from your Kobo Aura One with built-in OverDrive support. Set-up is easy and free, all you need is your library card.

⇢ Kobo $229.99

Kobo Aura Edition 2 (2016) – 6-inch

Kobo Aura 2016

Kobo Aura 2016 – details

Kobo Aura Edition 2 (2016) was announced on August 17, 2016. It’s a refreshed version of the 2013 Kobo Aura e-reader.

The device features the front lighted 1024 × 768 px display, a 4 GB internal memory, and costs $119.99. Opposite to its predecessor, the display is not on the same level as the surrounding bezel.

When it comes to the screen, it doesn’t meet the 2016 standards any longer. You could expect a lower price from a device with a standard-definition screen.

Some under-the-hood improvements have been made to meet the current expectations. The front light solution has been improved, and there is an up-to-date software installed.

Below you’ll find international launch dates of Kobo Aura Edition 2 (2016)

Launch date Countries
September 6, 2016 Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Turkey
October / November 2016 Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, the Philippines
2017 Japan, Brazil

Kobo Aura 2016 – comparisons

If you are looking for an affordable an e-reader that features a front lighted display, you can pick up either Kobo Aura Edition 2 or Glo HD.

In the table below we compare these two models with Kindle Paperwhite, that has the same price as Aura ($120), but the high-definition screen comparable to Glo HD.

Comparison: Kobo Aura 2016 vs. Kobo Glo HD vs. Kindle Paperwhite

Feature Kobo Aura 2016 Kobo Glo HD Kindle Paperwhite
Screen size 6 inches 6 inches 6 inches
Pixel density 212 ppi 300 ppi 300 ppi
Screen resolution 1024 × 768 px 1448 × 1072 px 1440 × 1080 px
Grayscale 16-level 16-level 16-level
Front light Yes Yes Yes
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes
Weight 6.35 oz
180 g
6.35 oz
180 g
7.23 oz
205 g
Dimensions 6.26 × 4.45 × 0.33 in
159 × 113 × 8.5 mm
6.18 × 4.53 × 0.36 in
157 × 115 × 9.2 mm
6.7 × 4.6 × 0.36 in
169 × 117 × 9.1 mm
Storage 4 GB 4 GB 4 GB
Colors Black Black Black
White
Ads No No Yes
Price $119.99 $129.99 $119.99

The comparison shows that the devil is in the screen resolution.

With the standard-definition display having only 1024 × 768 px, Kobo Aura Edition 2 provides a lower reading comfort than two other e-readers.

Unfortunately, the 2016 Kobo Aura bears the same price as Kindle Paperwhite ($119.99), which sports an HD 1440 × 1080 px screen at 300 ppi. Why not get a device with a crispier screen for the same price?

On the other hand, if you want to stay in the Kobo ecosystem, why not pay $10 more to get Glo HD with 1448 × 1072 display instead of 1024 × 768?

Kobo Aura Edition 2 (2016) should cost less, between $80 and $100, to be the most affordable front-light e-reader. In my opinion, we can expect price deals this fall when the 2016 Aura will be offered for under $100.

Kobo Aura 2016 – pics

Take a look at the pictures of the new 2016 Kobo Aura 6-inch e-reader.

Kobo Aura Edition 2 2016 - front and back

Reading on a Kobo Aura Edition 2 (2016) in a cafe

Kobo Aura Edition 2 (2016) - adjust the brightness of the front light

Reading on Kobo Aura Edition 2 in the evening

Kobo Aura Edition 2 (2016) on a table

Kobo Aura 2016 – full tech specs

What are tech specs of the 2016 Kobo Aura Edition 2? Check out the complete list in a table below.

Screen 6-inch Carta E-Ink
Screen resolution 1024 × 768 px
Screen density 212 ppi
Touchscreen Yes
Front light Yes, ComfortLight. Fully adjustable, with micro-thin coating for durability and even light distribution
Waterproof No
Weight 6.35 oz / 180 g
Dimensions 6.26 × 4.45 × 0.33 inches / 159 × 113 × 8.5 mm
Storage 4 GB on-board memory, holds up to 3,000 ebooks
Customizability TypeGenius: 11 different fonts and over 40 sizes to choose from. Exclusive font weight and sharpness settings
Supported formats Text: epub, epub3, pdf, mobi, html, rtf, txt
Image: jpeg, gif, png, bmp, tiff
Comic: cbz, cbr
Library ebooks No
Connectivity Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Micro USB
Battery life Up to 2 months (depends on individual usage)
Languages English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish
Ads No

Kobo Aura 2016 – product info

Here’s more info about the 2016 Kobo Aura that you can read on Kobo website.

Kobo Aura Edition 2 2016 - thumbnailKobo Aura Edition 2 (2016)

4 GB / Black

Compact and comfortable
Discover a simple and natural eReading experience with Kobo Aura and get lost in your story on the 6-inch Carta E-Ink touchscreen. The lightweight design is comfortable to hold for hours of reading; you’ll never want to put it down.

Read day or night
Just like a printed page, you can read comfortably in direct sunlight without glare. Or, brighten your reading experience and read in the dark with our built-in, fully adjustable ComfortLight.

The perfect travel companion
Kobo Aura is compact and portable so you can take it with you just about anywhere. You’ll never run out of reading material with storage of up to 3,000 ebooks. With a battery life of up to 2 months, read an entire ebook on a single charge.

No two readers are alike
Create the reading experience that’s perfect for you by choosing from over 40 font sizes and 11 font types. With adjustable margins, the ability to highlight passages, write notes and have a built-in dictionary at the tap of a finger, the possibilities are endless with Kobo Aura.

Open up to endless reading possibilities
Have you ever finished a book and wanted to start the next one right away? Now you can with instant access to Kobo’s ebookstore, right from your Kobo Aura. Discovery is easy with handpicked personal recommendations based on your reading habits or by reading ratings and reviews from book lovers like you.

⇢ Kobo $119.99

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