If you’re the adventurous type, you’ll love the Kobo Aura One. Bargain hunters, in particular, will find a lot of use out of a Kobo because of their support for the most commonly used file format by the publishing industry (.epub) and because you can transfer your files manually to your Kobo.
If you want to get books from the store, you can choose to wait a bit before buying a book until Kobo inevitably puts out a discount or you can borrow the book directly using their library feature. You also get integrated support for Pocket, an article reading service, which is great for simplifying file transfers without the aid of dubious third-party programs from the internet.
Unfortunately, Kobo’s store still doesn’t hold a candle to Kindle’s offering. It lacks many of the user-friendly features you can find in the Kindle store – like effective book recommendations, for one thing. On the whole, the Kobo book store is just okay – if you don’t mind a pretty barebones affair.
Excellent readability is right up the Kobo Aura One’s alley. In fact, it appears that the Kobo’s main concern is all about readability because its highly customizable reading interface is what most readers are fond of.
While its major competitor (the Amazon Kindle series) has its fair share of customizable line spacing, margins, and native fonts, Kobo uses a slider bar for the settings over preset specs, giving Kobo Aura One users endless combinations for the said features and more (such as font weights). You can also sideload fonts to your Kobo, including Amazon’s patented Bookerly and Ember, both designed specifically for reading.
The Kobo Aura One also has nice tricks up its sleeves, as will be discussed under “display” in the hardware section below.
The Kobo’s user interface is clean and practical. The Kobo Aura One mostly uses tabs and page redirections to get you around instead of having you endlessly scrolling through your library. The home page also shows your latest tasks, making sure you only ever have what you regularly want to see on your home page.
While a larger screen does account for a better view of what you’re reading, this sadly doesn’t apply to PDFs. PDF files are still a headache to work with on a Kobo, and while a large screen gives you a fuller view, it’s flat out annoying to watch it sluggishly zoom in and out of a body of text.
PDFs aren’t even interactive on the Kobo Aura One like it is on a Kindle. Rather than being interactive, it feels more like a picture when registered by a Kobo device.
|KOBO AURA ONE|
|Resolution||300 dpi (1872 x 1404 res)|
|Advertised Battery Life||Months|
|Dimensions||195.1 x 138.5 x 6.9 mm|
|Storage (on board)||8GB|
Here’s the meaty part. To the relatively young, the Aura One feels familiar and unfamiliar simultaneously. While other eReaders cater to mimicking the feeling of holding a physical book, the Aura One forgoes the nostalgia in favor of a tablet-like display.
At a whopping 7.8”, the Aura One has by far the largest screen of any eReader out there. Unfortunately, the nearly 8” screen may be too big for some. Still, the size does afford benefits that smaller eReaders cannot. For instance, this is great news for manga readers (and, perhaps, comic book readers). You get to see more action in one frame than have it cut off to the next one.
For loyal followers of text-based reading, meanwhile, you can maximize the spacious screen by turning the header/footer option off. This gets rid of the familiar format of having the chapter/book title and page numbers at the top and bottom of the page, letting you see more of what you’re reading at any given moment.
The Kobo Aura One, in particular, has the best offer for those investing in eReaders to reduce eyestrain. Aside from the brightness levels (which is super accessible—more on that later), it also has a slider bar for natural light settings.
The natural light settings give off an orange hue that’s closer to the natural light of an afternoon, which doubles to help reduce eyestrain and send out signals to your brain to keep you alert and awake. Excellent for the poor souls studying humanities. May this eReader be your friend when you have to power through endless hours of research and required reading
A small caveat about the Kobo Aura One’s LED lighting: it’s a bit uneven in areas, causing the bottom section of the screen to be a tad brighter than the rest. Again, it’s not a huge issue, but it may be a bit of a distraction from time to time.
As with the Aura H2O, the Aura One comes with the ability to conveniently adjust screen brightness by sliding your thumb down the edges of the screen’s sides. The Aura One also shares the good grip of the Kobo Aura due to its textured back. The cute, bright, blue button’s also accessible while holding the eReader. Unfortunately, the sheer size of this eReader may be too big for some. Holding it for long periods may prove to be uncomfortable, too – operating it with two hands is the ideal solution. That said, it is surprisingly light for its size.
Guess what luxury eReading device also offers a well-protected body? The Kobo Aura One makes sure to give you your money’s worth by waterproofing your device, so you won’t ever have to worry of accidentally ruining your eBook reader forever when someone spills a drink on it. Even better, the Kobo Aura One’s waterproofing is a notch better compared to its predecessor, the Aura H2O, in terms of functionality. It can now go for 60 minutes submerged in 6 feet of water.
Highlighting words can be trickier with the Kobo. It also does not offer any physical page turn buttons – which might be a deal breaker for some. More importantly, at nearly $230, the Kobo Aura One is one of the most expensive eReaders around. It certainly isn’t for most people, especially considering you can get a Kindle Paperwhite for much less – or even a tablet that does so much more for the same price.
What's the Verdict on Kobo Aura One?
Kobo Aura One Review 2020 — Conclusion
The Kobo Aura One’s designed for dedicated readers. If you’re looking for a device to spend hours of reading long passages on, this eReader’s definitely for you. The screen is one of the largest found in eReaders, and you can adjust brightness levels to show a more natural glow that keeps you awake and doesn’t strain your eyes. With its durable build and IPX8 rating, it also gives you the ability to reliably bring it with you wherever you need to go. Its large size (for an eBook reader), the Kobo store, and the expensive price might not be for everyone, but if you find that most eReader screens are cramped, then this is definitely worth a look if you have