Kobo's 6.8", 265 PPI Aura HD ereader is coming this month for $170By Matthew DeCarlo
Kobo has announced a new upper-end ereader with attractive specifications that could trigger buyer's remorse in some Kindle Paperwhite owners. Called the Kobo Aura HD, the 6.8-inch device carries an E Ink Pearl HD display with a resolution of 1440x1080, which works out to 265 PPI -- higher than the Paperwhite's 212 PPI, the Simple Touch's 166 PPI as well as any other ereaders we've seen lately.
Accompanying the high-res screen is the "ComfortLight" LED technology that has received positive reviews with the Kobo Glo and promises even light distribution for nighttime reading. Inside, Kobo touts that its Aura HD carries a 1GHz processor, which is said to be 20% faster than "other leading ereaders" -- no specific names were dropped, but it shouldn't be hard to figure out who the company's talking about.
The base device offers 4GB of internal storage for your tomes, but that can be expanded to 32GB with a microSD card and the company's "Kobo Everywhere" cloud service can deliver fresh reading material wherever there's a Wi-Fi connection. Battery life is advertised as two months with half an hour of usage per day, or about 30 hours, though this will inevitably vary depending on your LED and Wi-Fi habits.
The Aura HD supports your typical array of ebook, text, comic and image formats, including EPUB, which is notably absent on Kindles. The spec sheet also speaks of a few basic games like Chess and Sudoku, an experimental web browser, as well as a Kobo application for PC, Mac, iOS and Android. It's worth noting that there aren't cellular network options, though that's probably not a top concern for most shoppers.
All told, the device measures 6.91 x 5.05 x 0.46in (175.7 x 128.3 x 11.7mm) and weighs 8.46oz (240g) -- a bit heftier than the Paperwhite in all directions and nearly a full ounce heavier. Kobo plans to open preorders for the Aura HD in North America starting tomorrow for $170 with color options including espresso, ivory and onyx. It will launch Canada and the UK on April 25 with international availability due in May.