eBooks are great — they're so much more convenient than paperback or hardback titles for travellers and commuters alike, especially if you're the kind of reader that devours long tomes on a regular basis. But e-readers generally have small screens and don't offer the same reading experience as a proper book. But Kobo's new Aura One e-reader has two vital statistics that avid readers will know well — it has a screen the size of a classic hardback, housed in a chassis that's smaller than the thinnest airport thriller paperback.
The new, $349.95 Kobo Aura One has a 7.8-inch display — the largest of any e-reader that you can buy new today. Despite that, it measures just 195.1x138.5x6.9mm and weighs 226g, barely larger than the company's previous Aura H2O. Like that tablet, the Aura One is waterproof, and will survive an hour in two metres of water. 8GB of memory holds 6000 books.
Kobo used input and feedback from its most voracious reading customers to design the Aura One, and one point they made was that existing backlit e-readers' screen lights were relatively cool in colour temperature, which can affect the body's Circadian rhythms and lower the quality of sleep — pretty annoying, since reading before bed is a pastime for many. The Aura One's ComfortLight Pro front-light is less blue than previous Kobo e-readers, and also has an ambient light sensor to adjust brightness levels.
Like other e-readers, the Aura One has adjustable text sizes and customisable font types - 50 and 11 respectively to choose from. As well as the 5 million books available through the Kobo online bookstore, OverDrive lending means you can take your e-reader to a local library and check out some titles digitally as well.
The Aura One will be out in Australia in October, and will set you back $349.95. Kobo is also taking the opportunity to refresh the original Aura e-reader with the Aura Edition 2, which has a 212ppi 6-inch e-ink display and 4GB of memory as well as an the same adjustable front-light. It'll be $189.95 and out in October too.