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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior
If you are looking for the ereader that is most comfortable to read, easiest on old, tired eyes, I recommend the Kobo Aura HD. However, it is a limited edition product and may be difficult to find.

I had been using the Kindle Paperwhite because it was easier on my eyes than other ereaders -- until I discovered the Kobo Aura HD. Wow! What a beauty to read on...
Published 11 months ago by Peter L. Wilson

versus
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good? Yes. But not as good as what most reviewers have said.
I purchased Kobo Aura HD after reading all the reviews, most of which are quite favorable. Somehow, after having used it for a few days, I feel it is not as good as most reviewers have said and does not meet my expectations.

I have given it 3 stars for the following strengths and weaknesses:

A. STRENGTHS
a) It is sleek and actually looks much...
Published 5 months ago by Dreamsmith


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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superior, August 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
If you are looking for the ereader that is most comfortable to read, easiest on old, tired eyes, I recommend the Kobo Aura HD. However, it is a limited edition product and may be difficult to find.

I had been using the Kindle Paperwhite because it was easier on my eyes than other ereaders -- until I discovered the Kobo Aura HD. Wow! What a beauty to read on! Closest yet to reading on paper -- and it may not be bettered any time soon in this regard. Is the Kobo Aura HD better than the Kindle Paperwhite? Well, yes and no: yes if you seek the best pure reader; no if your primary interest is flexibility and convenience. The Kindle bookstore is much better than Kobo's and its books are slightly cheaper, but you can purchase from independent ebookstores on the Kobo. The Paperwhite also has 3G option. However, the Aura HD has a more brilliantly clear screen, more even lighting, and a range and crispness of fonts the Paperwhite can't match. The Aura HD also has extra storage. Still, the Paperwhite's screen is good, and will be good enough for most people, especially younger people with healthy eyes.

The Aura HD is a bit larger and slightly heavier than the Paperwhite. Both ereaders are well built. Both may be dressed in sleek manufacturer's cases, although the (expensive) Kobo brand case is hard to find. Still, there is a good variety of cases made by others for the Aura HD. The Aura HD is also sold by the manufacturer for more than the Paperwhite -- and other vendors sell it for even more.

The Aura HD is more of a hassle -- and more expensive. You may have to decide if its screen advantage outweighs the flexibility, features and lower price of the Kindle Paperwhite. It is for me, because I seek the best screen for reading over other features, including price. Not that the Aura HD is featureless, to the contrary, it is feature-packed. The Paperwhite is just a liitle more easy to use.

The Paperwhite and the Aura HD are two exceptional readers, which one you choose may depend on your priorities. I own both, but enjoy reading on the Kobo Aura HD best of all.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sold my Kindle PW for it, August 23, 2013
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
I had a few issues with the Kindle Paperwhite that this device really solves.

1. The resolution the on paperwhite just isn't wonderful. Many of the letter options are pixelated, which can be annoying for people who read a lot. I've been waiting for a "retina display" e-reader, and this is it. The fonts are very crisp and comparable to the printed page.

2. The lighting on the Kindle Paperwhite is uneven and distracting. The lighting on the Aura HD is smooth all across. ALSO, with the Aura HD you can toggle the light on and off. On the Kindle, even the lowest setting emits backlight, which is annoying when you don't need it as it just wastes battery (even if just a little).

3. (While this is more personal preference) I like the screen size a lot more. It's larger, but not giant. The Kindle Paperwhite always seemed a bit cramped.

There are other nice features on the Aura like extra fonts, margin size control, and line spacing control. All helpful. I also like how you can register your account with an independent bookstore and they get a small kickback from your purchases. I appreciate small bookstores so I appreciate this feature.

The cost is higher than the add-free Kindle paperwhite, which isn't nothing, but $30 more for a higher-end e-reader doesn't seem crazy. Books also tend to be a little more expensive.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Nice E-Reader., May 25, 2013
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
Comparing this to the Kindle Paperwhite is a pretty even match. I must say that the resolution on the Aura HD is beautiful. While you do have to really look to see the difference, once you see them side by side you can see how much nicer the Aura HD really is. The Aura does have a slightly dull contrast compared to the Paperwhite as it is still using the e-ink pearl screen. Page turns are pretty much completed at the same time. I do like the slightly larger screen of the Aura HD, I think if the next Kindle has a 7" screen option it would be a hit. To my eyes it's just right, and sometimes looking back at the Kindle, it seems a bit too small. That's just my own preference at the moment. One thing I don't care for is the back of the Aura HD. The design is nice, in that it is sort of fitting to your hands when you hold it. However, its a sleek plastic that is close to impossible to hold with one hand and on more than one occasion had is almost slip out of both of my hands if you dare loosen up your grip even just a little.

Should you buy it? If your an Amazon customer, no. Regardless, this is a limited edition device. Rumor is this was supposed to be the new Nook device B&N was supposed to come out with. Which was why Kobo grabbed it and rushed it out. I think if your thinking of getting a new device you should wait until both Kobo and Amazon come out with new devices this fall. This has upped Kobo's game by a lot. Amazon needs to and I think will respond with an even better device come the fall, unless Kobo can improve even more on this one. If your a fan of Kobo and have their touch or older model, the Aura is a huge upgrade and while the price is high it's worth it in my book. While it's not perfect this has set the bar for which Kindle will have to beat and I look forward to what Amazon will introduce later this year.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kobo Aura HD is excellent!, November 1, 2013
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
The best e-reader by far. The screen is just fantastic. Makes the Kindle Paperwhite well ..... look not White at all. This is the closest to paper of any e-reader I have tried. Common problems I read about turned out not to be a problem at all.

That included wasted space top bottom and sides. A few adjustments in the settings and that problem is solved. Just a tiny bit of wasted space at the bottom, but I do enjoy to have the page numbers there.

The back of the reader and the offset crease. I think the idea is good, but a rougher finish would have been more effective. I prefer the back of the Paperwhite, but once I start reading I forget about it. It is in no way uncomfortable.

Inability to buy books off Amazon. I buy a lot of books off Amazon and I manage my purchases using Calibre. Easy to convert to E-pub and Calibre does a good job of optimising books for your particular e-reader. I optimise all my books for the e-reader I am using.

Size, well having the slightly bigger size is great. Yes, it no longer fits in my pocket, but I much prefer not so quickly having to turn to the next page and for me the size is a perfect and much closer to the size of a normal paperback. I like to keep mine in the optional case to protect the screen anyway.

The last big complaint is cost. I can only say in my opinion that it is worth the extra money. The crispness of the black lettering on the white background is simple superb. It you read on a regular basis it is well worth it. You are already saving quite a bit of money by buying e-books over paper books. i worked out that I need to read 25 books to pay for my e-reader at a savings of about $8.00 per book. That is vs 22 books for the Kindle Paperwhite. I read about 50 books a year so the extra three books does not concern me.

I have read a few other complaints about this or that, but those do not relate to what the job of this device is and that is to display books in a highly readable format. it is not web browser of gaming machine.

In conclusion, if you only read a book sometimes then the Paperwhite is sufficient. But if you read a lot or if you prefer a much higher quality reading experience then the Kobo Aura HD is much better than any other e-reader out there. I have a paperwhite as well and sitting side by side the difference is very dramatically clear, so much so that I was genuinely surprised that there was a such a large difference in the quality of the display . With an e-reader you spend all your time staring at the screen so its makes sense to buy the best screen you can afford and that screen is the Kobo Aura HD. Happy reading!
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly fantastic device, September 5, 2013
By 
Anthony Muller (Tallahassee, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
I bought the Aura HD after holding out for years because the screen quality on e-readers wasn't up to my (admittedly picky) standards (excellent contrast, little to no text pixilation and a nice, even front light). For me, it was absolutely worth it. The ease of purchasing both using the desktop client (which I've used twice) and the bookstore on the e-reader itself (used many times) is as easy as I'd hoped. In addition, I've used Calibre to convert .docx books of my writer friends' novels and read them on the e-reader with ease. Syncing murders the battery life (If I were to sync daily, I would maybe get a week), but it isn't something I often do. I have never used the web browser nor the .PDF reader and the "social integration" rewards are meaningless to me. The case does not creak in the slightest no matter how I torque it, which inspires confidence. It has a micro-sd slot which I'll probably never need as the 4GB of included memory can hold up to 3,000 books.

The sheer amount of fonts, line spacing and margin width is fantastic and should suit just about anyone. Other people are purported to dislike the fact that more text can be displayed on the smaller Kindle Paperwhite screen, but the reading experience suffers well before that point for me.

When using various family members' Kindle Paperwhites (the 2012 version), I have noticed a few areas that I find the Aura HD to be superior in. The first is the front light. There is NO comparison. The light is completely even on my Aura HD with no dark spots, while there are very noticeable dark areas bordering the screen of the Paperwhite on all sides. In addition, the Aura HD has a physical button to press to turn the light on and off. The Kindle forces you to go into the menu to turn it on (the lights of both readers are adjustable in the menu). The light is also always on for the Paperwhite, while the Aura HD can actually be turned off. Also, the text on the Aura HD is crisper than the Paperwhite. The final aaspect I noticed is that, for me, the Kobo software was more fluid to navigate. This is an absolutely subjective experience, so you should try both out.

The Kindle does have a few advantages. First, the new Matchbook program, which I have wondered for years why no e-book store has had. This is a huge boon in my book. Secondly, if you are a member of Amazon Prime, you get free book lending. The final aspect of the Paperwhite that bests the Aura HD is fact that, in the USA, at least, books are typically cheaper.

The only criticisms I have are, are how much wifi saps battery life (as stated earlier) and the lowest screen brightness is still slightly too bright in complete darkness. That said, you can barely even tell if the light is on during the daytime, so I probably have sensitive eyes (and am definitely being picky).

Living in New York City, I commute every morning to work for around 40 minutes. My commute has never felt so short, as the reading experience is surprisingly immersive. I would have expected my hands to get tired holding the e-reader or the medium to not compare to holding a book (it'll never have the smell), but I am sucked into books just the same. And that's all I can really ask for. A portable, high quality, easy to use form factor that doesn't distract me from my reading.

As a final note, I think that people should try at least a Kindle and Kobo before deciding, if not a Sony e-reader as well. Most people are not as picky as I am and a Kobo Glow, Nook or Kindle will suit them just fine, if they even need an e-reader at all (tablets wil suffice for many). Most e-readers on the market now are solid products and I suggest trying as many as you can before buying.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good? Yes. But not as good as what most reviewers have said., February 26, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
I purchased Kobo Aura HD after reading all the reviews, most of which are quite favorable. Somehow, after having used it for a few days, I feel it is not as good as most reviewers have said and does not meet my expectations.

I have given it 3 stars for the following strengths and weaknesses:

A. STRENGTHS
a) It is sleek and actually looks much more beautiful than the product images posted anywhere on the web.
b) It offers some cool functions such as sufficient font options, line spacing, margin adjustment, and justification.
c) It supports many ebook formats such as epub, pdf, etc.
d) It supports storage expansion through micro SD card.
e) It makes reading possible at night or other dimly-lit places.
f) It supports Adobe DRM encrypted ebooks through Adobe Digital Editions.

B. WEAKNESSES
While it is a very charming product in terms of hardware, software-wise it leaves much to be desired for the following reasons:

a) Ebooks are not laid out as nicely as some other reading apps such as Nook, Sony Reader, not to mention iBooks which is the best ebook reading app so far. Although there are many font options, most fonts actually do not look very nice.
b) The most painful experience comes from highlighting the text. I often had to try at least twice or three times to complete the highlighting process. Oftentimes, when I pressed a word and wanted to highlight it, it simply took me to the next page. I compared it with my Sony Reader PRS-T2 and found Sony Reader offers much easier and painless highlighting procedure. I also compared it with iBooks and found Kobo Aura HD is the worst in terms of ease of highlighting.
c) Although it is said Kobo Aura HD uses E-Ink Technology, the screen is somehow a bit glaring.
d) While I can read in various light conditions, I still feel the screen is not bright enough though I slide the light switch to max. This is perhaps because the screen itself is a tad creamy rather than pure white.
e) Syncing ebooks from Kobo Library can be pretty slow.

Finally, I would recommend this product to the following users:
a) Those who normally read at night or in poor light conditions.
b) Those who do not mind the look of the text layout.
c) Those who rarely highlight words or sentences when reading.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect after tweaking, April 8, 2014
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
Upon first trying this eReader, I had two complaints. Both I was able to fix with some tweaking.

1.) Page number displayed at the bottom of every page takes up a huge amount of space. This was solved with Kobo Patcher 3.0 (google for this). Because my side-loaded ePubs never had the title in the top margin, the text now takes up the entire screen, with small margins on the left and right. This takes full advantage of the large (6.8") screen.

2.) Bottom margin (above the page number) was different on every page.
In Calibre (free, google for it), I converted my retail ePubs to ePub with the following settings: In "Look and Feel," added "body {orphans: 0; widows: 0}" to "Extra CSS" and checked "Remove Spacing Between Paragraphs," setting the "Indent Size" to 1.2em (personal preference, play with this); in "Page Setup" chose "Tablet" for "Output Profile." Added high quality cover and everything turned out fine. There are more tweaks in the Kobo Patcher, but I have not found them necessary.

Overall, beautiful e-reader. Perfect size, feels like a real book in this regard. Fast, easy to read, good light, long battery. You can download books from your Dropbox account using the experimental browser, though it's quite clunky. I prefer to leave the WiFi off. Don't have much use for the "Achievements" or the games in the Extras menu.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heresy: I prefer it to the kindle . . ., August 18, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
As exciting as the first kindle. Genius fonts, larger screen and sharpening eink tech. Plus additional storage! The store and cloud service can't compare to Amazon's services but it is the best hardware I've seen in an e-reader.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great E-READER in every way that matters to most people, December 4, 2013
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
The KOBO Aura is every bit as good as the Kindle Paperwhite and it's 7 inch screen (same as a paperback) is a joy to use. First of all it's the same size as a Paperback and so will feel more familiar to the readers used to reading paperback novels. Fewer page turns is always a plus. It's really too bad that most Americans will not buy the Aura because it's just too expensive. It's too expensive because amazon sells it for the outrageously inflated price of $216.30. It's far more expensive than it sells elsewhere in the world. I understand that Amazon is trying to protect their Kindle sales but I find these tactics extremely dirty. I own both actually because some books are available on Amazon that are not available at the Kobo or ePub stores (mostly self published authors) and also the books are cheaper on one than the other and if one reads a lot it makes sense to own both really.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kobo Aura VS Kindle Paperwhite, January 17, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader (Electronics)
My reason for buying the Kobo (sight unseen) was primarily for the larger screen, but I was intrigued by all the stellar reviews for it.

I've had my Kobo Aura for a couple weeks now and have finally decided to keep it. I also own a Kindle Paperwhite. My observations to this point are mixed. I'm fairly disappointed with the display on the Kobo insofar as it does not seem to live up to the hype. (maybe it's just the particular one I have) It has a slightly off gray to yellowish hew with the bottom having the lightest grey fading to a yellowish tinge towards the top. Pushing the brightness obviates this of course, but still.

I find I prefer the screen on the Paperwhite as it seems to have a somewhat cleaner looking and more pleasing background, and the text actually seems sharper to me than on the Kobo.

That being said, the screen size on the Kobo is perfect for me and the generous supply of adjustment possibilities to maximize the text to the real estate is excellent. The Kindle is somewhat limited that way. Nonetheless I think if Amazon made a Kindle the same size, I would prefer it.

I find the Kobo to also be surprisingly slow to even the most mundane inputs, even page turning. Nonetheless, as I've said, I've decided to keep it primarily for the added real estate and generous text adjustment capabilities. Also, Kobo claims that books bought thorough their website are delivered in either EBUB or PDF format and not proprietary which is a plus.

I was also put off by the refusal of the Kobo Canadian website to accept my credit card information when trying to buy the Kobo Aura. Regardless of the back and forth emails to their support site for a whole month, nothing worked and I finally concluded they are not about to sell to US customers. Must be some sort of back door deal with vendors here. Naturally, buying from Amazon at an inflated price went through just fine. Oh well.

Again as I've said, the reading experience of text to real estate is most important to me and not having to flip pages every 30 seconds or so. For those reasons, I decided to absorb the cost and keep the unit but thought I would share what I've found.

I like what Kobo has done and hope they keep it up, but it should be a little better unit for a better price.

Final Update:
After giving it a fair try, I finally returned the Kobo Aura. I liked the extra reading area, but the other issues continued to bug me, especially the awkwardness of trying to hold it. Returning to my Kindle Paperwhite was by then a refreshing treat.
Wm
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Kobo Aura HD Digital Text Reader
$193.68
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