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Is Kobo’s new Aura One the greatest eReader ever made?

Toronto’s Kobo has announced the release of a new eReader called Aura One, and the water resistant, lightweight, slim, and easy on the eyes device has already been called “the greatest eReader ever”.
The Aura One was announced earlier this week and the slick new hardware will be available for purchase on September 6th with a price tag of around $250 in Canada and the US.

The Aura One is set to be the largest e-reader that Kobo has released to date with the dimensions of 7.68” x 5.45”. But at 0.27” thickness, it’s paper thin and it’s light, too. Even though it brings all that size to the table it still manages to weigh just under 300 grams, which is less than an iPad Mini 4).

“Those who like the size of a hardcover book with spacious pages will enjoy reading on the largest premium Carta E Ink touchscreen currently available on the market, with 300 ppi for print-quality resolution,” says the company, which notes that it “allows for an enjoyable reading experience with more words to a page, which means fewer page turns.”

There’s one more thing about this reader, a little detail that provide some clues to its name. The Aura One, it seems, may actually help you get a better night’s rest.

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“Experts have cautioned that devices in bed, and specifically the blue light from screens, can affect sleep quality. By reducing blue light exposure, Kobo Aura ONE’s enhanced front-light technology lets people enjoy nighttime reading without impacting their sleep,” says the company. “By setting a bedtime hour, the hue of the light mimics the sun’s natural progression. Readers can also manually choose their own light settings based on personal preference.”

Users of the computer program f.lux will know that this type of technology has come a long way and can really improve the physical experience of sitting in front of a device for extended period. If you’re like me and like to use your devices before bed but find you have a hard time falling asleep, the Aura One may be the ticket.

As for material, the Aura One allows users to connect to local public libraries with a service called OverDrive, which connects for one-touch library lending access. There is also certainly no lack of content available from Kobo itself. The company’s bookstore, which opened in 2010, has millions of titles.

“With a world-class catalogue of more than 5 million titles available at Kobo.com, ranging from romance to thrillers, biographies and memoirs to business books, non-fiction to literary fiction—there are options for everyone—available directly from the device with a Wifi connection,” says the company.
The Aura One allows for a pretty impressive amount of customization and features (for an e-reader at least). Readers get a choice of 50 font sizes and 11 font types. In addition, you can adjust margins, write notes, and look up words because it has a built-in dictionary, things that are, frankly, table stakes for eReaders these days.

The eReader space has certainly thinned out of late. Even in 2012, Kobo Executive Vice President Todd Humphrey noted that of the more than one hundred eReaders once available there were really just three left, Kobo, Amazon’s Kindle and Nook. Is Kobo’s Aura One the best ever? Probably, but it’s also the most recent, and it’s likely that the three companies will continue to pass the baton for some time.

The Aura One will be available at your local Indigo store, Indigo website, and the Kobo website on September 6th. You can also pick it up at Best Buy on September 30th.

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