Introduction and First Impressions: Let me begin by saying, I have tried nearly every e-reader on the market. Sony Reader Daily Edition that took 20 minutes to turn a page, a terrible weekend with a Kindle that resulted in tears, a Nook that became annoying far too quickly, the Kobo Aura HD which I loved but only got to use for 10 minutes while setting it up for my Mother and a migraine inducing use of an iPad to read a book. I was on the point of giving up on e-reading but then Kobo came along and made everything better. It's not without some faults though—they are very minor though.
I was surprised when I opened the box how slight the e-reader itself is. It's so thin and light. It fits perfectly in my hand. Most e-readers feel a bit unwieldy and heavy in my smaller hands but this is perfect. The back is also designed to give a nice firm grip so I can read while walking—this is actually very important to me because I read while commuting.
Some basics about the Aura before we get started. The Aura has 4gbs of space—expandable with an SD Card up to 32gb, it has a 6 inch high resolution Pearl E-Ink Clarity Screen, it has 1GHz processor, and it can read ePubs, Pdfs, Mobi and txt. I haven't really used the PDF reader but I do have a few on there that I will read eventually.
Screen-One of my great frustrations with other readers has been the screen quality. Either they weren't sharp enough or they were too sharp and too bright. I am also particularly sensitive to backlight and too much can give me a migraine fairly quickly. I can absolutely say without any bias that Kobo has provided the best screen out of any I've tried. It's honestly only beaten by the Kobo Aura HD which features 265 ppi to the Aura's 212. It's almost as comfortable as reading a paperback. As someone who avoided e-readers for the longest time, this is very important. I need to feel as if I am reading a book—not a document—and the Auro provides me that experience. There is also very little eye-strain. In fact, the only eye-strain that occurred was when I decided to read a book straight through for 10 hours. It was the Anne of Green Gables series so it was acceptable.
Reading Experience-I absolutely love how everything is so customizable within the book. You can change fonts, size of text, spacing, margins, sharpness of text...it's just beautiful. You can even add your own fonts. I have to admit that I geeked out and found a Jane Austen font and used it on her books. Yes, it improves the reading experience dramatically. The processor is also excellent. It's a 1-GHz Freescale 1.MX507. Yes, I know, jibber jabber. But the page turns are so quick, faster than a blink of an eye, the keyboard is very responsive and there is very little ghosting. I appreciate this because my Sony Daily used to take forever to turn the page or highlight or do anything really. I could knit a sweater before that thing turned a page.
I also love the enhanced reading features. There is a dictionary of course. And it is responsive and quick. It doesn't take much effort for the word to be highlighted and defined. You can also add your own preferred dictionary as well. I also love that you can highlight a word or phrase and the Kobo will give you related information like articles and related books. I haven't had an e-reader that featured that before and I found myself using it very often.
For the whole review (and pictures--lots of them), please visit Books Like Breathing.