Best E-Readers 2013, Premium Choice: Kobo Aura HD
Kobo started out as a Canadian e-reader maker, owned by Indigo (IDGBF) but was bought by Japanese Amazon competitor Rakuten (RKUNF). Of course, you don’t care about that. What you care about is that Kobo makes the AURA HD — hands down tops any list of the best e-readers available for someone who is a hardcore reader.
What makes the Kobo Aura HD special? Like the other top e-readers we’ve looked at, it uses an E Ink display, but the Kobo Aura HD’s is a bit larger at 6.8-inches (most e-readers are 6-inches). This means the Aura HD is slightly less compact, but makes for a more natural reading experience.
That display, which Kobo calls ClarityScreen+, also offers the highest resolution of any e-reader at 1440 x 1080 pixels (265 ppi) for incredible text sharpness. It also offers unbeatable levels of font customization (10 styles and 24 sizes) for personalizing the reading experience. That display alone positions the Kobo Aura HD among the best e-readers available from any manufacturer.
Onboard storage is 4GB, while the Kobo e-reader also has Wi-Fi, a two month battery life and its case offers a unique ‘folded’ appearance that helps make it easier to hold, while visually distinguishing it from the rest. Kobo books include over 4 million titles in the ePub format.
I own a half dozen e-readers and a handful of tablets (yeah, I have a bit of problem with electronics hoarding) and I’ve tested many of the ones I don’t own. The Kobo Aura HD is the device I use almost exclusively for reading e-books, day or night, indoors or outdoors.
The downside to the Kobo Aura HD is the price. At $169.99, it’s at least 30 bucks more than an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and getting close to tablet territory. But I can forgive a bit of a premium for the device that tops my Best E-Readers 2013 list.