Review of the Kobo Aura One; the Best eReader Around


The New Kobo Aura One; the Rolls Royce of eReaders

Kobo Aura One flying out the door

Following my recent discovery that Kobo has two new Kobo Aura eReaders now included in their stable I have now reviewed the premium edition Aura One. I have also be reviewed the Aura Edition 2 and  the Aura H2O Edition 2 and have now added the links so you can hop over and read.

Before I started this article I asked myself the question, ‘How good is the new Kobo Aura One?’ Well Kobo couldn’t keep up with sales. Apparently these sold like hotcakes. And as I like hotcakes, especially with maple syrup, I can just see these flying out the actual or virtual door!

BUT NOW these little beauties are available in Australia. How long they will stay on the shelf is unknown so if you want one of these great eReaders it might be wise to look into getting one right away.

Now, for a change, a company organising a new prototype has asked the users of its products to help out with the design. What a breath of fresh air. This is something that has always teed me off. Not only with devices like this but with just about any other product on the market. People who have no touch with users decide what is to be included!

So well done to Kobo and a great job of design from the whole team. Have a peek at the video of the team at work.

Back on the Kobo eReader Trail

Now, as noted above I will be reviewing the new Kobo Aura Edition 2. Following the research necessary for my decision on purchasing  a new eReader, I decided to buy the Kobo Aura H2O. (This is no longer available but the new H2O Ed 2 is out and the link is above.) Now I was very tempted to investigate the Aura One at that time but prudence prevailed. But I can tell you I would


really have loved to get this very nice, top of the range eReader. The choice was taken out of my hands as the eReader was so popular the stocks kept selling out.

Well apparently stocks are now available. And I will have to wait until our other eReader becomes so tired I need a new one!

Summary of Research

Product Kobo Aura One
Cost $400 – $ 410 range Australian (includes sleep cover). Check Kobo for current price.
Availability It looks like the Aura One is now available in Australia.
Pros Refer Pros below
Cons Refer Cons below
Rank: 9.5 out of 10
Guarantee Limited one year warranty (Country consumer conditions apply)
Specifications Check out product specifications


  1. The screen is larger and therefore holds more words and reduces page turns.
  2. The front light system is improved and it compares favourably with the top line models. The light setting is automated to reflect the time of day or night This can also be operated manually.
  3. The design and waterproofing level has been increased to remove the need for a cover over themicro USB connector.
  4. Borrowing or buying books from some non-Kobo shops can now be done as long as these are partners of Kobo. When you have your Kobo eReader and account, contact the partner and they will provide you with an email and the instructions to transfer all your books into your kobo account. Please note that it is still unclear if all Kobo eReaders can accommodate this action. I am pursuing this information.
  5. Borrowing books from a library. You can borrow books from a library with the Aura One. You need to install a program called overdrive on your computer. The public library needs to have the option for eBooks. You only need the subscription from the public library you want to borrow books from.


  1. To tell you the truth the only thing that some might believe is a ‘Con’ is the price. It is pricier than  the other Kobo eReaders. On the other hand it is less than the upmarket Kindle. By the way the upmarket Kindle isn’t water proof.

Reading Brain PowerKobo brain Aura One

According to Kobo the battery is good for up to one month. Now this is a lesser estimate than the other two current eReaders so I have asked them the question why.  Once I receive a response I will update this information.

Mind you this also depends on usage so for me an average amount of time is totally irrelevant as I have my eReader on the go frequently.

Favourite kobo features.

Many of the features I like are noted in my Kobo Aura Edition 2 post. Here are the additional ones for the Aura One.

ComfortLight PRO

The Aura One has the advanced ComfortLight PRO front light system. Its automatic light setting that imitates the sun’s journey from day into night dims the light accordingly.  Once the ambient light starts heading towards twilight and night darkness descends, the front light system dims along with it. This setting is wonderful on your eyes as the amount of blue light decreases as the ambient light dims. According to many researchers, blue light interrupts the working of the melatonin hormone and interrupts the sleep cycle. Along with dimming the light the background softens into a restful orange replacing the grey shade on other Kobo eReaders.

This technology protects your eyes and provides the best night time reading experience without impairing your sleep. If you want you can ignore the automated dimming and manually set the light setting the way you want it. As I said in the Aura Edition 2 post if you start out your nightly in-bed reading on bright, tone it down to dim before you go to sleep. Sometimes I forget and the initial shock of opening the eReader really wakes me up. Back to the blue light being hard on the sleep pattern!

Screen Size for Easy Reading

The Aura One is the size of the second smallest paperback book so it still fits nicely into a handbag or day pack. Basically it is still a take anywhere device that you can easily pull out to read at any time.

Vastly Improved Waterproof System

The Kobo Aura One Waterproof eReader

An improved feature over the waterproof Aura H2O is that the cover for the micro USB connector is no longer a movable one. (With our H2O I found the hatch a bit hard to close at times.) In fact there is no cover at all. Everything is waterproof for the two hours at 2 metres of water. This is due to the HZO Protection ™ IPX8. Now when I first looked at this I thought someone had made a typing error in water’s chemical code, ie H2O. But no it wasn’t. HZO is the company that produces a really, really thin film that protects electronics form liquids. If you want to know more about this check it out on Wikipedia.

Reading From Sources Other than Kobo

And one last new feature is the ability to borrow and even buy library books. The Aura One is the only eReader on the market that has built in Overdrive functionality. Now borrowing from the library or buying books from non-Kobo stores prior to this eReader was by installing an App called Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). To do this you needed an Adobe ID and to authorise the computer and eReader with ADE. Now I had to do this with my original Kobo Aura and let me tell you it was a pain in the proverbial.

Aura One LIbrary


The Overdrive has negated the need for this and you can import directly from your device or desktop. It also completely simplified accessing these books.


One previous feature noted in my Kobo Aura Edition 2 post is worth repeating. Kobo eReaders currently have a one year product replacement warrantee. Under Australian Consumer Law (ACL), there may be reasonable circumstances where warranties will be honoured after a longer period of time. For other countries you will need to access the various Consumer Law areas within their respective governments. (Note that physical damage is not warrantable.)

Read Until You Drop

The Kobo Aura One is the one I want in my reading device stable. It is a bit pricier that some but with its HZO Protection ™ IPX8 it has the highest waterproof rating of any other eReader. For that alone along with my tendency to read in the bathtub it is worth the price to me. One day when I have to renew my eReader that will certainly be the one. (Of course unless they do further improvements in the meantime!)

For those fortunate few who managed to get an Aura One in the mad rush before supplies ran out and who read this post I would absolutely love to hear from you via a comment. The more I know the better I can let people know what is what with this eReader

And for those who don’t and would really love to own a fantastic eReader head on over and




  1. Hi Helen!
    This sounds like an incredible product and I appreciate your very thorough review. I love reading in the bath or by the pool here in Arizona. This has all the bells and whistles.
    Thank you again! I would love to purchase this soon!
    All the Best!

    • Diane, this Kobo really sounds great but I think I would buy the new revised Kobo Aura H2O. It has most of the Aura One’s features but at a lesser cost. Of course I do have to wait until my Kobo Aura decides to retire. Hopefully not soon.

      My partner does have the original H2O and he loves it.

      Thanks for commenting.


  2. Hi Helen:)
    From what you’ve written it looks like this is a very good e-reader. I do like the adjustable light feature and the fact that it’s waterproof is amazing 🙂 My first thought- bathtub reading! But as someone who just loves paperback books, the price is a bit too steep. I’ve got one e-book reader and I’m not really using it that often but it doesn’t have any fancy features as this one.
    Anyway, very nice review Helen:)

    • Kat, overall I find the price not so bad as I can get many eBooks for a much reduced price. By now the cost of my eReader has been far offset by the price of my eBooks. But I am on your wavelength. During the day I read proper books. I thing we have over 2,000 books by now. And that is with constant thinning of ones we have enjoyed slightly less than others.

      Bathtub reading is a great attraction. All I need is a heater in the tub so the water doesn’t get cold and I don’t have to keep adding more hot water.


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