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Kobo Aura HD Ereader Announced

International Business Times UK

Kobo has announced the Aura HD, which claims to offer the highest screen resolution of any ebook reader currently on the market.

Kobo Aura HD

Going up against the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, the Aura HD has a 6.8in Pearl E-Ink touchscreen with a resolution of 1440 x 1080 and an adjustable front light, is powered by a 1GHz processor and has 4GB of internal storage.

The Kobo Aura's screen is almost an inch larger than that of the Kindle Paperwhite, making the whole device almost the same size as an iPad mini, although the Kobo remains light at 240g thanks to its plastic construction.

Kobo also claims the Aura HD to have the most evenly-lit screen of all ebook readers currently on sale, and that light is activated with a button on the top edge of the device, alongside a power switch.

The bottom edge is home to a microUSB port for charging and syncing with Kobo's computer software for Mac and PC, and there's a microSD card slot for increase the 4GB internal storage to 32GB, which is enough space for tens of thousands of books.

Such content is downloaded from Kobo's bookstore, which boasts more than 3.2 million bestselling books, newspapers and magazines, all of which can be paid for and downloaded over Wi-Fi, although the Aura lacks 3G and a SIM card slot.

As with most ebook readers, the Aura HD is good for a month of battery life, and although this is with the front light on or off, the figure is based on 30 minutes of reading per day and a page change every 30 seconds, so your mileage may vary.

Kobo's operating system from last year's Mini and Glo, with its tiled home screen offering at-a-glance access to your most recently read book, played game (there's chess and sudoku) and reading stats that monitor your progress and reading speed.

If you want more stats - or want to monitor how much a child is reading - the Reading Life shows your progress through current chapter and book with, total hours spent reading, the average length of each reading session, page turns per minute and the percentage of your library completed.

Where the Kindle range shows your progress as a line and a 'location' which is a number not based on pages, time or percentage of the book you have completed, the Kobo Aura gives you the estimated time left until the next chapter, and time left until you complete the book, which should be much more useful at gauging your progress.

The HD screen means text will appear sharper than any Kindle ebook reader to date and Kobo's software offers 10 font styles to choose from, 24 font sizes, weight and sharpness settings that mean you can tailor the font exactly to your needs.

Finished in the same matte plastic we saw on the Kobo Glo last year, the Aura HD claims to be a "sophisticated" ebook reader for discerning booklovers; the Aura HD can be had in "luxurious Ivory, Espresso and Onyx," which we believe translates into 'white, brown and sort-of-black'.

The Kobo Aura HD will be available for pre-order from 16 April and goes on sale on 25 April, priced at £139.99.

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