Kobo unveils limited edition Aura HD e-reader: 6.8-inch HD screen, ships April 25th for $169 (hands-on)

Blog sponsored by Engadget.com 15.4.2013 Comments Off on Kobo unveils limited edition Aura HD e-reader: 6.8-inch HD screen, ships April 25th for $169 (hands-on)

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Late last year, Kobo went small. The introduction of the 5-inch Mini was no doubt, at least in part, an attempt to offer up a bit of variety in a space whose parameters are largely defined by two Goliaths: Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The device offered a compelling alternative, but ultimately not one enticing enough to recommend it. Announced at roughly the same time, the company’s first take at front-lighting technology, the Glo, suffered a similar fate, coming on the heels of the Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.

Less than half a year later, the company has announced a new reader that once again rethinks the standard 6-inch screen. With the Aura HD, Kobo is going big, extending things to 6.8 inches, putting it closer to tablet size. With that upgrade comes an impressive resolution: 1,440 x 1,080 (compared to the 1,024 x 768 on the Paperwhite and 1,024 by 758 on the Glo). It’s a product focused on hardcore readers. “We got 10,000 customers together across dozens of countries to ask them what we can do for them,” Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis explained. As such, it’s a limited edition offering, one not destined to replace the flagship Glo. “This is something that is designed for this most passionate, voracious reader,” he said, “and as much as I wish everyone was like that — it would make us a lot bigger business right away — that is not the case.” The reader’s priced at $169, and is available for pre-order now, with shipping expected to begin on the 25th. In the meantime, we’ve got more details and some hands-on photos after the break.

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