Kobo is betting that there’s still a market out there for the standalone e-reader, with the announcement of its new $169 Kobo Aura HD. So what’s its claim to fame? This 6.8-inch touch-screen device sports the highest resolution E Ink display around, with 265 dpi. By comparison the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite sports 212 dpi and the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight offers 167 dpi.
Under the hood Kobo added a 1-GHz CPU, which the company claims makes page turns 25 percent faster than the competition. Kobo goes on to claim that this is the “fastest e-reader on the market.” Readers will also get 4GB of storage (expandable up to 32GB) and a battery that should last up to 2 months, but there’s no mention of a backlight on this model. Regardless, Kobo is clearly bullish on its new e-reader.
“To us, the Kobo Aura HD is the Porsche of e-readers and is designed for those in the driver’s seat of their e-reading adventures,” said Wayne White, Kobo‘s executive vice president and general manager of devices. “It’s fast, powerful, and sleek and pushes the boundaries of eReading the same way our Readers do – together, they’ll know no bounds as they find their next great read.”
The Aura HD, which will be available for pre-order tomorrow, adds to the company’s already crowded lineup of e-readers, which includes the $79.99 Kobo Mini, $99.99 Kobo Touch and $129 Kobo Glo. Kobo claims more than 13 million readers worldwide, and offers readers a library of 3.2 million e-books. Free e-reading Kobo apps are also available for Android, iOS, Windows and BlackBerry devices.