A couple of weeks ago, I received a Kobo Aura HD for review. Clicking on the link will take you to the Ottawa Sun tech gadgets section where you can find the review.
One of the things I didn’t really comment on in the review is the pricing of the Kobo.
I think it’s a great device but I’m not sure what it’s competing with. Here are the Kobo products with their regular prices as listed at the Kobo website.
Arc: $199 (tablet)
There are regular sales. I’ve seen the Glo for $99 and the mini for $39.
The Glo competes with the Kindle Paperwhite. The Touch competes with the Kindle Touch. The mini is by itself and probably aims to capture a small segment of the market that doesn’t mind reading on a small device or is looking for a second device for travel.
The Arc competes with the Kindle Fire and Google’s tablet. So that leaves the Aura. What similar device is it competing with? As far as a I can tell, the Aura is $20 more than the Glo and the only real obvious difference is the HD. The HD is noticeable. Screen resolution is beautiful, but we’re still talking black and white text. Is it really much better than the Glo? Yes, the Aura has more storage than the Glo, a little more screen space. But is the reading experience that much better than you should spend an extra $40?
If you want HD, a zippy processor and good storage space, why not spend $30 more and get the Arc? Yes, it’s a little thicker and heavier but still more than manageable as an e-reader. And if you want to read newspapers or magazines on your e-reader, you’ll get them in full colour. You want to check e-mail, it’s a lot easier on the Arc than it is on the Aura.
At the end of the day, if money isn’t an issue, and all you want is an e-reader, I think the Kobo Aura is the best device. But for a lot of people, money is an issue.
I like that Kobo has products that can compete with Kindle and Sony. They match up quite well. As I wrote in my review, if I needed a new e-reader, I’d buy the Kobo. I’m just not sure what it’s competing with. Perhaps that’s what Kobo wanted — a device in its own category.