With the holiday season pretty much upon us, Kobo is offering a limited edition of its well-received Aura One ebook reader featuring four times the usual amount of storage.
With the existing Aura One device already packing a very useful 8GB of storage — enough for about 7,000 books — you might wonder who on earth needs to have as many as 28,000 titles on their ebook reader.
In truth, the vast majority of people will be able to get by with very little storage on their ebook reader, though Kobo describes its 32GB model as the “perfect solution for fans looking to hold their entire digital manga or graphic novel collections.”
Ah, yes. Manga fans. That explains why Kobo’s limited-edition device is heading to Japan, though the company is also making it available to bookworms in one other country — the U.S.
“We have many customers who are comics and manga enthusiasts, and they have told us they need more space to hold their vast collections, especially in markets like Japan, but really anywhere that manga fans are found,” said Michael Tamblyn, CEO of Rakuten Kobo. The company says the 32GB Aura One can hold up to 700 graphics-heavy ebooks.
Tamblyn added that the limited-edition device is also great for ebook fans “who just have thousands and thousands of ebooks and want them all available all the time.”
OK, let’s get down to the nitty gritty — how much is this thing going to cost and when is it available?
Offered in soft black, the 32GB Aura One will retail for $280, which is $50 more than the existing 8GB version. Pre-orders will be available to Kobo Super Points VIP members from November 29 through December 5, with everyone else able to order it from December 6 from Kobo’s online store.
Kobo launched the high-end, Wi-Fi-connected Aura One to favorable reviews in 2016. The regular 8GB version costs $250, and both that one and the limited-edition version feature a 7.8-inch E Ink HD touchscreen. The Aura One supports any ebook format, comes with a night-mode that eliminates blue light, and is waterproof, too.
Competition comes from Amazon’s newest Kindle Oasis, which started shipping in October 2017. The waterproof device comes with a 7-inch display, 8GB of storage, and costs $250. There’s also a 32GB configuration of the Oasis with cellular connectivity for $350.