Reader Rocket Review Our evaluation of Aura HD vs Fire HD 7"

Display

How do the screens stack up?

Resolution, pixel density and Screen size

Bookstore

How good is the supporting ecosystem?

e-bookstore size, average NYT best sellers price, NYT's top selling titles and 4 more

Performance

How responsive and how long does the e-reader last?

Battery life

Reviews

How do our trusted review sites rank these products?

Reviews from techradar.com

Reader Rocket Score

Display, Bookstore, Performance and Reviews

Winner
Kobo Aura HD 

Reader Rocket recommends the Kobo Aura HD  based on its display and performance.

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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Kobo Aura HD

Reasons to consider the
Kobo Aura HD

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Expandable memory microSD (up to 32GB) vs None About half of E-Readers have an expansion slot ; store more content with a removable microSD card
Significantly longer battery life 28 hour vs 11 hour More than 2.5x longer battery life; read more between charges
Is readable in direct sunlight Yes (E-Ink) vs No (LCD) Somewhat common; text doesn't look washed out in direct daylight
Lighter weight 240 g vs 395 g Around 40% lighter weight
Uses an open platform Yes vs No Somewhat common; can download ebooks from any source offering formats supported by device
Higher resolution screen 1440 x 1080 vs 1280 x 800 More than 50% higher resolution screen
Front view of Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7"

Reasons to consider the
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7"

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Has an app store Kindle Store vs None Most E-Readers have an app store
Customer loyalty program Yes (Kindle Store) vs No (Kobo Books) About half of E-Readers support customer loyalty program
Has reader-to-reader lending Yes (Kindle Store) vs No (Kobo Books) Somewhat common; e-books can be loaned to a friend for a 14 day period; each e-book can only be loaned once
Can display full color Yes (LCD) vs No (E-Ink) Somewhat common; view images, read comics, and web-browse in full color
Can run Android apps Yes vs No About half of E-Readers support
Thinner 10.3 mm vs 11.7 mm More than 10% thinner ; easily slides into bags
No black flash when turning pages No (LCD) vs Yes (E-Ink) Somewhat common; provides less obtrusive page turns
Bigger bookstore 4 M book (Kindle Store) vs 3.2 M book (Kobo Books) Around 25% larger e-bookstore size; totalling paid & free books, this reader's bookstore offers a larger selection of reading material

Specifications Full list of technical specs

screen

Aura HD  vs
Kindle Fire HD 7" 
Screen resolution 1440 x 1080 1280 x 800
Screen size 6.8" 7"
Pixel density 264 ppi 215 ppi
Built-in light ComfortLight LED backlight
Screen type E-Ink LCD
Touchscreen Infrared Capacitive
Flashes screen black during page turns Yes No

features

Sync across multiple devices Yes Yes
Note taking Yes Yes
Web browser Yes Yes

storage

Expansion slot microSD (up to 32GB) None
Memory 4 GB 16 GB

form factor

Size 128 x 175 x 11.7 mm 193 x 137 x 10.3 mm
Weight 240 g 395 g
Interface touchscreen touchscreen
Headphone jack No Yes

connectivity

Aura HD  vs
Kindle Fire HD 7" 
Input/Output port micro-USB micro-USB
Cellular data None None
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth connectivity No Yes

technical specs

Document support
AAX
DOC
PRC
AZW
PDF
TXT
RTF
ePUB
CBR
CBZ
HTML
MOBI
KF8
Image support
JPEG
PNG
TIFF
GIF
BMP

bookstore

Uses an open platform Yes No
Bookstore Kobo Books Kindle Store
EBookstore size 3.2 M book 4 M book
Free content free content 1.89 M books 2.5 M books
Customer loyalty program No Yes
Average NYT best sellers price $9.95 $9.24
Number of NYT top-selling titles offered+ 38 38
Reader-to-reader lending No Yes
Cloud storage Yes Yes
Reading apps iOS, Android, BlackBerry, PC and Mac iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, PC and Mac
Additional electronic offerings newspapers, magazines and comics/graphic novels newspapers, magazines, comics/graphic novels, textbooks, audio-books and blogs
Has retail store locations No No
Kobo Aura HD
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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7"
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Comments

Showing 1 comment.
Very nicely done, very informative. After trying out the Kobo readers in my local bookstore, I'd add there is one big difference not mentioned here, Kobo's left-aligned text option, which the Kindle and the Nook still lack. I have both a Nook and a Kindle, and discovered the ugly and inconsistent gaps in word spacing are visually awkward and affect readability (I always rotate the Kindle horizontally, and make the lines longer, to get fewer big, ugly gaps) See comparisons here to understand why it matters: http://bit.ly/Y4GPVB Because the Kindle or Nook have yet to wise up and give us a left-justified text option (even though the comment boards are full of pleas to do so), or at least hyphenated text, the Kobo reader is looking like a pretty good alternative.
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