Kobo Aura HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Specs showdown

Kobo Aura HD vs Kindle Paperwhite: Which of these eReaders comes out on top?

Kobo Aura HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Who wins the specs battle? We take a look to see which eReader comes out on top

Look out Amazon, there's a new eReader in town and it's the 'Porsche of eReaders'. Well, that's at least how Kobo is referring to the Aura HD which it claims offers the most paper-like display with a built-in light to cater for night time readers.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite announced last year also offers a similarly high resolution portable place to delve into those digital pages on the way to work or when the lights are out, so how do the two compare in the specs department? We've taken a snap shot look to see which eReader comes out on top.

Kobo Aura HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Build and design

Kobo Aura HD: At 240g the Aura HD is heavier than the Paperwhite and with a 11.7mm thickness is also not quite as slimline as the Amazon eReader. With the touchscreen as you main means of navigation and swiping through pages, the only physical buttons on the device are the on/off and light on/off buttons which can be found on the top edge of the device. Unlike Amazon, who did not reveal details in terms of the power, the Aura HD has a 1GHz processor under the hood should mean a speedy page turns and overall general user experience.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Measuring in at a slender 9.1mm thick making it slimmer than the Kindle Touch, the Paperwhite weighs 213g which means it still matches the Touch in the weight department. In terms of the interface, Amazon has taken inspiration from the Kindle Fire incorporating the ability to swipe through content and head into the cloud to browse through your digital library.

Verdict: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kobo Aura HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Screen and built-in light

Kobo Aura HD: Brandishing a 6.8-inch Pearl E-ink touchscreen display, the Aura HD offers a decent 1440x1080 resolution and 265 dpi which along with ClarityScreen+ offers a clear, detailed reading experience according to Kobo. There's also 30% more reading surface than previous devices and a micro thin coating to help protect against knocks and scratches. If you want to read at night the ComfortLight illuminates the screen much like the Paperwhite does and offers even light distribution across the display.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: The 6-inch Paperwhite touchscreen display offers a higher resolution, and sharper images than previous Kindles managing 62% more pixels. With a considerably improved 212 ppi you can expect clearer, sharper text but that is considerably less than the Aura HD in terms of clarity levels.The new built-in light delivers an ambient lighting effect across the screen and is spread evenly across the display with the brightness adjusted by a simple stroke making it ideal for reading in dark and brightly-lit environments. The increased contrast ratio and resolution also means the opportunity to add new fonts previously not capable on Kindle devices.

Verdict: Kobo Aura HD

Kobo Aura HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Content

Kobo Aura HD: There's access to over 3 million eBooks, newspapers and magazines and with support for ePub and Adobe DRM formats you can also borrow books from public libraries.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: The Kindle Store boasts 1.5 million books, newspapers and magazines with around 300,000 titles that exclusive to the platform and the ability to display comics and children's books. The newsstand will let you purchase subscriptions which are automatically downloaded when available and if you are an Amazon Prime member you can borrow books for free each month.

Verdict: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kobo Aura HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Features

Kobo Aura HD: If font sizes is your thing, the Aura HD has 24 adjustable ones to help you find the most comfortable text to read while social features include Reading Life which lets you track reading stats and the ability to make notes or highlight passages which can then be shared over Facebook. Other notable features include an experimental web browser just as the Paperwhite does and two pre-installed games (Chess and Sudoku) if you need a break from the eBook.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Amazon has also added some nice new touches in terms of the software including the Time to Read feature which works out how much time it will take to finish the chapter or the entire book depending on reading speed and habits. X-Ray will let you explore every detail from quotes to chapters in an eBook while WhisperSync on Voice means you can read an eBook then listen to it on an audiobook exactly where you left off.

Verdict: Draw

Kobo Aura HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Battery, storage and capacity

Kobo Aura HD: Matching the Paperwhite with its promise of up to two months of battery life, internal storage is actually larger at 4GB which can be expanded to 32GB. Books can be downloaded only over Wi-Fi but they can be stored in the cloud giving you access to them via the device or apps which are available on PC, Mac as well as Apple and Android mobile devices.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Amazon claims that you can expect the Kindle Paperwhite to stay juiced for eight weeks, and that is with the light on. In terms of capacity, there's 2GB on board and free storage courtesy of Amazon Cloud. On the connectivity front, the Paperwhite Kindle will work over free 3G, so there's no need for data plans or annual contracts with W-Fi support also an option.

Verdict: Draw

Kobo Aura HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Price

Kobo Aura HD: £139.99, Kobo.com

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: £109 (Wi-Fi model), £169 (3G model), Amazon.co.uk

Michael Sawh

Michael Sawh studied Journalism and Media Studies at Staffordshire University before joining T3 as a Feature Writer. You can find articles by Michael on the topics of Apple products, Android phones, laptops, bikes, games consoles, smartwatches and much more on T3.com, as well as neat retrospectives on classic tech products, events and game series.